REVIEWED BY Francis X. Gallagher



FXExpress Publications


ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: It was wonderful to return to the City of Brotherly Love, the city of my youth and where I spent eight years of Jesuit education! Not that this was a long journey, but all through the pandemic, the city had been somewhat avoided, and it was nice to be back to some normalcy. I drove to Philadelphia and enjoyed a trip off I-95 through Society Hill and past Old Saint Joseph’s Church, looping over to the Kimpton and finding convenient parking behind the hotel. Check-in was friendly and swift; the gentleman behind the counter and I commented on the snappy attire of us both. I was ready to roll and swiftly found my way to Suite 702, which had a clever turn-of-the-century balloon motif on the room number plaque. GUEST QUARTERS: First, Benjamin Franklin would have been thrilled with the view. The room overlooks Carpenters’ Hall and Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were debated and adopted … does it get any better than this? If you have any interest in the history and founding of the United States, there is no better place. Did I mention the Liberty Bell sits next door? I had a lovely suite with an amazing bathroom, which had a large shower area … so large, an oval soaking tub fit against the window. No shower door was needed, as a pane of glass stood between the rest of the bathroom and the bathing area. The only issue might be if one person is in the tub while another is showering, you might get splashed. But soaking up some history while bathing and looking out the window is intriguing. The spacious bedroom sported the typical fun and unique Kimpton design which I might describe as Neoclassical Modern French: blue wallpaper, tufted headboard, bright red lacquered chest with a flatscreen TV. I found the built-in work table invaluable as I arrived mid-afternoon for my dinner and enjoyed the view while checking emails. Later I walked some 10 blocks to 15th and Broad for dinner and found the city bustling as usual. Just before a torrential rainfall I made it to my destination: The Union League of Philadelphia and the excellent restaurant 1862. SERVICES/AMENITIES: Kimptons have all the little touches, like bottled water in the room and sharp-looking robes to wear while lounging. I also like the host of plug-in options, including a nifty candle-like fixture by the bed. The king-sized bed was warm and inviting. The Red Owl Tavern and Stratus rooftop bar are welcoming venues and popular city haunts. The hotel offers bikes, a fitness center and free valet parking, options which prove a great value.