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“Wonderful stay in a Kimpton hotel”

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Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Wonderful stay in a Kimpton hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

We wanted to get out of town by ourselves for an early anniverary weekend without kids and read some great reviews for the Palomar Hotel in Philadelphia. We had an amazing wedding at the Kimpton hotel in Alexandria (the Lorien) last year, so we figured this hotel would be equally nice - we were not disappointed! The Kimpton website is easy to navigate and be sure to check out the specials - two night deal was well worth it; they have a comments section for any special requests and they obviously were well-prepared.

The hotel location is within walking distance to some great sightseeing - about half-way between Independence Hall and the Museum of Art. We opted for valet parking, not cheap but no street parking is available. The friendly staff greeted us having read our comments and we walked into our suite to find champagne on ice with some chocolate-covered strawberries! The Kimpton decor is so nice that my wife would love to redecorate our home just like it - great color scheme and linens, plus extremely comfortable bedding and a huge Jacuzzi tub too.

We had dinner at the restaurant. Square 1682, with some exotic options (though we settled on chicken and pork, which were really good), and also ordered room service for breakfast. I recommend the french toast! The evening wine hour offered red and white wines, plus sangria. The morning coffee bar was generous too.

I found the ice machine on the 4th floor, in the well-appointed fitness center, and wished I remembered my fitness gear.

We often tour the Smithsonian museums in DC and really enjoyed the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you have some flexibility in travel, the entry is "pay what you want" on the first Sunday of the month. We also toured the Rodin gallery but it should be undergoing some long-overdue renovations (we toured just a few days before it was to begin).

This is not an entry-level place to crash but a quite comfortable destination hotel. Overall, our stay at the Palomar was yet another wonderful stay in a Kimpton hotel (we will be sure to look ahead to other Kimpton hotels for future trips) and we whole-heartedly recommend this hotel when you travel to Philadelphia.

Room Tip: Check the Kimpton website for "specials" and you can separately request a room on a higher...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alex306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,490 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (637)
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English first
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2011

I stayed here for two nights with my husband and infant in August. We stayed in a standard Queen room on the 6th floor. Overall, the hotel is lovely. It's nicely decorated and clean. The doormen, valets, and baggage carriers were all very friendly and helpful. The lobby has coffee and pastries in the morning and wine in the evening. The Palomar is just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square and convenient to a ton of great restaurants and shopping. The last time we stayed in Philadelphia we stayed at the Loews on Market Street and this location was far better.

A few issues: the Queen room is very small. If we weren't traveling with a baby and all his stuff, it probably would have been ok, but it was really too small for the three of us. We inquired with the front desk about upgrading upon check-in, but their offer of $30 more a night was more expensive than what the Kimpton website had available so we declined.

When we headed up to our room, we discovered that to get to the room we had to go up three or four steps. Again, if we didn't have a stroller, this wouldn't have been a problem. The baggage carrier who accompanied us commented that the sixth floor is the only floor with steps. Ideally, the front desk would have realized this and not put a family with a stroller in one of the five rooms up the steps. I initially didn't think it would be that annoying, but soon realized that because the stroller had to be lifted up and down the steps, it was literally impossible for my husband and I to go anywhere with the baby without one another. In hindsight, I DEFINITELY should have called the front desk and asked for a new room but we were already unpacked and I just didn't realize what a nuisance it would be. It was. As it turns out, the people in the room next to us also had a baby in a stroller and had to deal with the steps as well.

Lastly, the bathroom door is in the main part of the room and is a sliding door with a decent sized gap; therefore there was zero privacy (sights and sounds!) when in the bathroom.

It probably seems like a lot of complaints for a four-star rating, but I would stay at the hotel again, I just would book a larger room (through the website) on a different floor.

Room Tip: Avoid the sixth floor if you can't do steps.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank bookwormteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SeanFlanigan, Manager at Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, responded to this review, 17 September 2011
Dear Bookwormteacher,

Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to complete your review. I wanted to apologize for the challenges you encountered with 6th floor and the steps. I have shared your review with our team as your feedback is much appreciated and valuable for us to better assist our guests in the future. I am happy to see that when your travels bring you back to Philly you will stay with us again.

Looking forward to welcoming you back soon!

Best,

Sean Flanigan
Hotel Manager
Hotel Palomar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
arizona
Level Contributor
130 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2011

We chose this Kimpton Hotel after our wonderful experience at the Hotel Palomar in Chicago a few months ago. The front desk staff greeted us warmly and the check in went smoothly. Upon entry to our room on the ninth floor we were dismayed to find it so dark and dreary as it faced a brick wall. We called the front desk and they very quickly located a better room on the 20th floor. The room was clean and comfortable and the wi-fi was fast. We were a little repulsed, though, when we ran into other guests with their dogs in the hallway, and yes, this is a pet-friendly hotel. I guess we just did not expect to see dogs on our floor. That being said, we really liked the wine social hour and the coffee in the morning. An added bonus was the complimentary bikes the hotel offers guests. Fortunately we borrowed them on a Sunday morning so the traffic was very light as we made our way through the city to the Schuykill River Trail...a great way to enjoy the city and nature. All in all, this hotel is in a superb location within walking distance of excellent restaurants and the sights of the city.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank traveler2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
66 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2011

There loads of hotel options for a stay in Philly and the Hotel Palomar has some good sides and some ok sides (even though it’s trip advisor #1) so read on to find out before you make your selection.

I’ve just stayed 4 nights at the Hotel Palomar in Philly, which was a leisure trip not business.

WHERE’S BEST TO STAY LOCATION WISE?
Most people will want to walk everywhere in Philly as it’s relatively small and very manageable for a ‘large’ city (I never took a bus, taxi or subway once). There seem to be 2 clusters. Mid town where the formal, top notch hotels (like the Rittenhouse) are plus the Palomar and the Sofitel. Then half a mile further north the Marriott, Embassy Suites and the Sheraton amongst others. The are others ‘way out’ (like the Hyatt at Penn’s landing but there is very little out there) so I’d stick with one of these 2 hubs.
There is not much to choose from but if anything the Sofitel/Palomar hub is more ‘in the middle’ so I go for that hub.

WHAT’S THE PALOMAR LIKE?
Plus side: friendly, free internet (you have to sign up to the rewards/loyalty programme to get it free but that’s easily done online the first time you log on), free wine for an hour each evening to meet the other guests (but you can take the wine up to your room), free coffee and lovely pastry every morning, modern and well kept rooms; pretty good, free fitness room (5 bit of kit: cross trainer and running machines, free weights), big comfy beds, cant hear anything from the next rooms, good blackout curtains

Not so good: no outside space or pool, my room view (I was facing south) was a really boring one of a next door skyscraper), the lobby and bar is a real disappointment, the room (even though I paid for an upgrade) is still small; staff attitude and service just a little too cocky/trendy/aloof - previous Kimpton's have been better in this service regard

The poor bar issue is easily solved. The Sofitel is dead opposite (10 seconds walk) and its bar is everything the Palomar bar should be. Large, lovely dark décor, candles, and a great martini selection. If you sit near the Sofitel bar window you can even access the Palomar’s free internet!

I really wanted a hotel with an outdoor pool or balcony. The Palomar has neither. But I didn’t want the Embassy Suites, which is the only realistic option for a balcony. And there are only 1 or 2 hotels with outdoor pool/space and, after research, I discounted then all. The Rittenhouse says it has outdoor sun area but the website has no pictures and so I did not take the risk – also the place looks far too formal for me!

SO WHAT’S THE VERDICT ON THE PALOMAR?
It’s got a great location, is friendly, killer perks like free internet and comfortable room and bed. Not perfect but, yes, maybe the best. Certainly look into the Sofitel though as there is very little in it.

WHERE TO GO FOR BREAKFAST
There is nowhere really close to the Palomar for great breakfasts.
I recommend either the Corner Bakery (5 mins walk - which has free wifi) or the Dutch Eating Place in Reading Market Terminal (10 mins walk but well worth it, best breakfasts in Philly - not open Monday or Tuesday).

MY VERY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO
I did lots in my 4 days. To boil the list right down to my 4 must do’s:
#1 – Reading Terminal Market. Try it in first thing in the morning (8am) and also at lunch (which means 11.30, cos it gets real bust with the locals!). Veggie places in here too. Ice cream and bakeries essential.
#2 – Logan Circle. Trees to rest under. Eat lunch on the benches. If hot, it's compulsory to dangle your toes and legs in the large fountain. The most relaxed I’ve been in Philly.
#3 – Penn’s Landing seaport museum. Find out about the thousands of boats and ships built here in Philly. Go aboard a (real) huge ship and a submarine, both docked nearby.
#4 – Philly Museum of Art. I’ve never seen so many full rooms picked up from their original locations and perfectly re-constructed in the museum. Rooms from French mansions (including cobalt blue Sevres porcelain), English town houses, Far East temple, and a Japanese tea room! Monumental and not often you get really surprised in a museum.
Oh, plus all the normal tourist stuff like the Liberty Bell etc

If you’ve liked my review, thanks and pls click that button about it being helpful.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank ChiswickTurnhamGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2011

Tight street approach, no pullout, quick transfer inside, pleasant but fairly small lobby, nice bar and restaurant, crowded wine tasting on Sat but well served. Paid extra for view and higher floor, got a city view. Active street scene on weekend night, felt safe. Close to Rittenhouse sq, pet friendly,but we did not hear barking except in hallway. Overall I'm not sure it's #1, but a nice hotel.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank treebark17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
86 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2011

This was our 2nd stop of 4 for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and could not have been any happier - we valet parked and were in and out a few times and always found the guys on the door top notch - we only talked to reception a couple of times and found them professional and polite - as it was our 25th anniversary when we got to our room we found a hand written note from the manager wishing us well with some fruit a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries - that was a very nice touch.

the room and all that is in it were brand new of the highest quality not a speck of dust - however the room was on the small side saying that the bed was huge very comfy

As we are not one for dogs we did not like the fact that dogs would be staying in it at the same time - but no need for this fear as you cant smell a dog or even see one.

We had a night in the bar and a bit of food had a great night.

Would I go back YES ! very happy with our stay.

room 1808

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank The_Dublin_Couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

Excellent hotel in a great location-lots of shops and places to eat nearby. Wine hour every day and complimentary tea/coffee each morning. "like" Kimpton hotels on Facebook and watch out for special offers or secret passwords. Very clean, lovely decor and friendly staff.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chopsface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
obriggs, Manager at Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, responded to this review, 22 September 2011
Dear Chopsface,

I'm so happy you got to utilize our amenities and our location to the fullest! I hope we will be your hotel of choice when you return to Philly!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

Property: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
Address: 117 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5025
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > City Center West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels in Philadelphia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia 4.5*
Number of rooms: 230
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is the first LEED Gold Certified luxury hotel in the heart of Center City is a testament to superior eco-friendly hotel design, personalized service and genuinely warm hospitality. Hotel Palomar is a unique luxury boutique hotel that features a striking lobby, the critically acclaimed Square 1682 restaurant and on-site fitness center. Throughout our boutique hotel, original artwork dynamically interacts with soft hues, luxurious custom furnishings and original architectural detailing. ... more   less 
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