We stayed at the Morris House Hotel to be close to the historic attractions, and to avoid "cookie cutter" chain hotels. The hotel itself is beautiful, and has been updated for modern convenience while keeping its historic character. The property has three buildings--one is the original main house, connected to a restaurant/hotel building by a nice courtyard. There is a third section in the back with rooms. The public transportation system, SEPTA, runs a train underground in front of the hotel, so I highly recommend you stay in the back of the two buildings that face 8th street. The train noise is loud, as there are grates in the sidewalk in front of the hotel. We were sitting in the courtyard one night, and you get a feeling that a "ghost" train is passing because you can hear it and feel the vibration, but you can't see it. We stayed in Room 502 (restaurant building), where you can feel a slight vibration, but it is not distracting. Our room was a suite, which was very large and comfortable. The furniture is contemporary (borderline IKEA), but attractive and functional. There is a kitchenette with a sink, one-cup coffee maker and cooktop; I would have preferred to have a microwave. Due to the historic nature of the building, there are no elevators, and you have to walk up steep stairs to the upper rooms. The staff helped us with the bags when we checked in. Bathroom was huge and well-appointed with white marble tile.
Now the downside--the hotel offers an extremely sparse continental breakfast. This was disappointing due to the facts 1) we were paying about $300 a night, and 2) the hotel has a restaurant. If you want to eat 95% carbs to start your day, you might be satisfied. Only "hot" item was microwaved mini-quiches, which were seldom replenished. Fruit was a basket of apples and oranges. Some fresh berries would have been nice and easy to serve. There was some sliced bread--dry, and some cake breads --also dry. A few thin slices of greasy-looking cheese, yogurt and a bowl of Cheerios or granola were the other offerings. It would have been nice to have the option of a hot breakfast in the restaurant, which I guess we could have done if we wanted to pay (using a 10% discount offered to hotel guests eating at the restaurant). It would have been nice to have some boiled eggs, some sliced meats, juices other than one pitcher of orange juice and more cheese other than just a few slices that were almost transparent. They should consider providing a "taste" of their restaurant by offering a hot breakfast--it might entice more of the guests to eat there rather than go elsewhere. I have stayed at hotels for $89 a night and received a much better breakfast. I have stayed in many hotels, especially in Europe, where you showed your room key in the hotel restaurant and received a hot, cooked breakfast. I was expecting more for the price we paid. After the first morning, we went elsewhere for breakfast.
Also, we discovered after waking up more morning in a 66 degree room that all the rooms, at least in our building--despite having individual thermostats--run off one system. If one room turns down the heat, all the rooms get cooler. We mentioned this to the front desk clerk, and she assured us she would check all the rooms later. The next morning, we could see our breath when we woke up. The staff was accommodating and very apologetic and brought a small heater for the bathroom (slate tile floor, which was well-chilled). We were given a discount off of one night for the inconvenience.
The hotel is extremely convenient to the historic areas, and within easy walking distance of many attractions. The area behind the hotel, Washington Park, is lovely.
I recommend this hotel for its character, reasonable comfort and great location, but with the abovementioned caveats.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This national historic landmark, renovated into a luxury boutique hotel, offers cozy accommodations and elegantly combines 18th century charm with all of today's modern conveniences.The Morris House Hotel offers uniquely decorated rooms, complete with charming views of the private garden or city. Free Wi-Fi is included.Guests at the hotel can enjoy a delicious continental breakfast every morning and afternoon tea with homemade cookies. M Restaurant, located on site, features French-inspired cuisine and a garden patio.Only a short distance from the Morris House are some of Philadelphia's main attractions. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are moments away. A number of world-renowned restaurants, shops and theaters are also within walking distance. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Morris Hotel Philadelphia