Review: Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

Review: Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
The Kimpton chain of hotels is slowly expanding its kingdom of artsy properties with free wine receptions and modern atmosphere. With new properties in New York and Pennsylvania, I’ve had the opportunity to stay at Hotel Palomar in Center City, Philadelphia which is located at 117 South 17th Street. The service started out rocky, and there were concerns throughout, but I’d give it another shot in case it was an “off” day.

I frequently stay at Kimpton properties, and rarely have a complaint or mishap. If I do, statistically speaking, it is bound to happen based simply on the frequency of my stays. A hotel’s staff is human and therefore, no property is perfect every time. Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia is a very new property in the Kimpton line up, I am willing to cut them a bit of slack for their newness.

For this trip, I reserved a king spa room for my one night stay at the property, but when I arrived at exactly 3pm (check-in time), my room wasn’t ready yet. This, I can get over. After about 10 minutes of helping myself to the complimentary Arnold Palmers (50/50 ice tea and lemonade) set up in the lobby, the very polite woman behind the desk offered me another room of the same size yet without the spa amenities. Otherwise, it would be a bit longer for the room I reserved. Having a long day of preparation for a proceeding the next day, I took the room that was available immediately.

I checked into the City View King, and it had ample room and a nice view. The bed bordered on heavenly and the bathroom was oversized with a large Jacuzzi tub. I had a lot of work ahead of me for the evening and the large desk was welcomed. Also, the couch and coffee table allowed me to work in a more relaxed setting when I got tired of sitting at the desk.

Kimpton hotels are famous for their combination lodging and eating, i.e., there is usually an excellent restaurant attached to the hotel. For example, in Boston, the combination is Nine Zero Hotel, and KO Prime steakhouse. In Philly, the Hotel Palomar is paired with Square 1682. I was a little overworked during my stay to enjoy the dinner menu, but the bar menu and room service was great.

Unfortunately, when I attempted to order something in my room, it was difficult to get anyone on the phone to even place the order. It took leaving a message with guest services and then calling back 40 minutes later just to place the order. Another food-related mishap included a call at midnight asking if I had placed an order from outside the hotel. Apparently a delivery arrived and did not know the room number. Having seen my message from earlier, they assumed it was me. Fortunately I was awake that late, and could understand the misunderstanding. Still, not so good on the service end of things. Had I been asleep, I might have been a bit more upset.

Despite my not-so-perfect experience at the Philadelphia Hotel Palomar, I wouldn’t write it off and not stay again. One very positive thing I can say about the place is the ease of use of the business center. It was small, but well stocked and extremely easy to use once I realized I had left several copies at behind. There was 24-hour access and it really saved me a lot of headaches being able to jump right in and out with what I needed. Computer access is not free, it is charged per minute as many other business centers do. Also, the location is everything you want in a stay while visiting a major city; convenient to your business needs, but also convenient to parks, shopping, restaurants, and historical features for your downtime.

Overall, I am eager to stay at Palomar again during my next visit to Philadelphia. Why? I can’t let the one visit color my opinion, and it shouldn’t yours either. It truly seemed like the hotel was just having an “off” day and I was the victim of some unusual circumstances. Other than these mishaps, the location is wonderful and the amenities were terrific. The staff was professional and friendly. The gym was modern, the hotel include meeting space, and the style was the fun modern atmosphere you come to expect from Kimpton properties with that terrific wine hour in the lobby. I look forward to my next stay and hope to have a Volume 2 to this not so stellar review.

Travel safely.

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