Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Penn's View Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nominated By: Shelley Seale, Austin, Texas, USA, June '10
Price Range: US$119-$254 (breakfast included) # of Rooms: 51 Kid-Friendly: yes
What makes the Penn's View Hotel so Darn Good? You arrive at a charming block of buildings, facing cobblestoned Front Street and the Delaware River, overlooking Penn's Landing. The 1828 building that houses Penn's View Hotel was originally built as a shipping warehouse for the port; it later served as a hardware store and coffee house. After the 1950s the building sat vacant for many years, until the Sena family bought and renovated it, and Penn's View Hotel opened in 1990.
Vibe: Penn's View Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Sena family's loving restoration resulted in an architectural award in 1995 from the city of Philadelphia. Owner and family patriarch Luca Sena is a native of Napoli, Italy, arriving in the U.S. in 1967 with his father Carlo, a Master Chef. Luca's son, Carlo A. Sena, manages the hotel and continues his family's tradition of hospitality.
Location: One of the big drawing points of the Penn's View Hotel is its incredible, unmatched location only steps away from historic Philadelphia's most interesting spots, including Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklinís gravesite, and the Betsy Ross house. Located just off Front and Market Streets, and a block from the SEPTA train, there is no better spot for a visit to the birthplace of the nation.
Rooms: Each of the 51 guest rooms are finely appointed, with queen or king beds. Some include working fireplaces or terrace balconies with views of the river and Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and premium rooms have Jacuzzi bathtubs. Other on-site facilities and features include wireless internet throughout the hotel and guest rooms (no additional charge), and guest access to the fitness room. Complimentary, European-style continental breakfast and the morning newspaper are included with each stay. Several function rooms are available for meetings and private parties.
Food: The hotelís Ristorante Panorama is an award-winning Italian Restaurant and wine bar, and holds the distinction of having the world's largest wine preservation system. Serving more than 120 wines by the glass, the Il Bar offers wine flights and special tasting nights and has won acclaim from Wine Spectator and Food & Wine. The New York Times called it "the mother of all wine bars."
Keep in Mind: One side of the hotel faces the highway, so if you are sensitive to background noise, you might want to request a room on a different side.