5 Reasons to Catch Spring Fever at Loews Philadelphia

It’s no secret that the USA’s first national capital, Philadelphia, is rich with early American landmarks, world-class museums, award-winning dining, great live theater, seasonal festivals, and award-winning dining far above and beyond famous Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. Not so well known is the fact that most can’t-miss sites and events are within walking distance from Center City, where the Loews Philadelphia skyscraper stands tall. The landmark proved to be the ideal choice for our recent visit.

Courtesy of Loews Philadelphia

 

Location, Location, Location

We discovered that the best place to stay in Philly is Center City, right smack downtown in the heart of the city. Four-diamond Loews Philadelphia Hotel is ideally located across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and SEPTA Market East Regional Rail Station.

From Loews Philadelphia’s prime location we walked to nearly everything on our must-see list including The Franklin Institute, The Barnes Foundation, the utterly unique The Mütter Museum, City Hall, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, Masonic Temple, Elfreth’s Alley (one of the nation’s oldest inhabited streets), and a performance of “Moulin Rouge: The Musical” at the Academy of Music. 

If you’re overwhelmed by all the choices of what to see and do, Loews Philadelphia’s “Visit Philly Overnight Package” plans it all for you with free hotel parking and a choice of two tickets to The Franklin Institute, one of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country; the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum; or the National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution. With all these world-class sights within a pleasant walk or short drive away, you’ll be surprised how much you can do in a day. 

 

Loews Philadelphia proudly banks on its building’s landmark status.

 

Sleep in a National Historic Landmark

As America’s first capitol city, Philadelphia has an incredible array of historic landmarks including Independence Hall and Congress Hall, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Before the White House, there was The President’s House, home to both George Washington and John Adams, when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800. The Betsy Ross house honors the seamstress who sewed the first American flag, and the 2,080-pound Liberty Bell stands proudly on Independence Mall. None, however, offer overnight accommodation. 

On the other hand, there’s the fabulous Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) building, a 20th Century masterpiece that earned its National Historic Landmark status as one of the nation’s first modern skyscrapers. It’s a stunner, sitting on the even earlier site of America’s first circus, which was attended by George Washington. And the PSFS building just happens to be the contemporary site of Loews Philadelphia Hotel which honors its monied past by exhibiting a decorative bank vault in the lobby, and by maintaining the original Cartier clocks in front of the elevator bank on each floor. 

The hotel is so true to its art deco roots, that it looks as if it’s always been there, but in fact it is the first hotel on the site, opening in 2019 following a $23 million dollar enhancement project. Loews Philadelphia boasts 581 guestrooms including 12 luxurious suites and 54 glam Club Rooms. A 15,000 square foot spacious fitness center, salon and spa managed by Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa & Salon occupies the fifth floor of the hotel. 

 

Bank and Bourbon restaurant. Photo courtesy of Loews Philadelphia.

 

The Gastronomy

Philly has proved again and again that it’s one of the best dining cities in the country: local chefs and restaurants won four major James Beard Awards. High Street Hospitality’s Ellen Yin (of Philly classics like Fork, a.kitchen + bar and High Street) won the national award for Outstanding Restaurateur, for which she was also nominated in 2018, 2019 and 2022. In the Philly-heavy Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon of Kalaya took home the crown, and Friday Saturday Sunday — Rittenhouse Square’s much-raved-about fixed-menu spot — earned the award for Outstanding Restaurant in its first-ever nomination.

Less than a block from the front door of Lowe’s Philly is Philadelphia’s beloved Reading Terminal Market, one of the oldest, largest, and most delicious food courts in the country. It has 30+ eateries, including 19 international and regional kitchens, and 12 Pennsylvania Dutch vendors (locals especially love the home-cooking counter-service at Dutch Eating Place). It has a least three cheesesteak counters, too, plus DiNic’s Roast Pork Sandwich was crowned the Best Sandwich in America in 2013.

 

Lobby Lounge. Courtesy of Loews Philadelphia.

 

Lobby Life

But you don’t even need to leave the the hotel for some of the best that Philly has to offer. The Flavor by Loews Hotels program partners with the best local artisan food and beverage makers to serve Philly’s superb La Colombe coffee, Metropolitan Bakery chocolate croissants, Conshohocken beer, and rye by Stoll & Wolfe, a Pennsylvania distillery that dates back to 1753. 

The large Lobby Lounge especially buzzes with chatter during happy hour, thanks to cocktails like the hotel’s seasonal Summer Breeze spritz with lime, pineapple juice, Aperol and Prosecco. When we visited, a festive group of architects was decked out in outfits from the roaring ‘20s in celebration of the PSFS building’s original heyday. 

The lobby is the perfect place to people watch while working on a plugged in laptop or with a drink in hand before dinner at hotel’s excellent Bank & Bourbon restaurant. Its fantastic menu and enviable location at the corner of  has made it a popular local draw. The menu is a marvel, featuring Chef Craig Meyers, a Philly native whose sophisticated interpretations of traditional American fare foods are made with locally-sourced meats, mushrooms grown just miles away, and more. See and be seen by reserving a corner window table for a front row view of the always bustling street scene. 

 

Courtesy of PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

 

Stop and Smell The Flowers

Lastly, there’s no better way to celebrate spring than to attend the iconic Philadelphia Flower Show, the world’s oldest and largest indoor horticultural event. Celebrating its 195th year this March 2-10, the floral spectacle brings together hundreds of florists, landscapers and designers who create displays to honor the majesty of horticulture. The Flower Show also hosts juried competitions, gardening talks, demos, live performances and special events. 

Loews Philadelphia’s “Flower Show” package  makes is a blooming great deal that includes two tickets to the Flower Show experience, conveniently located across the street at the Convention Center. The package also includes a complimentary room upgrade and floral-inspired cocktails at Bank & Bourbon. 

Alternately, the hotel’s “Room for Romance” package tempts guests to experience the City of Brotherly Love from their newly renovated guest room where they can laze about in bed with chocolate-covered strawberries, two splits of Prosecco, $50 food and beverage credit per night, and a late check-out time. To entice you to actually leave your room, you can enjoy 20% off spa and salon services at Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa & Salon. 

 

Bathroom with a view. Photo courtesy of Loews Philadelphia.

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Vicki Arkoff

Based in Los Angeles, Vicki Arkoff is Editor at Large for Pursuitist and a founding editor for Holiday Goddess, the online destination for chic women travelers from the editors of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Conde Nast Traveler, and BBC. Her travel and lifestyle reports can also be been seen in Atlas Obscura, The Awesomer, DaySpa, The Chicago Tribune, CNN Travel, JustLuxe, Lonely Planet, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Toronto Star, WellSpa 360, WestJet Magazine, Where Traveler, Where Guestbook, Yahoo News, and dozens more. She’s co-author of the bestselling Holiday Goddess books (HarperCollins and iTunes) including ‘The Holiday Goddess Guide to Paris, London, New York, Rome,’ a travel Top 10 staple. As editor, Vicki’s other books include ‘Sinatra’ (DK), ‘Inside Mad’ (Time-Life) and ‘Virgin Los Angeles’ (Virgin Books). She is one of the Usual Gang of Idiots for MAD Magazine, an entertainment reporter (Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, CREEM), and authorized biographer for pop culture icons from the Beach Boys to Beastie Boys, Paul McCartney to MC Hammer.