Kimpton Hotels’ first foray into Philadelphia breathed fresh life into a 1929 tower that once housed the American Institute of Architects. The art deco building was transformed into the hip, LEED Gold-certified Hotel Palomar in 2009, setting the standard for Center City eco-style. The slender, 24-story tower’s long art deco lines set it apart, and its restored three-story, gold-and-black granite facade makes for a glamorous arrival. Inside, the building was stripped to the steel frame and infused with flair and modern function. The dramatic stepped ceiling in the lobby leads to a mod living room complete with roaring hearth and Day-Glo portraits and busts of the nation’s Founding Fathers against stark white walls with recycled glass overlay. Preserved art deco elements wink at the Palomar’s origins, including ornate crown molding in the penthouse ballroom, the gloriously restored 24th-floor AIA library, etched elevator doors, and the lobby’s dark tile mosaic walls.
Guest rooms and suites—all pet friendly—start at a generous 260 square feet and add a subtle art deco vibe with chrome, geometric prints, cubist coffee tables, and velvet couches. Light purple hues dominate bathrooms softened by white granite vanities and recycled-glass tile.
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The restaurants and bars orbiting Rittenhouse Square are among the best in the city. The restaurant empire of Iron Chef Jose Garces began here in Philly. Tinto is the spot for Spanish wine and delicious pintxos—Basque-style tapas such as razor-thin jamon Iberico and moules Basquaise spiked with chorizo. Next door to Tinto is Garces’ comfort-food Village Whiskey, whose menu includes duck-fat fries, house-made cheese puffs, and cheddar biscuits to plate with lobster mac and cheese or a burger drizzled with whiskey reduction sauce.
Need to Know
Rooms: 211 rooms, 19 suites. From $250. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Square 1682 is Philly’s first LEED-certified eatery, a hot spot popular for happy hour and into the night for chef Caitlin Mateo’s locally sourced American fare. The hotel’s living-room lobby gets hoppin’ between 5 and 6 p.m. for the hosted wine hour. Spa and gym details: While there isn’t a spa, in-room treatments are easily arranged. A well-equipped fourth-floor fitness room is open 24 hours, and free bike rentals are available through the front desk.
Who’s it for: Hip foodies and business travelers craving a perch amid the city’s top restaurants and bars; anybody traveling with a pet. Our favorite rooms: Couples should opt for the Spa King room. Its 385 square feet includes a soaking tub with city views, and a stand-alone shower. Spa King suites are 430 square feet, adding a lush living room. Clock your miles: Not only does the Palomar loan guests a Public bike for exploring the city, it rewards them for the distance pedaled. Five miles gets one a complimentary juice at the Palomar’s new juice bar; 20 miles or more earns one a late checkout and complimentary breakfast.