Historical Traveller Reviews of The Ritz Carlton Philadelphia Hotel
t Be Part of the Ritz-Carlton Chain!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I booked a suite, the first one was filthy and so small you couldn't even swing a cat in it, our second room had an elevator shaft next to our heads which wasn't very sleep inducing, the third room was quiet and clean, all that we really wanted at this point. The mini bar wasn't stocked, there was no hot water, the tv didn't work, phone didn't work, and one of the lamps didn't work. It took them over 30 hours to clean our laundry, when it came back three items were ruined. Then they charged me a rate that was three times what they originally quoted for three nights. Only when I called to query it did they say that they would reverse the charges. The single worst hotel experience of my life! At least the spa is very relaxing, on one of the busiest streets in Philly with no soundproofing! How can this be part of the Ritz Carlton chain?
Disgrace to the Ritz name
from A TripAdvisor Member
I've stayed at many hotels, but as far as service goes, this was one of the worst ones I've stayed at. The rooms are okay, but so many things did not make sense. There's only one set of electrical outlets behind the desk for the entire room. Didn't know where to iron my clothes. The shower water temperature was low, and I had to repeatedly ask engineering dept to make the water hotter. And the water pressure was so low I felt like I was standing underneath a drippy faucet. The hotel lost one of my packages (FedEx tracking said it was delievred and signed by the hotel), and another package was found 3 days after delivery shoved inside the bellman's closet. Service all around was shotty. The front desk rarely answered calls; they usually put me on hold for minimum 5 minutes. I never saw more than one person working the front desk at all times. For a hotel of this size, I would expect to see at least 3. Help was never around when I requested it. I always got an answer that they are busy, but they'd work on it. Every request had to be followed up with a second or third followup call. When I stay at a Ritz Calrton, I expect a professional hotel staff, but this one seems to hire anyone off the streets. They are really low grade level and know nothing about the service/hospitality industry. My biggest complaint was the fitness center which resembled a bad YMCA rec room with old equipment, some which just didn't function properly and downright dangerous. The lighting and the temperature in there could not be controlled, and it was always way too dark (I tripped over a cord) and WAY too hot. People in there constantly complained about the dangerously high level of temperature, but it didn't seem to change at all during the 3 weeks I stayed there and complained about it. One night I got to the gym late in the evening (10:00PM), it was dark in there as usual, but I did fumble around for the one light source I could control... I saw a dark shadow pop up from behind the weight machine, and I saw that a staff member was taking a nap on the equipment. Nice.
Clean, comfortable, and convenient
from A TripAdvisor Member
I've stayed at a fair number of Ritz-Carltons in the US and this one is good. I think it deserves a better review than some previous ones posted here. Our check in was quick and friendly, and the desk clerk gave us the quiet room we asked for. That said, it was a small, oddly-shaped room probably meant for internet rate users. But nevertheless it was clean and pretty quiet and the only disturbing event was when tipsy guests from a wedding party in house stood outside in the hall talking late at night. But this can happen anywhere. Too it sported the signature Ritz-Carlton featherbed, which is comfy, as well as the nice toiletries, granite vanity, and combo bath/shower. Our room was obviously recently refurbished, as were the public areas. It is obvious that this was once an office-building, but seems to fit an afterlife as a hotel all right. As others have said on this site, the public areas are stunning, as the main lobby area must have been a bank in the glory of the early 20th century. Lots of marble, huge colums, and regal touches. One drawback is that the hotel does not have a gift shop so business travelers may not like that. But it is within walking distance to lots of Philly banks and businesses and good restaurants, and a short subway ride from the historic areas. My spouse and I would stay here again.
I was curious as to how any Ritz-Carlton property could NOT be rated in the top five in any city/resort location, but I now know why. I spent a weekend at the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the spacious rooms. The Rotunda is spectacular and given the historic infrastructure of the hotel, I was impressed with the working order of the rooms and elevators. But it all ends there, the service is very spotty. It varies from over-the-top efficency to utter complacency and rudeness. Check-in was good, check-out was not. The Chocolate Buffet (offered on weekend nights) was a complete disaster and a rip-off at $24.95 per person. I do expect to pay more at a Ritz, but a $200.00 plus bill for a few morsels of chocolate and a round of drinks for four adults?? The maid tossed out our reading material and completely rearranged our toiletries and clothes. Doormen/valet was sometimes non-existent. Restaurant service in the Rotunda was bland and robotic. Love the location, but will definitely return to the Sofitel or Park Hyatt next time.
almost just right
Great location, spectacular lobby and comfortable rooms. I had an amazing conference rate on my room so I can't really complain but I will make the following comments:
- the food (breakfasts) was so-so and pricey for the quality/quantity served
- the staff, while valiantly sticking to whatever memo said "greet all guests all the time", seemed a little green, the greetings rendered insincere. Little things: I had to wait, ungreeted, at check in while members of staff finished their (admittedly somewhat hotel-related) conversation and had to hail my own cab at 6 am to get to the airport as there was nary a doorman in sight.
- various of the electrical outlets in the rooms (not just mine) did not work.
I very much appreciated getting both the Wall Street Journal and USA today in the mornings.
Nice one night stay.
I stayed in the Ritz at the end of Februrary. The check-in process was extremely smooth. After walking in through the side entrance we were ushered through the grand cafe/restaurant/lobby area to the small desk. A bell-hop immediately asked us if we needed help with our luggage. The lady who checked us in was polite and very quick.
The rooms are fairly small, the ceilings are high making the room look bigger. The bathrooms in the superior rooms are exquisite, with marble floors, toilet closet, etc. Spacious and clean with high quality toiletries.
The Fitness room is very nice, but the smell is musty-there is not any air circulation. Treadmills and bikes have personal TVs. A weight machine as well as free-weights are available. It is next to the spa.
The bar in the lobby is small, prices are average, has a nice serene vibe.
Overall a nice experience, expected room to be a little larger. Great for a one night business stay.
An exceptional hotel
An excellent hotel. This was our first stay at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia and hopefully it won't be our last. Both our room and bathroom were quite large, comfortable and the beds were heavenly. The service from the staff was top notch, the food at The Grill superb! This hotel certainly deserves its five star rating. I would recommend this hotel to anyone wishing an exceptional hotel experience.
Nice, but missing something
Lobby really is breathtaking, making you feel like you're in a special place worthy of the Ritz name. The rooms, however, were really pretty standard. The bathroom was half the size of the small room and was very nice, but a) it wasn't fully clean when I got there and b) the shower temperature and pressure were just plain poor. Overall, the public spaces felt Ritz-like, but the rooms didn't quite make it.
Living off past reputation
We just returned from a visit to the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia. The staff was friendly, but the hotel was run quite badly. For example, the ice machine on our floor was out of order for the duration of our stay and staff members were aware of it. The gift shop was arbitrarily closed on Sunday without any notification. As no newspaper was delivered on any of the days, we had to go out and purchase both morning coffee and a paper elsewhere. The concierge recommended the Ritz Sunday Brunch to us. There was none. The concierge also touted a shopping area (closed) and a restaurant (closed). The breakfast buffet was run bad enough that people were standing around with half-filled plates waiting for food to arrive. The bedding could have been cleaner. The ventilation system was emitting sulphur-like odor. We could have gone to a budget hotel for less than half of what we paid and gotten just as many perks - none! No one today can afford to rest on past laurels. I'm afraid this particular hotel is doing just that.
Historic Lobby is worth the stay
I've read the other reviews and acknowledge no hotels are perfect, but this Ritz has a great location, the staff were very helpful and the service was what you would expect at a Ritz. The main reason to stay here is the LOBBY-which took my breath away every time I entered. This marble copy of the Pantheon is resplendent! Best part of my stay was just enjoying a drink or coffee in the lobby. Upgrade to a room with large marble bathroom with seperate tub and shower-soaking tub and feather beds are wonderful. Ask for view of City Hall.
Top Local Tips for Philadelphia
Go to Cuba Libre in Old City for dinner. Excellent cuban food with an amazing atmosphere. You'll feel like you are at an outdoor miami restaurant. It also has a lot of great bars on the same street if you are interested in night life. The Continental and Plough and the Stars are across the street. South Street is also a must see----lots of interesting sites, bars, stores,etc. Last but not least....got to have a cheese steak. My personal favs are Geno's and Dallesandro's( in roxborough). Philly is a fun and exciting city with so much to do.
A few tips...
Do a little research on restaurants before you get there. We had two bad meals. I recommend Alma de Cuba for good food and a nice lounge near the hotel. The Ritz can get you VIP packages to museums. They can get you a free pick-up for many attractions such as a ride to the double decker bus tours or Independence Hall. Jims Cheesesteaks on South Street are excellent or go to Ricks nearby at Reading terminal. For a nice walk, go to Rittenhouse Square and check out the neighborhood. Very nice colonial brick style houses that will give Bostons Beacon Hill a run for its money.
Eating out and travel
Go to Devon seafood grill if you like sea food; Highly recommend hop on hop off bus