It was an unexpected turn of events that found my friend, Anna, and I watching an impromptu dance performance in my hotel room at Le Méridien Philadelphia. Our friend, Amy, spun across the room, twirled by her partner Andrew. I couldn’t help but think back to our junior high dances. We used to dance awkwardly in one big circle, everyone pretending they didn’t want to dance with the boys. Our movements were guarded and uncoordinated. Now Amy danced around the room as naturally as if she were walking.
Ever since the days we bonded over our Lion King t-shirts, Amy, Anna and I had been best friends. Our little group expanded and contracted over the years, but the three of us always stuck together. Even when Anna moved to LA and Amy moved to Philadelphia, we still visited and always made time for an Alias marathon night or a few rounds of drinks every time we were back in town. We always had a way of picking back up right where we left off.
So when Amy told us that she had fallen in love with her dance instructor and was quitting her engineering job to teach dance, Anna and I wasted no time booking our tickets to Philly to meet the guy. Their new apartment was a bit tight to fit us all unless we wanted to sleep in the bathtub, so we decided to spend some time in the city and get a hotel downtown.
Le Méridien Philadelphia
I was looking for a hip hangout in the middle of all the action and Le Méridien Philadelphia immediately caught my eye. I had stayed at stylish Le Méridiens in Barcelona and in Paris and both experiences had been excellent. I was curious to see what Le Méridien had up their sleeve on my own side of the pond.
Le Méridien Philadelphia is in a beautiful historic georgian brick building, renovated from its days as a YMCA. Le Méridien joins trendy modern design with the historic bones of the building. The design brings in elements from the local area styled with a bit of urban flair. We had fun lounging around and exploring the different areas of the hotel. The lobby and main floor lounges were highlighted by beautiful woodwork and grand arches between each lounge space, decorated in black and white décor with modern artwork throughout.
The artwork displayed was sleek and urban, and brought in elements from the local area.
Each space was given its own vibe by varying the lighting in the space, with some lounges being bright and airy and others like the bar being dark and moody. I appreciated having a variety of places to hang out within the hotel. I could see myself hunkering down for some photo editing or data analysis in a lot of their comfy and creative spaces.
The atrium area was probably my favorite space. Something about the warm brick and the natural light streaming in from the skylight 75 feet over the lounge. There were a few computer workstations and a printer there as well, which was super convenient for checking in to our next flights and printing our boarding passes.
The room was massive, with bold red curtains that stood from the floor to lofty ceiling, and a seating area large enough for Amy to show off her new dance skills. She and Andrew put on a freestyle show, and Anna and I watched and planned their future on Dancing with the Stars.
The bathroom was beautiful (and how many bathrooms can you say that for?) with gleaming white subway tile and a glass shower. Not just the typical insert tub/shower combo you see at every other hotel. The bathroom was separated from the living area by a bright red sliding door.
I loved that Le Méridien is part of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, so you can get extra perks if you are a member and you can even book your room with starpoints. My SPG status got us two free drinks from their Amuse Bar. One late night after Amy and Andrew went back to their apartment, Anna and I grabbed some cocktails. Their bartender knows what he’s doing – there’s a reason the bar is featured front and center in the lobby. We took our drinks and hung out in the atrium, discussing whether we approved of this new man in Amy’s life. (We did!)
Le Méridien staff was equally fantastic. Check in was a breeze, everyone was friendly and courteous, and their bartender was a pro. Even when one of our room cards stopped working and the line looked long at Reception, we were up at the front in just a couple minutes and they had us a functional replacement a few seconds later.
Most importantly – the location could not have been better. Love Park was right across the street, and we could walk everywhere we wanted to go.
We spent a day touring the historic sights downtown and didn’t have to hop in a cab or take the train once. Everything was within walking distance of Le Méridien.
For Independence Hall, you can book tours, but we decided to skip the tour and just walk around the grounds and admire the colonial architecture and courtyard.
Not too far from Independence Hall is one of my favorite spots in the city – Elfreth’s Alley – the nation’s oldest residential street. It must be the cutest street in the nation. You can even go inside one of the tall, narrow houses and see what it was like to live on Elfreth in the 1700’s.
After all that history, in such a small area, we had to laugh when we came across this historic plaque walking back around the city.
When we don’t have to worry about transportation from place to place, it makes for a much more relaxed trip. We liked just wandering around, running into the major sites, and taking pictures on a gorgeous fall day.
The neighborhood around the hotel felt safe, too, always a plus for female or solo travelers. For business travelers, Le Méridien is just a few blocks from the Convention Center – a major plus when you want to head back to your room for a quick nap between sessions! Not that I would ever do that…. 😉
When it came time to leave, the train station was just a block or two away which made getting to the airport a breeze (and cheap)! I seriously appreciate an easy airport connection when I’m traveling!
Le Méridien is the hotel for you if you care about design and want to avoid the cookie-cutter hotel chains and want to be close to all the action. It would be ideal for couples, small groups of friends, or business and solo travelers who prioritize location and want to stay somewhere historic and stylish with a bit of urban luxury. The high season price would be my only hesitation with Le Méridien Philadelphia ($200-$300/night) – BUT – I found some great deals on TripAdvisor, as low as $145, which is an absolute steal for a place like this!
If you’re looking for classy modern design in a historic hotel in the heart of the Philadelphia, Le Méridien is your place. Like the Le Meridien Philadelphia Facebook page to stay up to date on current events.
Thanks to Le Méridien Philadelphia for hosting me. As always, you receive my honest opinion regardless of who is footing the bill. Feel free to book your stay using the links on this page. At no extra cost to you, a small percentage will go toward keeping this site up and running. Thank you for your support!