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ajg276 May 10, 10 12:55 pm

Le Meridien Philadelphia [Master Thread]
Hi folks,

Given that this is a new property, I figured I'd give a little update.

When I arrived, I pulled up to the front entrance and was greeted by two bellman. Before they took the car away, they asked if I had any valuables in the car, to which I replied, is the car not kept in a garage? Apparently it isn't, as the hotel doesn't have a garage, so it is an open lot. When I asked whether it was safe, the bellman said, "We've been open 5 days and haven't had any breakins." How comforting.

I was upgraded to a suite, which is still rather small, but the decor is really unique, modern - I happen to really like it.

This morning, I was greeted by the business travel manager and someone from corporate, both very nice and eager to hear my thoughts on the hotel. They also picked my brain on my travel patterns.

All in all, very hip place, I have a feeling the bar will become a popular social spot. The fact that the bartender last night looked like a runway model won't hurt business either.

Hope this helps some of you.

Safe travels.

JFKSFOLAX_friend May 10, 10 1:54 pm

Good review. Thank you. Did you visit the gym? How was the mattress/bathroom, etc.? Thank you.

On the Hotel Offers page, the property has a rate that includes free parking. Sounds like you get what you pay for. ;)

KENNECTED May 10, 10 2:06 pm

Pictures? You folks know we like pictures. It's the only way to emphasize your experience. ;) :cool:

NJUPINTHEAIR May 10, 10 2:24 pm

AJG --

Thanks for the review. Although you were upgraded to a suite --- congrats --- do you know what an executive room at the hotel is/confers?

Normally I would think lounge access, but since they don't say they have a lounge, I wonder what exactly is such a room at this hotel?

KENNECTED May 10, 10 2:59 pm

Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 13933256)
AJG --

Thanks for the review. Although you were upgraded to a suite --- congrats --- do you know what an executive room at the hotel is/confers?

Normally I would think lounge access, but since they don't say they have a lounge, I wonder what exactly is such a room at this hotel?

Since the LM brand is run by the same person that runs the W brand, I could have sworn I read (I can't remember where) going forward LeMeriden properties wont have lounges or that only select new properties will have lounges.

sjuhawk_jd May 10, 10 3:36 pm

Originally Posted by Cheap Elite (Post 13933499)
Since the LM brand is run by the same person that runs the W brand, I could have sworn I read (I can't remember where) going forward LeMeriden properties wont have lounges or that select properties will have lounges.

There is no lounge (or any other incarnation of a lounge) here.

MFLetou May 10, 10 7:46 pm

How much IS parking?

ajg276 May 12, 10 7:39 am

Originally Posted by MFLetou (Post 13935026)
How much IS parking?

$38/day and it takes almost 20 minutes to get the car. Apparently the lot is on 16th and Vine.

That is probably the only downside to the overall stay, I'll probably be back for one night next week.

One other tidbit, the bartender informed me that they are already at 90-95% occupancy this week, first full week open.

MrEntrepreneur May 12, 10 10:24 am

How is the concierge service?

I am very big on that.

JFKSFOLAX_friend May 12, 10 2:50 pm

Gym feedback please....

sjuhawk_jd May 13, 10 3:12 am

Originally Posted by JFKSFOLAX_friend (Post 13946291)
Gym feedback please....

I did not use the Gym during my tour, but it appears to be nice. It has windows facing an inside courtyard with natural lighting coming through the ceiling of the courtyard (courtyard has exposed brick walls). All upscale and new gym equipment.

NJUPINTHEAIR May 13, 10 6:38 am

There currently is a AAA rate of $124 at the hotel for the weekends. I am looking at as well as a Grand Opening Package that comes with parking and Triple SPG points for $169 plus taxes.

Anyone know if one can fine a less expensive parking garage for the area on the weekends that would then militate against my taking the parking package?


SEA1K4EVR Jun 6, 10 9:12 am

Report/Superior Room Review
I am at this hotel right now..checked in last evening for one night. I leave later today. I had reserved an Executive room (the lowest category apparently) but received an upgrade to a Superior room (king bed) with a view of City Hall at checkin..the friendly agent told me the suites were not available and that was fine with me. The room is nice... minimalist is the style here. The lobby itself is lovely and has a hip bar right in the middle.

This hotel was a former YMCA... one of the cool features is they've created a 6 floor interior atrium out of an area that used to be outside. You can't see this atrium in the lobby it's only on the upper floors. So when you get off the elvators on each floor you look out into this inside atrium that looks as though it's outside with all the brick (it's been cleaned and is spotless). Pretty cool...reminds me a bit of many Vegas casinos who have built "streets" inside. The bottom of the atrium appears to be the business center and a sitting area. Many rooms in this hotel are interior rooms and their windows face the atrium (probably the Executive rooms). The ceiling of the atrium is opaque so light can come in.

The floors in the guest elevators are Lobby, 3, and 5-10. No 2 or 4. I'm on 7. On the 7th floor (I can't speak for the other floors) in the hallways there is a strange odor. I don't know what it is...I'm thinking it's a new construction type odor but it's borderline offensive. I imagine this will dissipate over time. When I first got into the hall and the odor hit me I first thought perhaps someone was smoking marijuana but it definitely wasn't that.

I can see about half of City Hall out the window but another office building directly across the street blocks the rest of the view. The window does not open at all. Printed on the glass down in the corner is a little tidbit of very useful info "PHILADELPHIA IS DIRECTLY OPPOSITE TO THE INDIAN OCEAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLOBE". It's also printed in Spanish so even visiting Latinos will know where they will wind up if they start digging straight down.

Good technology..the 42" LG TV sits on a higher-than-normal desk making viewing from the bed easy. Several HD channels are available (don't you hate it when you're at a Starwood hotel that has nice HDTV's but no HD programming?..very annoying!). The desk has all of the A/V inputs for the TV so if you need to connect your laptop (or anything else) it's very can do it right in the desk without having to mess with the TV. It has RCA plug ports for right/left audio, video, s-video, PC video, and "digital video"..which looks to me like an HDMI port but it doesn't say HDMI on it. The desk also has four handy 110V power ports that are easily accessible and installed in alternating directions so you can connect larger adapter plugs with no issues. The internet cable is attached to the desk, and there is also wireless internet available.

My superior room has an entry area by the door with a full length mirror and a decorative marble topped silver table sitting in front of it with a silver bowl on top. It's makes the room bigger, but the space isn't really useful and you can't see the full entry area from the main part of the room so while the room is larger, it doesn't "seem" larger.

There is no built in closet..instead there is a large double door cabinet that has space for clothes, the safe, mini-bar, coffee maker, and ironing board/iron. On top of the mini-bar fridge there's a selection of tempting snack foods set on top of sensors...I assume that will auto-charge you if you take anything. I didn't see a sign anywhere with a warning about's not printed on the mini bar price list but there are definitely sensors on the snack tray and inside the fridge. There is no free bottled water in the room. The Nestle Pure Life water bottle in the cabinet costs $5 (and is sensor-free).

As far as furniture.. under the desk sitting on the floor (not attached to the desk) are 2 drawers that you can use for your clothes. The desk itself has no drawers. The room also has one chair for a very modern shape that fits with the decor.. and a small table by the chair that you can set your drink or room service tray on. As I said minimalist is the style...and therefore there is wasted space..there is plenty of room for a 2nd chair/larger table which would be welcome especially if there were 2 people in the room. There is also a desk chair..more on that in a minute. The desk chair is not a good substitute for a 2nd sitting chair.

The bathroom is great.. it's good sized, has a sliding door, Grohe faucets, and there is a walk in shower instead of a tub. A much preferred configuration for me (except for the sliding door). The shower head is nothing special..Le Meridien should do something cool with their shower heads like Westin. Only plastic cups in the bathroom..the norm now at Starwood hotels.

The bed is all white and was very soft and comfy. When I say soft I mean the sheets and blankets..the mattress was "normal". I'm not fussy when it comes to most mattresses unless they are extremely soft or hard.. so if you have high mattress sensitivity then I'm not the guy to ask.

I do have one big dislike in this room..well two really..and those are the aforementioned higher-than-normal desk and the higher desk chair to match. The desk is not as high as a bar, but it's quite a bit higher than a normal desk so a higher chair is necessary. The chair is made of wood painted white.. and it is hard as a rock and VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. My back and/or my feet are killing me sitting in it. If you sit back further on the chair you have to rest your feet on the metal bars on the lower part of the chair. When I'm in my room I never wear shoes and the bars are kind of narrow and hurt my feet after a couple minutes..I'd have to put my shoes on to solve that. If i slide forward on the chair and put my feet on the floor it hurts my back even more...I've been alternating positions to spread the pain around (I refuse to put on my shoes lol). A desk chair needs to be comfortable so people can sit and do their work for long periods. A major :td:

They should have chosen a desk that was higher on one side for the TV and lower on the other side for the work space so they could have gotten a normal chair.

Overall this is a nice property and I would definitely stay here again..provided I didn't expect I would have to spend a lot of time at this desk.

I didn't use the gym, park a car, eat at the restaurant, or use the concierge. But I did have a glass of wine at the bar :)

One tip for those who are taking a taxi to the hotel over the next few months while the hotel is new.. be sure to have the address, 1421 Arch, with you. None of the cab drivers I've used so far have heard of Le Meridien.

chanp Jun 6, 10 1:19 pm

Thanks for the review. We need some FT pics :)

KENNECTED Jun 6, 10 1:25 pm

Originally Posted by chanp (Post 14087038)
Thanks for the review. We need some FT pics :)


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