The Kimpton Palomar Is My Go-to Philly Hotel (And It’s Not Just Because of the Free Happy Hour)

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Having lived in New York City for over two decades, I have set a pretty high bar when it comes to visiting other major metropolitan areas. But one city I love to visit (and that is super easy to access via Amtrak from NYC) is the City of Brotherly Love itself, Philadelphia.

I recently popped down for a long weekend and had the chance to stay for two nights at the Kimpton Palomar. And while I always love a Kimpton, this particular stay was an especially positive—and memorable—experience. Here’s my honest review.

The Kimpton Hotel Palomar

The Basics

  • Name of accommodation: Kimpton Hotel Palomar
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from NYC: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Price: from $269 per room, per night
  • Accommodation options: rooms and suites (ADA compliant)

What to Pack?

If, like me, you’re arriving from the Big Apple, you can expect the weather to be pretty comparable, so pack accordingly. One item you won’t need to try to shove into your suitcase, however, is a raincoat—every Kimpton room has a large umbrella stashed in the closet for you.

Philadelphia is an extremely walkable city (so pack those sneakers) and there’s a ton to do, so plan to be out for most of the day. This means grab those sweaters and coats in particular for the winter months as it can get quite chilly. That said, the Kimpton is centrally located so if you need to pop back in for a costume change or to restock your daytime tote, it should be easy enough.

The Room

The rooms are luxe and extremely clean—and you’ll definitely be getting a great night’s sleep on the super comfy bed (I often struggle with hotel sleeping but didn’t have a problem here). My one-bedroom suite’s bathroom featured an enormous bathtub in addition to the standup shower, and the separate living room was great for an impromptu Law & Order marathon when I needed a break from exploring the city. The traditional rooms are quite nice too with the same comfy beds and a mini fridge to store your Wawa hoagies (more on that later).

The Food

Just off the hotel lobby is the chic Square 1682 restaurant. I stopped in several times during my stay—both for food and just a cocktail—and I was never disappointed. The bartenders are super friendly if you want to sip a glass of prosecco at the bar before heading out for the eve (like I did). And the food menu is good for even the pickiest of eaters, with burgers, chicken, salmon and the like. May I recommend the tasty truffle fries (which they will also make sans truffle if your kids or cohorts don’t love the flavor)? P.S. they’ll also deliver to your room.

Behind the front desk, you can also pick up snacks or a bottle of wine for a little late-night treat. Though I didn’t try this out myself, the hotel also offers private dining for events of 10 to 80 guests in one of several unique spaces.

Oh, and since it’s Philadelphia, you can obviously order in from a bajillion delicious places—I happened to select a Wawa hoagie delivery one night and it might just be the best decision I made all weekend. You’ll also be within walking distance of some fabulous restaurants like Harp & Crown (great for date night or impressing friends), Mission Taqueria (if you want a tasty taco and a delicious marg) or The Continental (perfect for brunch after a wild or not-so-wild Saturday night).

The Kimpton Hotel Palomar

The Amenities

Let me start with the most important piece of info about the Kimpton Palomar: They offer free happy hour in the lobby every day from 5 to 6 p.m. Pro tip: Show up five minutes early and secure a comfy seat right by the fireplace (ideal for sipping your Chardonnay—don’t worry, it’s not buttery, I promise—or snagging a fireside photo for the ‘Gram).

If, like me, you always pack workout clothes for that workout you never actually follow through with, here’s another chance: The hotel has a 24-hour gym. And the gym features complimentary oranges if citrus is the motivation you’re looking for to pull the trigger on that treadmill stroll.

On that same note, you’ll find a yoga mat in your closet. I obviously didn’t use it, but it was comforting to know it was close by if I felt so inclined.

The Kimpton Hotel Palomar

The Service

I was attending the Kimpton over my birthday weekend—a fact I wouldn’t have been able to forget even if I wanted to because the front desk wished me a happy birthday each time I stopped by the desk for a question or a late-night bottle of wine. Everyone was extremely friendly the whole stay (and I even had a birthday surprise waiting for me in my room when I arrived).

Know Before You Go

The Kimpton is pet friendly—I brought my dog Bubbie and he left the weekend even more relaxed than I did.

Street parking can be hit or miss in Philly and while there are plenty of garages nearby, the hotel does offer valet right out front.

The hotel was accommodating when it came to an early check-in and a late check-out. Of course, nothing is guaranteed but they seemed more than willing to work with me when I needed that extra hour to pack before my departure.

Oh, and be sure to take advantage of the lobby concierge who will hold onto your bags after check-out so you can enjoy your final day in Philly without having to drag around your bag (I highly rate this one from Amazon, BTW). Just remember to tip!

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Philip Mutz

VP, News and Entertainment; 'And Just Like That' Podcast Host; Up-And-Coming Bowler

Philip spearheads PureWow's news and entertainment team. He has 10+ years experience working in entertainment coverage and viral media, previously serving as a writer/editor...
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