The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel (Philadelphia, PA) reviews

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by DAS02135, Feb 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. DAS02135
    Original Member

    DAS02135 Gold Member

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    The Inn at Penn is a lovely hotel at which I would not hesitate to stay again. I stayed for one night in January using a Q4 free night certificate.

    • Location: It is in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, surrounded by University of Pennsylvania buildings. There is a SEPTA (light rail) station on the corner. Amtrak’s 30th St Station is about a mile away. Because it is not in the heart of downtown, this is not the most centrally located HHonors property for sightseeing.

    • Rooms: The rooms have been recently renovated and are both modern and comfortable. Like some of the other recently renovated property, you need to keep a key in the slot by the door to activate the lights, so get a second key.

    • Status recognition: No status recognition by the desk as a Diamond, other than being asked if I wanted points or breakfast. When I returned in the evening, however, there had been turn-down service (I don’t know if this is normal or a status perk). The ice bucket was filled, bottles of water had been placed on the desk, a robe was laid out on the bed, and chocolates were on the pillows. This was a first for me at a standard Hilton property.

    • Food: The Inn at Penn had one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve had at Hilton. There was an extensive selection of delicious baked goods, made-to-order omelets and griddle items, etc.

    • Public spaces: The lobbies and library have an older beauty to them, with a lot of elegant wood. It’s a nice place to relax.
     
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  2. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    I just checked out of the Inn at Penn yesterday (Sunday, 6 January 2013):
    http://www.theinnatpenn.com/

    It was my first time staying here. I very much hope that it will not be my last.

    The hotel is nestled between Walnut and Sansom streets, in what we affectionately used to call the ugly part of campus (and it is). The building exterior is not remarkable, but the inside is what one might expect of an Ivy League university’s namesake hotel. The walls and large, sweeping stairways are outfitted in darkly-stained oak and maple, and these are decorated with the obligatory oils of old dead guys in academic regalia and countless carvings or castings of the Penn coat of arms. The lobby desk is situated in an odd location—it is not on the street level and is accessed via the stairways or an elevator bank (which themselves do not service the rooms; those are reached using a different set of elevators).

    I secured the room though the Half-Off Sale that has received so much recent chatter, snagging a base rate of $59.50 (basic king rooms are starting at $169 for this coming weekend; they are often $200+ and are occasionally $350+). I elected to take advantage of the valet parking, which is typical of Philadelphia at $39 per stay, and which they happily charged to my room. We arrived quite early (noon) and the room was of course not ready. They checked our luggage told us to come back in an hour. After a bite at nearby Koreana, we took a stroll through campus and then popped back in. The room still wasn’t ready, but they checked us in to another which was. It was still on the top floor facing the center of campus—I was happy.

    They acknowledged my Gold status and gave us instructions about breakfast, but I didn’t receive an upgrade. I didn’t ask, either. There was a letter on the bed from the guest services manager addressed to me, welcoming us to the hotel and touting some of the improvements that have recently been made.

    The room was quite nice. It was a bit small for two people, completely dominated by the king bed—if I had been alone it would have been plenty spacious. But the smallness was due in part to the amount of furniture in the room. There was a desk, an armoire with the tv, two end tables, a little love seat kind of thing, and an armchair. There was just enough red and blue for you to remember where you were and the walls were decorated by campus scenes (photographs). The evolve system was not intuitive and I think some folks might have trouble trying to figure out how to turn off the lights as they’re heading to dinner. The shower was hot and very spacious, with great pressure for being on floor 6. It was a tiled stall with a glass partition/door—you should pay attention when you’re showering—it’s possible to generate a decent about of splash. My girlfriend was more taken with the iPad than I was, but it was nice to be able to recon various things quickly without paging through a binder or firing up my own tablet. And it allowed you to do pretty much everything—we requested a sewing kit using it and called for the car when we were checking out.

    For us, the turn-down service wasn’t automatic—it was offered (we declined). As DAS02135 reported, the breakfast was quite good, served in the University Club. The seating area is quite large, so even on a busy Sunday morning there was plenty of space.

    The mattress was absolutely fantastic—I almost tried to slip it into my pack. The girlfriend reported that the robe was “bulky” and not particularly soft. I don’t like robes and so didn’t try it. University City is busy and loud—the room was very quiet. I slept like the dead and it had nothing to do with the wine.

    There is very little negative to report about this stay. I was delighted. Indeed, the one clear negative falls so far into the category of “first world problem” it seems almost foolish to mention it. The hotel assured us that the sewing kit, ordered at 3:40, which be delivered by 3:55. It didn’t arrive until 4:10. I wouldn’t have even noticed it, except that the hotel screwed itself by telling us a specific delivery time. If they had just simply said “sure, we’ll send one right up,” nothing would have flagged. But in terms of issues with the stay, if that isn’t small stuff, then I don’t know what is.
     
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  3. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I will also recommend this hotel. I have stayed twice right after the Penn Relays. Was upgraded once to a very nice Junior Suite which allowed me bring in all of my former roommates and their SOs for highballs (inside joke). It's effectively on the campus and I enjoy wandering through the Penn bookstore (run by Barnes & Noble for those with B&N memberships).
     
  4. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Hilton has a number of other locations in the Philadelphia area (at about the same price) including many which are walking distance from Septa Rail Stations.

    I go to Philadelphia several times a year, have been going there for a long time (think long before PMNW), need to be in Center City and because this facility is a mile from '30th street', it is my *last* choices of places to stay.

    One nice thing about going to Philadelphia is Septa provides service twice an hour on what is now called the Airport Line (nee R1) and I prefer to stay at hotels near their stations.

    DTWBOB
     
  5. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I agree its inconvenient to center city. Its very convenient to UofP. There is a an underground light rail system right there to get to 30th Street station or Center city making for about a 15 minute commute.
     
  6. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    Yeah, exactly. There are definitely some options.

    There is a subway stop at 36th and Sansom, about 200 feet from the rear entrance of the hotel, which can put you in Center City in 8-10 mikes if you get lucky with a train.

    The "regional" rail stations are minutes away via taxi and can be walked in good weather if one isn't buckled down under a ton of luggage. If you cut through campus (the most direct routes), the station where you catch the airport line is under a half a mile (~2400 feet) from the Inn and 30th Street Station is just over half a mile (~2800 feet).

    But I would agree that none of these facts make this hotel super convenient to Center City.
     
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  7. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Off of the subject, the old F-cars that used to run under the Penn campus are being used in San Francisco. I stayed at the Hilton in the Financial District (which is quite nice) and I was able to ride the old Philadelphia trolley again.
     
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  8. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    That's terrific. I'm supposed to be in the SF area for a couple of days at the end of Feb or beginning of March. Sadly, I doubt I'll have the opportunity to snag a ride (nor stay at the Hilton in the DF (*grumble*) as I'll be at the airport and then across the bay.
     
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  9. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    They run from Fisherman's Wharf past the ferry terminals then down market street. They have trolleys from around the world including Philadelphia.
     
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  10. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    I just found out that in all likelihood the March trip will have some quick follow-ons, so all is not lost! Next time for sure.
     
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  11. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    FYI--the Inn at Penn is having a 48 "sale."

    From the email they sent me:
    8/10 through 8/17 = rooms from $99
    8/18 through 8/25 = rooms from $150
    8/26 through 8/29 = rooms from $99
    9/2 through 9/8 = rooms from $99
    9/9 through 9/14 = rooms from $200

    But the AAA rate over several of these weekends beats out the "sale" rate.
     

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