Last winter I took a short trip to Philadelphia on business and stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing. This hotel is located on the eastern edge of downtown along the river and will probably require a taxi to reach most places. However, it is usually cheaper than the Hyatt at the Bellevue, a historic hotel in the urban core and Hyatt’s only other property in the city.
For tourists, the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing may yet have some merit. The immediate area around the hotel seemed pretty quiet when I visited, but it is not far to walk to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It may also be more convenient to reach the city’s sports arenas, which I passed on the ride from the airport to the hotel. Enough taxis passed by that I never had a problem hailing one.
The hotel is tall and modern, though it seems out of place, like a skyscraper all by itself despite three nearby condo towers. Check-in was smooth, and I was upgraded to a corner room on the top floor with a view of the river. Four large suites took up most of the floor, with corner rooms like mine between them.
I thought the room was quite nice, with ample lighting, a desk overlooking the river, and traditional drapes instead of the electronic blinds that are becoming more common. Overall, I was very comfortable. I just wish they didn’t have that wood paneling behind the TV, which has a cheapening effect. The adjustable arm is needed because it points away from the bed, but it could have been attached directly to the wall.
The bathroom was large and spacious. It even had a window! I can’t remember the last time I had a bathroom with a window. But if anything it seemed too big, and didn’t have as much color as the bedroom, giving it a sort of empty feeling.
Breakfast the next morning was similarly mixed. This hotel has no Regency Club, so breakfast is provided in the restaurant, which has a large window looking out over the river and a bar that was very active the night before. On my way in, I noticed some commotion while I was being seated and later saw two waiters running after a mouse!
A mouse doesn’t bother me much (I used to work with them in lab) but my waiter was horribly embarrassed and everyone was fawning over me while I was picking out my meal from the buffet. Offering to comp my meal, which was already free, was unnecessary; I needed less attention, not more. But breakfast was pretty good, and the omelet chef cheerfully volunteered to bring my plate to my table.
Before leaving, I took a few shots of the pool and athletic facility. I appreciated that the pool was glassed in on three sides, letting in a lot of natural light. It was large enough you could still do laps in it. During the summer, the doors open to a patio, and it would make a nice place to take a break with the kids.