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Four Seasons Philadelphia

The Four Seasons Philadelphia is centrally located at Logan Square with its fountain and close to many museums. Many of the attractions of Philadelphia are easy reachable and even in walkable distance. One can reach the hotel from the airport in about 20 minutes if there is no rush hour traffic. There is a flat rate of 30 USD if one takes a taxi.

It would be also possible to take the train from the airport to the city centre and a cab from the station, but a taxi is probably the better option. If one arrives by car, the hotel is offering valet parking for 48 USD.

The hotel building is rather uninspired not to say boring and has only eight floors. There is however a driveway.

After entering the hotel one is in a small lobby, which is not opulent as one would expect in a Four Seasons Hotel. But the area as boring and small as it appears on the first view is not thad bad. Many antiques and beautiful flower arrangement are placed in the lobby. A small area a few stairs up offers two sofas with a good view towards the entrance of the hotel, so a perfect place if one is waiting for someone.

The check in area is on the right hand side. If offers two places to check in and out guests and except the nighttime usually staffed with two persons.

A hallway leads to the restaurants and bar of the hotel. This area is designed in an open style, so it could be also seen as some second or even real lobby. Lounge chairs with tables are placed outside the bar and restaurant and so it is also a nice place to just sit and relax. This part offers nice views toward a courtyard with flowers, a small fountain / waterfall and is nice to watch and even somehow relaxing. It is a bright place with a lot of natural sunlight. The only thing one could miss is the view towards Logan Square.

In the basement of the Four Seasons is the small, but well equipped gym, pool and Spa area, which is open from 5:30 to 22:00 clock. You can choose among cross trainers, bicycles and treadmills for your workout as well as multi-function devices and weights for body training. The machines are in good shape and new and offer built in television screens. Earphones are available and cleaned after use, which is a nice service touch and makes certainly a difference. Another special touch was the offer of fruit juice and even coffee and tea in addition to water in the gym, of course free of charge.

Next to the gym was the pool with a hot tub / Jacuzzi. Not the largest hotel pool, but the atmosphere was nice and relaxed. Lounge chairs were available as well as towels. Coffee and tea were available in the pool area as well for self service. This was a nice touch and I have so far never seen this before and also never again. Locker rooms were available and they were quite large offering shower facilities, lockers, a sink with small items like toothbrush, shaving kit, combs and small amenities like lotion. In addition big bottles of L’Occitan shower gel and shampoo were placed in the shower rooms. The shower stalls were actually very big and offered an adjacent private changing room and also a small chair and enough space to hang clothes. The sauna was also part of the locker rooms – one for each gender.

The 364 rooms and suites are located on the seven floor and only vary in regard to the view and the floor in the hotel. The so called “moderate rooms” are located in the lower floors and offer views toward the courtyard. The Superior Rooms are on the middle floors and offer either views toward the “Academy of Natural Science” or garden respectively city views. The Deluxe Rooms are located on the highest floors with view to the city or the garden. The Fountain View Rooms are located throughout all floors and has in each case a view of the fountain and Logan Circle. In addition to the rooms, the hotels offers different types of suites, of those the smallest measures 69 square meter and the largest 213 square meter.

Not quite unexpected, the Four Seasons offers an upscale restaurant, the “Fountain Restaurant” and a bar called the “Swann Lounge”.
The “Fountain Restaurant” is a very distinguished restaurant. Prices are expensive, with hors-d'oeuvres starting with USD 20, main courts from USD 38 to USD 55. A set menu is available for lunch.
During the weekend a brunch menu is served for a special price and it is worth to sample it.

The “Swann Lounge” is located between entrance area and the restaurant. The lounge has large windows and offers not only good views towards Logan Square but is also very bright. Beside the tables are also some sofas and even a fire-place. The hotels offers an “Afternoon Tea Service” with High Tea. A piano player plays during the afternoon and it is a very classy place and I also can recommend it for a nice afternoon tea.
In the evening cocktails and light snacks are served and not that expensive, however the selection of cocktails is quite small (all USD 12), while the selection if wine (starting with USD 12 by the glass) and beer (USD 7) is better.

The Four Seasons offers for children a special welcome gift, special toiletries and small bathrobes. Depending on the age of the children, one can also get evening of cookies and milk, special child menus, diapers, books, films, toys among other things. Babysitting could be arranged. Needless to say, that many families are staying in the hotel, but without exception the children behaved quite well.

A car service within the city center is also offered, but one has to pre-book it.

visited on Birthday in Philadelphia

Stays August 21st, 2009

Arrival Date: August 21, 2009
Departure Date: August 23, 2009
Room type booked: Moderate Room (got Fountain View)
Rate Plan: Promotional Rate incl. 100 USD hotel credit
Room Number: 329
Room Rate: 290.00 USD (excl. taxes, incl. 100 USD F&B Credit and Preferred Partner Benefits)

Status of Guest Program: N/A

We had booked the Four Seasons using a Virtuoso agent, who is Preferred Partner of the Four Seasons chain at the same time. If one books a room using a Preferred Partner one gets additional benefits such as free breakfast, an upgrade to a better room and in the case of the Four Season Philadelphia a hotel credit of USD 85 for lunch. In addition to that benefit, we had already a hotel credit of USD 100 included in the weekend rate we had booked. This seems quite good and so the costs of app. USD 600 after taxes seems not that expensive for two nights in a Four Seasons Hotel.

We arrived at the Four Seasons after an extensive shopping tour with the trunk of our rental full of bags and suitcases. In the moment I arrived and shut my engine down, a bell boy arrived and offered to help with the luggage, what we gladly accepted. So, we approached the check in desk while the bell boy took care of our luggage.

Check In was very friendly, but not all benefits of the booking were confirmed right away, the hotel credit of USD 100 was mentioned but not the USD 85 from the Preferred Partner Booking. But as we had the confirmation mentioning this lunch credit, it was confirmed then and the check in agent apologized for not confirming it right away.

We had booked the cheapest room category, the so called “Moderate Room”, but got an upgrade to a Fountain View Room due to the booking over our Preferred Partner.

Our room reflected the style of the Four Seasons quite well. It was a very classy style, which was described by the lady, who accompanied me, as somehow boring. The style was conservative or contemporary but everything fits and was in good shape, only minor scratches could be found if one took a closer look.

Our room was equipped with two beds. As usual the closet with in-room safe, ironing board with iron, bathrobes and umbrellas was in the hallway next to the entrance. Opposite from the bed was a sideboard with some additional drawers to store clothes or other personal things. A large television and a DVD player were placed on the sideboard, which features also the mini bar. Next to the sideboard was a desk with two chairs.

All rooms have windows, which one can actually open. In addition the rooms are air-conditioned and the a/c units work quite well, there was nearly any draught.

The bath was small and offered only a bath, sink and toilet; there was no separate shower stall. Shower head and shower curtain were in good shape. The place next to the wash basin was rater limited and unfortunately the most of this already limited place was taken by a small basket with the bathroom amenities. Bathroom amenities were by L’Occitane and refilled daily but not always during turn down service. Close to the bathroom mirror were hairdryer and cosmetic mirror. Towels were provided in small, medium and large for three persons.

Check out was hassle free and the folio was correct and we were asked if we were satisfied with the stay in the hotel. The staff of the hotel was friendly, attentive and very helpful. I got very good direction by the concierge as I wanted to return my rental car to the next Hertz agency.

The only down was that my birthday cake did not only arrive a day too early, it showed also the wrong name. This should not happen, especially as the hotel had my exact name and the date of birth from my passport.

A turndown service was offered, but from my impression it was done at 21:00 and rather late, as I usually expect it around 18:00 to 20:00.

We tried the restaurants and the Swan Lounge during different times and occasion and overall were very satisfied.

As breakfast was included and as the hotel only serves an à la carte buffet during our stay, we got each morning a credit of USD 48 per person, which we could spent during breakfast. Although everything was quite expensive, the amount was sufficient to have an enjoyable breakfast without remaining hungry. To name a free prices, the tea selection was quite good and was USD 6, French toast USD 14.50, a very good fruit plate USD 15, Dutch Amish Muesli USD 8, a fresh orange juice was USD 6, a smoothie USD 7.50. The cheapest on the menu were different types of muffins for USD 2.50 each. Everything tasted quite good.

We decided to spend our USD 85 lunch credit for the tasting menu for USD 28, which is only offered during lunchtime. One could choose between five options. We went both for the Philly Cheesesteak as main course, cauliflower soup and noodle salad as starter and Crème Brûlee and a raspberry-chocolate-cake for dessert. All course tasted quite good ad offered quite a good value for money. Olive rolls with butter and olive oil were available with the first course as well. With our non-alcoholic beverages and tip, the bill was USD 75, which is not that expensive considering this is an upscale place.

Both of us enjoy an Afternoon Tea or High Tea as it is sometimes called and have tried it on different places. As the hotel was offering this as well, is was no question that we tried this on my special day with two friends, who like it as we did. It was USD 30 per person or USD 36 including a glass of champagne, sherry, raspberry liqueur. We were offered as many refills of tea we liked and an Étagère filled with scones, sandwiches, various small cakes and sweets. Enough food to skip dinner later. Each of us got his or her own teapot with a small hood to keep it hot.

In the restaurant and the Swann Lounge the service was attentive and always friendly, although from time to time little things like forgotten cutlery happened. Certainly, minor details, but you rate them with a higher priority in a place like a Four Seasons. On the other hand, staff even remembers our names and room number and addresses us by name, but this might also be the case, because we were early for breakfast and younger than the average. guest in this hotel.

It was a very pleasant stay and I enjoyed it very much. The location is good; the most points of interest could be reached by walking. The amenities of the hotel like gym, pool, restaurants are great and the tiny details make the difference. In the other had a birthday cake, which arrives a day to early and with the wrong name should not happen and one rates this higher than on a lower categorized hotel. But beside that, it was a very relaxing stay and I will definitively return. Every now and then, one has to pamper oneself.