For over thirty years, the hotel on the Parkway was the legendary Four Seasons Philadelphia. When word came last year that the Four Seasons was closing to move into the new Comcast Center in 2018, the travel/points message boards were guessing who would reflag the hotel. Most agreed that Philadelphia is lacking in luxury properties (the Four Seasons had seen better days in my opinion) and hoped that a luxury brand would move in. When it was announced the Logan Hotel would replace the Four Seasons, there was a collective – who? It was then that we realized that The Logan Hotel (cool website) is part of the Curio Collection of boutique hotels, a surprising affiliate of Hilton Hotels! Hilton has a swanky affordable luxury boutique collection? I was definitely surprised. Apparently, once I started researching the Curio Collection, I realized that I had recently stayed in a Curio hotel, well sort of, Hotel La Jolla, reflagged from Kimpton to Curio after my stay. Curio made my radar (as did the hashtag #citiesbycurio on social media) and definitely made me curious to see what the hotel brand is all about.
The first indication that this would be my kind of hotel was the announcement that Urban Farmer Steakhouse would be the hotel’s on-site restaurant. Having experienced this farm to table upscale steakhouse in Portland at The Nines Hotel, my taste buds were anticipating the new entry to the already exciting Philadelphia dining scene.
It was my dinner at Urban Farmer a few months ago that introduced me to The Logan Hotel. I valet parked and entered the hotel lobby, one that I had entered many times over the past twenty years for drinks, dinner, weddings and many client events. I literally stopped in my tracks with awe and wonder. The transformation of the former dead space lobby of the Four Seasons Philadelphia to the elevated lobby bar, fireplace and comfy couches was impressive. I could tell that the ghosts of the Four Seasons were gone even before I looked up at the unique lighting feature and then was met by the naked man (artwork) that welcomed me.
Walking further into the hotel lobby space, my memory flashed Four Seasons beige, marble and dark woods and hit “refresh” with the contemporary and inviting furniture and artwork. Local artwork, which I love, abounds in the common spaces. You might just pass it by but that’s a mistake – take time to read about the local artist and inspiration for the piece or ask a staff member to tell you more. I was very impressed with the new vision and execution. The building bones weren’t altered much that I could tell but kudos to the interior designers who have created a bespoke luxury boutique space that I want to hang out and meet friends.
As for my Urban Farmer dinner that nights? There’s a review from my first of many amazing meals (warning, don’t ready hungry). So what about the rooms? For the past few months, I’ve enjoyed meals at Urban Farmer and drinks in the lobby but it wasn’t until the hotel invited me to enjoy a staycation that I was able to experience the rooms and hotel amenities.
The Logan Hotel: Fabulous Location
On the Parkway, the hotel is in the middle of amazing art museums and attractions. In fact, I made it my goal to only go three blocks from the hotel on the weekend to see what we do (quite a lot). On Saturday, my friend and I would go to The Rodin Museum (a hidden gem in the city) and then the Franklin Institute Science Museum for the Pixar exhibit. For lunch and a snack, we settled on Le Pain Quotidien and Whole Foods behind the Barnes Foundation On Sunday, my friend enjoyed her free First Sunday visit at the Barnes (be prepared for lines for free tickets as capacity is controlled). With the Academy of Natural Science (can’t miss the big dinosaur outside) behind the hotel, the Free Library of Philadelphia (they have a secret rooftop view) across the street (sadly construction is ongoing on the Parkway until 2017) as well as the Cathedral, new Mormon Church and Three Sisters Park across the street you don’t need to go far to enjoy your visit. It can easily be an art weekend, arts & sciences visit but don’t forget we also have a bit of history and those steps to run up if you can tear yourself out of bed!
The valet was quick to welcome me and offer assistance. With only an overnight bag, I was ok to get sorted on my own but there was ample staff if needed in the valet area. Walking into the hotel, I had the same gorgeous lobby bar view, this time packed with people on a wedding weekend and a group dinner meet-up. I made a right to find the front desk ahead (with a side table of water and newspapers available).
Check-in was a quick swipe of my credit card and I was off to the elevators. (note: I was responsible for food, drink, spa charges as the hotel provided room, tax and thankfully overnight parking which runs a steep $55 a night). The elevator bank has two elevators for hotel guests and a third elevator roped off for the rooftop bar, Assembly. The hotel has a separate entrance for Assembly where they check ID and have security to monitor and control capacity.
My Double Room with A View
Having stayed a few times at the Four Seasons, one vivid memory is the unusually long hallway corridor (made even longer after too many drinks when your room is the last one at the end). This visit, my room was closer to the elevators so made for a short walk. The color palette is dark contemporary with splashes of art here and there.
As I opened the door, I could see out the window to the fantastic view and a welcome from the hotel staff even before I looked at anything else in the room. Walking into the room, the bathroom is on the right, large closet on the left and the bedroom ahead. I know that the view was an upgraded room from the basic room booking.
The bedroom definitely felt “boutique hotel” in design with the warmth of the leather headboard, colors of the bedding and prints above each bed. The bed was comfy in the “do I really need to leave” kind of way and the room darkening curtains perfect to not let a peep of light in. Relaxing is how I felt.
There were a few heavy furniture pieces in the room – the mini refrigerator with Keurig on top, the drawers under the television and the desk. A plaid chair and small table sat by the window next to the connecting door. One odd note was the settee next to the television without a photo or print above – it was an empty space in need of balance.
The bathroom was a large space decorated with local artist prints that continued the hotels nod to the history of Philadelphia. A penny for your thoughts of this art….
The toiletries were branded by the hotel so while they smelled familiar, I couldn’t place the brand even with the greenish hue. No need to be toiletry snob here or play toiletry chipmunk. The plush white towels were set for one person and a quick call to housekeeping had not one but two staff show up within ten minutes with towels (I felt bad sending the second guy away but didn’t want to waste towels). Water pressure was good and I had to laugh when my friend didn’t understand the full and half flush options on the toilet.
Surprises in the Room
Fun Surprise – The Logan Hotel has continued its nod to Philadelphia by replacing the White Hotel Robes with Rocky Robes. This famous Philadelphia movie made epic with a run up the Art Museum steps not far from the hotel was inspiration for the boxer inspired amenity. When I put it on with the hood, I started punching the air and pretended to be Rocky – silly fun for all.
Welcome Surprise – two small bottles of water complimentary. This is always a bonus in my book.
VIP Surprise – The bottle of wine, charcuterie, jars of nuts and caramel popcorn with welcome note were a nice touch and help me envision how a client/VIP can be received at the hotel. For those of us who plan meetings or have business clients to welcome, this was good to experience.
Bad Surprise – As the hotel was renovated, sadly they couldn’t make major changes so the room lacks enough plugs in my opinion. I like to charge my phone next to the bed but had to plug-in at the desk so when my alarm rang, I had to get out of bed to hit the snooze button. I’ve seen other older hotels address this differently so I was surprised. As for the Wi-Fi (free to HHilton members), the front desk had to help me connect to a different hotspot as my location in the hotel wasn’t connecting to the main Wi-Fi. It was a quick call to fix and after that the Wi-Fi was great in room throughout the stay.
Unique Room Service by Urban Farmer
So I’m still not sure how I feel about the room service. I’m the girl who has spent many meals in my travels utilizing room service in other full service hotels where the delivery is done via a tray or cart and set up on the desk or table to enjoy. My friend picked up takeaway at the local Whole Foods just two blocks away, so rather than eat alone in the restaurant, I ordered room service. At The Logan Hotel, Urban Farmer send staff (quite quickly) to your room with a takeaway bag. Your food is in a recyclable brown bag and containers with plastic utensils and condiments. I was surprised by this and yet it made sense – my delivery was just like at home or at limited service hotels when the delivery guy brings the food to your door. My food was hot and tasty but the room service experience wasn’t like any in my past. So I’m torn if I like the casual and practical approach of the room service, think a full service hotel should go traditional or if I hated it and would next time just go to Urban Farmer and eat at the bar. Your thoughts?
Breakfast at Urban Farmer
My friend and I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at Urban Farmer before heading out to our day of museum exploration.
Assembly, The Logan Hotel Rooftop Bar
One of the best decisions that hotel made was to utilize its rooftop space to take advantage of iconic Philadelphia views on the Parkway. While not skyscraper high in the sky, it’s just enough to lift your spirits from the cityscape and enjoy drinks and snacks with friends in a unique setting. Assembly is the new entrant in the Philadelphia rooftop bar space which now numbers maybe five? Visiting on a Friday at Happy Hour, it was the right amount of crowded that still left space to walk around, find a table along the rail and enjoy fresh air and cocktails. While taking photos, I was chatting with a few locals who were meeting friends before dinner. It’s a mix of locals and hotel guests.
The Logan Hotel Spa, Pool and Gym
In Philadelphia, there are four hotels with pools, the Logan Hotel is one of them. The lower level also houses the hotel spa and the gym which has two rooms – one with equipment and the other treadmills.
Hidden Spots in the Hotel
While the pool and rooftop bar are nice treats, I discovered the one room I didn’t know existed. The Billiards room is off to the left as you enter the lobby. This was formerly a small gift shop when it was the Four Seasons but now it is a private space open to guest (and events). With a fireplace view, inviting couch and pool table you can enjoy a quiet read of your book or play a game of pool.
Another hidden spot is the garden terrace with waterfall view. The lobby bar has a door to the terrace to enjoy your drinks outside in the courtyard. As the hotel is part of an office complex, the view is of the hotel and office building but there is landscaping and a water feature that makes this a quiet escape.
Overall – The Logan Hotel
The Logan Hotel has definitely made it’s mark quickly in Philadelphia offering a product that is affordable luxury in a boutique setting while showcasing the history of the city throughout the hotel with local art. If you remember the Four Seasons, you will be amazed by the transformation, if you are new to the city, then this hotel is a wonderful boutique hotel option for you. If you are local, this is a great meeting spot for dinner and drinks or an overnight staycation getaway. If you are a HHonors member, then you finally have a boutique property to elevate your stay in the city. As someone who is not a Hilton fan, the Logan Hotel has me excited to look at the Curio Collection of unique boutique hotels for my next stay in Philly and throughout the U.S.
As mentioned above, I was a guest of The Logan Hotel, a Curio Collection Hotel by Hilton, for the weekend staycation in Philadelphia. I was responsible for my food & beverage costs. As always, my opinions are uniquely mine – I’d stay here again with my own money but would park elsewhere as I do with other Philly hotel stays (all U.S. hotels generally charge too much for overnight parking in my opinion).