As Philadelphia draws more overnight leisure travelers than ever before—city-center hotels reached a landmark 1 million leisure roomnights in 2016—several big-brand and boutique hotels are preparing to enter the market during the next two years, according to CVB Visit Philadelphia. The AKA University City at the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South opened in January, and the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia atop the under-construction Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is slated for a 2018 opening. These properties and many others in the works are helping to make the city’s hotel offerings more diverse than ever before. Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s new and soon-to-come hotels:
1. The FMC Tower at Cira Centre South rises 49 stories on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, and now, the top 19 stories are home to the AKA University City. The luxury extended-stay hotel comprises 268 residences, including 103 hotel residences (as well as 30 serviced residences, 30 furnished residences and 105 apartment residences for longer-term stays), along with retail space and the rooftop park Cira Green. The space also includes Level 28—a full-floor complete with a lap pool, fitness center, yoga area, 3D golf simulator, outdoor terrace with fire pits, a lounge and a cinema, a private theater with curated screenings and its own film library.
2. The Study at University City sits at 33rd and Chestnut Streets, where Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania meet. The 145,000-square-foot, 10-story hotel offers 212 guestrooms and more than 7,000-square-feet of event space and studios designed for talks, social gatherings and business meetings. A 105-seat restaurant, called Co-Op and led by chef Craig Russell, features seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and indoor and outdoor dining.
3. With the opening of Lokal Hotel, Philadelphia will get its first “invisible service” hotel. Coming to the city’s Historic District in March 2017, the six-unit property will have no front desk and, instead, will provide guests with behind-the-scenes service, anticipating visitors’ needs and offering highly curated in-room guidebooks. Designed for long- and short-term stays, apartment-style suites will feature separate bedrooms, full kitchens, washer/dryers and living rooms with handpicked décor and amenities.
4. Lauded as one of the 50 best new restaurants in America last year by Bon Appétit, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is getting in on the hotel game. Scheduled to open in March 2017, Mulherin’s will offer four stylish rooms in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood.
5. The Best Western Plus Philadelphia Convention Center Hotel brings 107 rooms to Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood. Located in an Art Moderne building that was built in the 1930s to house studio offices, screening rooms and storage for Warner Bros. Pictures, the hotel is just one block from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The property features a cocktail lounge and 24-hour exercise facility. It’s slated to open in April 2017.
6. In 2011, during expansion of Pennsylvania Convention Center, the historic 21-story Liberty Title & Trust Building at Broad and Arch Streets was preserved and slated to become a hotel. That redevelopment will be completed this year in the form of the 179-room Aloft Philadelphia Downtown, slated to open in July 2017.
7. Pearlstein Properties is building a 14-story Cambria Philadelphia, which will offer 222 guest rooms, a ground-floor restaurant, rooftop lounge, fitness center and pool. Located in the heart of Center City, the hotel is projected to open in early 2018.
8. The 1,121-foot, under-construction Comcast Technology Center—soon to be the tallest building in Philadelphia—will feature a Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia in its upper floors when the new $1.5-billion tower is complete. Scheduled to open in April 2018, the 217-room hotel will include a spa, fitness facilities and event and meeting space. To top it off, the 60-story luxury hotel also will house a restaurant on the highest floor, offering 360-degree views of the city.
10. A new complex featuring the W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia hotels is set to debut in July 2018. Chestlen Development is spearheading the project, which will eventually house 755 rooms—295 under the W Hotels brand and another 460 in the Element by Westin.
11. The Wankawala Organization is transforming the former Parker Spruce Hotel in Philadelphia’s Midtown Village neighborhood into the Parker Spruce. The 121-room hotel is expected to be complete in late 2018.
12. The site of famed diner Little Pete’s in Rittenhouse Square is slated for redevelopment: A 13-story, 309-room boutique Hyatt Centric Hotel is scheduled to open in April 2019.