Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia Review

By Jonathan Spira on 11 December 2010
  • Share

If you haven’t visited Philadelphia recently, much has changed.  While the city was the epicenter of the American Revolution and the capital of the U.S. in the 18th century, today it is much more than the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Starting in the 1980s, numerous glass and granite skyscrapers began to compete with Philadelphia’s more traditional architecture, which dates back to Colonial times.  The Four Seasons, which opened in 1983, was part of this sweeping trend and is now one of the city’s leading hotels.

Thanks to the hotel’s Logan Square location, practically everything felt as if it were within walking distance, from museums to restaurants to businesses.


Appropriate to the location, my Fountain View Room had a very American feeling to it. Done in Federalist décor, the overstuffed chairs and elegant carpeting practically shouted Colonial Philadelphia. The marble bath had a combination tub and shower that complimented the room’s look.

Best of all, the room had incredible views of the Swann Memorial Fountain (also known as the Fountain of the Three Rivers), a centerpiece of Logan Square designed by Alexander Stirling Calder in the early twentieth century.  With this view,  I didn’t switch the flatscreen tv on once; instead, I just watched the world go by the fountain.

The bed was extremely comfortable, something I’ve noted at other Four Seasons’ properties as well, and I woke up refreshed and ready for the challenges of my meetings.


The period piece desk chair turned out to be quite comfortable.  Internet service was wired and fast.  No Wi-Fi is available in the guestrooms at this time.

There’s a gym, an indoor pool, a sauna, and a spa to work off the stress of one’s meetings.


Brunch at the Fountain Restaurant is not to be missed.  The buffet tables and stations had everything from salads and cereals to freshly prepared omelets, crèpes, and waffles to lox and white fish and an endless table of desserts.  A jazz trio performs outside the restaurant, adding to the festive atmosphere.

The Fountain Restaurant is also the right place for a power breakfast.  The service was perfect as was my order of French toast, which was accompanied by what probably was the best scrapple I have ever had.  (Scrapple is a Philadelphia specialty that originated with the Pennsylvania Dutch, who used the scraps of meat left over from butchering, mixed with cornmeal and flour, to make a loaf that is panfried.)

My lunch in the Swann Café was somewhat of a mixed bag.  My table was adjacent to the Swann Lounge, so I was fortunate enough to hear Mark Randall playing a mixture of jazz, swing, and American standards on the piano. But the beef short ribs I ordered arrived barely lukewarm.    The waiter was able to provide a steaming hot – and quite delicious – batch of short ribs fairly quickly, but I didn’t really mind the wait, thanks to the soothing stylings of Mr. Randall.

For those interested in local produce, some of what is on the menu at the hotel’s various restaurants is not only locally produced but only an elevator ride away, as the chef has a rooftop garden for growing vegetables, salad greens, and herbs.


The combination of perfect service, charm, wonderful food, and a superb location made for a very pleasant four-day stay.  Having said that, I wish Philadelphia were further away so I could stay at the Four Seasons there more often.

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia
One Logan Square
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 19103-6933
+1 (215) 963-1500

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.



Accura News

Read previous post:
American Airlines Flight 132, New York-JFK to London-Heathrow Review

One of the best times to leave New York for a trans-Atlantic flight is after the rush hour period at...