Inn at Penn, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Hotel Review

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Atop the large writing desk I found a Tele-adapt Media Hub.  The panel provided access to electricity, USB (with power), and had an HDMI connection to the flatscreen TV on the other side of the room.

The in-room iPads have Intelity/ICE software installed (they don’t have a lot of apps, though, and guests can’t add apps to them). The software replaces what you would typically see on a TV in terms of hotel info and services, but is far more interactive.

When I got to my room, the system played a welcome video message from the hotel’s general manager.  A flaw in the system, however, is its assumption of ubiquitous wireless connectivity.  There was none my final day at the hotel, no Internet for me, no Internet for the hotel’s iPad, and no Internet for the front desk staff, which meant they had no access to many critical systems.  A backup plan that at least keeps critical systems up is really in order here.  After all, when was the last time your hotel room’s television failed to work?

My favorite part of the Inn at Penn was the Library, a lounge on the ground floor complete with fireplace and lots of comfy chairs and sofas.  With Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel, it was an ideal place to catch up with some e-mail messages and reading.  It was also a great place to hang out with friends after dinner.


The cleverly-named Penne restaurant (pictured) will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of Frequent Business Traveler.  Breakfast is served in the Faculty Club, which then becomes Penn’s actual Faculty Club for lunch and dinner.

Breakfast included a decent-sized buffet in a separate room along with a cook who prepared egg dishes to order.  The breads, croissants, and muffins were all fresh, and the muffins were particularly tasty.  While the chef on duty my first day there was friendly and engaging, the chef on duty the second day seemed indifferent to my request for an egg-white omelette, telling me he was out of egg white despite the fact that he had dozens of eggs (each with egg white inside) at his disposal.  I also was disappointed that scrapple, 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, was not on the menu.

What really made the breakfast click (besides the muffins of course) were the servers.  I had two different waitresses, and both should be up for server-of-the-year awards.  They seemed to be able to anticipate whatever I might need before I even realized it, and the interactions I observed with other diners confirmed how prescient they were.


The Inn at Penn shows great promise, but my stay made it clear to me that there are still a number of bugs to be worked out.  (One last example: throughout my stay, one of the elevators consistently displayed the wrong floor (mostly displaying “4” instead of “lobby” or “3,” confounding numerous guests.)

All things considered, the warmth and attentiveness of the staff, the wonderful breakfast, the comfortable room (protruding corners and noises notwithstanding), and the great location on campus do make for a nearly unbeatable combination.

Despite the snafus, I’ll come back.  Given the staff’s attention to details, I’m sure they’ll be correcting the problems, which in the grand scheme of things, were not dealbreakers for me.


The Inn at Penn
3600 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
+1 (215) 222-0200

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