My first visit to Philadelphia in 2016, was a 6 hour layover where I scrapped time for the Liberty Bell and a pint at a local brewery. That layover activity had me yearning to go back for a proper visit. Finally, in June 2019, I made Philly a gateway city to my free night stay at Borgata, in Atlantic City. For the 2 night stay, I chose the Aloft Philadelphia downtown, walking distance to most prominent sights and landmarks of the city.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown Review – Booking and Getting there

 As a Cat 4 property, my two night stay cost 50k bonvoy points, in a standard King room. Aloft Philadelphia downtown is just under 10 miles from the PHL airport and 20 minutes/$21 Uber ride seemed the most straight forward way to the hotel.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown – Exterior

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown Review – Breezy Corner King Room

The check-in desk is located on the main level of the building, elevator or a set of stairs are the options from the entrance. I took the stairs up from the main entrance and walked into a large open concept lobby, with high ceiling and large windows. Although minimalist in many ways, the lobby was a very inviting space with plenty of seating, a full pool table, several board games and a wonderful lobby bar. The check-in desk was located just by the stair case – at check-in, I was happy to learn that we were upgraded from a Standard King room to a Breezy Corner King, the largest guest room at the property.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Lobby and check-in desk

 

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Lobby bar and lounge

As I walked into the ‘Breezy Corner King’ room, I couldn’t help but wonder how small the other rooms would be if this was their largest available. The Breezy Corner King was cozy and contemporary. The accents and decor of the room was warm but did feel pretty cookie cutter, based on previous Aloft experience in other cities.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Breezy Corner King – Entrance

The king bed in the room was comfortable, while the room itself provided adequate space for luggage and clothes.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Breezy Corner King – Bed

 

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

I am not a big fan of bathrooms that are at an arms length from the bed. With only a sliding door separating the bathroom from the living room, it was awkward at best. Speaking of awkward, the placement of a full desk and a pushback chair almost blocking the entry-way, offered a curious set-up at best.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

 

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Breezy Corner King – Vanity and Sink

 

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

 

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Breezy Corner King – Window view

As for breakfast and meals, the property does not have a full service restaurant, but rather invites guests to use the Re:fuel market which is open 24/7 and offers some fresh-made breakfast items, coffee and a variety of grab-and-go snacks. A full-service Starbucks is also located in the property and guests are offered discounted items as amenity.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Re:fuel market (Source: Aloft)

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown Review – W XYZ Bar and Backyard Terrace

Perhaps my favourite, the W XYZ bar offered an elegant space in the hotel lobby. The relaxed atmosphere of the bar, local beer selections, small bite menu, combined with several board games and a pool table, offered a wonderful setup for a fun late-night activity in the property.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown – W XYZ, lobby bar

 

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

And if board games and lobby bars are not your thing, the eclectic outdoor terrace space was just the spot to be. Grab a drink at the bar and soak in the sights an sounds of Philly – a great place to unwind after a long day of tourist activities 🙂

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown review

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown – Back Yard Terrace

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown Review – Reflections

My stay at the Aloft Philadelphia Downtown was fun, while it didn’t offer outright luxury, the hotel is contemporary and does the basics right – Comfortable bed, friendly staff, a good bar and a fun lobby. The location of the property is the biggest perk, it is within 5 minute walking distance to the Reading Market, Chinatown, City Hall and several shopping streets. Aloft Philadelphia Downtown is a happy medium between luxury and hip, between historic and contemporary.

 

Title Image Source: Aloft Philadelphia