- Best for History: In the heart of Old City, the Thomas Bond House bed and breakfast (ca. 1769) offers a great location, Federal decor, and breakfasts of fresh-squeezed orange juice and homemade muffins. Just like Dolley Madison used to make. Perhaps.
- Best for Business Travelers: Hotel Sofitel has a convenient location and rooms that are large and elegant, with easy and reliable online access and a handsome desk that makes you feel less bad about having to work. The delicious French coffee and the French cocktails in the lounge don't hurt, either. The staff is efficient and courteous.
- Best for Conventiongoers: A trio of service-oriented Marriotts (including a Courtyard and a Residence Inn) border the now-expanding center, making these vast spots along Market Street between 12th and Broad streets best bets for those meeting attendees who prefer easy room access and a few extra moments of sleeping. (My favorites are the Courtyard and Residence Inn's rooms facing City Hall.)
- Best for Romance: The affordable Penn's View Hotel feels like an exquisite club, with views over the Delaware River, in-room whirlpool tubs (in some), and, downstairs, what the New York Times hailed as "the mother of all wine bars."
- Best for a Good Night's Sleep: The dream-worthy, five-pillow-topped "Heavenly" sleepers at the Westin still have a lock on this category. (Add in the spalike showers, and you might find it difficult to take leave of your room.)
- Best Boutique Hotel: It's a far cry from a trendy Ian Schrager creation, but Rittenhouse 1715, between 17th and 18th streets on Rittenhouse Street, feels boutique-y, in a more Parisian sense. On a quiet side street, with small-to-large traditional rooms, simple croissant-and-coffee breakfasts, and luxe Frette bed linens, guests are quite comfortable staying here a week. Many do.
- Best for Families: In Center City, Loews Philadelphia Hotel doesn't have the biggest rooms in town, but it's got a great game closet, fabulous pool, generous pet policy, and concierges trained to please even the pickiest preteen guest.
- Best Inexpensive Hotel: The Alexander Inn, 12th and Spruce streets, is an independent, 48-room outfit whose strong suits are its location, simplicity, and value -- usually around $100 per night. Rooms are quite small -- or cozy, depending on your outlook. Request one that faces the corner.
- Best Hotel for Historic District Hopping: If you're here to see Independence Park, why not wake up looking at it through the curtains at the Omni Hotel at Independence Park. All 150 guest rooms have views of the Greek Revival Second Bank of the U.S. and a half-dozen of America's Georgian jewels -- and you can hear the clip-clopping of horses with carriages below.
- Best Airport Hotel: Standing out from the virtually interchangeable low-rises that surround Philadelphia International is aloft. Starwood's off-price version of their popular W brand is smart and hip, offering 136 spare, modern rooms; a sleek lobby; a cool bar and terrace; along with self-serve kiosks to print out boarding passes. Aloft almost makes flying seem cool and special again.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.