This Center City hotel is perfectly located one block from City Hall, one block from Reading Terminal Market, and two blocks from the Convention Center. The Loews is beloved by swimmers for its lap pool with a view, by children (and traveling pets) for its toy cache (and music download cards for tweens and teens), and by history aesthetes for its architectural lines, Cartier wall clocks, and other classy touches left over from this venerable structure's glory days.
This was Philly's first skyscraper—and the first International Style building in America—built in 1929 to house the nation's oldest savings bank, PSFS. The bank's acronymic logo, emblazoned in 27-foot-high neon letters atop the building, stayed illuminated 24/7 throughout the Great Depression as a sign of banking confidence, a tradition the hotel maintains to this day.(PSFS itself, sadly, went down in the banking and S&L crises of the late 1980s/early 1990s.)
The refurbished building opened as a Lowes in 2000. Rooms tend to be small, but fitted with nice amenities, such as Keurig coffee machines and Lather bath products, and done in a clean, early modernist design of black and white picked out with chrome and a few red accents—very much in keeping with the historic structure's Deco-era architecture.
The 33rd floor—once so exclusive that only the highest ranking members of the banking industry set foot there (even the elevator operators got off at the 32nd floor)—is now home to the hotel's Level 33 restaurant, and the Sky Lounge bar with sweeping cityscape views.