Staying at the Guild House Hotel

The “City of Brotherly Love” attracts history buffs – as well as closeted lovers of the guilty pleasure National Treasure – from around the world to see the iconic landmarks, architecture, and sights.  Luxury travel, however?  Not so much the first word that comes to mind when travelling to Philadelphia. The woman-owned Guild House Hotel is changing that. Recently opened this past November, the Guild House Hotel combines history with five-star luxury accommodations. 

guild house luxury boutique hotel

This boutique hotel resides in a restored rowhome circa 1885. Simply checking in means checking off a Philly bucket list item of staying in a National Historic Landmark. If you’re a solo female traveler, the story gets better.  Nestled between all the hotspots in the city, this old rowhome was once the hub for The New Century Guild – a group of game-changing female activists rallying together for women’s suffrage, labor reform, and more.  Each gorgeously decorated room in this hotel is named for one of these influential women.  

entrance to the guild house hotel in philly

Checking-In to the Guild House Hotel


You’ll find yourself right on the border of Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia’s ritzy neighborhood with beautiful architecture, unbeatable restaurants, and plenty of monuments detailing the city’s history as you stroll through the city’s streets. The rowhome is rather unassuming when you first walk up to the door to enter your unique key code to enter the building. As a woman traveling alone, this security touch instantly made me feel comfortable.  When you open the door, you know you’re in for more than you could have ever expected. 

The thoughtful restoration maintains some of the historic décor of the late 1800s while adding chic, modern updates.  Carved wood details, velvet textures, rich tones, intricate wallpaper all come together to create an elegant, cozy feeling of stepping back in time. The common area immediately lured me in with the plush velvet sofa, dim light, and the crackling hum of Ella Fitzgerald playing through a retro speaker in the corner.  You can feel the energy of the New Century Guild women who met in this very room to discuss their world-changing plans. 

guild house luxury boutique hotel lobby

The Rooms at the Guild House Hotel

Mixing modern comfort with historic character, you’ll have a hard time feeling guilty about spending your entire trip in the hotel.  Stepping inside my room dubbed the “Florence” – a king salon secured by a key code lock – my jaw-dropped.  The tall ceilings, ornate fireplace, and unique furnishings had me feeling right at home (or at least what I like to imagine for my dream home).  Not to mention the wallpaper!  I was positively entranced by the bold pattern and color.

guild house hotel the florence

The bathroom was a dream of white tile and gold finishes.  The faucets and handles had an old-world touch to them, keeping you grounded in the fact that you’re about to do the deed where President Cleveland-era women organized political reform.

Fluffy white towels and oversized terrycloth robes await you to wrap yourself up after a steamy shower. To this day, this was the best shower of my life.  The combo of rainfall showerhead and incredible water pressure was, in a word, glorious.  I will dream of this shower for years to come.

Every aspect of a typical hotel stay is elevated tenfold at The Guild House.  Right there in your room is a minibar with a Chemex and real, ground coffee beans from a local vendor. If tea is more your thing, you’ll love the perk of having a variable-temperature water kettle. Here you’ll also find gourmet cookies from a local bakery tempting you. Oh, did I mention all of these goodies are complimentary?

Staying true to their cause, The Guild House hotel sources all of their treats, beverages, and toiletry items from minority and female-owned local businesses.  Needless to say, the Florence was a breathtaking respite after exploring the city during the day.

sydney isaacs the florence guild house hotel

Nearby Activities

If you’re a first-time visitor to Philadelphia, you may have a long list of landmarks and sights you’re keen to see.  If you’ve already crossed off things like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall or simply want more of a “local’s guide” list of recommendations, look no further.

Luckily, The Guild House is situated on prime real estate within Philly.  It’s within walking distance to City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, and countless of the city’s best restaurants.

Start your morning with a 10-minute walk over to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, an outdoor labyrinth of mosaic-inspired art. Take lunch at an outdoor table at Parc restaurant to enjoy people-watching and French cuisine at one of the city’s longest-reigning bistros. For more casual fare, head to Reading Terminal for a high-energy market that offers anything you can think of.

As for dinner, don’t forget to make a reservation at Vedge restaurant only a block away from Guild House.  This vegan restaurant has been touted by Philly Magazine as not just the best vegan restaurant but the best restaurant “period”.  With seasonal fare on a rotating menu, sublime cocktails, and a wine list to please even the most hipster natural wine snob, you can’t go wrong.  Don’t sleep on the “Fancy Radishes” and “Campfire Carrots” – you won’t know what hit you. 

With so much to do and see nearby, you’ll have plenty of excuses to return to The Guild House Hotel again and again – and experience each of the Guild members’ beautiful namesake rooms to boot! 

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Sydney Isaacs
Sydney Isaacs

Sydney is a 29-year old American living between France and Italy. She has a WSET Level 2 certification in wine, along with a degree in environmental engineering and an MBA. She loves exploring local farmer’s markets, haunting her favorite wine bar, and discovering new restaurants.

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