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Sofitel Philadelphia
120 S. 17th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Our accommodations in Philadelphia for the 2009 trip were at The Sofitel, located in the heart of Philadelphia’s bustling downtown district.

The Sofitel brand, mostly known in Europe, has a very high reputation for hospitality, comfort, and service and this particular location certainly lives up to it. A chic lobby adjoins an equally chic bar (looks great for casual drinks and conversation) and the front desk agents greet you with a cheerful "Bonjour!" Other features include an onsite restaurant, a fully equipped high-tech fitness center, concierge, business center, and much more. This is a full-service, luxury hotel from top to bottom and they seem eager to cover every need and whim.

The rooms are done in a vaguely deco influenced style, with simple and comfortably modern furnishings and lots of amenities. There is a flat screen television, high-speed Internet (available for a fee),Bose radio/iPod systems, a mini-bar, big marble baths with separate tubs and showers, pricey L’Occitane bath products, and turndown service offering Godiva chocolate and Evian water among the more notable offerings.

Not that we noticed that much detail after we spotted the beds. Between the feather duvet and the feather pillows, the effect is that of marshmallows that have been cross-bred with clouds on top of whipped cream.

Mary called Rick, "Don't ask, just dive onto the bed." "Okay," he said bemusedly. Pause. "Oooh!" Both of us thought, "Yeah, Philadelphia is a really nice city but do we really need to go out and see it?"

The location is great for tourists as well. It’s about 12 blocks to Independence Hall, which sits at the epicenter of most of the historic district, so walking is easy and a cab ride is cheap.

Service was crisp, efficient, and friendly with every employee we met. They made us feel welcome and pampered at every turn.

Prices are surprisingly affordable for what is absolutely a luxury hotel. We have seen rates as low as $160 for a standard room although $200 and up is more common. That’s not cheap of course but for what you get you really can’t beat it.

Keep in mind that if you drive in you will have to pay an additional $30 per night fee for valet parking (there is no do-it-yourself option) but it does offer in and out privileges.

We loved this hotel and especially loved the beds. We considered trying to steal them with Rick distracting security while Mary tried to strap the thing to the roof of Plucky Mobile, but we saw a few flaws in that plan and decided that we would just have to settle for staying here again on a future trip to Philadelphia.

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