February 15, 2023
The Rittenhouse Hotel has earned a five-star rating for the first time from the Forbes Travel Guide, joining the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center as the only city hotels to receive the prestigious mark this year.
The 2023 Travel Guide, released Wednesday, also awarded a five-star rating to Jean-Georges restaurant, located on the 59th floor of the Four Seasons, for the first time.
The Rittenhouse Hotel, which opened in 1989 and received a four-star rating last year, sits on the edge of Rittenhouse Square and offers scenic views of the Center City skyline. It is within walking distance of the city's busiest shopping district.
"Philadelphia is a city of many stories, and a stay at The Rittenhouse reflects the area's multifaceted vibe: historic and elegant, yet modern and full of life, with a central location that gives quick access to all of the city's sites, restaurants and neighborhoods," Forbes wrote. "Sitting on green-filled Rittenhouse Square, the hotel has a tony and urban locale, but inside, it feels fresh and intimate."
The travel guide noted the renovations the Rittenhouse Hotel underwent in 2013 and 2018, which added suites that overlook Rittenhouse Square and gave the hotel's design a softer touch.
Forbes inspectors gave high praise to the hotel's Library Bar, which serves small bites and craft cocktails. Patrons can sit on leather barstools and enjoy the atmosphere while exploring the bar's selection of vintage books and art.
The hotel's main restaurant, Lacroix, received a four-star rating. It has been considered one of the best dining destinations in the city since it opened in 2003. It reopened for dinner service last spring after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's best known for its weekend brunch.
Forbes also made note of the Rittenhouse Spa & Club, which includes a full-service salon. The 15,000-square-foot space, which was part of the $12 million renovation project in 2013, is a "big draw" for travelers looking for a spa offering luxury skincare products.
The hotel boasts 116 rooms and suites, many of which include dressing rooms and large bathrooms. The third-floor suites, designed by Alexandra Champalimud, have a private hallway entrance lined with Philly-themed books.
The Rittenhouse was named the best hotel in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report last year; this year it ranked No. 4. In 2019, Condé Nast Traveler named it one of the best hotels in the world.
"The Rittenhouse is to Philadelphia what the Plaza Hotel is to New York City,"Condé Nast Traveler wrote, adding that the hotel's illustrious history is part of its charm. The building sits on the site of one the many mansions that once lined Rittenhouse Square. It was designed in the late 1960s, with construction beginning in the early 1970s.
The Four Seasons, at 1. N. 19th St., earned a five-star rating for the third consecutive year. Its spa also received a five-star rating, making the Four Seasons one of 14 hotels in the world to have five-star designations for its hotel service, restaurant and spa, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
Jean-Georges is curated by chef Cornelia Sühr, and features an expansive menu that includes seafood, short ribs and pasta. In December, the restaurant earned a five-diamond designation from AAA, making it one of just two Philly restaurants to be given the rating. Vetri is the other.
No hotels, spas or restaurants in South Jersey or Delaware received a designation from Forbes this year.
Volvér, Chef Jose Garces' restaurant at the Kimmel Cultural Campus, received a five-star designation from Forbes in 2016 but received a "recommended" rating the last two years.