If you’re heading to Philadelphia for a mini-getaway, The Logan Hotel is a family-friendly luxury lodging option to consider, primarily because of its excellent location in the heart of the city’s Museum District. The rooms are large, the service is professional, and there’s a cloistered lawn where toddlers can burn off excess energy. If your kids are young adults, they’ll appreciate having access to Assembly, the hotel’s rooftop lounge.
An Elegant Retreat in Philly’s Museum District
Philadelphia is a city with many faces. History buffs visit to explore the sites associated with the birth of the United States, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Sports fans revel in the South Philly complex, home to the city’s four professional sports teams: the Flyers, Phillies, 76ers, and Eagles.
On my recent trip, I set out to explore Philadelphia’s Museum District. As my home base, I selected The Logan Hotel. It’s a splurge, price-wise, but it was convenient to the attractions I visited and I appreciated the elegant surroundings. The hotel has over 1800 pieces of art in the lobby, hallways, and guest rooms, so it almost felt like I was having a sleepover in a museum, like the characters in my favorite children’s book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
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What Works for Families
- My King Room was huge! You won’t spend your stay cursing because you keep tripping over the Pack ‘n Play. In fact, you don’t need to bring it. The Logan Hotel has cribs and rollaway beds available for no additional charge for your little one. And furry ones are welcome too. The Logan Hotel is small dog-friendly (under 30 pounds); a $100 deposit is required.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- I arrived at 4 p.m. on a Saturday and the lobby was chaotic. It’s a small space and it was jammed. If you’re traveling with young children and require assistance, you might want to consider an alternate arrival day or time.
My Saturday night room rate in August 2016 was $293.00 for a King Room, including free WiFi and access to the fitness center. The Logan Hotel has an onsite spa offering a full range of services, including massages and body treatments. Valet parking for $55 was the only parking option.
The Logan Hotel
The Logan opened in December 2015 after a multi-million dollar renovation of an old Four Seasons property. It operates as one of Hilton’s Curio Collection hotels, so Hilton Honors members can earn and use points.
I chose the hotel because of its location on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, promoted by Philadelphia as its Champs-Élysées. Many of the city’s iconic museums are located here and other must-see destinations, including the LOVE statue, City Hall, and the Reading Terminal Market, are a short walk from the hotel. And the rooftop lounge, Assembly, has one of the best skyline views of the city.
Guests arriving by car have access to valet parking with in/out privileges for $55 per 24-hour period. The Logan Hotel does not operate an airport shuttle; if you’re arriving via plane, plan on a 25-minute cab ride to the hotel.
I arrived at 4 p.m. on a summer Saturday afternoon and entered the busy and very crowded lobby. Many people were checking in and I realized a wedding was in progress when I glimpsed a white gown down the hallway.
I joined the chaotic crowd and expected a long wait but The Logan had several front desk agents on duty to handle the swell. Consequently, I was quickly attended to by a smiling young lady who regretfully informed me that my room wasn’t ready. She apologized and immediately handed me two $15 food/beverage vouchers and encouraged me to relax in the Commons, the lobby lounge area. Within 15 minutes, she returned and told me she’d personally checked my room and declared it ready. With that, she handed over my keys.
I was pleasantly surprised by the generous size of the King Room. City hotels, in my experience, have cramped rooms as compared to their suburban or rural counterparts. The Logan room was sleek, modern, with a Keurig coffee setup, large closet, and a sparkling clean bathroom with a single sink and tub/shower combo. Perhaps my favorite feature, besides the large windows overlooking the courtyard, was the twist on the hotel bathrobe. The Logan Hotel features a long, hoodie-style grey sweatshirt robe. It was so comfortable to relax in after my shower.
My family and I headed out to explore the city and returned around 11 p.m. and the lobby area was still very busy. Attendants managed the lines of people waiting for the elevator to access Assembly, the rooftop lounge area. Therefore, I anticipated a noisy night. Happily however, there wasn’t any nocturnal commotion, from my neighbors or in the hallway.
The Sunday morning vibe was completely the opposite of the preceding Saturday Night Fever. For example, two young girls sprawled on the floor of one of the lounge areas and played with their American Girl dolls while a number of families enjoyed brunch. Urban Farmer, a rustic steakhouse, is the on-site restaurant and offers a children’s menu.
There’s a small heated indoor pool at The Logan. It’s in the lower level fitness center, if your kids need a dip. My favorite hotel feature for the little ones is the cloistered lawn with a beautiful water feature because it’s a great place for parents to relax. You can sit and have an afternoon cocktail while your little ones run free and you don’t have to worry about them scampering into traffic.
I grabbed a bottle of complimentary water from the The Logan Hotel lobby and headed out to explore the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, known as Philly’s Museum District. Right next door is the Academy of Natural Sciences. During my visit, the Academy had an outdoor exhibit of animatronic dinosaurs.
I passed through Logan Circle, pausing to enjoy Swann Fountain and continued walking towards the Franklin Institute, one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most popular museums. Families can spend an entire day exploring the Institute’s exhibits.
Other attractions along the Parkway include the recently relocated Barnes Museum, the Rodin Museum, 8-acres of park known as The Oval, and the magnificent Philadelphia Museum of Art where you can run up all 72 of the “Rocky” steps in front and pose for a picture with the boxer’s statue.
For exploring Philadelphia’s Museum District, I recommend The Logan Hotel as an excellent luxury option for families. If you have travel flexibility, consider a Sunday night stay because a quick rate check shows it’s generally the night with the lowest rates. When you book, notify the staff you’re traveling with a VIK (Very Important Kid). They offer special amenities including a check-in gift, rubber duckies for the bath, and cookies and milk before bedtime.