Where to stay in Philadelphia

The Windsor Suites hotel is pictured along the Ben Franklin Parkway on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.

For a city rich with historic landmarks, it’s little surprise Philadelphia boasts a number of overnight options for travelers or those opting for a stay-cation. In fact, overnight stays for leisure at Center City hotels set a record in 2017 with 1.1 million room nights with a 78.2 percent occupancy rate, according to Visit Philadelphia, a marketing agency focusing on the city’s tourism.

Rather look for a short-term rental? There are also plenty of options on sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, which connect travelers with strangers who offer their homes or rooms in their homes for short-term stays.

Hotels in Philadelphia

For more classic, conventional lodging, there are a number of hotels and hostels for visitors to Philadelphia. Hotel prices vary by neighborhood but there are options throughout, from close to the airport, in Center City and in Logan Square within walking distance to the famed Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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But it’s not all conventional when it comes to Philly hotels. Work has begun on a “Pod Hotel” in Center City. Think tiny-home-for-a-night-or-two. Slated to open in September 2019, the hotel will feature 252 rooms averaging 170 square feet each.

Philadelphia hotel rooms, regardless of size, are costing a bit more than they used to. City Council in September 2017 unanimously passed a new room fee that adds 0.75 percent to the daily rate at city hotels. That translates to about a $1.50 increase to a room costing $200 per night. And with about 16,000 hotel rooms already available in the city and with new hotels (including the aforementioned mirco-hotel), some say that number could grow closer to 20,000.

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Airbnb and other short-term rentals

Like in many cities across the globe, Airbnb is growing in Philadelphia. As of November 2017, about 3,000 listings are available on the site per day, which is 700 more than the daily listings at the end of 2014, according to a CBRE Hotels, a group that does research on the lodging industry.

Not only does Airbnb offer a place to sleep, but they are also getting into what the company terms “experiences.” These are pay-to-play activities Airbnb hosts can offer guests for a more curated type of experience. The Philadelphia “experiences” became available in February 2018.

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But if sites like Airbnb and VRBO aren’t your speed, boutique short-term rentals are finding a home in Philadelphia. The Roost Apartment Hotel, for example, has furnished units with a vintage, homey feel.