de Vivre in the City of Brotherly Love
Lobby with French Panache
wines, fragrant cheeses, châteaux, joie de vivre,
Catherine Deneuve, Alexandre Dumas, Toulouse-Lautrec and
the Eiffel Tower. The reasons to adore France are endless.
And for those Francophiles who want a little nibble of
France wherever they are, Sofitel Accor Hotels & Resorts
offers yet one more. From Egypt to Brazil, Sofitel’s
distinctly French service and style can be found around
the globe. You’ll even find it in one of the United
States’ most all-American cities: Philadelphia.
the former Philadelphia Stock Exchange (just a block from
Rittenhouse Square in the city’s self-styled French
Quarter), the Sofitel Philadelphia is deceiving upon approach.
The boxy limestone and glass façade is definitely
not something you’d find in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
But inside is another story entirely … a gift shop
selling Parisian cookbooks and Babar dolls, a Parisian-style
bakery, a brasserie dedicated to Colette and specially
commissioned French couture staff uniforms. You’ll
have a hard time believing you’re in the home of
the Liberty Bell, Rocky and the Philly cheese steak.
interior of this fourteen-floor property has been restored
and renovated with great taste, beginning with the lobby
floor, whose toffee toned granite and marble pattern was
inspired by Shaker quilts—the gracious union of
French panache with Shaker influences is one of the most
elegant aspects of this hotel. This dramatic floor provides
the stage for the hotel’s long-running show: La
Bourse. The lobby lounge is a classic urban space, with
nightly piano music, torch singers and floor-to-ceiling
windows overlooking the street.
particularly fond of Chez Colette, the house brasserie.
This charming venue evokes Paris in its 1920s heyday,
and you can easily imagine Hemingway joining Gertrude
Stein here for gossip and a bite to eat. Antique Parisian
posters, terracotta floor tiles and the story of Colette
on the menu add homey, intimate touches. As for the menu,
look for chef Sylvain Harribey’s Gallic classics,
such as escargot, onion soup and house pâté.
We would also like to note the well-priced wine list.
it's easy to see the odes to French country in the
contemporary bedrooms (those buttery yellows are straight
out of Provence), you’ll notice a little Zen and
a touch of cosmopolitan living, as well. If this sounds
like a recipe for discord, it’s not. There is a
harmony to the fusion. Cherrywood furnishings and original
artwork highlight the décor, and suites have bedrooms
separated from living areas with lovely paned, frosted
glass doors. Along with all the expected amenities, there
is high-speed Internet access and evening turndown with
Evian water and a freshly cut rose.
ideal for leisure travelers, the hotel also caters to
the corporate crowd with two floors of meeting space,
including a ballroom that can accommodate up to 300. With
names such as Cannes and Versailles, the meeting rooms
are like every other aspect of the Philadelphia Sofitel:
they provide function and comfort with a romantic, luxurious