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Luxury hotel review: Le Meridien Philadelphia

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The Le Meridien Philadelphia (1421 Arch Street) is a luxury hotel in the heart of Center City situated perfectly for either work or play. Philadelphia is a great city for a luxury getaway. With some fantastic hotels, amazing restaurants and some of the best museums in the world, the city is filled with things to see and do.

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Getting there
The hotel is easily reached by car and is very convenient for train riders and flyers too. Suburban Station is a short block away and is a stop on the Philadelphia Airport train. At most times, travel distance from the airport to the hotel, via the train, is only 30 minutes. Tickets are $8 each way and can be bought from the conductor on the train.

Location
The Le Meridien Philly is perfectly located in Center City, almost across from City Hall. It's on Arch Street, also adjacent to the city's LOVE Park. Many historic and tourist sites are within walking distance, a cab to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is under $10.

Rooms
The hotel has 202 rooms and suites, most have spectacular city and City Hall views. A recent stay in a double guestroom was rewarded with great views of LOVE Park and the city skyline. The room featured stylish, comfortable furniture and luxury amenities. Little touches like an electrical outlet inside the in-room safe were appreciated. Basic room rates at Le Meridien Philadelphia start under $200 per night.

Service
It's the little things that make a difference. A missing "do not disturb" sign was replaced and placed on the door, after a casual mention at the front desk. A random building tour request was fulfilled with a extensive top-to-bottom adventure led by a passionate staff member. A request for maid service to make up the room in the early evening was promptly handled.

Le Meridien Philadelphia history
Originally built as a YMCA in 1911, the building's architect was Horace Trumbauer, one of the country's great architects of the early 20th century. In Philadelphia, he designed the Art Museum, the Free Library and many of the area's great Gilded Age estates like Whitemarsh Hall and Lynnewood Hall. His work has been lovingly preserved and featured in the hotel and can be viewed in many of the public areas. The hotel's spacious lobby and the Trumbauer Ballroom and Abele Library are highlights that should be visited. The Abele Library is named for the hotel's original designer Julian Abele who worked with Trumbauer on many of his great projects. The hotel served the city as a YMCA for many years, later replaced by city offices, finally opening as the Le Meridien in 2010 after an extensive renovation.

Le Meridien history
Originally launched by Air France in 1972, Le Meridien hotels were placed in cities served by the airline's Concorde. The idea was to provide the same luxurious service on the ground as they offered in the air. No longer owned by Air France, the properties retain that European style, attention to detail and personal guest service. The Le Meridien brand is now a part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

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