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Linda-Marie Singer is The Live Wire

Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge
THE RITTENHOUSE: "This place rocks!"
Click to Enlarge By Linda-Marie Singer

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RITTENHOUSE FOUNTAIN...welcome splash to one of Philadelphia's most elegant address
RITTENHOUSE FOUNTAIN...welcome splash to one of Philadelphia's most elegant address
Photo by:  Allen Singer
Philadelphia, PA. "This place rocks!" shouted my thirteen-year-old daughter as she marched into our sumptuous two-bedroom suite at The Rittenhouse Hotel. It didn't take long for her to notice the chandelier hanging above the formal dining area, or the mini bar stocked with caviar and champagne. "Yes!" she cried as she punched her fist in the air. "YES!" 

The bellman barely had time to explain the property's innumerable amenities when she interrupted: "Check it out! We've got our own washer-dryer!" Never mind that we just arrived from the West Coast and had all clean clothes. 

Next she discovered the marble bathroom equipped with Jacuzzi and television. "This one's mine!" she yelled. 

Apparently such outbursts are familiar at The Rittenhouse, the only hotel in Pennsylvania included in the prestigious Gold Book. Since its opening in 1989, it has swept up accolades from the AAA Five Diamond Award to last year's Readers of Conde Nast who ranked it among the Top 25 North America Hotels. 

Couple enjoying the romance of the Cassatt Lounge
Couple enjoying the romance of the Cassatt Lounge
Photo by: Linda-Marie Singer

A prime reason for its steady success is its Rittenhouse Square location. Named after David Rittenhouse, the 17th century statesman and aristocrat, the address ranks in the posh category alongside Philadelphia's Main Line and Society Hill. As an added bonus, across the street is the popular Rittenhouse Square Park that caters to the security-conscious. Wander through at any hour and you'll find locals playing chess, reading a book, or sharing a park bench with their pooches. 

Settling into the overlooking Rittenhouse Square
Settling into the overlooking Rittenhouse Square
Photo: Allen Singer
What I liked about the hotel, apart from its spiffy location, were the ample accommodations, the largest in all of Philadelphia. There are 98 guestrooms and 11 suites with condominium dwellers that have their own separate entrance and elevator. "Of course we're small in comparison to any chain," comments General Manager and vice president, David G. Benton. "That means we have to pedal twice as fast." 
Repeat business is proof enough that Benton is approachable, willing to please his clients. Take what happened when Bruce Willis checked in for an extended stay while filming "The Sixth Sense." Could his shower be replaced with a steam room? Most managers would scoff at the idea but not Benton. Right away he went to work making the adjustments, and today any guest can rent the suite and relax in Willis' "steam room."

"It's simple" he explains. "We just cater to the whims of our customers." That includes offering fine food such as Nick's Fishmarket known for its seafood specialties. 

Other amenities? An indoor pool and classes from personal spa trainers who help drain away life's everyday tensions. 

Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon and Fitness Club...stress reliever!
Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon and Fitness Club...stress reliever!

That includes being vain about your veins. Lending a new meaning to the word unique, at The Rittenhouse Hotel you can make an appointment with one of the three plastic surgeons who are conveniently located on the same floor as the Health Club. When I pointed this out to my thirteen-year-old, she jumped at the idea of her mother having a mini lift. "Mom, wouldn't it be great? You could have the operation and I could stay in the suite and have the caviar and champagne, right?" Now why didn't I think of that?

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For more information contact:

210 West Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA. 19103

Call: 215-732-3364 Toll Free: 800-635-1042 Fax: 215-732-3364

Cultural Attractions are within walking distance or by cab: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Walnut Street Theatre, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Rodin Museum, Academy of Fine Arts, Free Library of Philadelphia.

For the kids: The Please Touch Museum, The Academy of Natural Sciences, The Franklin Institute Science Museum.

Areas of the City: Old City, South Street, Independence Hall, Chinatown, The Italian Market, Society Hill and Penn's Landing.

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Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

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