Luxury Hotels

PHILADELPHIA – 2

And so the sky-high anchor of Philadelphia’s most valuable company, Comcast, came to pass. Not surprisingly its hotel, Four Seasons Philadelphia at Comcast Center, has a ton of touchpoints.

Suite #5027 would be attractive even without the incredible view – look down, across the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers and all those row houses. Even City Hall looks dinky-toy. The suite is well thought out, big shades-of-tan rugs on mid-wood flooring, beige seating, a tub tucked into a corner of the bathroom to allow strategic views. Rosano Ferretti toiletries and, in the walk-through shower, push-button controls (Hansgrohe) that should be compulsory in the industry.

Take wellness, which has an entire floor, the 57th, all to itself. The high-ceilinged 24/7 fitness centre has mirrored walls that make it seem all the more spacious. Good, there’s a prominent clock, the Matrix machines’ televisions actually work, and ten minutes following personal trainers on the Hydrow rower’s big screen pass like a flash.

But let’s start at the beginning. It’s a five minute ride from the main rail station in the hotel’s house car, a Tesla ‘bird’ with vertically-opening doors that flap like wings. Inside, at ground level, there are a few flowers, yellows through to greens. A panoramic glass-sided elevator soars at ear-popping speed up to the lobby, on the 60th floor. Emerge to a cathedral-ceiling jewel box, entirely mirrored apart from one wall of window, and the floor. In this space flower maestro Jeff Leatham has gone mad, designing and placing flowers in colour gradients, in positions that reflect like ricochets off the angled ceiling above. Totally brilliant.

Reluctant at first to leave this paradise, you descend. The 154 bedrooms are on floors 50-56. End suite 5027 is at the far end from elevators. The corridor is a soft grey tunnel, doors recessed behind curved wall angles. Clever.

There’s a serious pool that teenagers seem to love, and of course there’s a spa. But, far above industry par, it’s ready for business by 8.30.  What a boon, beauty and then a business meeting. Girlahead’s therapist realised the importance of time and it was straight into one of the seven taupe-coloured treatment rooms, which apparently had crystals for some therapeutic function or other but the client had already nestled under a fake-fur-feel cover on to the heated bed and was entering a satisfactory and much-needed 50 minute snooze. To be woken softly with an offer of a glass of Champagne or apple cider, and a mirror to show the satisfying Sodashi effect, made this one of the most fabulous facials ever. Evidence that this is a seriously significant hotel, for a multitude of reasons that overall make you long to return.