AKA Rittenhouse – Luxury Accommodations in Arts-Rich Philadelphia

Philadelphia has its share of excellent hotels. On a recent visit we experienced one of the best of the bunch. AKA Rittenhouse is located on the upscale square of the same name.

William Penn created a plan for the city, which emanated from Rittenhouse Square. The semi-eponymous hotel is an historic landmark, elegantly made over on the inside while maintaining its exterior. The apartment-style rooms are available as studio, one or two bedroom floor plans. Ours was modern and sophisticated. Had we stayed longer, we likely would have availed ourselves of the well-appointed kitchen (stainless steel appliances, granite counters).

The king-sized beds were comfortable and inviting, with thoughtful fixtures nearby. The bathrooms were roomy, with crisp design and modern fixtures.

We had no time to enjoy the Sony flat screen TVs, audio equipment or the newly designed fitness center (outfitted with new Technogym equipment), as we took full advantage of Philadelphia’s cultural offerings, using AKA Rittenhouse as our home base.

For instance, nearby the hotel is the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

At the suggestion of the front desk, we made our way to the Barnes Foundation. Recently relocated from the suburbs after significant debate, Alfred Barnes’ collection is populated with Impressionist art. Valued at approximately $30 billion, the collection poses the question how any other collection contains any Renoir work; Barnes seems to have cornered the market on that artist. We dined overlooking Rittenhouse Square at Parc, a vintage Parisian café that was the perfect prelude to seeing all the Impressionist art at the Barnes. On our next visit to the hotel, we will want to check out a.kitchen + bar, the well-received on-site restaurant and bar at AKA Rittenhouse.

We also satiated our thirst for art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. An extremely satisfying exhibition was on offer, called “American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent.” The collection of rarely seen masterpieces by the twin cornerstones of the uniquely American medium of watercolor was tremendous. It is unlikely that this impressive a collection of works by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, their contemporaries and acolytes will be assembled again.

The accompanying coffee table book was a delight to digest back at the hotel.

Indeed, the visits to Philadelphia’s landmark museums prompted a focus on the design of AKA Rittenhouse, which has been thoughtfully modified over the decades from the original 1912 edifice.

AKA Rittenhouse

With a doorman at the base of the Beaux Arts building, AKA Rittenhouse is a blend of a boutique hotel and a luxury apartment.

We look forward to exploring the company’s other hotels in Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, Beverly Hills and London.


Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.