Philadelphia Escape

23 May

I’m just getting around to posting pictures from my March trip to Philly (hence, the scarf and Uggs below). We went for a quick weekend escape. Main purpose = explore + eat

These days, when it comes to sleep, I’m an enthusiastic convert to B&Bs. I am a fan of big urban hotels for their proximity to sights of interest, but I usually find them too bland and generic. I do love swanky boutique hotels, but let’s face it, there’s a premium  you pay for all that.

In my view, B&Bs are always a little unexpected and staying there becomes another facet in the travel experience. Maybe it’s strange decor, creaky hallways, or funny proprietors. Whatever the particulars, B&Bs offer loads of character. And I also love waking up to a homemade carb-laden breakfast.

My husband, incidentally, is staunchly NOT a fan of B&Bs, preferring that exact anonymity and sterile ambiance of a generic big city hotel. Hence, there’s always a negotiation to get him to agree to stay in one.

For this trip, we stayed at Spruce Hill Manor, located in the University City neighborhood of Philly. It was built in 1879 as a wealthy industrialist’s house, and it oozed history. There were so many gorgeous original features, which I unfortunately, did NOT capture (a tile entryway, long wooden staircase, and Victorian style common room).

We stayed in the J.S. Sargent Deluxe Suite (named for a Philly artist), and I couldn’t help thinking about the lives of the people who resided there through the years. They probably never once imagined it would be turned into a boarding house or inn at some point.  The room featured the original fireplace and  chandelier, antiques, and a gorgeous carved Indonesian headboard.

                                                  Isn’t this room beautiful?

Janet, the owner of the B&B, made a wonderful breakfast including homemade cinnamon bread.

So, what’s your opinion on B&Bs vs hotels? Are you a staunch fan of one of the other?

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10 Responses to “Philadelphia Escape”

  1. Andrea Perullo May 24, 2012 at 1:35 am #

    I’m a big B&B fan! Don’t stay in them enough though. What a lovely place!

    • maryrichardson May 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Andi,
      Glad to hear you enjoy them too! I KNOW you stay in some really swanky digs when you travel. I often forget B&Bs are options, but I’m getting better about remembering when I make arrangements.

  2. Becca May 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    How beautiful! I don’t think I have ever stayed at a B&B, but would love to. My favorite places to stay in are cabins, both rustic with outhouses and the ones with the amenities :) I think the idea of a B&B seems very romantic and personable.

    • maryrichardson May 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      Becca,
      Oh I love the idea of a rustic cabin with an outhouse and lots of trails around for taking walks. I’m sure there is a lot of that kind of thing in this area to look forward to!

  3. Annette May 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    I, unfortunately, have never stayed in a B&B, but this one sure looks nice!

    • maryrichardson May 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Hi Annette! Thanks for stopping by! B&Bs are a little strange at first (there’s such close proximity to everyone there), but I’ve grown to love them. I encourage you to try one out sometime!

  4. Steve May 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    I stayed in a lot of B&B places when I traveled through Ireland. I agree that you can meet a lot of interesting people that way. I still remember the gruff stern attitude of the person running the B&B in Cork and the friendly operator of the B&B outside of Innis. That one in particular was beautiful. It was a bigger room than most places I’d stay in and cheap too. In fact, your photos kind of remind me of it. Well, except that room didn’t have a chandelier.

    I don’t often get to stay in B&Bs elsewhere though. Although I looked for them in England, but eventually took another route.

    • maryrichardson May 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      hey Steve! Interesting that you mentioned a gruff inkeeper! I think that’s why my husband doesn’t like to stay in them. He feels like we’re on their time schedule, rather than our own. He got this from Japan, where the inn keepers are super bossy!

  5. Sofia @ As We Travel May 25, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    What a lovely place! I would usually choose B&B’s over hotels, much cozier and more romantic. The only reason I would go for a hotel over a B&B is if it has a gym and pool ;)

    • maryrichardson May 25, 2012 at 10:58 am #

      Sofia,
      Thanks for stopping by! Yes, they are generally more romantic, and I agree about missing the pool. B&bs are often in interesting neighborhoods, so walking around there is what I consider my exercise time.

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