Openings: The Independent Hotel, Philadelphia

imageAs the list of reasons to be proud to be an American ever dwindles, perhaps only a visit to our roots could possibly offer comfort. Your author’s favorite American city, however, has been a little slow to embrace boutique hotel mania, leading us to carry on our rock & roll misbehavings in this most rock & roll of towns in rather extravagant locales like the Ritz-Carlton (though the stories are hair-curling). But already sporting a masterful double entendre, Philly’s new (as of July) Independent Hotel now beckons style-hounds to the home of our nascent liberties. In a (naturally) listed historic building in the invitingly artsy Center City neighborhood, the 24-room charmer features hardwood floors, exposed brick, cathedral ceilings, and flat panel HDTVs.

Complimentary evening wine and cheese receptions are planned for the hotel’s fireside lounge, reminding one that this is, indeed, the City of Brotherly Love. If that weren’t enough, Stephen Starr’s stylish new Frenchie bistro Parc is opening just up the street, chic steakhouse Table 31 debuts in Robert AM Stern’s futuristic new Comcast Center building, and a groovy new Mexican joint, Distrito, debuts in University City. Oh, and for those of you who just can’t resist the swank, Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert opens 10 Arts (i.e. 10 Avenue of the Arts) in that very same Ritz-Carlton. Don’t you just feel more patriotic already?