When it comes to hotels for delegates at the 2016 Democratic Party convention in the U.S., there’s nothing that’s truly convenient. That’s because despite the party’s platform of environmentalism and fighting global warming, the two venues for events are 7.1 miles apart. So they either stay near the hockey and basketball arena where the big speeches and voting take place or they stay near the Philadelphia Convention Center where the smaller gatherings will happen.
The big Wells Fargo Center arena is in a sports complex area that’s home to more parking than attractions and hotels. Since the Flyers and 76ers play in that building and the Phillies and Eagles are in different structures nearby, this is normally a dead zone when it’s not game day. The convention center area is more lively, bordered by plenty to do and see.
If the Wells Fargo Center doesn’t sound familiar, this entry on their Wikipedia page may explain it. “The Wells Fargo Center (Spectrum II prior to construction), formerly the CoreStates Center, First Union Center and Wachovia Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena…” (Hint to corporations: there’s often a curse that comes when you take over naming rights of a sports facility.)
Here’s where the delegations will be bedding down in Philly.
Hotels Near the Wells Fargo Center
Philly sports fans aren’t known as the most refined bunch, so the options for those who want to walk instead of come in a motorcade or state delegate bus are routine mid-range places.
Holiday Inn Philadelphia Stadium – A (usually) reasonably priced and comfortable option steps away from the action.
Courtyard Philadelphia South at the Navy Yard – Just next to the sports stadiums, this option is easy walking distance to the Wells Fargo Center.
There’s also a Ramada affiliated Penrose Hotel Philadelphia a mile away, but since “31% of guests recommend” on Expedia, you might want to skip that and go another exit or two toward the airport.
Airport Area Hotels
The Philadelphia Airport is actually a short hop by car from the sports stadiums complex, so many delegates will surely be taking advantage of the wide assortment of hotels there. This is important to keep in mind if you’re even in town for a game: you can be at your hotel a few minutes after getting your luggage but be close to the action. Many are suite hotels or budget options. Here are some of the full-facility options:
Aloft Philadelphia Airport – The most stylish option in the area, Hyatt’s answer to W has a hopping bar and lounge area.
Doubletree by Hilton Philadelphia Airport – This biz traveler favorite that’s part of Hilton has plush rooms and a business floor. And who doesn’t like a chocolate chip cookie at check-in?
Philadelphia Airport Marriott – This 15-story, 419-room convention hotel is everything you’d expect in a predictable Marriott and will likely be buzzing with red state liberals in July.
The City Center Action in Philadelphia
Something tells us Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the sitting president will not be bedding down at a routine chain hotel by the airport. They’ll be staying in the city’s top properties and catching a limo to their limelight time on stage.
Kimpton Hotel Palomar and Hotel Monaco Philadelphia – Although Kimpton is now owned by the IHG International hotel group, as with Marriott-owned Ritz-Carlton they’ve managed to keep you feeling like a VIP with style. Both of these top-rated hotels are known for superlative service that will be ready for the picky VIPs.
Sofitel Philadelphia – This elegant outlet of the French Accor group is impeccable and well-located near Rittenhouse Square.
Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square – Located in a historic building a short stroll from the Liberty Bell, this place will make the Washington insiders feel right at home.
The Rittenhouse Hotel – This legendary property is considered the top 5-star hotel in the city and has been a AAA 5-diamond hotel for 25 years. The top suite goes for four grand a night and the presidential suite is so much it’s unlisted, so I’d put my money on the first family being there come convention time.
If you haven’t booked your hotel and you need to go to the Democratic Convention in 2016, can you still get a room? Well, you might be driving for a while. When we pulled up those dates on Priceline, all that was left in the city itself was this 2-star hotel for $550 per night and some serviced apartments.
Related Post: Where the GOP Delegates Will Stay in Cleveland
Round-up by editor Tim Leffel, photos courtesy of the individual hotels.