The Rittenhouse Hotel, which was acquired last year by the Hersha Hotel group, hired vaunted hospitality interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud to fashion five third-floor suites as part of its ongoing “enhancement program.” There was initial concern that Hersha, which has had little experience with luxury hotel ownership, would not safeguard the Rittenhouse’s five-star designation and concomitant reputation.
But the words “enhancement program” represent Hersha’s guiding point of view: simply improve upon a superior product rather than transform it. Working with Champalimaud is just one of many signs that they are indeed committed to high style and luxury; her design firm has handled London’s Dorchester, L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air, and the Carlyle, Pierre and Algonquin hotels in New York, among dozens of others nationally and internationally.
Champalimaud’s five new Park Suites are supposed to be the end-all, be-all of hotel accommodations, according to a statement from the Rittenhouse’s GM, Reginald Archambault, who–it must be said–has an excellent name for a luxury hotel’s GM.
“At The Rittenhouse, we believe the best hotel experiences should be both bespoke and residential in nature. The new Park Suites evoke a modern, yet refined, design sensibility without sacrificing the timeless spirit and traditions that define our beloved hotel.”
The suites range from 450 to 1,330 square feet, and each has a different sensibility, though they all share certain features:
- - oak wood floors
- - stained grey anigre millwork
- - wool carpets
- - vein-cut eramosa marble kitchens
- - silver travertine bathrooms
- - floor-to-ceiling windows
- - low windowsills
- - silk draperies
- - textured wall coverings
- - treetop views of Rittenhouse Square
The most important part of the hotel experience, though, is relaxation and sleeping. Champalimaud has said as much in past interviews. Here’s how a recent statement describes the accommodations:
Each master bedroom is anchored by a burnt oak 4-poster king bed with sand Belgian linen fabric upholstery. The en-suite bath inspires calm relaxation with a walk-in shower adorned with Kohler massage shower and separate silver travertine bathtub, as well as plush bathrobes and Acqua di Parma Spa bath amenities. All suites have custom mood lighting…
Not only that, but the private Park Suites entryway Gallery–with its “carefully curated displays of books and artworks gathered specifically for their relevance to the history of Philadelphia”–has “inviting chartreuse leather chairs and soft lighting, [creating] a hushed sense of privacy for guests wishing to escape the vibrancy of the city.”