HughE Dillon: The Rittenhouse’s Pavarotti Suite

A famous tenor slept here

Since 1991, the Rittenhouse Hotel has had AAA Five-Diamond Award status and has attracted celebrities looking for the VIP service that GM David Benton and his staff provide. Luciano Pavarotti was a frequent guest whose favorite suite at the Rittenhouse was room 1306, which was dedicated in his honor yesterday. Below: Benton (left) holds a City of Philadelphia citation just presented to him by Mayor Michael Nutter. The two-bedroom Pavarotti suite overlooks beautiful Rittenhouse Square and has a living room and kitchen. Benton tells me the hotel would stock the refrigerator with all the Italian cheeses and ingredients Pavarotti would need to make the feasts he created for friends who would visit him during his stay. The pots and pans he used are still in the kitchen.

Below: Carol and Joe Shanis, with Ilyce Benton. They are standing in front of one of two Luciano Pavarotti paintings, done by famed Philadelphia artist Nelson Shanks, that will hang in the Luciano Pavarotti suite.

Below: Richard Raub, vocal coach and conductor, Academy of Vocal Arts, William Davenport, tenor, and Jennifer Holbrook, soprano and pianist. Davenport gave a wonderful operatic performance at the dedication, accompanied by Holbrook on piano.

Below: Marlene Feldman, Rosemary Marino and Harry Feldman were volunteers at the Academy of Vocal Arts where Pavarotti had established his International Voice Competition in Philadelphia. He brought talent from all over the world and international attention to Philadelphia’s arts and culture community.

Below: Noina Stanley, Warren Stanley, Karen Downing, and Murugi Mugo. By the way, the Pavarotti Suite can be yours for $1,600 a night.

Below: Neil Shah, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Judy Shah and David Marshall, co-chairman of the board of the Rittenhouse Hotel and CEO of Amerimar Realty Corp. In recent weeks, it’s been rumored that Hersha Hospitality is purchasing the Rittenhouse. I wrote about it on PhillyChitChat here. David Marshall’s number one goal for the Rittenhouse Hotel was about hospitality, Hersha has hospitality in its name. It’s an omen.