You don’t need to be a hotel guest to take advantage of free wi-fi: 7 hotels to book for a treat-yourself workday.

Reserve the Pei Boardroom at Kimpton Hotel Palomar for an upgraded work-from-home day. / Photograph courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Palomar

With temperatures on the rise and return-to-office plans still in flux at many companies, you may be feeling increasingly boxed in by your tired WFH setup. Lucky you! Thanks to the recent hotel boom in Philly, this may be the perfect time to switch up your static computer station and do a WFHotel day.

Whether you’re a solo freelancer, you want to co-work offsite with colleagues, or you’re in Philly for a brief business visit, plenty of hotels would love to have you visit in their free-to-use lobbies and lounges or day-rate suites-turned-private offices — or, at some properties, a combination of both. Hotel occupancy levels nationally aren’t expected to return to 2019 levels until 2023, according to Smith Travel Research. And a number of high-profile hotel and hospitality projects have come on the scene locally post-pandemic pause, including the Canopy by Hilton in 2020, Live Casino & Hotel in January 2021, and the Element by Westin and W Hotel in May and August of 2021, respectively. Hoteliers looking for new guests: Meet Philadelphians ready to embrace a new hybrid work style.

Hotels offering more than free wi-fi and local coffee in the lobby are looking to mount a comeback by replacing ghost-town offices with energized, functional spaces that attract locals, commuters and working parents. They see this as a chance to repurpose non-traditional meeting spaces, lure future overnight guests, and backfill empty rooms previously taken up by out-of-town business travelers. For remote workers, a hotel can serve as an upgraded staycation and a work mood-booster, with curated design aesthetics, private quiet space, and luxurious amenities your corporate or home office just can’t match.

You can walk into just about any hotel and camp out with its free wi-fi — but some properties, like Kimpton Hotel Palomar and the Hyatt Centric, are catering to digital workers who want to level up by offering designated workspaces and service packages. Here, we present seven local hotels to consider for a treat-yourself workday. (We wouldn’t be surprised if you end up staying overnight.)

For teams and groups

W Philadelphia, Center City

hotel lounge philly

The Living Room is a posh lounge with a bar and cafe. / Photograph courtesy of W Philadelphia

Come here with your team to brainstorm new ideas, indulge in a team lunch, or impress meeting guests. Then make the transition from quiet work hours in the Living Room lounge to happy hour at the seventh floor Wet Deck bar.

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: Velvety furniture in forest greens and deep reds paints a dark, moody space upon first glance, but the vast step-down Living Room lounge is surprisingly cozy and lively for a lobby, with long S-shaped center couches, cushioned swivel seats and tables in the rear. Plan ahead, though: You won’t find desks, and computer outlets are limited. Consider booking one of the 27 studio rooms (starting at $500 per day), which can fit up to 50 people, for a private meeting space. Even better: Work poolside at the seventh floor Wet bar or Secret Garden during operating hours.

NOISE LEVEL: Loud

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free public wi-fi.
  • Pay-as-you-go Rival Brothers coffee served in Centerpeak mugs made at the Bok Building in South Philly.
  • Dolce hotel restaurant offers additional workspace during operating hours. (There’s weekend brunch service, breakfast, lunch, aperitivo hour and dinner.)
  • The Wet Deck bar and pool provide outside workspace year-round and are accessible to non-overnight guests with a booked spa service Saturdays from 3 to 11 p.m and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.
  • The Living Room is open Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Its cocktail menu was developed by hotel partner Resa Muelle.

For individuals

Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia, Center City

The “Canopy Retreat” features public working tables with charging ports in a stylish space full of natural light. / Photograph courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

Come by yourself for much-needed focus time; a casual office-like indoor space and an extensive outdoor patio mean you can breeze through a marathon of calls or plug away with headphones and a laptop. Free wi-fi extends across the hotel property, so sneak in a working happy hour alfresco at the Wayward, a Bordeaux-inspired gin and oysters brasserie.

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: The “Canopy Retreat” lounge is an elevated workspace for those who do computer-based/desk work, with leather seats, vibrant wall art, and an inspired book collection. The adjacent “Canopy Central,” near the lobby, can be used for intimate networking and small events. Outside on Ludlow Street, there are more than 10,000 square feet to take advantage of, with cafe dining and covered picnic chairs and tables.

NOISE LEVEL: Quiet

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free wi-fi (ask the front desk for an access code).
  • Pet-friendly rooms (dogs also welcome outdoors).
  • Communal desk available for walk-ins (fits six).
  • Built-in table charging ports. 
  • Printer station. 
  • The Wayward hotel restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour Mondays through Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Federal Donuts is attached to the hotel through the lobby. 
  • 10,000 square feet of outdoor space with 24-hour security.

Kimpton Hotel Palomar, Rittenhouse

Calder Boardroom at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar is suited to small teams and meetings. / Photograph courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

Kimpton Hotel Palomar is in partnership with WorkChew to offer exclusive remote-work packages. WorkChew gets you unlimited monthly hotel and restaurant access across its locations in 18 U.S. cities for $95 per month. Here, members can reserve a designated time block from Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with designated seating inside Square 1682; for an additional cost, you can book a private meeting space, like a conference room. If you’re interested in single-day visits, Kimpton standard rooms are available at a reduced day rate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each room is furnished with a desk, an accent chair and a bathroom, for optimal privacy. There’s also the Kimpton Super Commuter Offer add-on, for the cost of an overnight stay plus an additional $20 (available Sundays through Thursdays). Included: complimentary morning coffee and tea service and an evening Kimpton-hosted wine hour. 

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: The former Architects Building is intriguing, with historic masonry, terra-cotta and bronze touches. While the lobby buzzes with incoming guests, the attached restaurant and bar, Square 1682, has become an alternative Center City office for former downtown workers. 

NOISE LEVEL: Quiet

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free wi-fi, once you check in at the Square 1682 host stand.
  • Pet-friendly (guest-room option only).
  • Free pens and pads.
  • Free bottomless coffee.
  • 10 percent off food at Square 1682.

Hyatt Centric, Rittenhouse

Patchwork Lounge / Photograph courtesy of Hyatt Centric

Privacy and convenience distinguish the Work From Hyatt package, starting at $65 per day. It swaps a corporate office experience for the comforts and amenities of a top-tier hotel. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you get access to a private guest room with room service plus the fully equipped fitness center (snag a Peloton bike!), food and beverage discounts and more. Arrive early for a morning workout, have breakfast with a view thanks to those floor-to-ceiling windows, and recharge in your own suite. 

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: Sophisticated industrial: lots of soft textiles and wood furnishings balance the Craftsman touches of black iron and concrete. If you skip on the Work from Hyatt private day-use guest room, head downstairs to Patchwork. This Mid-Atlantic-focused restaurant and bar is an extension of the lobby area with pay-as-you-go prepared foods and drinks, complimentary wi-fi, and varied seating areas to suit your needs. Set up at a dining table, take a high seat at the bar, or claim a bench near the window.

NOISE LEVEL: Quiet

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free wi-fi.
  • Pet-friendly rooms (dogs welcome to join your Work From Hyatt day suite).
  • Prepared food and drinks (pay-as-you-go).
  • Patchwork bar opens at 4 p.m.; happy hour is 5 to 7 p.m.

For working parents

Residence Inn Bala Cynwyd at Ironworks at Penncoyd Landing, Bala Cynwyd

The Residence Inn in Bala / Photographs by Alisha Miranda

Bring the little ones (or pets!) for a workday-slash-playdate. Beyond the lobby, options include semi-private soundproof “Zoom booths” for virtual meetings and calls, family-size couches, high-top stools, and casual corner nooks. For playtime with the kids, head outside to the expansive courtyard for a round of bocce or beanbag toss.

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: At this restoration of the historic Pencoyd Iron Works, open concept meets tactical mixed-use space. Ironworks co-owner Donna Galvin and her team offer public and private areas open to all visitors, whether you’re alone, with family or even with pets, in a modern industrial setting. And check out the vistas from the Lark restaurant’s rooftop terrace.

NOISE LEVEL: Quiet

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free public wi-fi. 
  • Pet-friendly rooms (dogs welcome also outdoors).
  • Kid-friendly. 
  • Free parking available on-site and at the Regal UA Main Street Theater parking lot across the bridge.
  • Access to the Schuylkill River Trail network for pedestrians, cyclists and hikers.
  • Two restaurants run by Top Chef winner Nick Elmi: the Landing Kitchen all-day cafe, with a menu full of healthy and straightforward homemade dishes, and Lark, co-run with Fia Berisha, fellow restaurateur and co-founder of BE Hospitality.
  • Extensive outdoor space with grass-covered plazas and outdoor firepits.

For out-of-towners

Guild House Hotel, Midtown Village

Rooms at the Guild House Hotel offer unique working nooks for writers. / Photograph by Alisha Miranda

Introverts can maximize their creativity with a solo retreat at this 12-room boutique hotel, the former home of the women-only New Century Guild. While you have to book an overnight stay to access the hotel, it’s an adventure: You’ll be immersed in mid-century modern and vintage furnishings in one-of-a-kind workspaces.

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: Each room is an elegant representation of the life and personality of a New Century Guild member, thanks to restoration efforts by Philadelphia-based architecture firm Moto Designshop and female-owned-and-operated ROHE Creative. Make use of the antique secretary desk in the Eliza suite, situated in the Guild’s former library; a desk lamp and inkwell-pen station in the Edith Art Deco suite; or warm cafe-style benches in the Emily and Alice deluxe suites. The dining room, where the club’s “noon rests” were held, is a lovely emerald-green lounge in which to start or end your day.

NOISE LEVEL: Quiet

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free wi-fi.
  • Table, desk and chair in each room.
  • Free coffee from Sip & Sonder, a Black women-owned brand.
  • Free tea from Blushing Wren, a Philadelphia-based, woman-owned business.

The Logan Philadelphia, Center City

Get some work done in the Logan’s Commons. / Photograph courtesy of the Logan Philadelphia

At the Logan, you can take care of business, broker your next deal, or plan that future sponsored event. The former Four Seasons now has an impressive wrap-around first floor with multiple sections, for year-round all-weather workspaces. Bonus: You’re away from the busier parts of Center City but close to chill neighborhoods like Fairmount. 

STYLE & ATMOSPHERE: The Logan takes advantage of the Parkway’s greenery, fountains and museums, but it also offers some unique features: You can view 1,800 artworks throughout the hotel; those in specific areas of the lobby are even available for purchase, and come to the Logan from SpArc Philadelphia, which supports adults with disabilities, and the Portside Arts Center. Call dibs on the Commons Lounge near the bar or the Library boardroom, which fits up to 14 guests and has a pool table, a fireplace, a TV and a private terrace. Or head up to the rooftop to the open-air lounge, Assembly, currently hosting a seasonal tropical-bungalow-inspired pop-up called the Grove. Wedding parties and conference attendees are frequent guests.

NOISE LEVEL: Loud

AMENITIES & PERKS:

  • Free wi-fi.
  • Indoor pool accessible with a spa service reservation. 
  • The Grove at Assembly is open through Labor Day weekend from Sunday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.


https://www.phillymag.com/life-style/work-from-home-hotels/