Concierge.com's insider take:
Originally opened in 1904 as the Bellevue-Stratford, this Center City hotel was nicknamed the "Grand Dame of Broad Street" and welcomed such eminences as Katharine Hepburn and J.P. Morgan. When American Legion conventioneers gathered here in 1976 fell ill with what later became known as Legionnaires' disease, the hotel gained infamy and closed three years later. The aging beauty languished for nearly two decades, passing from one hotel chain to the next until it landed in the Hyatt stable in 1996. It's no longer the grandest quarters in town (that honor goes to the Rittenhouse), but empty nesters and business types still relish the traditional grandeur. All guest rooms were renovated in 2002, but still have early 20th-century molding, as well as marble bathrooms. Room service comes from the new-American XIX Restaurant, but city-center views through the lush dining room's giant arched windows make booking a table a much grander option. For entertainment, the Kimmel Center is less than a block away. Shops on the first floor, such as Williams-Sonoma and Tiffany & Co., and the three-floor Sporting Club (with exercise machines as well as basketball, squash, and racquetball courts—all free to hotel guests) provide ample opportunity to give your wallet or your body a workout.
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