Philly Loews: 'Business hotel for the 21st century'


alerie Ferguson, regional vice president and managing director of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, calls her property "the business hotel of the 21st century."

"We are not a staid property. World music and jazz are played in the lobby. There is live jazz every week. We have a 15,000-square-foot fitness center with an indoor pool, strength-training and cardiovascular equipment and a nicely appointed locker room. We didn't reconfigure guest rooms into a health club."

Ferguson came to Philadelphia in 1998 to oversee the conversion of the city's landmark PSFS building (headquarters of the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society) into a Loews property.

The Loews Philadelphia celebrated its first anniversary in April.

"It's exciting to see this building reopen. [It has] so much history and character," she said.

"[Despite] the economy going every [which] way, our performance has been great. We are alive and kicking. Business is good."

The Loews Philadelphia's core guests are convention and business travelers, according to Ferguson.

However, she expects the hotel to attract more leisure travelers and an increase in weekend business when the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Constitution Center make their debuts.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, set to open in December, will be home to the city's resident orchestra and ballet companies as well as visiting companies from around the world.

The Constitution Center is scheduled to open Sept. 17, 2002, the 215th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

The hotel has 583 guest rooms, including 55 units on the concierge level, which also has a private lounge and library. There are 36 suites.

All guest rooms have cordless two-line phones, high-speed Internet access, fax/ printers, minibars, coffeemakers and electronic safes.

In terms of meetings space, the Loews Philadelphia has more than 40,000 square feet.

Its Millennium Ballroom offers 10,000 square feet, the Regency Ballroom has 9,200 square feet and Commonwealth Hall has 6,200.

There are 12 freestanding function rooms that can be divided into 23 separate rooms.

The hotel's 33rd floor was restored to its original look and contains the Howe and Lescaze meeting rooms, which are named after the building's architects.

There are floor-to-ceiling windows and a private terrace with panoramic views of the city.

On that same floor is the Roberts Boardroom, named after the bank's first depositor.

All of the meeting rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet access.

The fitness center occupies the fifth floor, and the services of a personal trainer, a two-land lap pool, a cardiovascular area, a fitness-and-strength area, spa treatment rooms, a sauna and a steam room are available.

The Loews Philadelphia also offers 24-hour room service, a business center and valet parking.

Dining options at the hotel are Restaurant at PSFS, which serves American cuisine, and Teller's Bar and Lounge.

The hotel is located across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and within walking distance of City Hall, Independence Park and other attractions.

For additional information on the Loews Philadelphia, call (215) 627-1200.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI