Philliver’s Travels


I’ve got to tell you, that although the Logan Hotel is within walking distance of Love Park where the iconic square Love sculpture lives, I didn’t love the Logan Hotel. The Logan Hotel, is a Hilton Hotel in their “Curio” line of hotels. The Logan Hotel used to be The Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, so I had high hopes for this trip. Apparently being a Hilton Curio hotel means kitschy decorating and dark hallways. (If you’d like to see some pictures of the artsy decor click HERE)

I’m going to go with the negatives first:

On Sundays and Mondays there is no food or drink available in the hotel. Nothing. The in-house restaurants and bars are closed. They don’t even have a pantry where you can grab a snack. I didn’t know this before booking the hotel and as I was coming in on Monday, I was hoping to maybe get a bite to eat and have a glass of wine after a long day of work. I had to walk down the street to have my needs met.

The hallways are so dark that if I was walking down a street and saw an alleyway this dark, I would run the other way.

A glass of house wine at the hotel bar is $18 minimum. If the basic “house” wine is $18 a glass, imagine how much the good stuff must be.

The Cafe downstairs doesn’t open until 7:00 a.m. So much for grabbing a quick bite before leaving for an early meeting.

Need or want housekeeping? They don’t automatically do it, and they don’t tell you when you check in that you need to ask for housekeeping if you want it.

There is no business center. I had to ask the front desk to make copies for me.

They don’t have their own parking. If you valet park, they’ll charge you $58 a day to drive your car around the corner to a public parking garage. If you park yourself at the same garage around the corner, it costs $18.

That paints a bleak picture initially, but there are some positives too. I’ll lay them out and you can decide if the negatives outweigh the positives.

  • I had a big beautiful room with a great view.
  • They have a rooftop bar. I’m a sucker for a rooftop bar/restaurant. 
  • It’s located in a great spot. Easy walking distance to Love Park, The Rocky Balboa Museum and other attractions.
  • Nice swimming pool and workout room.
  • For what is supposed to be a high end type hotel it had a moderate price tag of $177 (plus taxes and fees) for the nights I booked. It’s likely more expensive on the weekend.

That’s my review of The Logan Hotel Philadelphia. I give it 2.5 Philly’s out of 5. Hilton Hotels, I hope you read this and fix some of the issues because I really like the location.

Safe travel everybody! ~Phil

So recently I stayed in Philadelphia for work, and I did so during the NBA playoffs when the Philadelphia 76’ers were still alive. When I was in Philly, unfortunately the Sixers were playing in Atlanta. Philadelphia is renowned for some of the most loyal and most crazy sports fans in the country. Although I couldn’t go to a game in person, I decided that I wanted to do the next best thing, watch a playoff game in a Philly sports bar with real hard core Philly sports fans. As it turned out, my hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia Center City (click to read the Philliver’s review) was just 100 yards from Bar-ly.

When I arrived at my hotel, from driving in the area I had figured out that my hotel was smack dab right in the middle of Philly’s ‘Chinatown’. I’m not calling it Chinatown, Philadelphia is. They have signs that say it.

I’m kidding!  It won’t really work from a picture, but how many of you tried it before you read this? Anyway, I didn’t know that Bar-ly was a Chinese sports bar until I walked in, and I couldn’t have been happier. Half of the menu is Chinese and Vietnamese. How great is that? The fact that this place is right in Chinatown means the food is legit.

Don’t you get tired of bar food sometimes? How many wings can you possibly eat without wondering if there’s something better somewhere? What if that something better was eating Chinese food, drinking an awesome local craft beer and watching your team on one of 37 televisions?

I heartily recommend Bar-ly if you’re in Philadelphia Center City. As a sports bar I give 4.5 out of 5 Philly’s. Great food, great atmosphere and a great selection of craft beers. The reason for the 4.5 instead of a full 5, is that they only take cash, quite possibly to fund the illegal casino downstairs. That may or may not be true, but you should read my story about it, An Amish Buggy in Chinatown, over on The Phil Factor.

Safe travels! ~Phil

Yes, those lonely flip flops (🎵stepped on a pop top🎵)  and towel right next to the “the hotel hot tub” last weekend were mine. Admittedly, I’m a hot tub guy. Yes, I know saying that brings to mind images of a guy with gold chains and a red velour robe that he drops just before stepping into the hot tub au naturel. Trust me, I’m not that guy. But I’d bet that Will Farrell is.

Picture courtesy of NBC and Saturday Night Live

Let’s be honest, under the best conditions, hotel hot tubs are a dicey proposition aren’t they? Not knowing how often they’re cleaned and chlorinated makes me wonder if I’m stepping into a bouillabaisse of bodily fluids. But, sometimes I just can’t ignore the seductive siren song of those 104 degree bubbles.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have some standards. I always avoid the indoor hotel hot tub. If it’s indoors I imagine people leaving the hotel bar with drinks in hand and slipping into the indoor hot tub and doing God knows what.

The outdoor hotel hot tub is another matter altogether. It’s out in the open where 200 people can see it from their rooms constantly, so I have a little more confidence that it hasn’t been anyone’s personal petri dish. Also, if I want to use the hotel hot tub, I do it in the morning, imagining that no one has used it in hours and the chlorine has killed off whatever might be in there.

Hot Tub Time Machine

Last Saturday I was on vacation in Florida and all my conditions were met. The hot tub was out in the open, it was a bright, sunny day and I headed down there at 9:00 a.m. The hot tub was empty. I walked by to find a lounge chair to leave my t-shirt and Kindle on. Upon walking back to the hot tub, to my horror I found two people in the hot tub. It was as if they had magically materialized there in the 30 seconds I had my back turned. But the worst part was that not only was this couple in the hot tub, the were in the hot tub if you know what I mean. She was sitting and he was kneeling between her legs facing her and they were full on making out, with tongue! At 9:00 in the morning!

I was on vacation and would not be deterred. I aimed my lounge chair directly at the hot tub, sat down and waited. Not like a creepy psychopath seething with inner rage, but more like a nice normal guy pretending to read a magazine while seething with inner rage.

Bob’s Burgers-Fox Television

After about ten minutes my low level creepy stalking paid off. They got out of the hot tub and began to walk away. I launched myself from the lounge chair and flip flopped over to the hot tub as quickly as possible. But on the way there, the impossible happened, I was distracted. I was approaching the hot tub as the couple was walking away and I couldn’t help but notice the woman’s caboose. But I didn’t notice it in the  “Ooh! That’s a nice derriere” kind of way. I noticed it in the “Yikes that’s a lot of ass showing at the hotel pool when there’s kids around and people have just eaten breakfast” kind of way.

Don’t peg me as a prude just yet. What I noticed was that it wasn’t apparent as to whether she was wearing a thong or if she had the world’s worst wedgie (www for short). When I decided that it was the worlds worst wedgie, I wondered if it was that way when she got in the hot tub or if their amorous activities had led to that. Of course that thought led me to wonder what amorous activities I might not have been able to see from my lounge chair vantage point.

So after pondering that for nearly seven seconds, I hopped into the hot tub anyway and found a jet that hit that tight spot in my lower back just right. As I began to relax, to my abject terror, they came back. And they got in the hot tub with me! Having zero interest in how they created the www the first time, I fled that hot tub like it was on fire AND full of snakes.

Fortunately, the next day I was able to have a nice solo soak. Have a great Saturday and safe travel! ~Phil

The first and most enduring memory of my trip to Walt Disney World with my kids 15 years ago is of the shuttle bus ride from the Orlando airport to the hotel.

Prior to my trip I had thought that the entertainment wouldn’t start until we actually arrived at Walt Disney World (aka The Costliest Place on Earth). Thanks to the gratuitous disbursement of alcoholic beverages by the airline, the early entertainment was provided by a representative of a Pittsburgh chemical company who flew to Orlando on “business.” It’s a good thing he took a shuttle bus because I’m sure that after the flight Mr. Pittsburgh had no business being behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. He barely had any business being allowed in a motor vehicle. The fumes he was giving off could have been lethal if we couldn’t have opened the windows.

Not a picture of me

His partner was a bit more inhibited, but seemed to be, to the endless amusement of Mr. Pittsburgh, an avid cell phone person. Mr. Pittsburgh’s partner was either trying to call his wife, or trying to sell his motorcycle, (which I overheard is listed on cyclevantage.com). Each time the more sober of the two was cut off from his wife on the cell phone, Mr. Pittsburgh would repeatedly shout, “Oooo…Ooooo Call her back! Oooo…Ooooo Call her back!” (He was attempting a poor imitation of the Gwen Stefani song Hollaback)

At one point he became so agitated in his Rainman-like chanting that he literally began banging his head on the window of the van. Our driver, Jose, was very alarmed by this.

Sensing Jose’s concern Mr. Pittsburgh would occasionally shout, “Hey Jose! How much longer?” He must have asked this at least 4 times in a 30 minute span. After I suggested that my kids watch the ponds and rivers by the road for alligators, Mr. Pittsburgh shouted, “Hey Jose! Are there alligators or crocodiles here?” The one other apparently sober passenger who wasn’t part of my family, a woman travelling alone, pointed to Mr. Pittsburgh and whispered deadpan, “I wish there were alligators here.”

15 years later that still makes me laugh. Sometimes it’s the things you don’t plan for on vacation that are the most memorable. As you read this on Saturday morning, this time next Saturday I’ll be again heading to Walt Disney World. My kids may have outgrown Disney World, but my wife has not.

Have a great weekend and safe travels! ~Phil