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Having a classic but updated design style is no easy feat, yet The Rittenhouse manages to do it with class. A summer 2013 renovation has given the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel a calming palette of tans and wood tones with clean-lined, but welcoming furniture. The addition of five new huge Park Suites (they range from 450 to 1,330 square feet) is a highlight. The third-floor suites have a private hallway entrance, park views and modern design. Interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud (whose work includes Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Claridge’s and The Berkeley in London) added oak floors and stained gray anigre millwork, wool carpets, silk curtains, four-poster burnt oak beds, kitchens filled with vein-cut eramosa marble and silver travertine bathrooms.
A new addition to the Philadelphia hotel is The Library Bar. Champalimaud also created this sleek, sophisticated but classic space. The dark-paneled-wood nook sports herringbone-patterned stained oak floors, an etched glass map of old Philadelphia behind the bar, a limestone fireplace, a dazzling black chandelier and, naturally, a selection of books. Gold leather barstools sit along a white-marble-topped Makassar ebony bar.
The Mary Cassatt Tea Room received a refresh as well. The new look was influenced by the room’s namesake artist, who was the sole U.S. painter to be invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists in 1879. The light-wood-filled Tea Room is airy, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to a terrace. The outdoor area lets you enjoy your tea amid ivy-covered walls while a fountain gurgles in the background.