The words “extended stay” gives many the shudders—evoking business trips hiding under the guise of family vacations, memories of a friend’s painful divorce process, and pretty generic-looking rooms. But now that rentals like Airbnb have become an attractive alternative for lengthy stays, long-term hotels are stepping up their game, too (to be clear, in America; international cities like London already have mastered the luxury extended-stay apartment—we would move to Ham Yard Hotel for a summer in a heartbeat). The relatively new ROOST Apartment Hotels (with two locations) has perhaps cracked the perfect combination to an ideal stay in Philadelphia: comfortable, fully-furnished apartments; a can’t-be-beat location; and amenities like a free bike share and La Colombe-curated coffee program. What they’re trying to do is take all the best aspects of Airbnb and leave out the sketchy parts—for visitors who need that additional sense of dependability, while making themselves feel at home. Way better than living out of your suitcase for a week because the latest boutique hotel doesn’t believe in “closets.” We checked out ROOST Rittenhouse, which opened this past winter, and is in fact less than 10-minute walk away from their debut location, ROOST Midtown.
ROOST Rittenhouse has 27 residences, ranging from studios to even duplex penthouse suites. We stayed in the “One Bedroom Den”: one bathroom, one bedroom, a living room/dining area and a small reading nook (though we were secretly tipped off that this was the decked out “showroom” version, which could mean the other One Bedroom Dens are little less nice). Rather than the chasing the chic and glamor of the new Kelly Wearstler-designed Hollywood Proper Residences, ROOST Apartment Hotel leans more excited-to-go-to-my-weekend condo. The interior design is not too fancy or overdone: just homey, clean and bright without being too stark or minimal. An eclectic mix of contemporary furniture and the latest tech that matched well and made the stay very comfortable. Which should be the goal of any extended-stay hotel: letting you to keep to your normal routine as close as possible.
The apartment is a beautiful contemporary design showroom in itself. Custom light fixtures from Brooklyn-based Workstead (who did Rivertown Lodge head-to-toe), Patricia Urquiola’s vintage American car-inspired Rendondo armchair, a mix of high-end lamps including Michael Anastassiades for FLOS, Casamidy’s beautiful writing desks and chairs made by Mexican craftspeople, vintage Moroccan rugs from ABC Carpet and more.
The long wooden dining table, designed by Moving Mountains, has a few seats, but also has a stunning bench; the latter helps strips away the formality of that particularly traditional furniture piece (some dining room tables look so ceremoniously off-putting, even in homey cabins). For entertainment, ROOST covers the staples: cable TV, reading material like Monocle, and a Revo Supersystem to stream Spotify playlists from your phone—while you’re cooking in the kitchen. The kitchen has pretty much everything you need to make dinner (utensils, spatulas, knives, pans, pots, dishes, cocktails shaker etc) but there’s no pantry with seasonings or anything so BYO salt and pepper if you’re making a proper meal.
ROOST’s Coffee Program, curated by La Colombe, also beats the socks off your five-star hotel’s Nespresso machine. The apartment is stocked with a fresh tin of whole La Colombe beans, a Baratza Virtuoso grinder, a Hario drip scale, water kettle and a Chemex to make the perfect pourover; but there’s a drip coffee machine for lazy days, too. And don’t feel like you’re missing out on the local coffee scene by indulging a cup in-room. Though La Colombe is becoming a global force in the artisanal coffee scene today, its first location opened in 1994 in Rittenhouse Square—two blocks away. The company is headquartered in Philadelphia and the flagship café is still going strong; they even offer draft latte on tap.
And when you’re ready to venture out: the 24/7 manned front desk is super helpful and friendly. One of the amenities we made most use of was the bike share (we didn’t stay long enough to use the washer and dryer, unfortunately). With no cost or time limit, we rode the bikes out all day—cycling along the scenic, paved Schuylkill River trail, which goes directly to all the museums, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the Barnes Foundation.
For the one bedroom, monthly rates start from $165 per night; weekly rates from $235 per night at ROOST Rittenhouse. Coming soon to the ground floor lobby (complete with fireplace) is a wine bar and basement raw bar cocktail lounge, both from Chef Chris Painter of the new Fishtown hotspot Wm. Mulherin’s Sons; the restaurant is under the same Method Hospitality group as ROOST.
Images by Kevin Serai