Originally the Bellevue Stratford Hotel, the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue is a luxury hotel located in a 1904-built structure that has long been a Philadelphia landmark. During its heyday, the hotel was described as the most luxurious in the nation, with Tiffany and Lalique glass and a grand marble and hand-worked iron staircase gracing the lobby area.
The Bellevue Stratford earned national attention in 1976 as the breeding ground for Legionnaires Disease when 34 American Legion members died and 221 were sickened during a convention at the hotel, all struck with pneumonia-like symptoms. The episode ruined the hotel and its reputation and it closed six months later. The bacteria responsible for the disease was later found in the cooling water of the hotel's air-conditioning system, which had spread throughout the hotel via the air ducts.
After reopening in 1979, the hotel changed hands several times until it became part of the Park Hyatt chain of Hyatt boutique hotels in 1996. Today, the hotel that once boasted 1,019 rooms now includes just 172 guest rooms including 12 suites. More than 150 of the rooms at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia are non-smoking and 13 of them include balconies or patios with excellent views of the city. Amenities in the guest rooms include large flat screen TVs, bathrobes, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, DVD players, electronic door locks, and three telephones per room. These rooms are some of the most spacious in the city. Suites include an elegant sitting room, a roomy work area, and additional upgrades.
Additional amenities at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia include the Sporting Club at the Bellevue. Not your usual hotel fitness facility, the Sporting Club was recently ranked number two among hotel health clubs in the United States. Guests reach the club via an enclosed skybridge and will find cardiovascular and strength training equipment, an indoor running track, racquetball and squash courts, a basketball gym, yoga and meditation rooms, a pilates studio, boxing facilities, lockers, whirlpools, steam rooms, and saunas. Access to the club is complimentary for guests of the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.
The XIX (Nineteen) Restaurant is the hotel's signature eatery. Situated at the top of the hotel, its menu features mostly seafood but also other "new American'' dishes. There's also a raw bar and an extensive wine list. Reservations are suggested as the restaurant is popular with locals and fills up quickly, especially on weekends. There's also a XIX Caf‚ which offers casual, all-day dining. The caf‚ is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also serves an elegant afternoon tea. The XIX Bar is warm and inviting and serves signature cocktails, brews, wine, and hors d'oeuvres.
For business guests, the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue offers about 30,000 square feet of meeting space including state-of-the-art meeting rooms as well as larger venues. In-house audio visual services are available and there's a 24-hour business center on site for those last minute needs.
Weddings at the Park Hyatt are unforgettable. The elegance of the old building adds beauty to any ceremony or reception. The Grand Ballroom with its two-tiered balcony is the ideal place for a gala party and the outdoor Conservatory is excellent for an al fresco event.
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