Wednesday, February 21, 2018


{One of the stylishly appointed rooms in Philadelphia's Lokal Hotel }

I'm finally back with a new addition to my "On My Radar" post series. I'm veering slightly off course from the "brand feature" style of the previous stories because I am currently obsessed with a micro-but-awesome travel trend, usually referred to as invisible service hotels. And by "micro" I mean that so far in the US, I only know of two, but they happen to be in two of my favorite cities, Philadelphia and Nashville!

The idea behind these invisible service hotels is that they offer the amenities of a hotel with the independence and "cool factor" of a great Airbnb find. Essentially, these hotels don't have traditional on-site staff or even a front desk, but do offer the kinds of amenities that young, hip travelers are looking for—Sonos soundbars, iPads with access to "room service" apps and completely Instagram-worthy interiors.

Sounds right up your alley doesn't it? I couldn't agree more. Here's what you need to know about these hip hotels that just might inspire you to finally book that trip to Nash or Philly and follow my travel guides down to the letter... 

You probably already know that Nashville is one of the top travel destinations in the country right now, one that's full of foodie-level restaurants, more aspiring musicians than they know what to do with, and a friendly atmosphere that will hook you in immediately. I stayed with my friend when I visited last year, but if I needed accommodations elsewhere, The 404 is probably the first place I'd go. They offer simply a king suite room or a king suite with a loft (there are only 4 rooms total), and is located in the (very trendy) Gulch neighborhood. 

When the weather permits, Nashville is a super-walkable city, and The 404 is in a prime spot to access everything from the honkey tonk bars on Broadway to all those acclaimed restaurants you've read about from yours truly and of course, Conde Nast Traveler.

The rooms are accessed with a code you receive via email when you book your room, and even though there's no "on site" staff, housekeeping will come daily and help keep things neat and clean. The rooms also each have an on-site parking spot, plus little amenities like a Nespresso machine, Turkish towel bathrobes, slippers and bougie Malin + Goetz bath products. Rooms start around $250 a night.

Ah, Philly. I meet people from the area here in New York all the time, and many of them seem rather shocked when I start effusing about how much I love that city. Despite being slightly salty about the person who introduced me to America's first capital (you can read about him here, if you care), I have retained a serious love for the history, walkability, and charm of Philadelphia.

The Lokal Hotel is an example of that charm—set in Old City, is now at the top of my list for accommodations on my next trip. It has gotten a ton of press for the "invisible service" part of the experience, but is also gorgeously appointed, and the six unique units function more like stylish apartments than hotel rooms. Lokal's goal is to help you experience Philadelphia like, you guessed it, a local. They want you to feel like you live there—without losing the adventure of visiting. Sounds pretty good to me! Oh, and if this whole invisible service thing sounds a bit daunting to you, Lokal will send someone to help you check in if you ask. Rooms start at about $215 a night.

Feel like taking a weekend getaway yet? Me too.


  1. Thanks for featuring us and Philly! We love The 404 as well and they were an inspiration to us! We have not stayed there yet, but we have eaten there and it was amazing! We forgot about offering to help people with check-in. We haven't had a single person take us up on that yet, but we do take people's luggage early for them sometimes...

  2. Thank you for sharing. I just want to let you know that I really like your blog.

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