Tag Archives: pittsburgh hotel review

Hotel Review Series: Omni William Penn, Pittsburgh, PA

3 Oct

Photo Taken from the Omni William Penn website

I am copying one of my blogging inspirations.  You know, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman?  Well, if you don’t know of her—-you should.  She has some amazing recipes and beautiful photography–and an odd sense of humor.  She  will make you laugh.  She will make you hungry.  She might make you gain ten pounds.  Actually, right now I am making her cinnamon roll recipe and I can’t wait until they are finished.

Anyway, Ree does a series on the fancy hotel rooms that she visits while out promoting her books.

I thought I might add a similar feature to my little blog.  I spend a lot of time researching the hotels that I stay in to get the best deal or just to make sure I am staying in a place that I will like.  And, it seems that I am often in a hotel in some location or another. So, I thought I would pass this information on to you all—-to give you some advice for when you plan your travel.

Bear in mind, I don’t usually get to stay in fancy hotels.  Usually, I am with the kids and trying to make sure that they are happy and occupied (and not in close proximity to anything breakable).  But sometimes, I am out on business and I try to find the best hotel for my money and really enjoy that little luxury.

A few weeks ago, I was in Pittsburgh for a conference  at the Convention Center.  I knew I wanted to stay fairly close to the Convention Center but the Westin (which is attached) was full–which was fine by me.  I didn’t want to stay in a Convention hotel anyway–they seem so stuffy and sterile.  The historic Omni William Penn was available and right down the street–I was very pleased –it was so pretty.

If you want more information about the hotel, read the following interview, in which I interview myself about my stay.

Was the lobby beautiful?

Photo taken from the Omni William Penn Website

The hotel lobby really is beautiful.  You feel like an old-time movie star when you walk through–I only wished I had a beautiful 1960’s cocktail gown to wear down to the lobby bar..  If you stay here, you must sit on the round couch in the lobby—can you see it in the picture?    You feel so special and fancy!

It is weird—I instantly felt better everytime I walked through the lobby–even if I was wearing my old running clothes.

I also highly suggest drinking a Cosmopolitan in the lobby bar.  It just feels right—and you won’t even question the $12 price tag.

Can you describe the rooms for me?

The rooms are small.  I guess that is what you expect from a historic hotel and they were perfect for me, traveling alone.  And they would be perfect for a couple that likes each other very much and has lots to do on the town.  However, if you are planning on traveling with more than two—it will feel very cramped.   The rooms are decorated very nicely…..a historic feel to it.  Classy antique.  And the linens are very nice.  A pretty white comforter.  A nice comfy bed with lots of pillows.  I love hotel beds!

Doesn't everyone throw all their possesions out on the hotel bed and then take photos?

Originally, they gave me a room with a view.  A view into another room.  The way the building was built makes it seem like a good portion of their rooms face other rooms.  A bit of a big city feel but I wanted more.  I asked at the front desk if I could be moved to a room with a better view and they obliged.  The second room was even a bit smaller but had one window that faced the city.  Much better.

And the bathroom?


Really, nothing special there.  The regular old bathroom stuff.  One of these days, I am going to stay in a hotel with a spectacular bathroom……I hope.

Did you order room service?

Why yes, yes I did.  I always like to order room service on one night that I am alone in a hotel.  I don’t know why–it think it feels like I am spoiling myself.  I ordered a chicken sandwich with french fries and a glass of red wine.  Extravagant–I know.  This is what they delivered:

Do you see the size of this thing?  It was as big (or maybe bigger) than my head.  Way too large for any normal person to eat alone.  The size of it alone kind of grossed me out…….(See my other post on Primanti’s for more on portion size in Pittsburgh)

My wine, however, could have been larger and I wouldn’t have complained—you gotta have priorities.

What about the area near the hotel?

The Omni William Penn was very close to the convention center, Macy’s (the oldest and possibly oddest Macy’s I’ve ever been to), and the close enough to Market Square, the river and sports stadiums, and the Strip District.  I was able to walk to all of them—but bear in mind, I like to walk–especially given a new city to explore.

Oh, also very close was a very old church.  Everything seemed so old in Pittsburgh–which is nice.  I walked around the church and snapped some unexciting photos of the cemetery (with tombstones dated to 1828) and the Gothic architecture.  I even went inside to see the amazing stained glass–but my little iphone camera did not do it justice.  (I really need another camera.)

What about the food and drink?  Anything besides the $12 Cosmopolitan worth mentioning?

Yes,  the coffee in the hotel room was very bad and the coffee at my conference was even worse.   So, I was very thankful for the Starbucks located in the Omni William Penn.  Also, there is a Brueggers Bagels located on the backside of the hotel which was  good for a quick breakfast—-I love bagels!

I had also been told that any visitors to Pittsburgh must eat at Primanti’s which was located very close to the hotel.  I’ve done a separate review on Primanti’s and you can read that here.

Should you stay at the Omni William Penn?

If you are travelling alone or with one other person, love the historic charm of old hotels and want to feel special as you walk through the lobby–the Omni William Penn is the place for you.  If you have more than two travellers, I would look elsewhere, like the nearby Doubletree Hotel-which boasts the largest rooms in Pittsburgh.

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