This 19th-century mansion in Philadelphia is a cozy, musically inspired bed and breakfast — hotels above par
Located on the corner of the Philadelphia Building Akwaba Nan intimate bed and breakfast within a 19th-century mansion featuring rooms and suites inspired by the music of such famous Philadelphians as Teddy Pendergrass, Jill Scott, and The Roots.
A large wooden porch with white pillars surrounds the house in a way that attracts you. When you enter Akwaba (which means welcome in Ghanaian, Twi), there is an overwhelming sense of peace and an immediate feeling of home. The foyer seems to walk into a cozy Southern space, complete with a library, dining room, living room and large backyard with a bit of classic East Coast home design.
In the living room area, where you can check in with your B&B host (and get a complimentary welcome wine), there’s a plush sofa and glass coffee table surrounded by wood-paneled walls with green and orange accents and a fireplace, all under a beautiful crystal chandelier. The lid and edges are made from racks of classic vinyl records by famous jazz musicians, a touch that makes Aquaba feel like a curated step back in time.
Days at Awkwaaba begin in the dining room decorated with white cloth tables, jazz music wafting through the air, and large windows letting in the perfect amount of morning sunlight. The chef prepares and serves delicious fresh coffee, orange juice, and breakfast, including scrambled eggs topped with fresh dill, crispy potatoes, and baked honey cornbread with strawberries. Up the wooden stairs are six spacious en-suite rooms, the suites can accommodate twenty guests. Many have a seating area, fireplaces and writing desks. Each room has a different theme, so choose based on how you want your stay to feel or the musical energy you want to evoke.
In the two-room “Swoon Suite,” inspired by singer Teddy Pendergrass, the room has a dramatic vibe decorated in taupe tones and sweeping red velvet tones. The sleeping area has a calm aura with all-white furnishings and silver finishes. “Like It’s Golden,” inspired by neo-soul singer Jill Scott, is airy and regal with white and gold decor, wood elements, and, like many rooms, a mantle, antique mirror and a stunning chandelier. Akwaaba’s most comprehensive offering, The Roots Retreat is an apartment for up to 7 featuring natural wood and leather décor, patterned details and a full kitchen.
Overall, Akwaaba is a unique, luxurious accommodation and premium bed and breakfast option in Philadelphia.
location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
evaluation: Four stars
Phoebe: A homey, jazz-inspired bed and breakfast for those who prefer an intimate stay
means of comfort: Daily chef-prepared breakfast, personal concierge, parking, flat-screen TVs, library, complimentary wine, and free Wi-Fi
Food + drink: Located at the front of the house, Akwaaba’s dining area is filled with natural light and views of the street. The food is excellent, with a daily breakfast homemade by the in-house chef. In the afternoon, light refreshments are available for guests.
Our favorite thing about the hotel? The best part of Akwaaba is really the service. As you would expect for a bed and breakfast, the staff goes above and beyond to make the stay comfortable, delicious and memorable. Personal concierge services are a point of contact that helps get to know the property and surrounding area from a true local’s perspective.
Which neighborhood res? Visit the Pennsylvania Museum or the Institute of Contemporary Art, try the Federal Reserve donuts, and enjoy brunch at Franklin’s Table Food Hall
What is nearby? Drexel University, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Zoo, and many restaurants
Pricing: Room rates start at $150 per night
Rooms: 6 rooms and suites
Nearest airport: Philadelphia International Airport