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Omni William Penn Hotel 4.0

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Central location in downtown Pittsburgh
  • Walk to Point State Park in 15 minutes
  • Classically styled rooms with plush beds and flat-screen TVs
  • Suites with separate bedrooms are available
  • Fine dining Terrace Room plus Tap Room sports bar
  • Wonderful afternoon tea service 
  • Live jazz in Palm Court plus prohibition-era cocktails in Speakeasy Lounge
  • Large 24-hour fitness room; massages on request
  • Ornate, expansive ballrooms ideal for special events
  • Free Wi-Fi in lobby

Cons

  • Fee for in-room Wi-Fi
  • Some rooms are small and look onto adjacent wall
  • Breakfast not included in room rates
  • Expensive valet-only parking

Bottom Line

The Omni William Penn is a historic four-pearl hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, within walking distance of most major downtown attractions. Although some of the 597 rooms are a little small, they blend modern and classic decor alongside alongside contemporary features like flat-screen TVs. Public spaces and interiors here verge on the opulent -- the coffered ceiling and sparkling chandelier in the hotel's lobby are particularly impressive -- and the hotel's restaurants and bars are equally swank. This is popular choice among visiting celebrities and politicians, and it's the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The nearby Marriott City Center is better equipped for business groups with easier highway access, but rooms at the Omni William Penn are generally cheaper.

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Scene

Historic and stately hotel with classic charm and opulent interiors

The Penn is housed in what's arguably one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic structures, a red brick building that dates back to 1916 and once counted nearly 1,000 rooms. Guests enter a spacious entryway with spectacularly coffered ceilings and intricately detailed chandeliers. This leads to a red-carpeted marble staircase that opens onto a stunner of a lobby. All around, vintage and antique chairs and couches are set on ornate rugs, while gorgeous period drapes hang from the towering windows. There are original photos of the hotel and architectural plans framed in the hallways and the entire hotel is decorated with a nod to the 1920s, including hand-painted ceilings, high arched doorways, etched walls, and elaborate molding. While the lobby is grand, it can be busy with guests and visitors checking email since it's the only area in the hotel with free Wi-Fi. The hotel has been frequented by famous politicians, celebrities, and musicians, and it's also the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Guests these days range from couples to business travelers and wedding parties.

Location

Central downtown location, near restaurants, offices, and area attractions

Map of Omni William Penn Hotel

The hotel is situated in downtown Pittsburgh, directly across from the Steel Plaza T Station and Mellon Square Park. It's surrounded by corporate office buildings and banks, and is only four blocks from the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. Market Square is a 10-minute walk from the hotel while iconic Point State Park, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers is just five minutes farther. Duquesne University and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center are a 10-minute walk away. The Strip, a popular area of artisanal food vendors and boutiques is a five-minute drive from the hotel and is a lively spot on Saturday mornings. It's also a 10-minute drive to the Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz Field, and PNC Park. Pittsburgh International Airport is less than a 30-minute drive from the hotel, or about an hour via public transportation.

Rooms

Elegant and classic rooms with modern amenities, plus suites with separate bedrooms

While rooms do not have the same exuberant antique vibe of the hotel's common areas, they do possess an undeniable classic appeal, with old-school elegance and sophistication. Patterns are employed in smart ways, from the carpets to the decorative pillows and subtle wallpaper, while elaborately framed mirrors add a bit of pizzazz. The dressers, cabinets, and nightstands are all made from solid cherry wood, though we did spot a bit of wear on some pieces. Some of the hotel's Deluxe Rooms can be a bit snug, and start at just 180 square feet of space (17 square meters), though suites are spacious, with the top-of-the-line Presidential Suite offering a staggering 2,500 square feet (232 square meters) of space for guests who have the cash to spend. Suites also have separate bedrooms and living rooms, while the State Suite and Presidential Suite offer proper dining areas and kitchenettes. 

All rooms feature modern comforts like large flat-screen TVs, ironing facilities, and coffeemakers. Wi-Fi is subject to an extra daily charge. Beds are plush and comfortable, covered in high-quality linens and elegant bedspreads. While some rooms have fine city views, others only have direct views of the walls and windows of a neighboring building. Bathrooms are fairly run-of-the-mill -- even in higher-category rooms -- with tan marble tiling, shower/tub combos, thick robes, and handsome granite countertops. 

Features

Fun cocktails at Speakeasy, live jazz, and 24-hour fitness center

This large hotel offers multiple on-site restaurants, including Prohibition-era cocktails in The Speakeasy Lounge and gourmet traditional American fare in the Terrace Room. There’s a great beer selection in the Tap Room, plus live jazz music weekly in Palm Court. There's also a bagel shop and a Starbucks on-site as well as free coffee and flavored water in the lobby every morning. The hotel offers 24-hour room service and serves a popular afternoon tea.

A 24-hour fitness center is a nice bonus. It's a big and bright space that has a somewhat bizarre classic style, though there's a nice selection of modern weight and cardio equipment. The hotel also offers in-room fitness kits that include mats, dumbbells, kettle balls, and stretch cords. Massages can be arranged on request. For business travelers and wedding hosts, there are several beautiful meeting rooms and a massive, spectacular ballroom with hanging tapestries, chandeliers, decorated walls, and a giant, hand-painted mural on the ceiling. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby, but costs extra in rooms. Valet parking is available for a nightly charge; alternatively, there are parking garages in the area where guests might be able to get better rates. Small pets are allowed with advanced notice for an extra fee.

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Address

530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-1820, United States

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