3 -min. read

There’s no mistaking that restaurants are a critical element of modern hotels’ appeal and chance of success. Big-name chefs have been attached to some of the most exciting new hotels in recent years, and some restaurants located at hotels (there’s a difference between that and saying “hotel restaurant”) have been breeding grounds for new talent. Recently, there are even more interesting moves in this realm, with the opening of Le Sirenuse Miami—a restaurant from the owners of a longtime hot list hotel, Le Sirenuse in Positano—at The Four Seasons Surf Club; and now, the opening of a small, four-room hotel above the popular Italian restaurant Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood.

The restaurant, with chef Chris Painter at the helm, was named one of America’s Best New Restaurants 2016 by Bon Appetit, so the hotel is starting out with a strong foundation. Also on its side is the once-working class Fishtown, which like Williamsburg and countless other neighborhoods before it, is becoming a hub of artistic, musical and culinary action. Then there’s the fact that the hotel and restaurant are located in a former 19th-century whiskey blending and bottling factory.

It would be easy to roll your eyes at the sound of it all, right? Arched windows, original millwork and signage, thoughtfully converted into a modern space. But take a look at the images of Wm. Mulherin’s hotel rooms and cynicism transforms into #homeinspo goals in two seconds flat.

First of all, we love the small batch feel of a four-room hotel, and how its perch above the restaurant brings to mind the old pub accommodations (the Aussies and English will get what we mean.) Each room’s design is unique, but it’s all in line with the décor of the restaurant, a mix of old and new with a Nordic influence in things like the custom-made solid wood furniture by Tim Lewis Studio. Vintage rugs, lots of plants and cool lighting fixtures make each nook and cranny of Wm. Mulherin’s immediately Insta-worthy. Relics from the building’s past also make it into the rooms—including a claw foot bathtub and an old pulley system.

The rooms range in size from 575 to 810 square feet and they all have fully equipped kitchens (although it would be a shame to skip the pizza and pasta downstairs.) There are Kings and Queens, and all rooms have walk-in rainfall showers and Aesop bath amenities.

The list of the hotel’s design highlights and collaborations is, not surprisingly, long, but we will give a shout-out to the artwork by photographer Michael Comte (via Lumas Gallery) and the hand-made “sonographic consoles” from Conowingo Americas. These mid-century modern-looking audio centers are home to Mulherin’s Lending Library, which includes vinyl records, magazines and books. There’s similarly cool programming in the form of the Cocktail Kit (all the gear you need to play mixologist) and the coffee programme curated by La Colombe. Compared to all of this, Apple TVs, flatscreens and free Wi-Fi all sounds a bit hum-drum—but we’re glad they’re included, too.

Rather than recount each and every other cool detail at Wm. Mulherin’s, we recommend checking in or at least dropping by to explore and ask the staff to give you the rundown. Support the local businesses, have those deep conversations! It’s what modern travel is all about.

Rates at Wm. Mulherin’s start at $275 a night for a Queen and $425 a night for a King.

[All photos: Matthew Williams]


Rebecca Wallwork
Rebecca Wallwork is a writer based in Miami Beach, although you’ll also find her checking out the newest hotels in New York City. She is a former contributing editor to HotelChatter, and loves dogs and books as much as she does hotels.

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