Pittsburgh has been undergoing a renaissance in recent years due to the arrival of tech and innovative companies as well as the continued growth of the medical industry and university communities.
Dancing in tandem with this revival, Pittsburgh has recently been hailed as one of the country’s most livable cities and one of the country’s best food cities. Chefs are enriching the city’s food scene while still maintaining its roots.
What this means is that you can grab some pierogis made by Eastern European grandmas in a church basement; or head to Smallman Galley, a chef incubator restaurant, and try a deconstructed pierogi plate at Brunois; or even check out the pierogis at Apteka, a vegan Eastern European restaurant, for three completely different takes on a local favorite.
Pittsburgh’s revival has boosted the city’s tourism as the new found growth attracts visitors from the world over. To accommodate, bed & breakfasts and boutique hotels in Pittsburgh have popped up to provide a stylish and comfortable stay for discerning design-loving visitors.
Here, Jeremy Jones of Discover the Burgh shares with us his picks for eight the coolest hotels in Pittsburgh.
Shadyside is a neighborhood full of huge historic mansions, high-end shopping, bars, restaurants, and cafes. Take a stroll down Walnut Street to do some window shopping, grab a cheap Thai noodle bowl from Noodlehead (this one is cash only!), kick back with a pour over coffee at the third-wave Arriviste, and finish with a scoop of decadent salted caramel ice cream at Millie’s, one of Pittsburgh’s most-loved ice cream shops.
Shadyside Inn All SuitesSee it on trivago!
Centrally located on the border between Shadyside and Squirrel Hill with close proximity to the university and hospital areas, the boutique Shadyside Inn All Suites hotel features rooms with a contemporary design. Whether you choose a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom suite, each room has its own kitchenette. Hotel amenities include free electric car charging and a complimentary local shuttle.
For those with furry companions, bring them along as the hotel is dog-friendly and even has its own dog park. If you’re looking for something to do with your pooch, check out nearby dog-friendly East End Brewery and grab a draft of one of their two-dozen seasonal rotations or explore the wooded trails in Schenley Park.
Mansions on FifthSee it on trivago!
The former residence of Willis McCook, Henry Clay Frick’s attorney, the 20,000 square-foot Mansion on Fifth was built in the Tudor and Elizabethan Revivalist styles in the early 1900s. It has served various purposes over the years until it was restored and turned into this boutique hotel in 2010.
Relive history as you relax on the front veranda that faces Millionaires’ Row, a stretch of Fifth Avenue that was once home to Pittsburgh’s steel magnates. Or step back in time in the hotel’s Oak Room Pub, a bar designed in the style of an early 1900s dining club.
The Inn on Negley
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The Inn on Negley is a B&B located in a restored Victorian-style house that has eight unique rooms complete with period-appropriate furniture and antiques. Enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception every evening, or pamper yourself with an in-room massage.
For a trip back in time to the Victorian era, check out the high tea offered in the afternoon that includes a huge selection of sandwiches, pastries, sweets, and, of course, a well-curated tea menu that spans from Darjeeling to oolong to herbals.
Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood is eclectic and funky with attractions like the installation art museum The Mattress Factory; Randyland, the most colorful house in Pittsburgh; and Bicycle Heaven, the world’s largest bicycle museum and bike shop. The North Side is also a great place for sports fans as it is home to Heinz Field and PNC Park- beautiful inside on game day and outside while taking a walk or bike ride on the stunning North Shore river trail complete with iconic city views. (Pick up a short rental at the Healthy Ride kiosks around town for a quick trip out!)
The PriorySee it on trivago!
The Priory is housed in a former Benedictine Monastery that was restored in the mid-1980s in a 19th-century style. Room options include standards, suites, and a fourth-story apartment-style suite that has spectacular views of the Pittsburgh skyline. In the summer, The Priory hosts monthly wine parties in their courtyard featuring wines from around the world paired with small plates created by The Priory chefs.
Another special hotel feature is the Monks’ Bar, the smallest bar in Pennsylvania with just 14 seats and a house made shrub collection to give their drinks an added kick. Other amenities include a fitness center, business center, and free parking. Bikers will appreciate the indoor and outdoor bike storage areas and the easy access to Pittsburgh’s riverfront bike trail, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. If you don’t have your own bike you can rent one from the city’s bike share program, Healthy Ride, which has stations all around the city.
The Parador Inn
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The Parador Inn is a Caribbean-themed B&B that is housed in an 1870s mansion. The building has been lovingly restored, and rooms feature details like reading nooks, fireplaces, kitchenettes, views of the courtyard, and hand-painted murals. The common areas include lots of nooks for relaxing like the library, parlor, and sunroom which boasts tropical plants and a waterfall.
The beautifully landscaped garden is an added bonus outdoor escape. The B&B is located on Western Avenue which has a small business district that includes one of the city’s best Thai restaurants, Nicky’s, and a charming little bookshop, City Books. For those looking to stay fit while traveling, check out the nearby Northside Yoga studio, or take a jog in historic Allegheny Commons Park.
Although South Side is best known for its large number of bars, ranging from regional chains like Fatheads to local favorites like the cocktail speakeasy Acacia, there are plenty of other things to do in this neighborhood that runs parallel to the Monongahela River including jogging, biking, or walking the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. There are also a number of good music venues in South Side like the Rex Theater and Club Café, and vintage and consignment shops dot the neighborhood.
The Morning Glory InnSee it on trivago!
Located in an Italianate-style townhouse built in 1862, Morning Glory Inn is a popular wedding spot and romantic getaway. Some rooms include details like four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs and fireplaces. The peaceful outdoor courtyard is a great spot to enjoy the complimentary breakfast or relax with a good book.
For a unique Pittsburgh experience that’s also a good work out, try exploring the network of staircases that run up the South Side Slopes just a few blocks from the hotel on 18th St. Some of these staircases even have great views of the downtown skyline.
Pittsburgh’s downtown has had perhaps some of the most exciting changes in recent years out of all of the city’s neighborhoods. There are new restaurants in the cultural district including those led by chef Richard DeShantz (like tako and Butcher and the Rye, with their walls of tequila and whiskey respectively), as well as improvements to public spaces like Market Square and Point State Park that are perfect for watching the day go by.
Hotel MonacoSee it on trivago!
The modern Kimpton Hotel Monaco downtown hotel has rooms with bold colors and unique design touches like bright green headboards and playful birdcage lamps. A rooftop biergarten open seasonally provides views of the surrounding skyline and can serve as an introduction to a few of the more than two dozen craft breweries in the city.
A highly acclaimed restaurant, The Commoner, is located on the first floor of the hotel. Some of the special touches at Hotel Monaco include a hosted nightly wine hour, yoga mats in the room, and a complimentary bike rental.
East Liberty has undergone massive redevelopment in the past few years, making it seem like a new neighborhood altogether, and is now home to new hotels, condos, shops, and restaurants.
A few historic architectural gems remain, though, including the East Liberty Presbyterian Church and a hundred-year-old YMCA building that now houses the Ace Hotel- a Pittsburgh favorite.
The Ace HotelView on trivago!
Those with an eye for design will love the retro and minimalist bed quilts, radios, and window seats in the rooms at the Ace Hotel. Music lovers will fall for the turntables and acoustic guitars found in the suites. Start your day right with a gourmet coffee from the lobby coffee bar, or enjoy a memorable tavern style dinner at the hotel’s trendy Whitfield restaurant.
Whether you’re looking to stay in a converted YMCA, an Italianate-style townhouse, a Tudor mansion, or even a former Benedictine Monastery, Pittsburgh has distinctive boutique hotel and B&B options for every style. Now you just have to get here to experience it all!
Feature image courtesy of Joshua Peacock, Unsplash