The first micro-hotel in Philadelphia, Pod Philly’s 234 guestrooms average just 180 square feet of space—but that doesn’t mean they feel cramped. The spaces are optimized for efficiency, with each design element serving a specific purpose. Hooks line the walls so there’s always a place for coats, bags, and other personal items, and strategically placed shelves allow guests to unpack as soon as they enter the space. In the 18 larger, studio-style guestrooms with window seating for guests who want to see the city from a bird’s-eye view. Sara Duffy, senior interiors associate for Stonehill Taylor, the firm responsible for the Pod Philly guestroom design, says, “Our design aesthetic works off the pod concept where the guestroom is supposed to offer a moment of ease and Zen before going out into the city. We approached the rooms as a very calming experience.”


The gloss black painted metal of the bed frames plays on the idea of a more industrial and minimalist space. “By using a clean black finish we gave the bunk beds a more classic and slick look,” adds Duffy.



Connectivity for those sleeping in the top bunk was also important to the designers. “There are places to plug in all around the room on both sides of the beds and by the bathrooms, and there are convenience outlets for the cleaning staff, too. We had to make sure our guests were connected and that the design was functional,” Duffy says.

Pod Philly


“One of the coolest features of the rooms is that we exposed and celebrated the concrete ceiling rather than cover it up,” Duffy says. “You can see the weep holes that were put in when the concrete was extracted from its mold with water as well as the metal joints holding the slabs together. We love the raw look and feel, and so we highlighted the ceiling with cove lighting all around the perimeter.”


Many elements in the room have dual purposes—like the nightstand is also a safe. Duffy adds that the rooms’ upholstered seating benches “have a hard side panel so you can put your phone or a glass of water there. Then there’s a small table that you can pull in front of it and use either for additional space, as a bedside table, or as a desk.”



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Robin McLaughlin is digital editor of LODGING.