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Sitting area off the lobby at the soon-to-open Ivy Hotel in Baltimore
If you're looking to enjoy a trip to Baltimore while at the same time avoiding the busy, touristy hotels that surround Inner Harbor, the old streets of the Mt. Vernon neighborhood just a few blocks north will boast the city's newest luxury property when the Ivy Hotel opens this June.
The specs of the hotel echo that counter-corporate mentality that one might be looking for when expanding their horizons beyond Inner Harbor. With only 18 rooms - nine suites and nine rooms - it's about as boutique as it gets without calling itself a bed and breakfast. The hotel likens the experience to staying at a private mansion, each room a little different and featuring high-ceilings, a fireplace, hand-carved paneling, and locally designed armoires. Some rooms even have balconies.
Oh we love news like this! Actor Woody Harrelson has a new role...as part owner of the Inn at Black Olive in Baltimore.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Harrelson, along with local financier John Dwyer of Capital Funding Group Inc., each purchased a 50 percent stake in the 12-suite inn, which was in bankruptcy.
Harrelson had visited the Inn a few times while filming Game Change and befriended the owner, Dimitris Spiliadis. The Spiliadis family built the hotel and its reputation, and were asked to stay on as managers under a lease agreement.
Now let’s move on to design. This unpretentious inn is actually LEED Platinum Certified green. It really doesn’t get better than that, and no question, there are high costs associated with reaching sustainable design goals at this level. Of course, the benefits now go to the inn’s new owners in their expected return on energy savings. Nice hotel detective work, Woody.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor, one of the biggest tourist traps on the East Coast and a place that has unfortunately become littered with cookie-cutter attractions and restaurants, may have just received a shot of renegade blood with the opening of the Brookshire Suites Hotel.
The decor of the property, located a block from Inner Harbor, was envisioned by Dawson Design Associates, the brains behind the Hotel Zetta in San Francisco and Hotel 1000 in Seattle. The team turned to local artist Michael Owen of the Baltimore Love Project to deck the walls with Baltimore-inspired street art throughout the lobby and guest rooms. What does that mean? Think portraits of hometown artists like Frank Zappa, Mama Cass Elliott and Adam Duritz, the lead singer of the 90s rock band, the Counting Crows.
Doesn't time fly? We can hardly believe that it's been almost two years since we first started getting excited about the Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible. Now our favorite "hotel fixer" is back for a third series, which takes him to failing hotels in California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Costa Rica.
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This week marks the beginning of baseball season, which means the air seems quite heavy with testosterone lately and beer sales have risen once again. Hotels are getting in on this special time by building special game-watching packages. Here are a few that make us say "Hot Dog!"
Hotel Monaco Baltimore
The “Bro's, O's, and Boh's Opening Weekend” package is designed for Baltimore Orioles fans in town for the April 5th opening day. You'll get 10% discount off the best available room rate, three cold Natty Boh local beers, three cold orange sodas (orange, of course, in tribute to official team colors--orange and black) , and home team goodies. Rooms start at $169 per night. Book online at www.monaco-baltimore.com or call (888) 752-2363 and ask for the ORIOLE rate.
Hotel Marlowe, Boston
Face it, Red Sox fans are falling over themselves in anticipation of the April 8th opening date (how many people will be calling in sick?). So, the "Ahead of the Curve" package is aimed at those anxious to get into Fenway Park, one of the country's oldest and famous ballparks. The hotel's deal includes a stay in deluxe accommodations, four T passes (Lechmere T station is nearby), a six pack of beer and peanuts, non-boozy beverages for children and Cracker Jacks, a complimentary in-room movie, and a baseball-inspired welcome amenity. The package begins at $369. Book online here or call 800-KIMPTON and mention rate code CURVE. Available April 8 – September 30.
Hotel Deals / Super Bowl Hotels / Baltimore Hotels / Boston Hotels / Denver Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Seattle Hotels / → All Tags
The reasons for a post-holiday getaway just keep piling up!
OneTravel.com has a really cool promotion happening throughout the NFL Playoffs called the "Travel Bowl," which offers flash-sales-type hotel deals in the cities where the teams reside. That's the catch: These deals are only valid and available for as long as the city's team remains in the playoffs. So, each week, another city’s deals will no longer be available to claim.
There are great places in play -- Boston, Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco, for example (no disrespect to the others) -- and with so many eye-rolling promotions floating around, we are happy to see something that will give us another reason to root.
We put together some examples below, and you can see them all here. There are nice discounts, but you need to jump on them -- especially if you think their team is going down this weekend!
You want sushi, you order a glass of sake to go with it, right? You ask your waiter or waitress to bring a glass over and you’re done.
Unless you’re at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore’s PABU Japanese restaurant, that is. There, you need to navigate through over 100 different types of premium and super-premium sake. Quelle horreur! What’s a sake neophyte to do?
This is where Tiffany Soto, the restaurant’s Sake Sommelier, comes in. As the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore’s Beverage Director, Tiffany is also a Master Sake Sommelier – one of the few women in the world to earn the coveted title.
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This might make you think twice about ever answering the phone in your hotel room again. A woman staying in a Holiday Inn Express near Baltimore was the victim of a prank caller who, citing a "gas leak," successfully tricked her into using a toilet bowl lid to trigger the sprinkler system, which then caused her room, as well as a few others, to flood.
According to WBAL, firefighters responded to the call on Friday night, assuming there must have been some emergency. Instead, all they found was a woman in a wet hotel room sheepishly holding a toilet bowl lid.
Meanwhile, the prank caller, who called the hotel a few hours later to claim responsibility, is part of a nationwide prankster network that apparently likes to target places like hotels and fast food restaurants. Though we like to believe our readers are too smart to ever fall for a stunt like this, we feel this might be a good time to state the obvious: always check with the Front Desk anytime someone claiming to work for the hotel shows up at your door or starts calling you. Better yet, just don't answer the phone at all—that's what we have cell phones for.
It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.
We're not sure about you, but the first thing we always do when checking into a new hotel room is head for the window, throw open the curtains and take in the view. City views. Sunrise views. Views of the country. It really doesn't matter as long as we're high enough up that cars below turn into little dots on the ground.
And then sometimes, you get stuck with an anti-view like this one. After a prior positive experience getting a free upgrade at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore, we were suddenly confronted with this vista of cinder block, exhaust vents, and medieval-style window slits a mere 20 feet from her window.
Hotel Openings / Four Seasons Hotels / Baltimore Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Technology / → All Tags
When we last checked in with the upcoming Four Seasons Baltimore, we saw that their website was using stock photos of the guest rooms at the Four Seasons Seattle. Yet with the hotel just one week away from opening, we are relieved to see that their guest rooms are all theirs.
Above is a Four Seasons Executive Suite with a harbor view. It sure is pretty with its floor to ceiling windows, sofabed, deep-soaking bathtub, two 40" flat screen LCDs (with another in the bathroom) and get this, a universal phone charger. Hallelujah. We hope more hotels start adding these to their amenities soon.
We couldn't actually make a rezzie online for opening day on November 14 (you can call the hotel at 410-576-5800 to see if there are rooms open) but we did find a room available on November 21 for $359 a night for a city view room.
Looks like we owe you guys some money! Back in December we bet the forthcoming Four Seasons Baltimore would probably open in early 2012 instead of late 2011 but guess what? The hotel is now accepting reservations for November 20...2011.
A city view room is going for $359 a night while the marina view rooms are slightly more at $399 a night. All rooms include complimentary coffee, tea and pastries in the lobby from 5:30 am to 8:00am as well as fresh fruit at check-in and bottled water if you valet your car.
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Ah...such a bummer. We love our Kimpton Hotels for their complimentary wine hour, quirky animal-print bathrobes and free WiFi (for InTouch members) but this view from the Hotel Monaco Baltimore, in the old Baltimore & Ohio Railroad HQ, has us feeling trapped in the dragon's dungeon in Super Mario Brothers. And despite our enthusiasm for Nintendo games, that's not a good thing.
But it's not all doom and gloom at this hotel. The Flickr member also took this shot from the hotel. Things are looking up already. Next up, World 2 underwater!
Rates at the Hotel Monaco start at around $209 a night. Before you book, read our in-depth hotel review, with a video tour, right here.
[Photo: Criminal Intent]