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5 Ways to Relax and Soak Up Culture at Charm City’s Top Boutique Hotels

These urban retreats offer the perfect mix of exploration and escape for a well-balanced trip in Baltimore.

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The Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

A hub for art and culture, steeped in history, and home to diverse communities who are reimaging the city with vibrant culinary, craft beer, and other creative scenes, Baltimore is a stimulating, under-the-radar destination when an urban vacation is calling. Plus, a spate of top-notch accommodation options means you really can have it all. Filled with local dining and design, and located nearby cultural attractions, the city’s boutique hotels provide a convenient and stylish homebase for travelers looking to balance their day with mindful, rejuvenating experiences, as well as sightseeing.

From free bikes to explore Baltimore’s greatest attractions and lobby dance parties to personal trainers and five-star spas, these thoughtful, one-of-a-kind properties offer their guests exclusive experiences that nourish body, mind, and spirit. They’re also perfect jumping-off points in accessible, walkable neighborhoods to give travelers a better taste of everything Baltimore offers, such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, streets paved with Belgian Block in Fell’s Point, and the refined architectural details of Mount Vernon. Here are the places to stay to relax and recharge—with all the ways they can help you have a balanced and enriching trip in Charm City.

Find your Zen in historic Mount Vernon

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The Ivy Hotel

Located in an 1880s mansion boasting ornate rooms decked out with 400-count sheets, fireplaces, and heated bathroom floors, The Ivy Hotel is a Black-owned Relais & Chateaux property that suits travelers looking for a little (or a lot) of comfort. Play a lively game of pool in the Music Room, pour yourself a glass of fine Scotch at the complimentary Mansion Bar, and stop for afternoon tea in the Conservatory. For a truly dreamy experience, visit the jewel-box spa on the second floor, where you can choose from a menu of massages, facials, and body wraps, including the Ultimate Zen, an ultra-hydrating full-body exfoliation, body wrap, and hot-oil scalp treatment followed by a shea butter massage.

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Bloom’s, a cocktail lounge in the new Ulysses Hotel

Photo credit: Brett Wood

Just outside the hotel’s doors you’ll discover Mount Vernon, packed with some of Baltimore’s most important and breathtaking landmarks such as Mount Vernon Place and the Washington Monument, which is arguably older than its Washington D.C. counterpart. The latest boutique hotel to join the neighborhood is Ulysses from the chic Ash NYC group, featuring heritage-steeped design including multiple references to one of the city’s most iconic residents, John Waters. Newly opened and named for a ship that brought immigrants to Baltimore around the turn of the century and the famous novel (which turned 100 earlier this year), the property promises “strong drinks and soft beds.”

Uncover inspiration in Baltimore’s cultural center

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One of Hotel Revival’s rooms

Jason Varney

At Revival, Baltimore’s only boutique art hotel standing on the former site of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s first exhibition in 1923, guests can enrich their creative side with amenities like rooms decorated with pieces curated by the local Paradigm Gallery + Studio and in-room vinyl record collections. When you’re feeling social, sip a handcrafted cocktail, nibble small plates, sing karaoke in one of three private rooms, and snap a pic using the “magic jukebox” at the speakeasy-style B-Side cocktail lounge. Plus, you can dance along to the lobby DJ on weekends. Or enjoy seasonal drinks and dinner while taking in the incredible views of the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood and beyond from the Garden Room, a space within the rooftop bar and restaurant Topside that’s filled with lush, tropical plants by a local florist.

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The library at Hotel Indigo Baltimore

Nearby another place to stay and the site of the city’s first YMCA, Hotel Indigo Baltimore offers an oasis for book lovers with custom library-themed wallpaper as a nod to Baltimore’s reputation as a literary city and an onsite restaurant, Poets Modern Cocktails & Eats. To see more of Baltimore’s artsy side, visit the Walters Art Museum, which houses a global collection of art, textiles, and artifacts spanning seven millennia, peruse six floors of more than 300,000 books at the epic George Peabody Library, or hear the world-renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

De-stress and exercise in the city’s green spaces

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Beaux-Arts architecture awaits at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor.

Guests staying at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor, a stunning property found in the beautiful 1906 Beaux-Arts building that once served as the B&O Railroad headquarters, can find tranquility with amenities like in-room yoga mats, a 24-hour fitness center with personal trainers, and spacious rooms with luxurious soaking tubs. The award-winning hotel also provides travelers with free PUBLIC bikes to explore the city and boost feel-good endorphins.

Take a spin around and tour Baltimore’s more than 4,000 acres of parkland. Federal Hill Park offers panoramic views of Inner Harbor. And don’t miss Fort McHenry, famous for its successful defense of the city during the Battle of Baltimore that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” where you can bike along the water’s edge and fort and rest on the sprawling lawn with a picnic.

Refuel and relax - with water views

Feed body and soul at Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, a historic 1914 property built on Baltimore’s Recreation Pier which once welcomed thousands of immigrants to the United States in the historic district known as Fell’s Point. Spend your day poolside on the deck perched at the end of the Pier with spectacular views of the harbor and marina, a chilled bottle of Möet & Chandon at hand. Savor fine Italian cooking at Rec Pier Chop House, helmed by award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini. Sip locally crafted whiskey in the intimate Cannon Room, named for cannons found during excavation of the site, and simply relax in the tranquility of the airy semi-enclosed courtyard featuring a 12-foot horse sculpture by Fernando Botero.

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A table with a view at the Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point

At nearby Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point you’ll find Cindy Lou’s Fish House, looking out over the famed century-old Domino Sugar refinery and surrounded by gorgeous water views, thanks to its location on the Patapsco River and Inner Harbor. The kitchen turns out playful cocktails as well as Southern-inspired seafood like lobster po’ boys and cornmeal fried river trout. Another option for those looking to stay in this laidback area with a neighborhood feel is Admiral Fell Inn, a storied hotel that’s served as a home to boarding sailors and shipbuilders and still maintains its old-world charm within the waterfront neighborhood.

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The rooftop infinity pool at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore

Nearby in Harbor East, the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore boasts a rooftop infinity pool, Harley Pasternak-designed fitness facility with personal trainers, and in-room Pelotons. The highlight though is the five-star spa complete with a Finnish sauna and aromatherapy steam room, as well as reiki, chakra balancing, sound healing and other wellness services. Melt away any remaining tension by booking a private yacht and gliding along the iconic Chesapeake Bay.

Looking for more inspiration for your next trip to Baltimore? Check out Baltimore.org/escape.

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