I’ve stayed at Kimpton properties in the past and have always had a great experience at them, so was pleasantly surprised when we learned we had an opportunity to review Kimpton property Hotel Monaco in Baltimore. Not only is its 202-room boutique hotel centrally located, but it is housed in the historic B&O Railroad Headquarters in downtown Baltimore near the beautiful Inner Harbor Waterfront.
Apparently at one time, this very same 1906 Beaux Arts building buzzed with the comings and goings of the gilded age’s power players. Because of its location and edgy, chic sophistication, we think its an ideal hotel for business travelers as well as for an urban romantic getaway — we love the super deep bathtubs for soothing those aching muscles after taking on the city by foot. It is near the Baltimore Convention Center, National Aquarium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Johns Hopkins University. They offer over 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including a grand ballroom, which is great for a corporate event or a wedding.
Inside, it’s ornate, classical, established, artsy and traditional elegant all wrapped into one — we loved the ground floor as you entered however you need to climb a gorgeous winding staircase (or be boring and take the elevator) to get to the second floor where the lobby is housed.
We didn’t take advantage of their custom public bikes you can use for exploring but we wished we had — it’s a great way to get around the city during the warmer months. Like other Kimpton properties I have stayed in, they offer the $10 Raid the Bar credit for Kimpton Karma Rewards members, of which I am. ; Another cool thing that Kimpton properties do, is provide a yoga mat in every room free of charge for your use — a godsend for the yogis among you.
Don‘t miss the Tiffany stained glass windows and the other historical details throughout the hotel. One thing we noticed before we even made it to the room, was their over-the-top genuine hospitality, which includes an unusual warmth you don’t always find at an urban hotel. Trust me, I travel a lot.
The manager and check-in staff were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and while we were hosted and they did know we were coming, the warmth and attention to detail was something you can’t carve up overnight. Along with four-star amenities, they’re also big on playful perks. Each morning they offer complimentary morning coffee and tea service in their stylish lobby and between 5 and 6 daily, they have a hosted wine hour. Traveling with the kids? They offer spacious guestrooms with bunk beds and Xbox that sleep up to 6 guests, a godsend for those traveling with small kids in tow. Now wait for the top 3 features we loved the most in addition to the super deep soaking tubs in the very spacious bathrooms.
Photo credit: Booked.net.
Gold Fish on Demand
While this sounds quirky and when we first read it, we thought it was a joke, sure enough, if you call the front desk and ask for a gold fish, they’ll deliver one to your room. We named ours Henry and having him join in our experience was FUN! Meet our little guy! Don’t be surprised if you randomly see bowls of gold fish in various spots around the hotel, even on the elevator! They call this “program” Guppy Love and we think it’s a fabulous idea!
<p>While most Kimpton properties are known for their zany robes, there were a few styles at this property including LEOPARD. I fell in love with this robe, so much so that we now have one at home. That said, I failed to take a photo of me lounging around in it in the room. There are a ton of reasons to stay at Hotel Monaco, but if you love great design, go for the fabulous robes alone!
When you travel as much as we do, it’s important to stay in shape, and so having a great gym on-site is key. For an urban property, they had plenty of options for both cardio and weights.
Now for a surprise we didn’t expect — massage in your room. While it’s a 4 star property and has such fine touches, that it’s more like a 4+, they don’t have a spa on-site. That said, they work with Relax & Rejuvenate (www.relaxandrejuvenate.com) who will come in and give you a massage in your hotel room. How sweet is that? I loved this concept since I could slip into that deep soaking bath tub right after my massage to completely relax before showing for dinner. Perfecto!!
The hotel rooms themselves are elegant — ask for a corner room suite so you have a great view, and a separate space for watching TV or working. This boutique hotel artfully combines upscale contemporary and design with historical architecture in a unique way.
Another thing we loved despite the fact that it didn’t affect us this trip, is that they’re completely pet friendly. So many hotels have a boat load of restrictions if you do bring a pet or an astronomical fee, but this gem of a find in the heart of Baltimore has no pet fees or restrictions – WOW!
Of course, wifi is free, they have in-room dining (order a crab cake from B&O and ask Michael to make it for you) and they use C.O. Bigelow bath products. The colors are soft but rich – warm golds, vibrant blues, brilliant lacquer red and touches of royal purple and greens with beds draped in luxurious Frette linens.
Striking headboards with built-in sconces are a focal point of each bed, along with a red lacquer desk. Uniquely creative is their bedside tables that resemble steamer trunks and they have antique style mirrors with scalloped edges and drawer knobs with a screen print of the B&O railroad map. You feel a sense of old world railroad history as you meander through the hotel, which is also evident in the rooms themselves. So elegantly done –– I love the mosaic tiles in the bathrooms as well which have hand-crafted mirrors with tortoise shell scalloped edges, which are designed to depict 1920’s glamour.
In addition to standard rooms and upgraded views, there are 26 Mediterranean Suites. The Majestic Suite is 1,400 square feet, has a separate dining room and living area — it’s a great place to do a small event, since there are sweeping views of downtown Baltimore through 8 foot windows and 12 foot ceilings.
Nearby, you can take a lovely walk through the center of town and get a feel for old Baltimore at its best. We LOVE LOVE LOVE this hotel and would gladly return. Two thumps and a hats off to the Hotel Monaco staff for over-the-top service!
2 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Note: we were hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.