Recently I had the honor to spend the night at the Ivy Hotel located in midtown Baltimore at 204 East Biddle Street at Calvert. It opened in June of 2015 in a house that was built in 1889. Of course there has been a big expansion of the property since then. Actually The Ivy consists of three buildings.
The building was purchased by local businessman Eddie Brown in 2008. It has 18 rooms, 9 of which are suites. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the entire operation. From the staff to the finely appointed rooms, the public areas and to the attention to design throughout.
I can tell you there was no penny pinching here. For example, on some areas of the floor you’ll find limestone imported from France. The artwork is first class and the murals are magnificent. The front doors are original and the fireplaces add a warm cozy feeling.
The Ivy is the first Relais Chateau Hotel in Maryland. There are about 550 worldwide with about 20% in France. The French do know elegance. And elegant is definitely an adjective to be used here.
To enter you ring a bell, someone collects you, you go into an elevator and exit in an area called the Mansion Bar. And guess what you’ll find here, an open bar accessible anytime. You can also enjoy complimentary High Tea from 2 to 4. And a complimentary full breakfast.
I should mention while there you can take advantage of the spa. I got a tour and was tempted to try a service but I didn’t have time. Basically the services are from head to toe. So that includes pedicures, facials, hair services, manicures, body waxing, make up and more.
During warmer months many people take advantage of the courtyard and veranda. Inside there’s the Library and Billiards Room to spend some leisure time.
Located adjacent to the hotel is Magdalena, a wonderful new restaurant in the city. It’s open Tuesday though Saturday for dinner only. There are four rooms, each distinctive. As an example, you can dine in the wine cellar. The chef changes the menu weekly. When I was there I had the salmon. People do come in for just drinks, but you can certainly eat at the bar. Parking is complimentary (a big deal downtown) and reservations are suggested. This is a no gratuity hotel. That means you don’t have to tip the bellman or the guy who parks and retrieves your car In short, no one. So no fretting on how much to tip.
In short, this is a destination experience. As one of the staff told me, “Checking in is like going to a rich friends house.” Rates run from $475 to $1395. The Ivy is a definite plus for the city, a huge plus!
To make a reservation, call (410) 514-6500. There is no online booking. Check out the beautiful accommodations.