The holidays are for family. But while we can squeeze folks around the table for turkey, or into the living room to unwrap presents, sometimes they just have to sleep somewhere else. Here's a sampling of some area hotels that could a good fit your relatives.
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
200 International Drive; 410-576-5800; fourseasons.com/baltimore
For guests who want elegance and refinement and aren't afraid to reach into their wallets to find it, you'll want to point them straight to Baltimore's newest hotel.
The city has been waiting a long time for bragging rights to a Four Seasons, and this one, planted squarely in the city's fashionable Harbor East neighborhood, seems designed to please. Complimentary shoeshines. Decadent spa possibilities. Turndown service. Rain showers and soaking tubs.
The location, mere steps from the water, is also surrounded by upscale shopping, dining and historic Fells Point.
Rates: Start at $295 a night, but Friday and Saturday night specials are offered through February.
Tremont Plaza Hotel
222 St. Paul Place; 800-579-7915; tremontplazahotel.com
Though any tourist can easily find the way to the Inner Harbor, the Tremont is perched between downtown and Baltimore's historic Mount Vernon neighborhood — a chance for visitors to see a bit more than the casual visitor might.
Guests can stroll up Charles Street to find some of the city's most popular bars and restaurants. Heading south, they're just a short walk from the Inner Harbor attractions. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle service to locations within two miles.
Anyone staying there would also want to sneak a peak at the adjoining Tremont Grand, one of the most elaborate historic renovations ever undertaken in Baltimore. The former Masonic Temple is now home to a conference and event space.
Rates: Starting at $119 dollars the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Hotel Brexton
868 Park Ave.; 443-478-2100; brextonhotel.com
How could any history buff not jump at the chance to stay at a hotel once home to Wallis Warfield, who went on to add a "Simpson" to her name, marry the former Edward VIII of England and become the Duchess of Windsor.
The hotel is also one of the coolest buildings in town, with its odd shape and turrets, spires and dormers. Opened in 1891 as a residential hotel, in modern times the Brexton fell into extreme disrepair before it was rescued, renovated and reopened in 2010.
Now it's a boutique hotel with flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and a touch the duchess herself might have enjoyed — afternoon tea.
Rates: Thanksgiving week starting at $170 a night. Christmas week starting at $145.
Hotel Monaco Baltimore
2 N. Charles St.; 443-692-6170; monaco-baltimore.com
When stars and musicians come to Baltimore, they tend to stay here, in a hotel that attempts to balance "cool" with "convenient."
There are the period charms of the building, built in the early 1900s as headquarters for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, fun touches like the afternoon wine hours in the lobby and the Italian bed linens. But Hotel Monaco is also famously friendly to both children and four-legged friends.
Kids get welcome gifts and child-size animal-print robes and their own comment cards to speak their minds. Pets, meanwhile, get welcome treats and in-room bowls and beds. If you don't have your own furry one, the hotel will lend guests goldfish to keep them company during their stay.
Rates: Starting at $129 a night during Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks. Plus, from now through Dec. 30, the hotel is offering a "Toast the Season" promotion, where for $1 more than the regular room rate, guests get two complimentary cocktails a night, complimentary hot cocoa in the morning, hot toddies during the evening wine hour and 20 percent off in-room spa treatments.
The Inn Crowd
Scarborough Fair B&B
801 S. Charles St.; 410-837-0010; scarboroughfairbandb.com
If there's no room at your house, a bed-and-breakfast could be the next best thing when it comes to coziness and personal touches.
At Scarborough Fair in Federal Hill, each room is different — with homey appointments like wrought-iron bed frames, fireplaces and antiques. The innkeepers give guests a reason to get up in the mornings, too — home-cooked breakfasts featuring dishes like blueberry ricotta pancakes and rosemary sweet potato waffles. They're also known for putting out fresh-baked treats.
Rates: Starting at $199 a night. The inn is offering a "Comfort & Joy" special through March 31, where guests get 20 percent off room rates.
The Inn at Black Olive
803 S. Caroline St.; 443-681-6316 or go to theblackolive.com
One of the city's newer lodging spots, The Inn at Black Olive is also one of the greenest.
The family behind the well-regarded fish restaurant The Black Olive took pains to make sure the inn, which opened last year, was as kind to the environment as possible. A geothermal well system provides heat, rooms feature sustainable wood furnishings and vegetable-based paints, and a "green roof" reduces rainwater runoff.
But the inn offers luxury, too — California king beds with organic mattresses, house-made toiletries of sea salt and herbs, and radiant-heated floors. Guests are treated to an organic breakfasts.
Rates: Starting at $290 a night during Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks
The Family Guy
Pier 5 Hotel
711 Eastern Ave.; 410.539.2000; harbormagic.com
Guests with kids in tow want to be able to keep the family busy while keeping things convenient. Pier 5 is right in the middle of some of Baltimore's favorite family attractions — the National Aquarium, Port Discovery and the Maryland Science Center. Even better, the hotel offers packages including most of those venues.
Families can have fun in the hotel, too, with the free daily "Crabby Hour," where people can try their hand at making crab treats, and also the free Saturday afternoon chocolate event featuring chocolate fountains and things to dip into them.
Rates: Starting at $179 a night during Thanksgiving week, $199 during Christmas.