The Hotel Revival won't officially open in Mount Vernon until May 3, but some people already are trickling through the doors and booking small gathering spaces for business and personal events.
Those running the 107-room boutique hotel hope to give the travelers a feel for Baltimore.
"We want it to have a neighborhood feel," said Beth Brainard, general manager of the hotel, which was the Peabody Court Wyndham on Monument Street until it closed in 2016. "We like to think we are unique and not like a big-box brand."
This will be the hotel's niche, as it's the newest in a line of small and mid-sized hotels that have opened in the downtown area or are planned for the city in recent years.
The rooms are filled with art, about half created by local artists. The signs are painted by a local artist. There will be locally made jewelry, bow ties and other items sold in a lobby store. The head chef is from Baltimore and will develop menus based on local growers and other sources for private events and two restaurants, including one on the top floor called Topside with expansive views of the city. The restaurant and another called Square Meal are open to the public.
About 40 percent of those working in the hotel were hired through the mayor's office and a local employment group.
The Evening Sun
Joie de Vivre, a San Francisco-based boutique hotel manager billed the property as "affordable luxury," with room rates in the $179 to $279 rage. The brand is part of Colorado-based Two Roads Hospitality, and operates hotels and resorts in California, Chicago, New Orleans and New York City. Denver-based nuovoRE was the project's developer.
Brainard hopes the local touches will help the hotel stand out from name brands in the Inner Harbor.
There are now 8,875 rooms in the city core, with 488 rooms under construction and 718 planned through 2023, according to the Downtown Partnership. That would be a nearly 14 percent increase if all the rooms are built.
Other recent openings include the Marriott Delta Hotel with 150 rooms on Redwood Street, the La Quinta Hotel with 42 rooms on Saratoga Street and the Staybridge Suites with 101 rooms on Commerce Street.
The partnership's annual report showed that last year occupancy was 67.3 percent downtown, just edging out the national rate of about 65.9 percent, according to Smith Travel Research. There were 10.6 million overnight visitors to Baltimore in in 2016, according to data collected by Visit Baltimore.