Baltimore: home of the Hon, the final resting place of Poe, muse of John Waters, and the place where you can find the best Maryland crab cake on earth. It's called Charm City for good reason. But it's not such a charming place if you don't have a place to sleep off those dozen or so crabs and Natty Bohs. Let us take you through all the hotels the Greatest City in America (another moniker, heavily contested, though we'll let you be the judge) has to offer. Pretend you're James Bond at one of the super-suave luxury chains, or get to know one of the many historic neighborhoods at a more intimate but equally great boutique hotel. From Harbor East to Mount Vernon, there are plenty of worthy options to find more-than-hospitable shelter.
Note: All amenities listed are free. We believe that if something is supposed to be a creature comfort, it must be comfortable, and paying $15 for internet access most certainly is not.
200 International Drive, (410) 576-5800,fourseasons.com/baltimore
Stay classy while living it up at this luxurious hotel in Harbor East. Relax in the spa after lounging on the wet deck, and be assured that you're at the poshest place in town.
Amenities: outdoor pool, wet deck, fitness center, whirlpool, pet-friendly.
300 Light St., (410) 528-1234, baltimore.hyatt.com
It's not every day you get the chance to enjoy the view of the waterway at the Inner Harbor while sitting in an urban contemporary paradise. You might even pull yourself away to make the short trip to the destination neighborhoods close by.
Amenities: outdoor pool, fitness center, business center.
Inn at the Black Olive
803 S. Caroline St., (443) 681-6316,theblackolive.com/Inn
This environmentalist's haven has thought of everything. From what you sleep in to what you eat, everything is pure and certified organic. Also great is that it's in walking distance to everything you want to see in the city, so there's no need to drive anywhere.
Amenities: ergonomic mattresses, heated floors, in-room spa, movie library.
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel
550 Light St., (410) 234-0550, sonesta.com/baltimore
Cultivate yourself with Sonesta's contemporary art collection, or be one with nature in the bee apiary. Either way, you'll feel like royalty in this elegant, European-style hotel.
Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center, library, pet-friendly.
Hampton Inn and Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor
131 E. Redwood St., (410) 539-7888, hamptoninn1.hilton.com
Located in the Inner Harbor, this place is great for a weekend getaway or sports outing. They've got all their bases covered, with the Sports Legends Museum, M&T Bank Stadium, and Babe Ruth's birthplace all close enough to walk to, and views of Camden Yards and Oriole Park from the patio.
Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center.
Inn and Spa at the Colonnade
4 W. University Parkway, (410) 235-5400, colonnadebaltimore.com
Close to Johns Hopkins University's beautiful Homewood Campus and the Baltimore Museum of Art. If you stay here, you can pretend you're on the set of The Social Network at Hopkins, where it was filmed, and then get your dose of post- Impressionist culture at the home of the world-famous Cone Collection, all within walking distance.
Amenities: fitness center, pet-friendly rooms.
Peabody Court Hotel
612 Cathedral St., (410) 727-7101, peabodycourthotel.com
Right across from the parks of historic Mount Vernon, the Walter's Art Museum, and the Peabody Conservatory, the Peabody Court takes very seriously its mission to make your stay in Charm City special. The 6-foot crystal chandelier in the lobby and the period furnishings and original artworks come together to make your time inside the hotel great, and their friendly and knowledgeable staff can give perfect suggestions on exactly where to go and what to do outside of it. And the hotel bar is so good that even locals hang there.
Amenities: wifi, fitness center, pet-friendly.
4 East Madison Inn
4 E. Madison St., (410) 332-0880, 4eastmadisoninn.com
Stepping into this Mount Vernon bed and breakfast is like entering the 1840s, only with high-speed internet access. It's gorgeous and sumptuous, and they didn't forget to include modern comforts. After a stroll around the historic neighborhood, you can glide up the elegant marble stairs or take the elevator up to your impeccably furnished suite.
Amenities: wifi, breakfast.
1840s Carrollton Inn
50 Albemarle St., (410) 385-1840, 1840scarrolltoninn.com
Right on the edge of Little Italy, this slice of the 19th century is made of authentic, interconnected rowhouses surrounding a central courtyard. The interior is lush and full of fireplaces, marble mantles, king-size beds, and fine art, the perfect place to kick back and relax after dessert at Vaccaro's or a night on the town.
Amenities: wifi, in-room fireplaces, whirlpool baths, complimentary breakfast.
Admiral Fell Inn
888 S. Broadway, (410) 522-7380, harbormagic.com/admiralfell
A building dating back to the 1770s, Spanish tapas, and access to everything the waterfront has to offer? What more could you want? Maybe something scary, so they even offer a special deal on a local ghost tour-maybe you'll see one, if Poe's ghost from next door at the Horse You Came in On saloon hasn't already stopped over to say "Nevermore."
Amenities: continental breakfast, pet-friendly.
868 Park Ave., (443) 478-2100, brextonhotel.com
The iconic red-brick turrets of this historic landmark house spacious and comfortable rooms right in the center of Mount Vernon. The impressive spiral staircase takes you right up the turrets for some great views of the city.
Amenities: continental breakfast, wine-and-cheese reception, afternoon tea, pet-friendly.
2 N. Charles St., (443) 692-6170, monaco-baltimore.com
Classy tiger-striped robes and great food at the B&O American Brasserie make you feel as if the Gilded Age never ended in this environmentally friendly hotel.
Amenities: wifi, complimentary wine hour, pet-friendly, eco-friendly, fitness center, tiger-striped robes.
Inn at 2920
2920 Elliott St., (410) 342-4450, theinnat2920.com
It's adult swim all the time at this Canton inn. No kids allowed, and with good reason: It used to be the site of a tavern and brothel beloved by sailors of the 1880s. Now you can access all that Canton and Fells Point has to offer while enjoying the aptly named Bordello Room suite when you get back from a night on the town.
Amenities: wifi, breakfast, and parking.
Mount Vernon Hotel
24 W. Franklin St., (410) 727-2000, mountvernonbaltimore.com
Close to all the great places to eat in Mount Vernon as well as a baby grand piano in the lobby-what more could you want? If your answer is sumptuous rooms and bilevel lofts, then this historic boutique hotel is the choice for you.
Amenities: wifi, hot breakfast.
Scarborough Fair Bed and Breakfast
801 S. Charles St., (410) 837-0010, scarboroughfairbandb.com
A complimentary breakfast of chocolate-and-bacon waffles, homemade toffee, and sea salt-coffee toffee bars is enough make you to want to stay at this B&B forever. You can work it off using the complimentary pass to the gym, or just lounge in the hot tub until it's time for the evening wine and cheese. Or, you know, see the attractions of Federal Hill.
Amenities: wifi, parking, breakfast, and wine and cheese.
17 W. Mulberry St., (410) 576-8880, hiusa.org/baltimore
When was the last time you got to stay in an old mansion for cheap? The price alone makes it perfect for any traveler, but Hi-Baltimore has so much more to offer than that. Free pancake breakfast, a central location right in the middle of all the bars of Mount Vernon, and the best neighborhoods in Baltimore make this funky hostel a deal and a half.
Amenities: wifi, kitchen, lockers, large common room, outdoor patio, coin laundry.
> Email Rebecca Scott Lord
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