Baltimore City Paper

You don't always want to stay with your family or friends when you come to see them-and you don't always want them to stay with you. Whether you're just visiting Baltimore or you have company you cannot abide-you will come to know the city's hotels.

In the ancient world there were no hotels, so hospitality was a central part of the culture. But today, you don't always want to stay with your family or friends when you come to see them-and you don't always want them to stay with you. Whether you're just visiting Baltimore and a hotel will be your first taste of the city or you live here and have company you cannot abide-either because of space or other issues-you will come to know the city's hotels. And they are worth knowing. Baltimore has the big chains where they hold conferences and over the last year, we even got the super spiffy Four Seasons, grand jewel of the luxury chains. But Baltimore also has its share of boutique hotels that seem to be born as much from the passion of the owners as from the bottom line.

Note: We don't consider $15 to get online an amenity. If we list wi-fi, or any other amenity, for that matter, it means that it is free. If you want to see if a hotel is willing to gouge you for the privilege of getting online in your room, you can check its website.


Four Seasons


200.International Blvd, (410) 576-5800,

The international chain opened a super-luxe hotel in Harbor East last year. With a spa, great food options, and posh everything, it's where James Bond would stay if he came to town.


Amenities: outdoor pool, wet deck.

Hyatt Regency

300 Light St., (410) 528-1234,

The great views might even lure you out of the luxury of your high thread-count sheets and into the city, where you find yourself a short trip from most of the destination neighborhoods.

Amenities: outdoor pool, fitness center, business center

Inn at the Black Olive

803 S. Caroline St., (443) 681-6316,

Located at the border of Fells Point and Harbor East, Black Olive is focused on creating an organic experience that extends from the bedding to the building materials to the meals. Paradise for the environmentally conscious traveller worried both about carbon footprints and memorable experiences.


Amenities: organic breakfast, ergonomic mattresses, heated floors, in-room spa, movie library.

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel

550 Light St., (410) 234-0550,

This European-style hotel is elegant and accommodating. Located in the Inner Harbor, the Harbor Court offers spectacular views of the water and the city to health-conscious guests who work out at the rooftop fitness center. Might be an incentive to work off the crab cakes and Bohs.

Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center, library in lobby.


Hampton Inn and Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor


131 E. Redwood St., (410) 539-7888,

In the Inner Harbor area, this hotel offers a great location and the kind of perfectly functional rooms you want when you don't plan to spend your weekend inside.

Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center.

Inn and Spa at Collonnade

4 W. University Parkway, (410) 235-5400,

Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus brings a lot of the business to this hotel, but it's also close to the Baltimore Museum of Art. If you come for the art, avoid booking around graduation and LaCrosse games when you probably won't find a room.


Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center, pet-friendly rooms

Peabody Court Hotel

612 Cathedral St., (410) 727-7101,

Located across from Mount Vernon's historic parks, the Walter's Art Museum, and the Peabody Conservatory, the Peabody Court offers world-class views, and a perfect area for strolling. The friendly staff at George's-the bar and restaurant on the first floor-give great suggestions on other area attractions, but on a rainy day, the thickly-stuffed chairs, dark wood, strong drinks, and delicious food, make it a destination in its own right. Special rates for Mount Vernon's Gay Pride festival and front row seats to the First Thursday celebrations in the park during the summer.

Amenities: wi-fi, fitness center.


4 East Madison


4 E. Madison St., (410) 332-0880,

Antique furnishings and modern comforts bring all the charms of Mount Vernon to this elegant bed and breakfast. The in-house restaurant offers sustainable food and the historic neighborhood makes it impossible to refuse a postprandial stroll. And if your legs are tired, an elevator can take you right to your room.

Amenities: wi-fi, breakfast

1840s Carollton Inn

50 Albermarle St., (410) 385-1840,

The elegantly appointed series of rowhouses that join to create this boutique inn lend the lush interiors even more class. Fireplaces, fine art, and whirlpool tubs make this a great place to be snowed in-or to pretend you are. And since the inn is only a block from Little Italy, there's plenty to eat.


Amenities: wi-fi, in-room fireplaces, whirlpool baths, complimentary breakfast.

Admiral Fell Inn

888 S. Broadway St., (410) 539-2000,

In a building dating back to 1770s, this boutique hotel offers access to the historical waterfront vibe of Fells Point. Every room is different, but they all offer homey comfort-and writing desks for the Poe-seekers who've been inspired by the great writer's ghost, which is reported to reside in the tavern next door.

Amenities: continental breakfast, shuttle.

Hotel Brexton


868 Park Ave., (443) 478-210,

One of Mount Vernon's most interesting bits of historic architecture, the Brexton's iconic red brick turrets house the warm hominess of a painstaking restoration.

Amenities: wi-fi, continental breakfast, wine and cheese reception, afternoon tea.

Hotel Monaco

2 N.Charles St., (443) 629-6170,

The tiger-striped robes in the closets feel elegant rather than icky because they fit perfectly with the general beaux arts feel of the environmentally friendly rooms. The B and O Brasserie is attached-great food and one of the city's most knowledgeable bartenders. All of this elegance only a few short blocks from the Block. And you can even bring your dog. To the Monaco, not the Block.


Amenities: wi-fi, complimentary wine hour, pet-friendly, eco-friendly, fitness center, tiger-striped robes.

Inn at 2920

2920 Elliot St., (410) 342-4450,

No kids allowed: Meaning it's great place to get away with the spouse and enjoy some grown-up time, whether that means something romantic, eating, drinking, watching R-rated movies, and cursing freely, or just sleeping late in the stylish rooms of this Canton inn.

Amenities: wi-fi, breakfast, and parking.

Mount Vernon Hotel


24 W. Franklin St., (410) 727-2000,

A former YMCA, this historic building has grown up into a grand dame of a boutique hotel, featuring sumptuous rooms and bi-level lofts. There's a grand piano in the lobby.

Amenities: wi-fi, hot breakfast.

Scarborogh Fair Bed and Breakfast

801 S. Charles St., (410) 837-0010,

Breakfast in the morning, wine and cheese in the evening- some rooms have fire places, others hot tubs, all lending this B and B irresistible atmosphere near the attractions of Federal Hill.


Amenities: parking, breakfast, and wine and cheese.


Hi-Baltimore Hostel

17 W. Mulberry St., (410) 576-8880,

A cool-looking Mount Vernon mansion, this hostel is the perfect mix of opulent and decadent-the kind of funky a hostel should be. The best hostels have a bar in the lobby where you can meet other travelers. Lacking that, Hi-Baltimore is close to dozens of bars where you can meet locals. Across from the main library, beside the office of a psychic, and just down the road from Lexington Market, Mount Vernon, and the Harbor it's an ideal location for the lonely traveler. And the main room hosts art shows to help you get a sense of the local scene.

Amenities: wi-fi, kitchen, lockers, large common room, outdoor patio, coin laundry.