Baltimore's intimate boutique brownstone
9 Rooms / 9 Suites
The Ivy may have opened in 2015, but the Baltimore brownstone has a storied past. Built in 1889, the mansion was home to a Baltimore industrialist; during the Depression the property was donated to the city. Decades later, local visionaries began renovations and built additions.
The designer, Joszi Meskan, hired Baltimore craftsmen and students to restore the historic landmark and the dazzling result earned the hotel membership in the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection of distinguished boutique properties.
The Baltimore hotel sits on a residential street lined with well-preserved 19th-century row houses. When arriving at The Ivy’s valet circle, expect a staff member to welcome you before you’re escorted up the elevator to the conservatory. This stunning space has striped valences adorning large windows that open to a terraced garden.
The polished grand piano and massive limestone fireplace are the centerpieces of the room, accompanied by an eclectic medley of furnishings and fragrant greenery.
As you continue your way through the bar, library, tea room and dining room, The Ivy feels less like a hotel and more like a home full of treasures collected by a global traveler. Each piece demands scrutiny, yet the assembly as a whole achieves a lovely harmony.
High-backed rattan chairs contrast with black lacquered tables. Hand-painted pedestals perch gracefully beside fur-covered benches. You’ll notice the use of lavender quickly — it’s The Ivy’s signature color — and see it on the walls and in the staff’s attire.
Guests gather in seating clustered around tables with Scrabble tiles and puzzle pieces while being served complimentary beverages.
The Ivy kitchen hosts private meals in the period dining room; when the weather is pleasant, the Terrace has lounge chairs and tables for dining alfresco. An embodiment of Baltimore’s dignified past and promising future, tendrils of English ivy scale the exterior façade, hence the name.
The four-story hotel has nine suites and nine guest rooms, custom-designed spaces fashioned from the original mansion plus two adjacent row houses. Four guest rooms are abundantly bright thanks to octagonal windows, and two feature private patios.
Two others incorporate the building's shapely turret. A sumptuous four-poster bed is the centerpiece of each room, but varied bold wall colors and exotic textiles render each a distinctive vibe.
Contemporary bathrooms contain a private lavatory, glass door shower and soaking tub, and the French limestone floors are heated.
All guest rooms have gas fireplaces and built-in closets stylishly concealing robes, Frette linens and custom toiletries by Natura Bisse. Notable are decorative touches like “barmoires” — hand-painted cabinets equipped with hot and cold drinks, snacks and wine.
Some guest room windows overlook the cityscape and are sound-proofed to quell street noise. All accommodations are rather spacious; several total more than 900 square feet. The Tower Suite is a two-story hideaway boasting a sizable bedroom and bath, a large living area and private access to the street from the elevator.
Classically trained chef Mark Levy anchors the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, Magdalena. Levy combines his passion for international cuisines with ingredients sourced in the Mid-Atlantic, and he changes the menu nightly depending on what is in season.
Magdalena offers private dining for groups as well as in-room dining for guests. Other meals at The Ivy are complimentary, including afternoon tea, daily breakfast and midnight snacks.
The hotel bar showcases a wide assortment of whiskeys, and the restaurant has more than 1,000 wine labels in its cellar.
The hotel's spa features Natura Bisse beauty products from Barcelona and you can indulge in hair and nail services, massages, facials and other treatments. The fitness center has a range of state-of-the-art machines. Play billiards in a room with Picasso-inspired frescos.
The Ivy employs a full-time florist who installs fresh floral arrangements throughout the luxury hotel and will assemble gifts to commemorate special occasions, such as anniversaries, weddings and birthdays. The beds are turned down nightly, and movies and snacks are available upon request at anytime.
Pets are welcomed with walking services and complimentary dog beds. Bonus: This is a no-tipping hotel, meaning you never have to concern yourself with gratuities.
Both the Mount Vernon neighborhood and The Ivy have a cosmopolitan allure. The neighborhood is notable for its impressive architecture, including some interesting gothic churches.
Baltimore's key cultural venues are a short walk from the hotel. This includes the Peabody Conservatory of Music, The Contemporary museum, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, The Walters Art Museum and the Maryland Historical Society. Hip boutiques, international restaurants and an abundance of coffee shops add loads of character.
Almost any time of day, you can board the free Charm City Circulator shuttle bus to the Inner Harbor or Penn Station. Another iconic experience in the neighborhood? Climbing the 227 steps to the top of Baltimore's Washington Monument — it pre-dates the one in Washington, D.C. — for a panoramic view of the city.