Two Boutique Hotels Opening in Mount Vernon
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They're finally here. The Ivy Hotel and Hotel Indigo, long-awaited boutique hotels, will soon open their doors in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. Opening in historic properties, both are prime examples of adaptive reuse.
The Ivy Hotel will be among Baltimore’s most exclusive and pricey when it opens in early June—between $500 and $1,500 a night in one of the 18 rooms and suites in the former Gilded Age mansion at the corner of Biddle and Calvert. That includes WiFi, breakfast, lunch, drinks at your minibar, afternoon tea and tee time at Caves Valley Golf club, says hotel managing director David Garrett (CEO of Garrett Hotel Consultants). Baltimore’s Azola Cos. and Brown Capital Management form the development team behind the $18M-plus historic renovation.
No need to carry a wad of cash as the hotel will have a no tipping policy, says David (pictured). Also included is transportation in a limo or antique London taxicab that the hotel is bringing over. There's a spa and the 75-seat restaurant Magdalena, whose chef, Mark Levy, previously worked at another Garrett property, the five-star resort The Point in the Adirondacks.
Art will be central to the design, with an eclectic mix of contemporary, 19th and 20th century pieces and antiques from The Inn at National Hall, a former luxury hotel in Connecticut that once hosted presidents and graced the cover of Architectural Digest magazine. The Inn’s interior designer, Joszi Meskan, also designed the Ivy. While the restaurant will be open to the public, don’t expect to just wander in unless you’re a paying guest. “We’re operating this like a private home,” David says. He expects the hotel will attract both business and leisure travelers who want to stay in Baltimore’s cultural district. Mount Vernon is home to The Walters Art Museum and The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
And speaking of Mount Vernon's cultural attractions, The Hotel Indigo, 24 W Franklin St, opening mid-May, is taking a cue from the neighborhood with a literary theme, says hotel general manager Jason Curtis. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is catty-corner and George Peabody Library is two blocks away. Management firm Chesapeake Hospitality is dubbing the lobby the library as it will be a place where guests can unwind with a book in front of the fireplace or TV. Meeting rooms are named after Maryland poets Francis Scott Key and Edgar Allan Poe.
Poets is also the name of the 125-seat lobby restaurant. Owner, Baltimore's Focus Development, spent $20M to renovate the former site of the Mount Vernon Hotel and the state's first YMCA building. Chesapeake Hospitality manages the property. The hotel will sport the brand’s signature design elements that give it more of a residential feel with hardwood floors in the guest rooms, custom-made furniture, big murals and bright pops of color. Jason says he thinks the hotel will appeal to folks who don’t want to “stay in a beige box.”
The former general manager of the Brookshire Suites, Jason lives four blocks from the hotel and is president of neighborhood preservation group Mount Vernon Belvedere Association. He’s pictured (second on the left) with other members at last year’s holiday party.