Baltimore's Metro Area Offers Accommodations with True Experiences

Baltimore is a city that likes to do things their way! In a list that's all about the 10Best, the handful of more ordinary lodging options fall by the wayside. Prices range wildly, but when dealing with the best options, prices aren't going to be rock-bottom. Go ahead and splurge! Whether you're seeking acres of green space like The Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys or being treated like a star at the newest Baltimore gem, The Ivy, your leisure or business trip deserves to have memorable accommodations as part of the plan. People visit the Baltimore metro region for many reasons. Some look forward to classic vacation leisure stays that concentrate on the Inner Harbor and cultural attractions of downtown Baltimore. Others may be a part of a wedding, graduation or other special occasion in the nearby suburbs. Additionally, they may crave a greener, less frenetic non-urban experience. Baltimore has some public transportation to get to some lodging options, we have Uber and many hotels offer shuttle service, as well. For many travelers, having fitness facilities available is as important as drinking water. Others become uninterested in any lodgings which require driving to get a good meal. Baltimore has several memorable places to stay overnight that give so much more than a place merely to close your eyes.


Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Where do race horse owners and trainers with thoroughbreds in the Preakness stay? For decades, they – as well as sports legends and other celebrities, it's been at the hotel that's now a Radisson Cross Keys. In fact, if you can make it over to the bar during a blizzard, you'll see Baltimore's legendary news anchors camped out there, as the hotel is a couple of miles from Television Hill. First-time visitors to the Village of Cross Keys are stunned to find out that it's within the city limits of Baltimore. Why should they be? You can regularly see deer and bunny rabbits scampering along the walking paths that lace the 72 wooded acres. They have a new Italian bistro that serves many gourmet, locally crafted and harvested foods.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Nowhere else in Baltimore can you have the resort experience with 72 safe acres to walk, outdoor pool, tennis courts and a courtyard of shops.

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Courtyard Aberdeen at Ripken Stadium
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

This may well be the most family friendly hotel in the Baltimore metro area. Through its rear secure doors, kids can walk to Ripken Complex without crossing a street. It's the Official Hotel of Ripken Amateur Baseball! This hotel is like no other, as it sits on the Ripken Complex, overlooking Cal Sr's Yard: a miniature replica of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The brick hotel looks just like the warehouse on famous Eutaw Street in downtown Baltimore. They have an indoor pool. The hotel also includes its "Residence" brand for longer stays: Stretch your travel dollar further and get so much more than just a room. Each studio and one bedroom suite offers separate living, dining and sleeping areas, with plenty of space for relaxing or entertaining. Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast buffet, and join them in the evenings for weekday socials Monday - Thursday, ideal for socializing and networking.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Baseball fans and families will love this hotel that's not just for kids: they're across the street from Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen Ironbirds.

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Hunt Valley Inn, a Wyndham Grand Hotel
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Laurus acquired this property and invested millions, bringing it up to the Wyndham Grand family standards. It's now a polished elegant, wooded lodging right off the interstate. They have an attached convention center and large ballroom, becoming a secretly favorite event destination for people up and down the East Coast. Kosher catering is available. The area's once-favorite Cinnamon Tree restaurant has regained its glory with local seafood, steaks, and a Bangladesh chef who's infused some dishes with gourmet exotic touches. The bar created unique cocktails; drinks can be taken out to a courtyard. Rooms incorporate wood floors and soft carpeting, lots of art. The decor – as they are in Maryland's world-famous hunt and horse country – reflects that in elegant, not cheesy, touches. Amenities include outlets conveniently located on lamps, an indoor-outdoor pool as well as ADA-accessible hot tub. A free shuttle will take you to local sites.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This hotel is hidden in plain sight, across from a mall and right off the interstate. How do they keep everything so quiet and serene?

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Pier 5, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

It's fitting that Pier 5 – nestled in the Inner Harbor with its own pier – has a bright, deconstructed ship look to its interior. After all, it's surrounded by many of the best things to see and do in Baltimore, including the National Aquarium next door. People coming in are already in an ebullient mood, so the interior decor is upbeat in the naturally lit lobby, rather than hush-hush. The hotel is pet-friendly. There are internal entrances to McCormick & Schmick's, as well as Ruth's Chris. McCormick & Schimick's provides room service for the hotel, as well as snacks for "Crabby Hour". Balconies with stunning views of the Inner Harbor, along with textured floors and outdoor seating, means you can have a private al fresco meal in grand style. Seafood and cooking classes are regularly scheduled. Exotic orchids provide elegance in the bathrooms.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A terrific base from which to experience downtown Baltimore! Pier 5's a boutique hotel that's not stuffy. Their shuttle can take you to surrounding neighborhoods.

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Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor, an IHG Hotel
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Located in what was the headquarters of one of America's most historic corporations – Baltimore & Ohio Railroad – the architecture of the building is simply stunning. You can see why the carved white marble staircases and original Tiffany stained glass are just a few aspects of what's now on the National Register of Historic Places. There's a wine and snack hour, along with working fireplace at the check-in desk. Rooms have classic high Beaux Arts ceilings, with lots of decor to remind one of the railroad past, including re-purposed train cases as furniture. Yet there are lots of modern touches as well: massive jacuzzis, comfortable bed, striped bathrobes, yoga mates, mini fridge and bar. This hotel's pet friendly, too!

Recommended for Best Hotels because: In the center of downtown Baltimore, it's within equal walking distance of the Inner Harbor, Mt. Vernon and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Inn at the Black Olive
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

This inn is not quite any accommodations that you've probably stayed at. Think organic, green, modern luxury. Located in the upscale Harbor East neighborhood, the rooms are very spacious; in fact, they're quite appealing for long-term stays, which is what Woody Harrelson did. He became so enchanted, he became a partner in the business. Imagine industrial-type space softened with vintage Oriental rugs, fine art, cool but soft furnishings and a huge jacuzzi. Lovely coffee table books are set out. The bedding is considered the top organic cotton (commercial) bedding and linens available. Downstairs is the Agora Market serving breakfast and lunch (they serve as daytime room service), including Greek specialties, bio-organic wines, classic breakfast fare, Woody's preferred raw and vegan cuisine. The rooftop Olive Room serves upscale Greek cuisine, along with organic beer, sustainable wine and natural spirits. The view is pretty from some angles, has construction on others.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This fresh, youthful, modern space makes you feel at home. The balconies are also the most incredible place to watch Baltimore's holiday fireworks.

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1840s Carrollton Inn
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

People who have worked for decades within blocks of this hidden in plain sight inn have no idea it's there. The inn is actually an inter-connection of several row homes next door to the Carrollton Mansion in Jonestown, Balitmore's oldest neighborhood. This bed & breakfast gives you a large selection of freshly made gourmet treats your morning meal that you pick the night before. Take your breakfast in the parlor, the courtyard or in your room. The rooms have sumptuous four-poster beds, as well as luxurious amenities such as electric fireplaces, jacuzzis, heated bathroom floors, mini microwaves and fridges. The inn is just a couple of blocks from Corned Beef Row, Little Italy and a renowned French bakery. Cross President Street/I-83 for the best that downtown and the Inner Harbor have to offer.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: If your book the ground floor suite, it has a door that opens up into the courtyard: perfect for a small family or friend gathering!

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The Gramercy Mansion Bed and Breakfast
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

This mansion, located in Baltimore County, was the home of the former president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Each room, each floor of the home has its own character, but each is wonderfully palatial. Several suites have their own private patios. Gas fireplaces, tapestries on walls, antiques and gorgeous light fixtures add to the luxury. Jacuzzis built for 2, wine and sweets in the parlor, piano, an in-ground pool and extensive gardens are very romantic. Breakfast selections feature culinary herbs from Koinonia Farm, Maryland's oldest certified organic farm located on the property. Along several hallways of the mansion are various fun knick-knacks, pieces of art and antiques for sale. The mansion is just under two miles from an upscale outdoor shopping center with various casual and gourmet restaurants, beauty salons, shops and a Saturday farmers market.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: There's a reason why many society wedding take place on the gorgeous, secluded grounds!

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Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Built in 1844, the main house and some of the out buildings would have been well-known to Army officers on their way to Gettysburg, just 15 minutes away. Nowadays, it's a favorite secret retreat for all kinds of celebrities and politicians! An overnight stay here practically transports you to another place and time. There are lots of quiet and not-so-quiet activities on the grounds, too. A secluded swimming pool that's open for relaxing even when the pool isn't, tennis court, croquet lawn, horseshoes and badminton add to the back-in-time charm. In the near future, new walking trails and a spa will grace the property. Many of the rooms – even the cozy upstairs rooms – have wood-burning or gas fireplaces. There's a gourmet restaurant and elegant pub on site.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Whether you stay in the main house or in one of the out buildings, you'll experience romantic, private, elegant accommodations. Civil War buffs will rejoice!

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The Ivy Hotel
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Baltimore never had such an all-out luxurious hotel as the newly opened The Ivy. And yet, everything about it has local flair: local professional and student artists contributed to the interior murals and hand-painted furniture. Two adjoining Victorian-era mansions were combined; the nexus creates a fun interior courtyard. Luxurious features include deep soaking tubs, heated bathroom floors and town racks and the "Bar-oire": a mini-bar on steroids. Everything in there is complimentary. The restaurant also has a gourmet restaurant serving Southern-inspired breakfasts and continental fare for dinner. There are various dining spaces to accommodate any mood, situation. The hotel also has a secluded spa. VIPs will no doubt fall in love with the duplex suite, perfect for entertaining dignitaries downstairs in complete privacy. The duplex suite enjoys a completely separate entrance and also, access to the spa.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This ultra-boutique hotel will change how people perceive Baltimore. Once you step out the door, enjoy all the cultural sites of the Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

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