48 Perfect Hours in Baltimore
Give yourselves the gift of a luxury weekend for two in Charm City. Here's your itinerary.
Early morning | Lounge in bed and have a late breakfast.
Noon | Hit the road and head north to Baltimore.
1:30 p.m. | Pull up to the East Biddle Street entrance of The Ivy Hotel, where the doorman will greet you warmly, and most likely by name. Originally a private home built in 1889, this turreted, red-brick Victorian mansion in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood was renovated and reintroduced as a boutique hotel in June 2015, with nine guest rooms and nine suites, all with fireplaces (rates begin at $475 a night). The original architecture is painstakingly preserved in sumptuous carved-wood wainscoting and parquet floors, as well as a majestic, three-floor staircase lined with yellow stained-glass windows. www.theivybaltimore.com
1:35 p.m. | Sip on glasses of Champagne as the concierge escorts you through the conservatory to her desk, checks you in and explains the hotel’s many upscale amenities. Other than the spa and restaurant, everything at The Ivy is included in the price of the room: valet parking; car service in a BMW sedan; a lavish afternoon tea; full run of the Art Deco bar setup in the hotel’s first-floor living room; unlimited use of the stocked, in-room refrigerator and glass canisters full of snacks (refrain from eating all the butter caramels!); and full-service breakfast the following morning. Gratuities are also built in.
1:45 p.m. | Take a look around your room and jump up and down with glee at how spectacular it is. If you have the opportunity, splurge on Suite 17, a 787-square-foot space on the top floor with high gabled windows, a reading nook next to the fireplace, a soaking tub and a walk-in shower. (Try not to pocket all the Natura Bissé beauty products when you leave.) If you’re lucky enough to be here during a snowfall, you can watch the flakes as they land on an overhead skylight.
2:30 p.m. | Change into the plush bathrobes and slippers found in the closet and head to the second-floor spa for a facial or massage. Or both.
3:45 p.m. | Return to your room, put on some casual togs and make your way to the tea room downstairs.
4 – 5 p.m. | Enjoy The Ivy’s lavishly presented High Tea, including assorted tea sandwiches, scones and pastries, plus eight varieties of premium imported teas.
5 – 7:30 p.m. | Return to your room, slip under the 400-thread-count Frette sheets and take a nap. Then indulge in a bubble bath or relax under the spray of the walk-in shower and dress for dinner.
7:35 p.m. | Shake up some martinis at the Mansion Bar on the main floor and enjoy cocktails next to the fireplace. (You’re welcome to invite a couple of friends over to join you for drinks, gratis.)
8 p.m. | Head downstairs for dinner at Magdalena, where executive chef Mark Levy pulls out all the stops in a sophisticated yet unpretentious menu featuring local Maryland ingredients. A surefire winner is the rockfish Oscar, mounded with lumps of Maryland blue crabmeat with bearnaise sauce, tomato jam and Old Bay oil. The restaurant is laid out as a series of cozy, jewel-box dining rooms, among them the Robert Parker wine cellar.
10:30 p.m. | Pour after-dinner drinks in the Mansion Bar and play a couple of games of pool in the Pool Room.
11:30 p.m. | Begin watching a movie (complimentary) on the TV in your room. Doze off.