This was our fourth time in a Kimpton property (read the other parts from my account), and we were very happy with this hotel. It was not our first time in Baltimore, but the first time in the Monaco in Baltimore.
This hotel is not directly at the Inner Harbour, but it is easily walkable in 10 minutes, just down the road south. I had booked a King Premier room when Kimpton had offered a great deal to their InTouch members (Loyalty Program you can join for free), and it did NOT disappoint.
It was actually equivalent to the King Spa room in Philadelphia's Palomar, just they have another name here. But the room and its amenities and features were the same, even down to the desk seat (which I love!!)
When we arrove (by car) we were greated by a doorman who explained that the lobby is in the upstairs reception hall, and he escorted us right to the front desk. Since we were the first time here this was very helpful. You might get lost if you don't know where to turn and go. And the really magnificent building might distract you so much that you forget you haven't checked in yet...
Yes, this is a historic railroad building, and they kept the old marble staircase and the tiffany windows and the decor in the entrance hall. You have to see this for yourself, as my pictures might not really display the sheer beauty you are greeted with!
The check in was pleasant as well, we had to wait for a moment, but it moved along. While waiting for checking in we had a short look to the left, where we could see the living room, where we would enjoy their wine hour later that evening. The process of checking in went very fast once it was our turn. We were greeted warmly and felt welcome right away.
When we opened our King Premier room door on the 11th floor, we were home. And there was Hubby's coffee maker (Keurig) waiting! So here they do read their guests' profiles! We were very pleased noticing that. The higher floor is another request on our profile that had been granted without us asking. We love Kimpton!!!
The room had a King bed (very comfortable and with great sheets and enough pillows!), a closet with safe and ironing board and our beloved Kimpton robes, a big flat TV, a table for my tea stuff or other small things, a desk with the mentioned fantastic (ergonomic!) desk seat, a very comfortable chair with foot rest, and of course my beloved spa bath room, which was again huge and tiled and just wonderful.
The Fuji tub has a lower foot section and 2 seats at the sides, so that 2 adults can comfortably sit and still soak in shoulder-high water. I want this at home, but alas, I haven't won any lottery yet, so I will have to continue travelling to enjoy this feature...
The bath has also a tiled shower stall with glass door, and we do use it each time before the bath (to prepare for the spa treatment).
Recently we have stayed in several other hotels who had offered free wifi, but when we arrove with our old heavy laptop, we had to learn wifi means wireLESS, and there was no plug for us to connect the network cable and get online. (I guess that means everybody but us has mobile devices nowadays?)
Luckily, in this hotel we still can connect our laptop, and we were happy about that. I had things going on with friends and was glad I could check up upon them online.
We enjoyed their wine hour from 5-6pm, where we had a great look upon the other guetsts. Don't YOU want to know who the clientele is that is staying with you in the same hotel? We do, and we were delighted to see so many nice people and dogs, too. We love animals, but we leave our cats at home, as they really don't enjoy travelling as dogs do.
We also loved the view down onto the streets. We live in the absolute wilderness, we have no neighbours and not even streets, so this is always something exciting and adventurous when we go visiting the big cities. We could see all these great other buildings, and due to the high level of our room, we were not disturbed by any street noise!
We had 2 windows with very broard window sills, and we actually loved that little detail also. The coffee maker was put into one place there, and I was able to put my water boiler plus some other tea making equipment there. This is not always given, so much space and surface to use, and we really loved this room!
It also had an interesting nightlight, a picture window in a closet door was enlit (could be switched off). We do like nightlights in rooms we are not familiar with and were very much enjoying this feature.
We went out for dinner to Little Italy, so I can't say anything about their restaurant next door. For breakfast we went for a pastry shop in Little Italy again, so no input from us about the hotel's restaurant. I had looked up their menu online and wasn't too exited about it, as I am a vegetarian.
I must mention the staff here. We had the same great superbe Spa room in Philadelphia in December, but here the staff was really different. They were very pleasant, really everyone! Whenever we met anyone or asked for something or needed something, they would do everything to make us happy!
Hubby went to a nearby catholic church, and since he wouldn't be back for check out time, I had to do that on my own. Now I can't drive the car, so how would we handle that? We were delighted to hear they would keep our car until 6pm after check out that day without any extra fees. This was very nice! This way were were able to stroll through the harbour again and have another tour over one of the ships, and we didn't need to worry where to park.
Now I must say that $36 for the valet parking is a lot, and we were tempted to park in one of the nearby garages. But make no mistake: you will only get a good deal if you don't use your car until you leave. THEN (and only in that case!) it makes sense. Otherwise you will pay your $8 or $10 again and again and again upon re-entry.
We knew we would need the car during our stay, as we found Little Italy a bit too far for walking, and so we went for the hotel valet parking, which came with in and out privileges. That means you pay just once and get your car in and out just as you need it.
They were fast! I had read all reviews here on TA before booking this hotel, and I was aware of some complaints about the valet service, about the time they would need to get a car out. I had actually planned for all occasions and ordered the car for 30 minutes early, as we had dinner reservations we could not be late for.
Ha, the car was right there on time, and we were 30 minutes early at the restaurant! But we wanted to be sure.
The next morning we had to get the car back out again for breakfast (again in Little Italy), and we also decided to get the big luggage into the trunk at that time. So when Hubby was in his church, I would be able to check out with just my tea basket and my purse.
We came back from breakfast, luggage was packed up in the trunk, and Hubby walked to his church. I had a last pot of tea and packed up my tea service. Oh wait - my tea basket! I had forgotten my tea basket! What now? The luggage was already in the car, and the car was back in the garage.
Since we planned to walk through the harbour and visit at least one of the historic ships that afternoon, I was worried that I would have to carry that basket all day now. But the check out girl was so nice and offered to store it safely for me until we really left town that evening, and I was so happy about that. Just another example of their kindness!
Then I had to wait for Hubby to return from his church, and I used the time to take many pictures of the really magnificent staircase. It is actually a monument, they were asked to leave it in its historical form, and that means it is a bit dangerous to walk down. So take caution when walking down, there is no real banister, and I imagine it can get very slippery when wet.
We normally took the elevators, but just once I went upstairs walking these steps (upstairs is less dangerous than walking downstairs!). And now I had almost an hour time to take pictures, and I did. My old Kodak is probably not even able to capture the beauty of this entrance hall.
You must look up and all around you to see everything, and still you will very likely miss some details. It is just unbelievable with the tiffany glass all around everywhere, and the ceilings and walls and everything.
We are travelling quite a lot, but rarely have we felt like Royalty as in this wonderful hotel. I have already made 2 more bookings to stay here. Next time (in May) we will try out their Mediterreanian Suite - I can hardly wait to return to this beautiful place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In one of our nation's most distinctive cities, you'll find one of its most remarkable hotels. Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor, uniquely reflects the spirit of this vibrant, historical city. Situated in the landmark Baltimore & Ohio Railroad headquarters, built in 1906, our downtown Baltimore hotel provides an experience like no other. From our elegant three-story lobby, with its original marble floor and Tiffany stained-glass windows to each of our 202 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor surrounds you with spacious, timeless style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monaco Hotel Baltimore