My wife and I would recommend the Hotel Monaco and we will not hesitate to stay there the next time we spend time in Baltimore. Overall, we think that - based upon hotel character, overall cost, hotel staff, room size & cleanliness, and location - it would be a challenge to find a better hotel in Baltimore.
When choosing a hotel, my wife and I tend to select 4 & 5 star hotels that are historic, posses traditionally decorated common areas (late 19th or early 20th century), and are located within the center of the city and/or center of the city's historic district. Hotel Monaco fell into this category quite well. In addition to being located within Baltimore, the hotel was clean, quiet, and well decorated. The location of the hotel allowed us to walk to the Inner Harbor (10 minutes), Little Italy (20 minutes), and Fells Point (30 minutes). We generally do not use hotel amenities such as the pool or work out facilities so we are not sure if these amenities exist or meet typical standards. The Hotel Monaco appears to be very pet friendly as we saw dogs frequently in the hallways and common areas.
Checking in was easy (reception is on the second floor of the hotel). We reserved a 'King Deluxe' Room and upon check-in were assigned room 805. Our room was not completely ready for us when we arrived so we headed straight to the hotel bar for a well earned drink while we waited for the room to be completed (the pleasant gentlemen at the reception desk gave us several free drink vouchers that we gladly redeemed for a few afternoon refreshments). It wasn't long before we made our way up to our room. The room was big (375 square feet according to the hotel website) with high ceilings and provided great natural lighting. Overall, the room and bathroom were clean with modern decorations. Both the large king bed and the accompanying bedding were very comfortable. The room provided a city view that faced towards the Inner Harbor. We couldn't see the water due to the surrounding buildings, but the lack of a tall building next to the hotel gave us the benefit of natural light. There was only one very small drawback to the room - the air conditioning. The A/C unit was a bit loud and turned on and off constantly all night long (presumably due to the 100 degree July heat). Not a big deal for us - but it could be if you are a very light sleeper.
Our trip to Baltimore was meant as a night away from home so we were not interested in exploring the typical tourist attractions. Our goal was to take relaxing walks through the city and along the waterfront to observe the culture and the architecture. If you are interested in exploring the city then Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, Little Italy, Sports Venues (M & T Bank Stadium and Camden Yards), the Aquarium, and Fort McHenry are within easy reach (either a relatively short walk or via the Water Taxi system). As for food – there are a lot of good restaurants in the city that the concierge can point out. We highly recommend a snack or meal in the Hotel Restaurant, the B & O American Brasserie.
Arriving: We were travelling to Baltimore from the Washington DC area so we had several travel options available to us (drive, bus, cab, train, etc). We decided to take the 45 minute train ride (on Amtrak) from Washington's Union Station to Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station (i.e., Penn Station). For us it was a convenient choice. As an added incentive, the hotel was offering a 'Ride the Rails' package that entitled us to a 15% room rate discount if we took the train - simply book this package and show your train ticket at check-in to qualify for the special rate. Once we arrived at Penn Station we had the choice of taking either a 5 minute cab ride or a 45 minute walk to the hotel. Arriving in Baltimore on a hot and humid July day we made the obvious choice - we walked! As it turns out, this was not that bad of a choice for us. The walk was straight forward and downhill (exit the station, turn left, make your first right onto St. Paul street, walk 1.5 miles, turn right onto East Fayette Street, first left onto North Charles Street and you have arrived at the hotel). As an added bonus, the walk allowed us to see the terrific exterior details of some traditional Baltimore buildings.
Departing: We checked out of the room at noon and left our bags at the reception desk for a couple of hours so that we could finish exploring the city. Upon returning to the hotel later in the afternoon, we picked up our bags (the doorman brought them from the second floor reception area to the front door) and grabbed a taxi to the Penn Station (having walked around the city for two days we decided that a cab to the train station was the right choice!). The taxi was new (an unmarked black sedan) and the 5 minute ride cost us $10. The driver (Moneeb) was friendly and we would recommend calling him if you need a car (410-926-4366).
Enjoy your trip to Baltimore!
- 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