The Ivy, Baltimore

Old Apr 17, 15, 8:45 pm
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The Ivy, Baltimore

SO The Ivy is set to open in June I believe... with the highest hotel rates in the city (starting at $475 for a random date checked in September). 9 rooms, 9 suites. I, of course, have always wondered the role of a luxury hotel in Baltimore (aka Charm City) but the FS seems to be doing relatively well.. I also was very skeptical about the PR behind this new luxury hotel, but then I checked into the folks who were involved with this project, Garrett Hotel Consultants and they've got some serious luxury hotel cred including the Point and Twin Farms.The former mansion concept reminds me a lot of Wentworth Mansion. The location isn't terribly great as areas of MT. VErnon off of the Charles St Corridor get kind of dark at night. I'm still quite skeptical but hey who knows. I hope it succeeds and maybe one day will check it out but it looks pretty interesting right to follow right now. Anyone else have any info on it or heard anything about it?

FDW

Found some more info: attempting to join R&C.
This is a good read.
Some info on the Chef; formally of the Point I as well...

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Old Apr 18, 15, 5:53 am
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Hadn't heard of this. Seems like a very strange location for a luxury hotel, as that area can get a little sketchy after dark (I live about a mile south and would think twice about walking through that area alone at night...not Charles st, but as you said, off the corridor).

Still, I welcome the effort, and it sounds like the developers know what they're doing. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
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Old Apr 18, 15, 7:28 am
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Reminds me a bit of what Zero George was in Charleston 2 years before they opened. "Welcome it" and "odd location for a luxury hotel" were common knocks against it. Look at it now, one of my favorite in the world

Anything that helps Baltimore succeed, I'm a fan of!
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Old Apr 18, 15, 1:51 pm
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The Ivy, Baltimore

As a Baltimore resident I'm surprised I had not heard of this! Clearly not hyping it in the local media. When the FS was being built lots of people couldn't believe that a high-end chain could make it here but so far it seems to be doing well. (Not so much the Michael Minna restaurant in the hotel called Wit and Wisdom which was by far one of the worst most hyped places I have eaten and reviews are horrible.)
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Old Apr 18, 15, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by LM225 View Post
Hadn't heard of this. Seems like a very strange location for a luxury hotel, as that area can get a little sketchy after dark (I live about a mile south and would think twice about walking through that area alone at night...not Charles st, but as you said, off the corridor).

Still, I welcome the effort, and it sounds like the developers know what they're doing. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
Location is very very strange. I guess you can walk down to the prime rib but otherwise not ideal at all... for someone visiting Baltimore I wouldn't recommend it at all. Guess that that's why they have the hotel car that will apparently bring you anywhere...

Originally Posted by pricesquire View Post
Reminds me a bit of what Zero George was in Charleston 2 years before they opened. "Welcome it" and "odd location for a luxury hotel" were common knocks against it. Look at it now, one of my favorite in the world

Anything that helps Baltimore succeed, I'm a fan of!
The thing with Zero George and Wentworth Mansion that while they both have odd locations; that location is still in Charleston. It's a town with a probably high income demographic than Baltimore. Plus, I would say that there aren't any parts of Charleston proper that are sketchy; nothing like Baltimore at least.. it would be like if they plopped the most exclusive hotel on the other side of the Crosstown in Charleston....

Originally Posted by christianj View Post
As a Baltimore resident I'm surprised I had not heard of this! Clearly not hyping it in the local media. When the FS was being built lots of people couldn't believe that a high-end chain could make it here but so far it seems to be doing well. (Not so much the Michael Minna restaurant in the hotel called Wit and Wisdom which was by far one of the worst most hyped places I have eaten and reviews are horrible.)
I had heard whispers about it over the past year but pretty much forgot or dismissed it... there was a big spread last year in the Baltimore Magazine but I pretty much had completely forgotten about it.. The FS is doing well and I agree that Wit and Wisdom is awful. But, for example the RC Residences are still working on selling their initial build out...

I had forgotten that I worked just down the street from the future Ivy. So, after work this morning I swung by and got a couple of pictures.. it looks semi reasonable in the daylight... I would though find myself hard pressed to recommend this location to anybody for anything... unless perhaps they had plans to.. nope still can't find a reason to recommend this location...


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Old Apr 19, 15, 6:13 am
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Our car and driver will take you anywhere in the city you’d like to go, free of charge
unique?

private meal at Upstairs at The Ivy
could be good

public restaurant is not open sunday/monday, curious re guests those days

during operating hours or from the Late Night Menu
Breakfast is served in the sunroom
tea served by the fire and cocktails poured every evening at 6:00
Midnight snacks
public rooms make up the lower floors, while above The Ivy’s eighteen guest quarters
library
sunlit music room
conservatory
Billiards
Fitness Room
Spa is a small and perfect sanctuary on the The Ivy Hotel’s second floor

Tower Suite is a magnificent two-story suite that spans the second and third floors of The Ivy, with a living area, fireplace and powder room on the lower level and the bedroom and bathroom on the upper level. Adjoining the Ivy Spa...the only guest facility in the tower

[public restaurant] Magdalena: the Garden Room, which looks out onto The Ivy’s walled Courtyard

No Gratuities Accepted Because of our firm belief that excellent service should be expected from The Ivy, hotel staff members are not allowed to accept tips. The only exception to this is for meal service at Magdalena
not sure what "the only guest facility in the tower" / "the tower" means, considering there is also a "turret suite" (and a "loft suite")

from WaPo article linked in OP >
upstairs bar
separate breakfast room for guests of the hotel only
building might be 19,000ft2 and over about 3.5 floors might be 5,500ft2 per floor
with 18 rooms and most of the guest spaces (all but fitness?) on top 2.5 floors
no pool, basement/courtyard pool/spa is the kind of thing that can be really unique
but IMHO can always use more guest-only areas and few guests, like ivy is planning
so thanks for posting, IMHO worth watching these kinds of developments regardless

if its an annual ratecard (from $475) the best value is during peak season / events
and as of right now, thats what rate calendar (rate calendar always nice) is showing

photos of guest-only common areas (and restaurant?) >
http://www.theivybaltimore.com/galle...ccommodations/
http://www.theivybaltimore.com/galle...ing-ivy-hotel/

public tour (before hotel is operational) on may 6 >
http://www.aiabaltimore.org/events/a...the-ivy-hotel/

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Old Apr 20, 15, 4:08 am
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My parents have heard about the hotel and are interested. Maybe they are a bit biased, but my parents normal stay at the Four Seasons when they come to visit. (I go to Hopkins) But they complain about how far it is to the school. I agree the neighborhood is a bit of an odd location. But I think there are a lot of kids at Hopkins whose parents would pay top dollar for a nice hotel. Now if only someone would build decent apartments next to Hopkins
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Old May 7, 15, 8:03 am
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So I went on the tour yesterday and it certainly is an interesting project. What was quite fascinating was that I got to met the interior designer, the architect, the GM, the chef, and the developer... very very interesting to get to talk to all of them. But, here are my thoughts on what I saw so far....

1) Rooms- I had expected the rooms to be bigger but I guess the rooms are hamstrung by the historical nature of the building. But, the rooms aren't terribly big and the suites also aren't that large. I guess I was thinking/hoping that the rooms would be much larger, much along the lines of the room size at Wentworth Mansion. The bathrooms were all quite nice and unique; given the varying spaces. One of the attic suites had a really nice shower that was incorporated in the dormers.
2) Public spaces- look quite nice; the main hall and parlor are quite beautiful. Very old school with great wood tones. The central staircase has been stunningly redone. They have plans for a central courtyard that the hotel will focus in on. I would have liked to see some sort of small pool or perhaps hot tub which would have been a great place to relax.
3) Woodwork- there' s a lot of wood work throughout the hotel that is very nicely done. Very nice touch. Mainly of the floors are original and have been redone- and they look great. I really liked the border work a lot.
4) Fireplaces- there are a lot of fireplaces which will make the place quite cozy.
5) Location. I know I've said this before but the location is really not great at all. The harbor east location of the FS is so much superior; with easy safe access to many solid restaurants. I really would be hesitant to advise an out of towner to go for a stroll anywhere around the Ivy's neighborhood... With that comes the views; or rather lack there of. Lots of views of Calvert street, which is fairly unremarkable. On the top level rear facing rooms there are more expansive views, including Greenmount cemetary (beautiful but in a very very dodgy part of town) and Central booking (where I can admit to actually having seen the inside of)

Now I do think that they will have an uphill struggle, especially to make a June 1 opening.. there looks to still be a lot of work to be done. We didn't see a single room that looked even remotely close to finished. But, I'm not a hotel builder so maybe if they work 24/7 for the next 3 weeks they'll be able to get things done.

The chef was nice to talk to. Formerly of the Point. I'm eager to see what he brings to town, because Baltimore is in dire need of some new restaurants. They are aiming for about a $75 price point for three courses+wine. The restaurant itself has a series of dining rooms, some of which are windowless. From what I saw, I wasn't blown away by the restaurant but I'll reserve judgement for when they've got it full outfitted. Seeing the kitchen was amazing though.

Talking to the developer, (Tony Azola) you could definitely see the passion for historic renovation. It's nice to see a building get repurposed.

Some of the choices that the interior designer made seems a little out of place for the historic nature of the hotels. For example, the washrooms for the restaurant are incredibly contempary. Also, she seems to be quite interested in the use of animal skins, which is not something I'm terribly keen on.

The GM seems to be selling the hotel based on inclusions and service; talking about all the inclusive value that the room rate gets. House car, valet parking, breakfast, cocktails, etc etc. No tipping policy. He stated that the entry level room rate is probably not even breakeven for them. I think that they are trying to model the hotel as an urban resort type setting. They are working on getting Relais and Chateaux affiliation and anticipate being a virtuoso hotel as well..

Certainly was fascinating to see the hotel, especially in a pre-opening setting. I definitely applaud them for fully opening their doors to us and really thought of it as a unique experience. It'll be interesting to see and I do think my wife and I will probably try a night here. I can't see spending more than one night here; as the area isn't terribly interesting. I did take a bunch of pictures but I don't think it would be fair to really post them as they won't reflect what the hotel will be... but there is a local blog that posted a bunch so I'll direct you there.

FDW
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Old May 26, 15, 8:15 am
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Article from today's sun. Interestingly it notes no flag or affiliation...

FDW
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Old Jan 5, 16, 5:21 pm
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So The Ivy has obtained the R&C flag. Ive eaten at the restaurant once and found the food to be quite good. It's what I would call a casual fine dining experience. Not quite as good as Charleston but definitely up there I think. Big plus on being casual.

One of the guys I work with stayed there for NYE. Him and his wife had nothing but accolades. He has eaten at the restaurant numerous times but says while the restaurant is great the hotel is even better. They loved the no tipping policy. No extra charges for drinks from the bar downstairs or in the room. Pretty much everything is included except for spa treatments. Service was exceptional. He said it seemed like that knew what he wanted before he even asked for it. One thing that stood out was that they were going to a service at ST Ignatius about 5 blocks away. The hotel really wanted to send someone to walk them but they refused (they both work downtown here). When the service was over and they came out there was someone waiting to walk them back. Bear in mind they were full that night. Nothing but good to say; they wouldn't hesitate to go back in a heartbeat.

Good for Baltimore. Maybe we will have to give them a try soon...
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Old Jan 5, 16, 5:43 pm
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Thanks FDW! Excellent notes. I actually heard from LM225 that the restaurant was good and we tried to go there on Dec. 26, but alas, they were closed.

In our beloved city I highly recommend La Cuchara as I know you've probably been everywhere else, unless maybe you've missed Pollo Amigo on York Road. Sundays have half-price wine. Or our place where it's always free!

The owner is a member at our club and so I'll see what gossip I hear once spring rolls around.

I wasn't thrilled that their restaurant didn't use more local purveyors, like Roseda Farms or Millstone Cidery. I do hope they move a little more in that direction (but not obnoxiously so)--we really are lucky to have such excellent produce in the area.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by declinespecificinformation View Post

In our beloved city I highly recommend La Cuchara as I know you've probably been everywhere else, unless maybe you've missed Pollo Amigo on York Road. Sundays have half-price wine. Or our place where it's always free!
As a local, I have been following this thread and we recently almost booked dinner at The Ivy but decided to go elsewhere since the menu was pretty limited. (SO is kind of a picky eater!) I have heard good things about La Cuchara as well but also have not tried it. When I saw Pollo Amigo I thought...what the heck...never heard of it. I then Googled it and it is the small place right next to the tailor I go to on a regular basis. Never thought about eating there but I guess now it will be on our "to try" list. Thanks!

Originally Posted by declinespecificinformation View Post
I wasn't thrilled that their restaurant didn't use more local purveyors, like Roseda Farms or Millstone Cidery. I do hope they move a little more in that direction (but not obnoxiously so)--we really are lucky to have such excellent produce in the area.
You must be a fan of Cunningham's, Fleet and Woodberry because they use all local purveyors. Personally I like when local purveyors are used but one that I just wish would go away is the coffee/espresso from Annapolis that every place seems to have right now. Just horrible!! I might as well drink vinegar!

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Old Feb 25, 17, 9:29 pm
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Just returned for another dinner at Magdalena.... they've changed the menu up a bit. Gone is the amuse bouche. They've added a raw section and expanded the appetizer/entree selections a bit. Service was very attentive and good. Everyone in the group agreed that the food was quite good. I thought it was much more approachable than Charleston, albeit not as good.

Afterward, we were taken on a tour of the hotel by the Assistant GM (ex-Marriott). I've been through the hotel while it was under construction before, so it was kind of nice to see the finished product. Sorry no pictures. As I thought before, the public spaces are stunning and very period appropriate. They have an inclusive approach to the stay; and it's reflected by the open bar that was on display. Everything thing felt very cozy and reminded me a lot of Wentworth Mansion in Charleston. Our tour also included a spin through the spa, which seemed like a nice space for a small hotel (two treatment rooms). I do wish that they had sauna/steam/hot tub options as well though... Finally they showed us suite 18 (apparently 16 of the rooms were occupied tonite). Honestly I was really disappointed to see that room- it's a two level room that's extremely contemporary... every other room is more period appropriate while this room just really seemed to scream new build loft condo... nonetheless, I saw enough tonite to give the Ivy a shot on our next night away (well next winter night away; the FS will always win the warm months because of its pool). It would be a night of eating and drinking, because in addition to inclusive drinks they also have an afternoon tea included as well...

FDW
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Old Apr 23, 19, 4:34 pm
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Any recent stays here? We are going to a show at the Modell Lyric and it looks like this is actually in walking distance. Or is walking even a very short distance after a show
a mistake? It looks like an interesting property and trying it for a night appeals.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by Mickidon View Post
Any recent stays here? We are going to a show at the Modell Lyric and it looks like this is actually in walking distance. Or is walking even a very short distance after a show
a mistake? It looks like an interesting property and trying it for a night appeals.
I will now answer my own question....we spent one night at the Ivy and loved it. It is a very specific hotel and seemed to have a lot of people celebrating special occasions. It's the kind of place one can hunker down and feel well cared for. The renovations were done to perfection - a lot of time and $$ were put into this effort and it is apparent at every turn. Lots of little fun touches everywhere, with snacks, open bar, pool table,tea, cozy places to read, etc.

The Flying Doctor provided great detail upstream, so I won't repeat...his analogy to Wentworth is a good one. This is probably not the place to come to do a touristic visit to Baltimore. We had to attend an event nearby which we actually walked to at night and felt fine as we stuck to the main streets. During the day, we walked around the Mount Vernon area and on to Inner Harbor. There is a car (3 mile radius) but my sense is they try to make it on demand but there may be a wait on occasions. We did not have dinner at Magdalena but
it was buzzing when we were there. The included breakfast was excellent.

We stayed in a large suite, #7 , and it was large and comfortably fitted out. Huge bathroom. Approx. $1200, so not cheap. Still,
with the inclusions and gracious staff, we felt it was worth it. The photos on the website do not do this suite justice, which is not usually the way that goes. I like that one books a specific room, so there are no surprises at check in. I was concerned about street noise but
the windows were well insulated.

If accommodations are not important on a visit to Baltimore, I'd probably pass on this given the price and location. If some time in
a hotel is on a docket, I doubt one can do better in this city. We actually plan to stay for two nights later in the year as we have another
event in town and want to have a bit more time enjoying the hotel.
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