Bold, sophisticated and contemporary – that’s a few ways to best describe the old world charm of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor.
It’s located in the heart of Baltimore’s busting business district in a high rise that was originally the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Headquarters.
Today, the boutique hotel artfully blends historic architectural elements with upscale amenities.
My friend and I were amazed at the architecture of the building when we arrived.
Above the main entrance were two original sculptures: Mercury, the Roman god for commerce, and a figure named Progress of Industry, which holds a torch and a locomotive.
The 13-story building originally opened in 1906, serving as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad HQ for 75 years.
After a three-year renovation, the Beaux-Arts building re-opened as Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore in 2009 with 202 rooms along with three floors of office space.
Walking into the main lobby, the elegance lives on through its two white original marble staircases that lead up to the first floor, which is where you’ll find the hotel check-in desk and sprawling lounge area (don’t worry, the elevator can help you get there if you have luggage).
There’s a crackling fireplace in this lounge area, which also serves as the location for complimentary tea and coffee each morning and a daily complimentary wine hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. to all hotel guests.
After receiving the key card to our room, we took the elevator to the 11th floor.
When we opened the doors to our Mediterranean Suite, we loved the open layout of the living room with its sleeper sofa taking center stage.
In the bedroom was a luxurious king size bed with vibrant red feature pillows.
The highlight of the suite was a very deep Fuji soaking tub in the bathroom – there was also a shower right next to it too.
The room was also decked out with a spacious work desk with chair, luxurious Frette linens, a Gourmet Honor bar with organic options, and Atelier Bloem bath amenities.
After unpacking, we explored the rest of the hotel before sightseeing around town.
Old World elegance meets modern luxury with the décor paying homage to the building’s railroad past.
Warm gold mingles with rich blue hues, and brilliant red lacquers pop against royal purples and greens.
On the ground floor of the hotel is the entrance to its restaurant called B&O American Brasserie.
B&O provides a relaxed-meets-elegant atmosphere in which to enjoy contemporary American fare.
While the name gives a nod to the Gilded Age of the railroad, the locally sourced, seasonal food stays up to the minute with only the freshest ingredients around.
Although its dishes rotate based on what’s available from the local farmers and purveyors, you’ll always find favorites like charcuterie, artisan cheese, and brick oven-fired pizzas.
If you don’t know what to choose, you might get ideas from watching the chefs hard at work in the exhibition kitchen.
To raise spirits even higher, take advantage of the expertly stocked bar that features draft ales, handcrafted cocktails, and fine wines.
The buzzing happy hour and fantastic craft cocktail program make B&O one of the city’s favorite hangouts, for loyal locals as well as just-arrived travelers.
The Baltimore City Paper recently deemed Head Bartender Brendan Dorr’s cocktail menu one of the best of town, and now they’re giving you more reason to chug on over to B&O.
Happy hour runs weekdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with select beer and champagne for $3, wine for $4, and specialty cocktails for $5.
After spending the afternoon exploring the Inner Harbor, it was time to relax back at our room after enjoying the complimentary a glass of red at wine hour (along with snacks too!).
It was easy to get lost in the rich environment, slip into the animal print robes, and let our worries roll away.
If you want to stay in shape, there’s a fitness center, in-room yoga mats, and free public bikes.
If you’re look more to indulge while in Baltimore, unwind with spa services delivered directly to your room.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore is certainly achieving its goal to help the city live up to its nickname, inserting doses of “charm” everywhere you turn.
No matter your length of stay at this grand, historic building, you’ll always remember how old can meet new in the most aesthetically pleasing ways.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore is located at 2 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD.
For more information, visit www.monaco-baltimore.com.