While speaking with a premier New Jersey floral designer, I was captivated by her stories about the painstaking effort thatRead More
After a whirlwind of wedding details, mustering more energy, money and planning to execute the BIG trip may feel daunting, but that doesn’t mean the first days of your new union can’t be spent in a very special place. The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore will exceed your expectations. The property, located in the historic Mount Vernon district of the city, earned Relais & Chateaux distinction within a year of opening—no easy feat and one that ensures that comfort, service and luxury are at hand. A mini moon at this superb boutique hotel is sure set your new union off to a dreamy start. You will know you are in a special place right from the door. The staff will whisk you in, take your bags and hand you a glass of champagne as they usher you into the elevator and up to the main level of this beautifully restored circa 1800s brownstone. You’ll feel as though you are visiting the home of a (well heeled) friend, as the staff is warm and welcoming and the common areas sumptuously appointed. If it feels indulgent, and it will, relax, cocktails and gratuities are part of the package. The elegant décor is a marriage of old world craftsmanship and modern touches (and conveniences) in spades. The public rooms are swanky, while still a bit playful with gem-colored walls, oversized murals, fireplaces to snuggle in front of and a clubby-looking lounge with a billiard table. (For couples setting up a new home, the Ivy is a gold mine of design ideas to “steal.”) With only nine suites and nine rooms, each lavish space has a personality all its own. In eclectic Room Six, the townhome’s original master bedroom, you’ll find plush club chairs and a king-sized, four-poster bed swathed in subtle leopard-print drapes. Old meets new on the ceiling with a fanciful gilded-age, plaster garland framing an airy, modern chandelier. All but one of the rooms have four-poster, king-sized beds outfitted with 400-count Frette linens, sitting areas and no-fuss-no-muss gas fireplaces. The lux baths have soaking tubs, oversized showers, heated limestone floors and divine Natura Bisse toiletries. The singular queen-bed room is no less grand. It’s a pocket-sized oasis with a private balcony and a roomy shower. (Secluded corridors link several of the rooms, an ideal set up for a bridal party or bridesmaid getaway.) The suites amp up the comforts. The two-story Tower Suite has a modern vibe with a full living room, a fireplace and a powder room on the main floor. Follow the glass stair rail to the second level to find the large bedroom with vaulted ceilings. The only guest space in the hotel’s tower area, this suite is supremely private. You may be too comfortable to tear yourselves out of your quarters, so you can enjoy your bountiful breakfast in-room. If you do opt to get out and about, take your morning meal at a private table in one of the common areas. Then take in the town. The Ivy is centrally located to all the best of Baltimore: museums, theaters and the thriving waterfront with cobblestone streets, tony restaurants and shops—no need to drive, the hotel provides a driver for in-town travel. After a day out, schedule a pampering spa treatment. A cozy sanctuary on the hotel’s second floor, the spa’s roster of offerings can be happily tailored to individual tastes. Have a pre-dinner cocktail in your room; raid the generously stocked mini-bar filled with great complimentary treats: kombucha, nuts, chips and specialty sweets. When you are ready for dinner, fine dining is just an elevator ride away at Magdalena’s. The restaurant’s décor is fittingly as eclectic as its menu. There are five seating areas to explore the globally inspired menu. At Magdalena’s, like the Ivy Hotel itself, nothing is ho-hum—you can eat here night after night, and sit in a different spot, try a different cuisine and feel as though you have discovered someplace new. After dinner, wander (perfectly sated) back to your room, stop for a nightcap in one of the lounges or take in the twinkling lights of the courtyard warmed by the fire pit. A jewel-box escape, the Ivy Hotel offers king-sized relaxation for a maximal mini-moon.