In a historic waterside location in one of America’s oldest cities, Harbor East has emerged as a lively community of shops, restaurants, galleries and now, rising 18 stories above it all, the new Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
“All around us the city is coming alive with new excitement and vigour,” says Julien Carralero, general manager of the 256-room Hotel. “Now at last we are part of that as we open our doors and invite Baltimore inside, and send visitors who stay with us out into the city to experience the local arts and culture, get to know our neighbourhoods, cheer on our sports teams and shop to their heart’s content.”
The area’s emerging sense of style comes to life at the new Hotel. In fact, first time visitors may be forgiven for thinking they’ve accidentally walked into an art gallery as they are greeted by John Wigmore’s huge installation of light and paper behind the reception desk. The wide lobby and grand staircase are lit by stunning handblown murano glass fixtures, with pieces that form part of the city’s largest hotel art collection gracing the walls. Throughout the Hotel, modern works by contemporary American and international artists are on display, with special emphasis on those associated with the Washington Color School.
But it’s not all style without substance. At the very heart of everything at Four Seasons is a deep commitment and dedication to service. Voted one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For every year since the survey’s inception, the company’s employees continuously look for ways to make every guest’s experience memorable. With strong local ties, Four Seasons hotels become centres of both business and social life in their communities.
“Baltimore is my hometown, and it’s going to be my honour to show all it has to offer to visitors, and even let locals in on a few hidden gems they might not know about,” says Concierge Preston Rooks. “Whether it’s a seat on the 50 yard line at M&T Stadium to cheer on the Ravens or tickets to see a hit show at the Hippodrome, we’ll connect you with what’s happening, along with the best shopping, art exhibitions, neighbourhood walks, diversions for the kids and so much more.”
At the same time, there’s plenty to do without ever leaving the Hotel, from sensational new restaurants and bars to the sophisticated urban spa and incredible pool deck overlooking the harbor. Whether in town for business or to catch a baseball game, stopping in for lunch amid a day of shopping, booking a weekend “staycation” in the city or hosting a conference or charity gala, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore is where it all begins.
Come for Drinks, Stay for Dinner, Come Back Again for Breakfast and Lunch
The city is already abuzz in anticipation of Michael Mina’s first Baltimore outpost, Wit & Wisdom, A Tavern by Michael Mina. “The food will definitely keep people coming back for more, but it might be the Bar and Lobby Lounge that people remember most,” suggests Executive Chef Oliver Beckert, referring to the unusual egg-shaped centrepiece of the space adjacent to the restaurant. As many as 30 people can pull up a stool to watch the experts create classic and modern libations from the bottles arrayed within the dome above, and keep up on the latest scores on four flatscreens also concealed within. For cosy conversation, the best seats are gathered around four intimate fireplaces built into the walls between floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the harbor.
Back at Wit & Wisdom, A Tavern by Michael Mina, the fun continues in the open kitchen with its wood burning oven, rotisserie and classic Jefferson burners sending out mouthwatering aromas as the culinary team works its magic. The modern tavern offers a seasonal menu of American cuisine featuring primarily local ingredients. “This is the kind of restaurant where you can just as easily enjoy a casual evening with friends as do business with colleagues over breakfast, lunch or dinner,” says Beckert, who also oversees several other restaurants within the Hotel.
West Coast sensation LAMILL COFFEE is coming to Baltimore under the watchful eye of Michael Mina – and Edgar Allen Poe. In a city so obsessed with the American icon that it named its NFL team after his most famous poem, it’s only fitting that the Hotel’s all-day café and bistro is graced with a series of daguerreotype portraits reproduced in a striking montage at LAMILL.
And coming in February, Four Seasons will introduce a new dining concept in Pabu, an izakaya-style Asian restaurant. Offering more than 100 different sakes plus Asian beers and wines to accompany small plates, sushi and delicacies from a robata grill, the bamboo and wood clad restaurant will offer sparkling city views to guests who come for cocktails and casual dinners.
Take Off Your Shoes and Stay Awhile
The Spa at Four Seasons is now welcoming both road-weary travellers and local clients interested in a day of relaxation and rejuvenation. “Even the spa savvy who have experienced the world’s top spas are going to love what we have to offer,” predicts Spa Director Shanna Silverman. “Among our eleven treatment rooms are two suites with floor to ceiling harbor views and their own soaking tubs, and the couples suite is both a romantic retreat, or the perfect setting for a bridal party to pamper before the big day.”
Silverman particularly recommends the Signature Harbour Salt Scrub and Warm-Oil Massage, a muscle-melting treatment created especially for the Spa at Four Seasons by the world-renowned spa experts at ESPA. She also encourages guests to allow extra time to enjoy a steam or sauna, and try the experience showers. “We also have a lovely little tea room, very calming in the midst of a busy day in the city,” she adds.
An enormous pool deck is likely to tempt a dip even during the chilly winter months, as the water is maintained at a welcoming 85 degrees year round. With its infinity edge virtually spilling into the harbor and Pool Bar and Grill set to open in spring, its deck chairs may end up being the hottest seats in town. Up a few stairs, an infinity hot tub with sweeping harbor views is a great place to relax pre-treatment at the Spa, or sooth after a rigorous workout in the fitness centre. The upper deck also has a unique “wet deck,” a pool-size area immersed in three inches of water that invites splashing toes.
Mark Your Calendar
“On December 1 we’re welcoming the 2nd Annual Oxfords and Oysters Party to benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a great organisation dedicated to protecting the waters of Chesapeake Bay, and then on December 10, we’re all very excited to congratulate our first happy couple at their wedding reception here at the Hotel,” says Martha Morningstar, director of catering and conference services, noting that another 13 weddings are already booked for 2012.
“It’s a testament to the reputation of Four Seasons that couples are eager to spend one of the most important days of their lives with us, before they’ve even had a chance to see the space. But once they see the ballrooms with their gorgeous harbor views, I think they’ll be more excited than ever.”
Cutting-edge technologies and all new facilities include 20,000 square feet (1700 square metres) of event space, including the 5300 square foot (483 square metre) Grand Ballroom with a windowed pre-function area and stunning harbor views, plus the dividable Cobalt Ballroom, ten smaller meeting rooms and an executive boardroom. Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore offers the company’s new environmentally-conscious sustainable Greening Meetings options at no additional cost.
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