Think you know Baltimore? Think again. One of America’s oldest cities, a commercial capital since colonial days and long a mecca for serious sports fans, is emerging as a premiere destination for dining, shopping, culture and business, as well as a centre for medical research and treatment. Soon to be at the heart of it all: the new Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, set to open this November in chic Harbor East.
Rising 18 stories above the historic harbour, Four Seasons represents the new Baltimore: vibrant, edgy, smart and fun. Surrounded by a strollable waterfront community of shops, cafés and theatres, the 256-room Hotel is just minutes from downtown and the Baltimore Convention Center, and a mere ten minutes from the internationally-renowned Johns Hopkins medical facilities. Other historic neighbourhoods including Fells Point, Little Italy and Canton are within walking distance.
“This is Baltimore’s moment. Regular business travellers and city residents already know what a great place it is to live, work and play, and now people from the region and even the rest of the world are taking notice,” says General Manager Julien Carralero. “We’re already booking social and corporate events for this year and next, and locals have anxiously awaited the day we open up the reservations books for our restaurants and Spa. International inquiries are also coming in, particularly those with business in the city or plans to visit Johns Hopkins.”
Designed by BH&C (Beatty, Harvey & Coco) of New York and Baltimore and Hill Glazier Architects of Palo Alto, California, the Hotel’s interior design is by Brayton & Hughes Design Studio, San Francisco, enhanced by the largest hotel art collection in the city, featuring purchased and commissioned pieces by Washington Color School and other contemporary artists.
Dining and Drinking at Four Seasons
Anchored by famed restaurateur Michael Mina’s first outpost in the city, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore promises to be a favoured destination for evenings with friends, power breakfasts and business lunches, Sunday brunch with the family, or even just a cup of coffee during a day of shopping in the neighbourhood.
Inspired by dockside joints that once welcomed shipmen and traders in centuries past, Michael Mina has conceived a whimsical interpretation of a modern steakhouse tavern: Wit & Wisdom by Michael Mina. On the menu, he will bring his extensive experience and vision to bear with grilled entrees served in cast iron skillets and meats and seafood cooked by rotisserie, wood fired grill, slow braised or baked in sea salt, complemented by appetisers to share, seasonal sides and regional breakfast specialties.
“Be prepared for a new contender in the ongoing race for Maryland’s best crab cake,” jokes Executive Chef Oliver Beckert, who is overseeing the food and beverage program at the new Hotel.
LAMILL COFFEE will be a casual diner-style bistro for breakfast, lunch and shopping breaks. The Pool Bar and Grill will offer drinks and light fare on the year-round pool deck overlooking the harbour, and the Bar and Lobby Lounge will welcome those seeking light meals and classic and innovative cocktails.
Coming in 2012, Pabu will be a hip izakaya-style Japanese pub offering kobachi (small plates), sushi and sashimi, rolls and oshizushi, larger composed plates, and sake.
Baltimore’s New Urban Oasis: Spa, Fitness and Pools at Four Seasons
Whether taking a much needed break while in town for business, popping in for an afternoon of pampering or convalescing from medical treatments, the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore will be unlike anything the city currently has to offer.
The 10,000 foot (950 square metre) Spa features eleven treatment rooms including several suites with private soaking tubs, and separate men’s and women’s relaxation areas, sauna and steam. Featuring products and treatments by the world-renowned experts at ESPA in a soothing, contemporary American environment, it’s destined to be an oasis of pampering and wellness for the spa savvy.
Two pools include a year-round heated pool with an infinity edge that virtually spills into the harbour and a wide sunny terrace. A state-of-the-art fitness centre encompasses 2000 square feet (185 square metres) with inspiring floor-to-ceiling pool and harbour views.
Corporate and Social Events with Four Seasons Style and Service
Planning a meeting, a charity gala, wedding or other celebration? Look no further than Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, where all-new facilities and cutting-edge technologies are the backdrop for world class cuisine and flawless attention to detail that characterises memorable events at Four Seasons.
“Within days of putting up our Facebook page, the phone in the catering office at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore began to ring,” says Director of Marketing Judith Dumrauf. “Our experienced team is already putting together meetings and social events, even before the carpet has been laid and the paint has dried.”
The Hotel offers more than 20,000 square feet (1700 square metres) of event space, including a the 5300 square foot (483 square metre) Grand Ballroom with a windowed pre-function area and stunning harbour views, plus the dividable Cobalt Ballroom, ten smaller meeting rooms and an executive boardroom. Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore will offer the company’s new environmentally-conscious sustainable Greening Meetings options at no additional cost.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Nearly all of the 211 guest rooms and 45 suites at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore open up to panoramic harbour views through floor-to-ceiling windows, and many also offer private terraces. Decorated in contemporary American style with room configurations to suit business travellers, long stay guests, or families and friends in town for quick getaway weekend, all rooms and suites offer signature Four Seasons beds, twice-daily housekeeping and thoughtful in-room amenities.
Will There Be Enough Time? Things to Do in Baltimore
History buffs and seafood lovers have long flocked to the city, and major league sports fans know Baltimore for baseball’s Orioles and football’s Ravens. Baltimore also nurtures a lively arts community based in and around the Mount Vernon neighbourhood. Once the domain the city’s most wealthy citizens, it’s now home to the Walters Art Museum, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Lyric Opera House, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute, and the Baltimore School for the Arts.
In 2010, Forbes ranked Baltimore as America’s third best shopping destination, topped only by Houston and Dallas thanks to its 21 shopping centres and nearly 1000 retail locations, not to mention the state’s wallet-friendly six percent sales tax.
Other diversions include the National Aquarium, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, and the Maryland Science Center. Three of America’s best golf courses are within 30 miles (48 kilometres) of the Hotel. The colonial and maritime heritage city of Annapolis is less than an hour away, and Washington DC is just 90 minutes from Baltimore.
Connect with Four Seasons
Follow all the final preparations leading up to opening day on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about this destination at Four Seasons magazine.
Also in US today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Baltimore.
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City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.