Hotel Revival, Baltimore
Will Ross, January 27, 2019
Located 40 miles north of Washington, D.C., Baltimore has been undergoing a slow renaissance as one of the legacy cities of the Eastern seaboard. The town’s coal heritage and port access led to its boom in the late-19th century, an era that has been replaced by the gradual development of urban blight as the following century came to a close. In the Mount Vernon neighbourhood, a vibrant creative quarter north of Downtown, Joie de Vivre hotels recently opened Hotel Revival to lure visitors back to the Baltimore in style. The hotel sounded promising when a local friend recommended it before my stay, so when a fraudulent Airbnb setup collapsed around the corner, I didn’t hesitate to wheel my bag around the corner and make the most of my hard-earned compensation.
Located at the intersection of Monument Street and Cathedral Street, Hotel Revival immediately stands out. Its prominent double-front and welcoming entrance areas make a cursory bow to The Washington Monument. Owing to its setting on a slope alongside a green square, the hotel’s reception area falls on two levels, with a reading and lounge area on the mezzanine on the Monument Street side of the building, and the hotel’s eatery, Square Meal, in the sub-basement, accessed from the Cathedral Street entrance. Find yourself wandering into the cascading entrance area, eyeing up forkliftable coffee table books while taking note of a range of stunning designer seating areas and worktables.
Bedrooms are located on eight floors, with Topside restaurant occupying the top floor, showing off near-360° views over the city. Covering a range of sizes and configurations, bedrooms fall into various types with the Miss Mary Suite taking top place and paying tribute to a Mount Vernon suffragist, Mary Elizabeth Garrett (1854-1915). Rooms are generally spacious with stunning city views, and extra features like Google Assistant-enabled televisions (I failed to function mine during my two-night stay, resorting to playing my own music through the bluetooth system instead). Jonathan Alder toiletry products adorn the bathrooms, tiled spaces with dressing gowns available for good measure.
The hotel’s Topside restaurant is a required visit, for its views and evident place in Baltimore’s creative and curated scene. The menu is decidedly meaty, with generous portions including an array of Chesapeake Bay fish, with the brunch menu offering a spread of unconventional brunch dishes. Downstairs, breakfast fares prepared at Square Meal start the day at 7am, from when brews from Ceremony Coffee Roasters are also served.
Other nearby eateries and coffee shops are worth diving into. Cafe Fili is 200m from Hotel Revival and serves a healthy menu made of Mediterranean dishes includes Greek, Tunisian and Nicoise salads, matched by “scrambles” in the morning, each identifying with eggy inspirations from Italy, America, Turkey and Greece. For tacos, continue half a mile north to Clavel.
Coffee options include Charmington’s half a mile south of Johns Hopkins University’s southern perimeter. Ceremony Coffee Roasting have two venues in town, one at 520 Park Avenue around the corner from Hotel Revival, and another on the Harbour Point which makes for a good turnaround for a 7km run (also near a Under Armour flagship store).
Those inclined to make the most of Under Armour’s backyard can get a good amount of training in during their stay in Baltimore. Next to Johns Hopkins University, regional bike store, Race Pace Bicycles, can tee you up for road bike loans and route guides, while CorCycle in downtown Baltimore host indoor studio classes. Swimmers can use lanes at the nearby Merritt Clubs Downtown location – they have an indoor swimming pool and allows for a 3-day trial of the facilities (pre-registration required). Runners can run half a mile to Dunbar High Football Field for laps, or else cut through downtown and run along the harbour.
A unique training highlight in Baltimore is FX Studios, Downtown, located in a renovated “10 Light” state bank, once the largest in the United States. The interiors to the building are decorated with gilded surfaces, with a vaulted ceiling and large chandeliers signposting one investable fact – health is wealth.
Above is a photo of the main training area, too encourage anyone to justify the range of entry fees to this temple of fitness: day passes rate are $25; one week is $40; a single month pass is $80.
For more information on Hotel Revival and its facilities, go to jdvhotels.com.