Updated: Nov 24, 2020
If you’ve been thinking about lux travel experiences in the Northeast, then surely you’ve thought about The Ivy. This Black-owned, luxury boutique property in Baltimore has earned rave reviews from Conde Naste, USA Today, and American Way magazine, among others. Rumor has it that Beyonce and Jay-Z stay at The Ivy when they’re in town, so you know it has to be fabulous.
Just how fab? After spending a weekend there with hubby for a short getaway, I can honestly say it is THAT fabulous. Built in 1889, the eighteen room property has been restored to perfection. The inviting common areas and guest rooms appear to whisper to you about their history. The property itself can only be described as lush. Every room is filled with stunning art purchased at private auctions and truly thoughtful touches like comfy chairs, perfect for reading, placed in the spots with the best lighting or close to the fireplace, while other areas are designed for playing poker or cards. Each guest room is unique, with equally thoughtful and inviting elements in each room.
Besides the fact that the property is truly stunning and exceptionally designed, one big question remains: with base prices at around $650 a night, is it worth it? If you're looking for a romantic weekend or a relaxing getaway where you absolutely want to let go of your day-to-day worries and relax, then my vote is 'YES.' If you can afford it, the amenities, food, and the level of service combine to provide you with an experience that is truly unparalleled.
The Ivy is a mostly all-inclusive experience, where almost everything is covered except for spa services and dinner at the restaurant. As we were told when we checked in, “at The Ivy, we believe no guest should ever be hungry or thirsty”, and the experience is true to that motto. Champagne awaiting you upon arrival to sip during your tour of the gorgeous, historic property? Sip away. Made to order breakfast at the fabulous restaurant? Included -- don't forget to try the Crab Cake Benedict. Snacks in the minibar in your room? There are even kombucha and local treats awaiting you. A Bottle of wine and snacks in your room on check-in? Why of course. Afternoon tea complete with some of the best scones and snacks you could ask for? Just grab a seat and enjoy. Serve yourself, fully-stocked bar complete with recipe books so you can try something new? Make an Old Fashioned or two. Though of course if you're hesitant to make your own cocktail, one of the staff will gladly assist.
Beyond the tea, snacks, breakfast, and bar, The Ivy is a truly warm, welcoming experience. The staff remember remembers your name, asks about your plans and your day so that they can anticipate your needs, and are always available if you have a question or desire. Though, based on our experience, you'll typically find that you don't need to ask. The Ivy seems to almost magically provide what you were looking for. Need a ride to hit up a spot in the city nearby? They'll arrange it (within 3 miles of the hotel). In-room movies to watch snuggled in bed are also included, so you can flip through the selection of new and popular films to your heart's content.
From inviting common areas to the impeccable breakfast, the experience at The Ivy is truly outstanding. The Ivy is a space to go to tune out the outside world, take a deep breath, and truly relax. If that alone doesn't sway you, then consider this: if you got it like that and you're going splurge, why not do it at a Black-owned business? Even better, head to The Ivy where the owners are Black philanthropists deeply rooted in Baltimore. They've given forty million dollars to support the arts, health, and educational programming in the community. Now that's a splurge you can feel good about.