May 6, 2015

A Sneak Peek at the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore

As I said yesterday, the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore is getting ready to make its debut after being closed for a decade or so. The city actually owned this building and used it for hotel and meeting space. It had the less-than-charming name of Government House Inn. About 20 years ago, they refurbished it, and did it over in full Victorian mode and it hadn’t been touched since. IMG_0975

Enter the Azola Group and the Garrett Hotel Consultants who teamed up to make this Baltimore’s best little boutique hotel. They promptly bought the adjacent building and began the make-over process. Out with all of the Victorian and in with a more classical look. Although the furniture wasn’t installed yet – the place needs a good cleaning after all of the construction work – I saw some bits and pieces and it looks terrific. Each of the 18 guest rooms/suites will be completely different.IMG_0866

Many of the rooms have the original fireplaces and some of them have been faux painted in wood or marble finishes. IMG_0864IMG_0870

I was fascinated with the firebox of the fireplace above – the iron is in a flame pattern!IMG_0871

One of the fireplaces even had the 1812 War Memorial Monument painted on it – the same symbol that is in the Baltimore flag. All of the “stone” on this mantle is faux painted. IMG_0916

Many of the hotel’s original floors are intact, and where they aren’t, the carpenters have matched them.IMG_0902

There are lots of interesting chandeliers and lanterns throughout the hotel, and it’s fun to decide which are new and which are original.
IMG_0865 IMG_0910
IMG_0868 IMG_0941

The most amazing light, and of course, the hardest one to photograph, was the one hanging all the way through the center staircase!IMG_0893IMG_0904

One of the rooms I liked the best was the small private dining room, with its bank of old windows and tooled and painted leather wallcoverings.IMG_0924IMG_0928IMG_0930IMG_0934

The hotel is filled with small details that make it special.

 Oeil-de-boeuf Window over the bathtubIMG_0891

One of two sets of interior stained glass windows. The walls, hard to see, are painted in glimmering and flat gold stripes.IMG_0895

The skylight, with the hanging lantern.IMG_0900

A massive wall, hand-painted to look like Portuguese tiles.IMG_0946

The Azola group cleverly added a glass hyphen and whole new wing to the hotel, which echoes the original building.IMG_0884 In doing this, they created an interior courtyard.

Here are some of the other rooms we saw.

Fun bathroom fixturesIMG_0889

David’s drawing room with the stunning hand-painted murals. I know how hard these were to create!IMG_0918

Drawing room with the hand-painted tile.IMG_0919

Main parlourIMG_0940

And then there was the original safe. IMG_0958IMG_0961IMG_0959One of the absolute BEST things about the hotel is something that the public will never even see: the chef’s kitchen with this seriously fabulous stove.IMG_0956When I spotted it, I swear, I heard angels singing! IMG_0951It’s a Molteni range, specifically crafted for this space and Chef Mark Levy’s needs. It was shipped from the South of France in locked crates.

The other thing in the kitchen that caught my eye was the collection of bright and shiny new copper pots and pans!IMG_0949

Thanks to the AIA’s Historic Resources Committee, the Azola Group and the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore for hosting our group! More information on the Ivy Hotel is here. I am hoping to get an invitation to come back just before they open, so I can show you the finished project!


  1. Thanks for the tour! And yes, Angelic echoes bounced off my screen. Wow.

    1. I don't really cook, but I'd KILL to have this range in my kitchen!

  2. OMG!!! I just mentioned the Ivy to my husband!! We have stayed at "The Point" in the Adirondacks several times--and met David Garret and his wife when we first started going there! Mark Levy is an amazing chef--my husband still credits him with making the best meal EVER (though ALL the meals at The Point are amazing)!! We were so sad to see David & his wife as well as Mark go--they made the most amazing first impressions! We were thrilled several months ago when we received a mailing from the Garret Group about their new venture!! Anyway--The Ivy looks terrific and we will definitely be putting it on our list on a future trip to Baltimore!!! Thanks for covering it!!
    Kind Regards,Cindy

    1. Let me know when you come to Baltimore! I'd love to show you around!

  3. What a labor of love this must have been for the Architects and Designers!

    1. It was! The architects for the project were Ziger/Snead, just a few blocks away from the hotel.

  4. Top of my "Stay-cation" destination list now! Thank you for this working preview, Meg. Crossed fingers that they let you back to see how it looks when the doors are about to be flung open!

  5. Meg are your readers planning on participating in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive ? USPS Letter carriers are collecting donations on Saturday May 9th. A shopping bag left in the mailbox can be filled and left out so the carrier can collected food stuffs which will be donated to food banks and pantries within the community . Now more than ever Baltimore can show they care about nutrition deficits in their hometown. Residents in parts of town where the invasion of unrest rioting looting took place are suffering. Help the food banks that are being stressed during this time. As the events in Baltimore shine a light on need, everyone in their own hometown can seize this opportunity to show their care to help Stamp Out Hunger and reach out to those neighbors less fortunate.

  6. Meg, as I told you, I just spent two days and two nights at this fantasyland. My god, how spectacular. It is a gift to the city. And your pictures are way better than mine! :-)


Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.