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All photos captured by Julie Andersen
Cheers, I'm officially 29! Another birthday in a pandemic...how do we celebrate? It seems a staycation has become my new birthday tradition. Last year, we stayed at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, indulging in room service, drinks, and a sunset view of Baltimore's Inner Harbor that took your breath away.
This year? I crossed an item off my Baltimore Bucket List, staying at The Ivy Hotel, a boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Baltimore's Historic Mount Vernon neighborhood. I've wanted to stay at The Ivy as long as I can remember. I found out about the property soon after moving to Baltimore in 2015, and while it took me 7 years, I kicked off the last year of my 20s by indulging in the full Ivy Hotel experience.
Tucked into a historic mansion, this Relais & Châteaux property is an oasis that's both stimulating and relaxing. Upon entering The Ivy Hotel, I was met with ornate and eclectic decor...and a glass of champagne. I've been fortunate enough to visit The Ivy Hotel for events, but the space never ceases to amaze me with its attention to detail and hospitality.
After a quick tour, I refilled my glass of champagne and checked in with the concierge. We went over the itinerary for our stay, amenities available during our stay (Mansion bar, gym, etc), and selected tea for complementary high tea. Turns out, we both have dachshunds so naturally, we spent 30 minutes talking about our dogs.
My birthday was on a weeknight. I originally booked Room Twelve, but I soon found out we were upgraded to Suite Three and had the mansion to ourselves. Talk about a suite surprise. So I dropped off my bags in the Suite and headed down to the Mansion lobby for complementary afternoon tea, complete with scones, finger sandwiches, and the most amazing pound cake.
Why I Chose The Ivy Hotel for my Birthday Staycation
Pet-friendly. I was only staying at a hotel that allowed us to bring Deckle, so I was ecstatic that the property is pet-friendly for dogs under 25lbs.
Inclusive pricing. I didn't want to worry about how much I was spending while trying to relax, and I appreciated that The Ivy's pricing is inclusive of various amenities, including access to complementary high tea, hotel bar, breakfast, black car service within 3mi of hotel, and a plethora of local snacks in your room or suite. Tips are also included in pricing so no need to fumble with cash, you can just relax and enjoy the experience.
Bath tub. I find baths incredibly relaxing so a bath tub was a non-negotiable for me!
Aesthetics. The Ivy's interiors are simultaneously ornate, luxurious, and contemporary. I mean, leopard carpet? Sign me up.
Spa on site. I wanted a 60min massage during our stay, and our Suite was only a hallway away from The Spa at the Ivy.
Restaurant on site. While The Ivy has complementary black car service within 3mi of the hotel, I didn't want to get dressed up for a birthday dinner. I was completely content eating a lavish dinner in my pajamas, so the ability to order Magdalena in suite was appreciated.
Close to home. While I wanted to get away, I didn't want to go far. The Ivy is close to home but allowed an escape from my everyday routine, making it the perfect destination for my birthday staycation.
We quickly settled into Suite Three. Deckle settled into the space, as well. To my surprise, The Ivy Hotel provided a crate, bed, treats, water bowl, toys for him. And after turning on the TV, fireplace, and pouring another glass of wine, we decided to order dinner in-suite from Magdalena.
Above all else, I wanted my birthday to be easy. I didn't want to have to worry about cooking, rushing to a reservation, rushing home to Deckle. I headed down to the Mansion bar to pour another glass of wine and get that evening's Magdalena menu. After deciding what we wanted to eat and drink, I headed back down to the concierge and placed our order to be delivered up to our Suite.
One thing I love about the Ivy is their personable staff. While yes, hospitality is built on customer service, the staff were down to earth. I had many relatable and meaningful, conversations with multiple employees. After ordering dinner, I talked to the concierge for 20min about addressing the education of physicians and needs of patients within our healthcare systems and hospitals, a topic I'm particularly passionate about.
I then returned to our Suite, changed into my pajamas, and waited for our dinner. When it arrived, we sampled every dish, fully satisfied with all items ordered! I personally loved the seasonal beet salad and Wagyu burger. Craving them as I write this.
Magdalena offers a late night menu for hotel guests adjusting to jet lag or with late-night cravings.
After dinner, I indulged in a bubble bath because....is there really anything better than sipping wine while soaking in a bubble bath? Peak relaxation.
After a quiet and restful night of sleep, I woke up (dehydrated and) ready for breakfast. Let me tell you, the complementary breakfast at Magdalena is LIFE CHANGING. The fresh fruit and coffee were a beautiful sight. And please, PLEASE order the lemon ricotta pancakes and breakfast potatoes. I'm already planning my return for my Mom's birthday, and I can't wait to get a second (and third) order of those potatoes, haha.
Magdalena is open to the public for dinner and drinks, Tuesday to Saturday 5-9pm. Make your reservation here.
A special thank you to The Ivy Hotel staff who made our short stay so relaxing and special. I would go back tonight, if I could!
Have you stayed at The Ivy Hotel? Comment on this post with your thoughts, I'd love to hear about your experience! You can check out more of my adventures and hotel suggestions under the TRAVEL tab.
As always, you can keep up with my everyday adventures and outfits on Instagram!
Until next time,