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The former bachelor pad in Baltimore is her hottest new hotel — the hotels above

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Credit: Brett Wood

The 1912 Latrobe, a Renaissance building tucked away on a quiet corner in the Mount Vernon cultural district, was once home to seven-time Baltimore mayor Ferdinand Latrobe, followed by many bachelors thereafter. Today, it’s cutting a new paradigm in town envisioned by boutique hospitality company Ash: a mobile haven for travelers and locals alike.

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Credit: Brett Wood

The journey begins with a title, Ulysses—a reference to a James Joyce novel as well as a 19th-century Baltimore cruise ship. Distinctive blue lanterns with matching umbrellas welcome visitors to the nine-story Latrobe. The foyer—complete with ornate Italian marble mosaic floor, large-scale oil paintings, and tall florals—is nothing short of dramatic. Pictures of Greek mythology, hand-drawn by a local artist, adorn the elevator walls. Ulysses newspaper, newspaper-style guest guide, and old red rotary telephone in the halls complete the time capsule ambiance.

Credit: Brett Wood

The top eight floors host monochromatic rooms with contrasting light and dark accents in four palettes: yellow, red, green, and blue. Fancy a specific color? You can ask for yours when booking.

Credit: Brett Wood

Rooms vary widely in design due to the historic nature of the former bachelor’s quarters, and all rooms feature the same eclectic decor—a tribute to Papa Trash himself, the brilliant filmmaker and John Waters, of Baltimore City, with Art Deco elements and a touch of India. A four-poster bed with scalloped canopies, “Sin and Salvation” quilts inspired by 1840s Baltimore album quilts, and glass lanterns hanging below the ceiling are the norm. Bedside tables sit atop wood-carved flamingos (Pink flamingos, anyone?) with hand-beaded lampshades from Jaipur. Decorative blackout drapes, lacquer cabinets, and wall-to-wall leopard-print carpeting complete the aesthetic. Bathrooms hold urn-shaped mirrors above black toilets and basins, adorned with custom bath amenities that exude an enticing fragrance. It’s comical, yet seductive. Ulysses is a hotel for lovers.

Prefer a more luxurious design with a clawfoot tub in the center of the room? Book one of the four suites upstairs.

Credit: Brett Wood

Sip an aperitif or enjoy a proper meal at Ash Bar, the hotel’s all-day bistro. It’s the dim lighting, high-gloss wall-to-ceiling burlap paneling, and rattan furniture remind you of an old-fashioned train carriage. The staff are friendly and attentive, but not overly so, and the tables are topped with sheets of paper and playful bowls of crayons. It’s just the kind of environment you’d expect for a transitional saloon society that Ash would like Ulysses to be in.

Credit: Brett Wood

You’ll want to reserve a table in advance via Resy for a late-night cocktail at Bloom’s, Baltimore’s hottest spot. The ambiance is lively and provocative with a mirrored bar and ceiling, crimson duct banquets, and purple velor seating.

Credit: Brett Wood

Top takeaway:

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

evaluation: four stars

vibe: A moody, quaint boutique to hide away in downtown Charm.

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Food + drink: Ash Bar is the hotel’s all-day coffee shop, serving continental cuisine and classic cocktails for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Bloom’s Cocktail Lounge serves creative drinks and light appetizers in the evening. Coral Wig Bar, a tropical cocktail bar, is set to open downstairs this winter. No room service or in-room fridges (yet) but takeaways are available from the Ash Bar.

means of comfort: Restaurant, Bar, Cocktail Lounge, Concierge, Cable TV, Wi-Fi, Newspapers, Access to nearby MV Fitness.

Our favorite thing about the hotel: For a restaurant operating out of three separate kitchens, one of which is a food truck in the back parking lot (yes, really!), Ash Bar creates impeccably prepared dishes and mouth-watering pastries at all hours of the day. We’re particularly fond of their vegan olive oil chocolate chip cookies as well as their egg-focused brunch.

5 attractions nearby: Washington Monument, Walters Museum of Art, The Lyric, Charles Theater and Lexington Market.

No personal neighborhood records? Mount Vernon is the cultural center of the city and is walkable to the aforementioned attractions as well as a number of fine historic churches. We also recommend that you drive across the street to Spirits of Mount Vernon For wine tastings, browse vintage clothes around the corner bread bottleand go around the corner to korean-inspired Dobby Miso caramel latte.

Rooms: 116 rooms

pricingRates start at $169/night.

Nearest airport: Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport

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