On a recent trip to Baltimore, Maryland, we stayed at the Renaissance Hotel, located in the historic Inner Harbor. We chose this hotel due to its proximity to the Baltimore Convention Center as we were there for Otakon, a large anime convention that is held there every year.
We booked the room online and stated that there would be 4 people in the room. When we arrived, the front desk clerk stated that we were down for a one-king bed no-smoking room. Regardless of whether the 4 people were related or not, a one-bed room for 4 people would not work. Because the hotel was relatively full, I was concerned they would not be able to give us a 2 bed room, but the clerk was able to switch our room and we ended up with a 2-Queen bed room after all.
The rooms are spacious and well-decorated. We ended up needing a roll-away bed and what they brought was an actual twin bed on wheels, not the typical folded cot. The guest who slept on the rollaway bed said it was very comfortable. There is complimentary wireless internet as well.
The hotel has an indoor pool with a large, outdoor courtyard adjacent. The courtyard has large hammocks and lounge chairs for sunbathing. However, the hotel is 12 stories and the height of the building combined with all the glass from windows keeps air from moving in the courtyard, making it very uncomfortable when the weather is very warm. There is a street level bar in the lobby which is directly across the street from the Inner Harbor shops, and the lobby also has a Starbucks. However, the street level bar does not open until 4 PM and the one night we visited there, they closed at 9 PM. Unfortunately for those who were in Baltimore for Otakon, but not attending the convention, this was a problem. One of the reasons we chose this hotel was the fact that they had a street level bar, and our plan was to sit at the bar most afternoons and watch the interesting costumes of the Otakon attendees. Needless to say, we didn’t spend much time downstairs, and ended up missing many of the costumes as it felt odd to just sit in the hotel lobby. There is another bar and restaurant on the 5th floor that has spectacular views of the Inner Harbor. We did not eat there, but did sit there one night for a few drinks. The bartenders were very friendly and we enjoyed conversation with them.
Housekeeping was excellent. The first night we called and requested additional towels, and they provided us with sufficient towels for the rest of our stay. The beds were made daily and they even changed the sheets on the rollaway bed each day.
There is a multi-level parking garage at the hotel, but the cost of parking is not included in the price of the room. Considering that this hotel is fairly costly, adding an additional $28 for parking each day seems excessive. Be sure to get your parking ticket validated at the front desk before check out or the cost is significantly higher.
The hotel is located directly across the street from the Inner Harbor locations, within walking distance to many great restaurants and shopping. It is about 2 blocks from the Baltimore Convention Center and there are overhead walkways so you can avoid the traffic. There is a small, multi-level mall called the Galleria also located adjacent to the hotel.
Although the hotel was very pleasant, it was rather expensive and we will choose a different location for our attendance at Otakon. A small cafe or bar at street level that is open during the day would have been nice for those who were in town but not attending Otakon. For the cost, we would have preferred more options at the hotel.