Nowadays between school, work, and outside commitments, I like to take advantage of everyone having a few days off and plan a short getaway. Sure, I have ulterior motives since then I can enjoy a holiday dinner without cooking, cleaning, or hostessing. Sometimes this might be a short vacation in itself or it may be a prelude to a cruise. Since many cruises leave immediately before or after a holiday, families may need to travel during this time. Trust me, this can add to the excitement and is a wonderful time to be away from home for the holidays.
This year, we decided to visit a hidden gem in our own backyard of Maryland and stay at the stunning Hotel Monaco, A Kimpton Hotel to experience Thanksgiving festivities. Only minutes away from the Cruise Maryland terminal and a short ride from BWI airport, the Hotel Monaco is also conveniently located close to many popular attractions but yet still maintains its old world charm. The building was originally built in 1906 as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Headquarters. It was then managed by Kimpton in 2009 as the Hotel Monaco. True to Kimpton's boutique philosophy, they have maintained the building beautifully and I can't believe it's taken me this long to visit!
As soon as we arrived, we were warmly met by the valet attendant. He offered suggestions if we wanted to self park but it was easy enough to have him take our car. Upon entering the historic building, we were in awe of the stunning crystal chandeliers, gold accents, and the gorgeous marble staircases. Even more impressive, the marble stairs are one of the few staircases preserved by the National Park Service.
If you don't have luggage, you can take the marble stairs up to the lobby level. Otherwise, the elevators quickly meet you for the short ride.
Here is where all of your concerns disappear with spending the holidays at a hotel. We were enthusiastically greeted with a rousing "Happy Thanksgiving!" as if we were long lost family when we approached the lobby desk. Everyone was genuinely warm and welcoming. Also, if you've never stayed at a Kimpton property before, you may be happy to know that they are pet friendly. Even your doggy gets their own welcome mat and treats when checking in.
After we were settled with our keys and information on the amenities at the hotel, we couldn't wait to see our room. We had reserved a Pullman's Double Double with Bunk Beds. This room is fantastic for families! It's very spacious with the adult beds on one side and the bunk beds on the other. The best feature of the bunk bed room is the xbox that is included in it. Within minutes, my youngest was back at the front desk choosing from a numerous selection of games.
The bathroom is large and elegant, as is the main sleeping area. With high ceilings and beautiful furnishings, this suite is perfect for the whole family.
Food is my thing, so I could truly go on and on about the dining. The B&O Brasserie is unbelievably delicious. I'd definitely go back even if not staying at the Hotel Monaco. We enjoyed it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For additional details, menus, and photographs, head over to the B&O Brasserie section of my website.
For this visit, I loved how they mastered Thanksgiving dinner. The best part of traveling over the holidays is that not everyone has to have a traditional meal. At B&O Brasserie, the entire dinner menu was offered along with a traditional Thanksgiving Celebration Menu. Everyone else ordered off of the regular menu and couldn't have been more happy. I chose the 4-course fixed price Thanksgiving Celebration Menu. They definitely took a creative twist on the traditional. I might just have to get back to see what is on the menu for other holidays!
When you visit Hotel Monaco or any other Kimpton Hotel, don't miss the complimentary happy hour in the evenings. It's a great way to relax at the end of the day and even meet new friends (including the hotel staff.) You're sure to get in the holiday spirit right away.
They also have a phenomenal coffee display in the mornings. Complimentary, too!
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, with a family including two teenage boys, we still need family friendly and comfortable.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
About the Photos
Our beautiful photographs are creatively captured by my talented freelance husband/photographer located in Baltimore, MD. Click here to explore more of his work.
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Time flies! The winter holidays are almost here.
We are still working on our holiday travel plans and throughout the chilly winter months.
As we are anxiously awaiting next winter's cruise to the ABC islands on Celebrity Cruises, we'd love to get another cruise on the books.
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