The Holiday Inn Express Baltimore Downtown caught my attention in the many options of Baltimore’s downtown hotels because of its history. I’m a fan of repurposed buildings. Housed in the former Old Town National Bank building, this Holiday Inn Express has many features of the original architecture of this 1924 building that make it worth a visit. Built in the boom period after WWI, the building’s features showcase the mood of the times.
Much of the bank’s original features were included in the Holiday Inn Express’s remodel. Most impressive is the two-story lobby with its grand columns, expansive marble floor, and decorative details like the ornate clock with its sentry guards that add the elegance of 1920s opulence. The bank vault is still part of the hotel’s design.
Thanks to the careful preservation of the hotel’s architects, the building’s history is part of this Holiday Inn’s reason to stay here distinction. Its close proximity to many of Baltimore’s things to do and affordable price are other pluses.
When I arrived to check in at night, the lobby was a quiet place with just a few people sitting in the visiting areas. In the morning, it bustled with guests taking in the included breakfast. Business people and families were among the mix of travelers.
This roaring 20s feel switches to modern-day comfort and convenience in the guest rooms.
The cheery melon color of the accent wall of my king bed room was a surprise. I’m used to non-descriptive beige and cream. The color was a treat. Room lighting created a homey, non-corporate feel and the bed made for a comfortable night sleep. Rooms are equipped with a 40 inch HDTV, microwave, fridge and Keurig-style coffee maker. Like the room, the bathroom has modern details of a granite counter top and brush nickel framed artwork.
A 24-hour fitness room and complimentary shuttle to the John Hopkins University Hospital and to the Baltimore Convention Center make this an attractive option.
One thing to note is that the parking lot is small so if you arrive late like I did, there won’t be a space for you. I parked right outside the hotel at a meter which is free after 6 pm, put money in the meter in the morning and then moved my car to the parking lot after I ate breakfast before I checked out.
Also, due to the current COVID-19 situation, the buffet breakfast is not being served. Instead, there is a grab and go breakfast with breakfast bars, yogurt, and fruit. Guests are also encouraged to social distance at check-in and to not gather in large numbers in the common areas.
The Holiday Inn Express Baltimore Downtown is a participant in the program to offer deals to first responders. This hotel is also pet-friendly.
Post and photos by Jamie Rhein who hotel hopped in Baltimore for 4 days. Each offer unique features and reasons to stay.