Outstanding Stay A review of Residence Inn by Marriott Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor
We thoroughly enjoyed our three-night stay here. We found the staff uniformly to be friendly and helpful. Being quite a new hotel, everything is new, but it was obvious to us that it is also being well maintained.
Our two-room corner suite on the seventh floor was large and well equipped, and includes a small kitchen area which we did not use. Such small touches as a jar of wrapped candies and a bag of microwavable popcorn made us feel welcome. We hooked up our laptop to the ethernet cable for free high-speed without a hitch. There's a tv set in the bedroom as well as in the large living room-kitchen room.
The full buffet breakfast is very good with quite a variety of food. We were impressed by the fact that there were three employees on duty there, all dressed in white aprons, who moved about constantly to replenish the food, plates and silverware, and to clear the tables. They were very friendly as was our room housekeeper.
There are evening snacks and light meals (e.g. soup and cornbread) available with a schedule posted in each suite. This was our first stay at a Residence Inn, even though we are Marriott "Silvers" and stayed here on points, and we are quite impressed with the amenities offered.
A manager on duty "lurked" and wandered about quite regularly and approached guests, including us, to ask if we were enjoying our stay. We stayed overnight recently in a Marriott property near BWI airport that we concluded had lax or non-existent management. The Residence Inn is positive contrast indeed.
And now a word about "location." While I can understand the concerns expressed by others, all I can say is that the two of us near-senior citizens found the location excellent for several reasons. There is a Dunkin' Donuts next door and a Mickey D's up the street, although with the food offerings in the hotel I don't know that anyone would need them. A few steps further down the block is a drug store with a wide variety of foods, wine, etc.
It's about a two-block walk to the actual Inner Harbor area, and we had no hesitation walking up the fairly major street on which the hotel is located as late as 10:30 p.m.
As far as nearby restaurants, there is a Legal Seafoods within three blocks or so that has a good reputation. There are many restaurants in the touristy Inner Harbor area, including a Ruth's Chris. We wandered over to the McCormick & Schmicks (very mixed reviews on that one) and took advantage of their $1.95 appetizers Happy Hour (3:30 to 6:30 which we had previously enjoyed in Seattle).
There are also multi-storied shopping malls in the vicinity that look like smaller versions of similar malls in Shanghai and Singapore.
As retired leisure travelers we spent a couple of hours in the National Aquarium after walking around the Inner Harbor extensively. It's probably best to visit later in the day as we did when there aren't so many school classes. The second day we hopped a bus within a block of the hotel, bought day passes for about $3.50 each, and spent several hours in the Walters Art Museum, a terrific collection from many eras funded by a philanthropist, then hopped a bus to see Fort McHenry before returning to the hotel.
We used Shuttle Express to get to and from the airport for $20 return trip each. I don't know exactly how much a cab would cost - the hotel and I think a previous poster estimated $25 - and wonder if it was a significant enough saving for two of us to make up for waiting time as they filled the van.
In summary, this hotel met our needs perfectly and it would be our first choice if we return to Baltimore.