The 1912 Latrobe, a Renaissance building on a quiet corner in the cultural Mount Vernon district, was once home to seven-time Baltimore mayor Ferdinand Latrobe followed by many bachelors thereafter. Today, it cuts a new archetype in the city envisioned by boutique hospitality firm Ash: a transportive hideaway for travelers and locals alike.
The journey begins with the moniker, Ulysses—a nod to the James Joyce novel as well as a Baltimorean ocean liner from the 1800s. Distinct blue lanterns with matching awnings welcome visitors into the nine-story Latrobe. The foyer—complete with an ornate Italian marble mosaic floor, oversized oil paintings, and tall florals—is nothing short of dramatic. Greek mythology portraits hand-painted by a local artist grace the elevator walls. The Ulysses Gazette, a guest directory styled like a paper newspaper, and the retro red rotary phone in the halls complete the time capsule vibe.
The top eight floors host monochromatic rooms with contrasting light and dark accents in four palettes: yellow, red, green, and blue. Fancy a particular color? You can request yours upon booking.
Varying widely in layout due to the historic nature of the former bachelor quarters, rooms all feature the same eclectic decor—an homage to the Pope of Trash himself, the illustrious filmmaker and Baltimore native John Waters, sprinkled with elements of art deco and a touch of India. Four poster beds with scalloped canopies, “Sin and Salvation” quilts inspired by the 1840s Baltimore Album Quilts, and glass lanterns suspended below the ceiling are the norm. Bedside tables sit atop wood-carved flamingos (Pink Flamingos, anyone?) with hand-beaded lampshades from Jaipur. Patterned blackout drapes, lacquered armoires, and leopard-printed wall-to-wall carpet complete the aesthetic. Bathrooms bear mirrors shaped like urns above black toilets and sinks, adorned with custom bath amenities importing an alluringly heady fragrance. It’s kitsch, yet seductive. Ulysses is a hotel for lovers.
Prefer a more lavish layout with a clawfoot tub in the center of the room? Reserve one of the four suites on the top floor.
Sip an aperitif or enjoy a proper meal at Ash Bar, the hotel’s all-day bar cum bistro. It’s dim lighting, wall-to-ceiling high gloss burl paneling, and rattan furniture feel reminiscent of an old-fashioned train car. Staff is friendly and attentive, but not overly so, and tables are topped with sheets of paper and playful bowls of crayons. It’s just the kind of environment you’d expect for the transportive salon society that Ash desires Ulysses to be in.
You’ll want to book a table in advance via Resy for a late-night cocktail at Bloom’s, the hottest spot in Baltimore. The vibe is sultry and provocative with a mirrored bar and ceiling, crimson channel-tufted banquettes, and purple velour stools.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
The Vibe: A seductively moody boutique to hide away in the center of Charm City.
Food + Drink: Ash Bar is the hotel’s all-day cafe serving continental fare and classic cocktails for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Bloom’s cocktail lounge offers creative drinks and light nibbles in the evening. The Coral Wig, a tropical cocktail bar, is set to open this winter on the lower level. There’s no room service or in-room fridges (yet) but the takeaway is available from Ash Bar.
Amenities: Restaurant, bar, cocktail lounge, concierge, cable TV, Wi-Fi, newspaper, and access to nearby MV Fitness.
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: For a restaurant that operates out of three separate kitchens, one of them being a food truck in the back parking lot (yes, really!), Ash Bar churns out impeccably executed dishes and scrumptious pastries at all hours of the day. We’re particularly fond of the vegan olive oil chocolate chip cookies as well as the egg-centric brunch fare.
5 Nearby Attractions: Washington Monument, The Walters Art Museum, The Lyric, Charles Theatre, and Lexington Market.
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Mount Vernon is the cultural hub of the city and walkable to the aforementioned sights plus a number of gorgeous historic churches. We also recommend that you pop across the street to Spirits of Mt. Vernon for a wine tasting, browse the vintage attire at nearby Bottle of Bread, and go around the corner to Korean-inspired Dooby’s for a miso caramel latte.
Rooms: 116 rooms
Pricing: Rates start at $169/night.
Closest Airport: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
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