When the Four Seasons opened its doors on the Baltimore's harbor last November, all eyes turned inquisitively to city. Baltimore has historically been a destination for conferences and events, political pow-wows and corporate retreats, thanks in most part to its affordable prices and easy access to Washington, DC. On occasion in the summer, fans will flock to Camden Yards for a ballgame but for the most part, Baltimore was lacking the leisure traveler. Then the Four Seasons set up shop and suddenly, Baltimore became the hot topic in the travel world.
When a luxury group bets on a location - hotel, retail, restaurant or otherwise - it's a location worth watching.
The Four Seasons Baltimore opened big with 250 guest rooms (many of them with private balconies), a rooftop infinity pool, full-service spa, two restaurants by celebrity chef Michael Mina, and a coffee shop that's frequented more by locals than the hotel's own guests. Guest rooms offer views of either the harbor or the marina, and most of them are large enough to sleep a family of four without having to rent an adjoining room or suite. Bathrooms have separate tubs and showers, and a mirror TV. Room rates are some of the highest in the city - averaging around $300 a night - but its location is worth every cent.
Walk outside the doors of this hotel and you're steps from the harbor, boat docks, shopping, tourist attractions like the aquarium and Pier Five, trendy neighborhoods like Fells Point, and the free Charm City Circulator, which takes tourists and locals to the main attractions in and around Baltimore for free. (Watch this space next week for a Weekend Escapes: Baltimore feature, in which I'll give some tips on where to go and what to see while you're here.)
While there's much to do and see outside the hotel's doors, it's the unique investment on the inside that made this week's dramatic design: The Four Seasons Baltimore is taking hotel art to a new level with a 3D art experience.
A new app called Architectural Interactions* was created for the hotel to give viewers a chance to play with art. For example, standing in front of the stone wall of the pool deck, a sculpture appears through your smart phone or tablet that allows you to adjust the art by rotating the sculpture through the stone wall.
According to the hotel, "This exhibition will explore the perceptual and conceptual relationship between art and architecture through the design technologies both share. It will obscure the lines between functional architecture and sculpture, as well as concept and reality, to ultimately challenge the perception of static works."
The app will be available for guests to download on their personal phones on Sept. 1, and will also be installed on the hotel's iPad for guests to use. The Four Seasons Baltimore also plans to put together an Art Tour, which will include the various 3D art interactions throughout the hotel.
Readers: Your thoughts?
Past Dramatic Designs:
B2Hotel's Lobby Lounge and Wine Bar
Gramercy Park Hotel's Drawing Room
Mandarin Oriental New York's elliptical lobby
Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg's 'floating' swimming pool
Ireland's Lismore Castle
Frescos at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Cave Bar at Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg
Bulgari Hotel London's glass mosaic pool
* The Architectural Interactions app for Four Seasons Baltimore was designed by Adam Scott Cook.
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