Everyone knows that the Four Seasons hotels are known for their luxurious accommodations and impeccable service, but you may not realize that they are exceptionally family-friendly as well. When I attended a blogger brunch at the Four Seasons New York last summer, I was surprised to hear that they welcome families with children of all ages and have tons of amenities for them as well as the adults. In fact, many Four Seasons hotels offer family vacation packages to entice families to consider them for their hotel accommodations when traveling.
We were invited to experience the Four Seasons Baltimore and one of their vacation packages, so last week we packed the car and drove two hours to the famous Inner Harbor for a two-night stay. We’ve been wanting to take our kids to the National Aquarium forever (my son is a huge aquarium junkie!) so we easily chose the VIP National Aquarium Experience Package. Other packages include the Pirates and Princesses Family Package and Ultimate Fan Package (we were tempted by that one!) If you’re more in the mood for a romantic getaway for two, you might want to take a look at the Ignite the Spark Spa Package. (Maybe we’ll try that one next time!) Boom-chick-a-wa-waaa!
There will be a selection of new Winter packages available soon. I’ll post a link to them on my Facebook Page once they’re released so make sure you’re following me over there!!
When we arrived at the hotel, it was spacious and elegant, as you would expect.
We checked in and were given keys to our suite on the 10th floor, and when we arrived, there was a staff person waiting to open our door and welcome us inside. I felt like I had just arrived at my new home, not a hotel room for a 2-day stay. I could definitely get used to this!
Our suite was spacious and light and airy and everything you would expect and much more.
The Four Seasons is known for their attention to detail, and we loved all the welcoming little touches scattered about the room.
(Yes, I even let my kids drink the Dr. Pepper.)
They provided us with a spacious 2-room suite with two full bathrooms and overlooked the harbor.
We just stood around taking in the view.
Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy the day we arrived, but the next morning we woke to this:
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
We ate dinner the first night of our stay at Wit and Wisdom — a tavern by Michael Minna that is known for its live fire grill and views of the waterfront. I love that we were given seats right by the open kitchen where we could witness the chefs hard at work preparing their culinary delights.
The manager greeted us upon arrival and explained the live fire grill and gave us some direction with the menu.
Later the sommelier brought over complimentary champagne while we waited for our drinks to come. Even though there weren’t many kids in the restaurant, everyone was supremely accommodating. I loved our waiter; he was a funny guy and he seemed to enjoy our kids. He also steered us well when ordering off the menu. (I love a one-page menu.)
You know how we love our food, and this experience was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. We feasted on bone marrow and octopus and crab and lobster corn dogs.
Without me having to ask, they brought out a plate of gluten-free bread so I could enjoy the bone marrow. It’s unusual for restaurants to even stock gluten-free bread, so that’s always a treat!
Of course, the kids liked our bone marrow better than their corn dogs. Sometimes I wish my kids weren’t such adventurous eaters — I’m not one to share!
Later that night, after we were stuffed from the deliciousness, they brought out an assortment of desserts to try. It was too dark to get good photos, and they didn’t last long enough to photograph them anyway. The executive chef also came out to greet us, which was a real treat. They definitely gave us the royal treatment!
Not only was the staff attentive while we dined, but the folks behind their social media are on the ball too. They responded promptly to my tweets and Instagram posts throughout the weekend, which is always fun!
Of course, I know that they knew I was there, but if you look at their Twitter stream, they are highly engaged with their guests. To me, that’s a sign of a forward-thinking organization. Too many restaurants don’t put enough into their social media efforts, in my oh-so-humble opinion! It goes a long way towards encouraging customer loyalty when a brand responds to you personally via social media.
*she says, as she delicately steps off her soapbox*
We ate breakfast the next morning at the coffee shop in the hotel called Lamill Coffee — a traditional coffee shop with European flair. I love the combination of cool white stone and warm wood tones.
My kids loved the pastries and the fancy hot chocolate. My daughter went nuts for chive and cheddar scones. I enjoyed my favorite travel breakfast — a fruit and yogurt parfait. Theirs is head and shoulders above any I’ve ever had before, made with tangy Greek yogurt and preserves and honey… YUMMMMMM.
The staff in the coffee shop was super friendly and attentive to the children, which I always appreciate — especially in a city coffee shop on a business day.
We spent most of our day on Friday touring the National Aquarium, perusing the waterfront, and eating lunch at the iconic Phillips.
Our kids experienced steamed crabs and mussels for the first time. They loved it.
We were seated right next to the staff members sorting through the live crabs. It was a blast. (And yes, those crabs do pinch!)
Later that afternoon I was treated to the experience of a lifetime when I made my way down to the fourth floor to the spa where I was scheduled to receive the Quench treatment — their signature treatment. I had no clue what I was getting into when I donned my white robe.
For the next two-and-a-half hours, I was brushed, scrubbed, wrapped and massaged.
Or in their words . . .
The ultimate journey, this treatment begins with our famous salt and sugar scrub infused with the oil of your choice and is followed by a wrap with our warm shea butter concreta. While wrapped, enjoy our mind-soothing hot oil scalp treatment and finish with a full-body massage customized to your needs.
It. Was. AMAZING. Karen did a phenomenal job. I almost felt guilty, knowing that my husband was on kid-duty while I was enjoying this kind of pampering. But then I found out that they spent their time at the infinity pool overlooking the Inner Harbor, and I didn’t feel QUITE so bad about it. HA!
We took off on our own for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning, and the concierge was extremely helpful in pointing us in the right direction based on our needs and the kids. I already wrote about our feast at Talara, and the next morning we walked a few blocks to Tealove, another hip Baltimore hot spot. I had a red velvet latte along with a gluten-free crepe filled with scrambled eggs, bacon and sharp cheddar cheese and topped with cheese grits, scallions, and chipotle aioli. OMYWORD it was out of this WORLD. I will dream about that crepe for years.
Note to self: must learn to make cheese grits.
We definitely felt out of our element there with all the yuppies in their athletic gear enjoying a leisurely brunch on a Saturday morning, but it was fun to people watch, and the food was divine. I’m beginning to think there isn’t a bad place to eat in Baltimore!
I’m not even joking when I say I was incredibly sad to leave Baltimore that morning. I’m usually ready to go home when a trip is over, but I seriously want to move right in and live at the Four Seasons!! And in fact, when I put that out on Twitter, they responded and informed me that living at the Four Seasons will indeed be possible sometime in the near future.
Sign me up!!!
As you can tell, we had a great time visiting the Four Seasons in Baltimore. This experience was truly a blessing for our family. Check out this video my husband put together, capturing our experience at the Four Seasons, and stay tuned for a post about our visit to the National Aquarium!
To satisfy the FTC and anyone else who is curious, the Four Seasons provided our family with two nights of accommodations and tickets to the National Aquarium along with dinner at Wit and Wisdom and a spa treatment in order to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received, and all opinions and experiences are mine to treasure forever.