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Monday, September 14, 2015

A Millennial Hotel for The Ages

After having spent the last year writing about the phenomenon of so-called Millennial hotels, I finally got the opportunity to stay in one this month in, of all places, Baltimore.

Image result for hotel rl baltimore
Hotel RL Baltimore
Spokane, Washington-based Red Lion Hotels, which previously only had outlets west of the Mississippi River, is roaring east with its next gen brand. The first Hotel RL opened in Baltimore this summer. The second opens in Washington, DC in October.

Despite voluminous research, I admit to being a bit flummoxed upon entering the Hotel RL Baltimore. Nowhere did there appear to be anyone resembling a front desk clerk, perhaps because there was no front desk. Instead, I stumbled into a lobby resembling a Pacific Northwest coffeehouse, complete with a stage for guitar-carrying troubadours. The lobby was populated by a number of 20-somethings sporting denim, tattoos, and hair colored in neon hues. I soon realized that the more hipster the person looked, the more likely it was that he or she was a hotel employee.

A Happy Hour performance featuring
the musical stylings of one of Hotel RL's baristas

I was assisted with check-in by a magenta-coiffed young lady in a black T-shirt holding a mobile device (although I could have checked in by the lobby kiosk as well).

While I was a bit baffled by the check-in process, the room was incredibly easy to figure out. A plush bed, a large Hi-Def TV with a multitude of channels, and a huge walk-in shower were highlights. Surprises included the easiest hotel alarm clock I have ever encountered, and a spare bed surreptitiously hidden in what looked, at first glance, to be a dresser. 

To paraphrase , ceci n'est pas une dresser
While that is an extremely smart feature, the room does lack anything resembling an actual dresser. There are no drawers, nor a closet in which to put your drawers. But there are a series of hooks upon which to hang clothing.

But hey, why hang, like your clothing, in your room when the lobby is a hotbed of activity? Grab a cup of joe from the barista, listen to live music, or hit the rec room for a round of retro board games. If you want to be more active, white cruiser bikes are available for guests to borrow.

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