HB ON THE SCENE: First Hotel RL Opens in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

BALTIMORE—RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) has debuted its new brand, Hotel RL, with the opening of the 130-room Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor. Last night, festivities including live music, signature cocktails and gourmet fare kicked off the launch. RLHC executives were on hand to welcome the hotel’s very first guests and thank all the parties involved with the flagship property.

Situated at 207 East Redwood St. in downtown Baltimore, the Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor, is an adaptive reuse of the former Keyser Building, a 10-story historic property with a cut-stone facade. The hotel is within walking distance of Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, just two blocks from the Inner Harbor, which has water taxis that ferry passengers to Fells Point, Canton and Fort McHenry.

Inspired by the adventurous spirit of the Pacific Northwest, “Hotel RL is an urban lifestyle brand that will offer visitors a uniquely local experience, and Baltimore is the perfect place to unveil this concept,” said RLHC President & CEO Greg Mount. “We have been embracing the Baltimore community and already feel an integral part of it. We know our guests will enjoy the location and the experience Hotel RL Baltimore offers. We emphasized comfortable, communal spaces and advanced technological touches which will appeal to travelers with a Millennial mindset; those who are addicted to their devices.” 

All aspects of the hotel brand were conceived in response to changing consumer preferences utilizing the design expertise of Gettys Group. To meet the desire for more casual, central meeting space, Hotel RL placed special emphasis on its hotel lobby giving guests a place to plug in to work or unwind with a beverage. The lobby features a seating concept called The Steps, which reproduce the feeling of a typical Pacific Northwestern coffee house, serving complimentary espresso to guests by Victrola Coffee. In addition to food & beverage service from the lobby bar and grill, The Steps will serve as the focal point for live entertainment and interactive talks which will eventually be broadcast to other Hotel RL locations. 

Among its many technological offerings, Hotel RL offers an app that allows guests to check in; it is available in the app store beginning today, which allows guests to choose their specific room, check in and download an electronic key. The typical hotel front desk is replaced by greeters with tablets. A kiosk in the lobby is available for guests in need of a physical room key. 

Guestrooms incorporate hardwood floors throughout and feature large, flat-screen televisions. In lieu of standard closets, the rooms have a retail-inspired changing area with a gear drop. The hotel also offers 2,400 sq. ft. of meeting space. 

To commemorate the grand opening, RLHC has launched Project Wake Up Call, a social responsibility effort aimed at raising funds and awareness to help combat homelessness by showcasing pictures taken by professional and amateur homeless photographers. Hotel RL will launch a similar, citywide initiative in each new city where it opens a hotel. For Baltimore, the brand has partnered with Health Care for the Homeless, which works to prevent and end homelessness for vulnerable individuals and families by providing quality, integrated healthcare and promoting access to affordable housing and sustainable incomes through direct service, advocacy and community engagement. With a donation of $100 or more, guests will receive a trial offer for a one night stay at the Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor. The one night trial-offer is available for stays from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2015. 

“As a corporation whose business is providing shelter and as caring human beings, we believe that every person should have a roof over his or her head,” Mount said. “We hope that by partnering with outstanding local agencies in each of the cities where we open Hotel RL, we can leverage our forum and our resources to encourage people to end homelessness once and for all.” 

Mount added, “This alliance with Health Care for the Homeless has already had a tremendous impact on Hotel RL Baltimore. When we hosted a casting call to hire staff for this property, many of the candidates mentioned they wanted to join our team in part due to the Project Wake Up Call efforts. We are encouraging our team to volunteer at Health Care for the Homeless and next will look for opportunities for our guests to become involved. Health Care for the Homeless is making great strides in the community and we are honored to work with them.”