By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the mid ’80s, what was once one of Baltimore’s finest mansion homes was given to the city and turned into a small hotel. Four years ago, a local developer and a local financier teamed up to try to create one of the finest small hotels in the country.

Mike Schuh shows us how it turned out.

It was once a single family home. Now it’s being reborn as a boutique hotel — but it’s more like staying at a mansion.

“This is the living room for the suite,” said Rob Arthur.

Rob Arthur is the general manager. That suite — $1,200 a night.

“Each of our rooms, 16 of the 18 rooms, are king sized beds, fit for a king, all have these luxurious four poster canopy beds,” said Arthur.

Schuh: “This does not look like an old mansion bathroom to me…”

Arthur: “Correct. The bathrooms are the modern aspect of the property. Limestone floors all heated to 80 degrees, deep soaking tub, glass enclosed showers. So we wanted the feel of luxury for the guests.”

“We didn’t want to make it feel like an old stuffy home. And the idea is that you’re staying at friend’s mansion and you’re coming to visit them.”

In this case, that friend would be financier Eddie Brown. He and developer Marty Azola were told by a hotel consultant:

“It can become one of the best urban boutique hotels in the country.”

So with a five-star chef, a 75 seat restaurant open to the public and a spa, there’s no place like it in Baltimore — the owners say — on the East Coast.

So rather than a ribbon, to open the Ivy, the owners cut a strand of — ivy.

If you have $475 to nearly $1,300 a night, you too can live in a mansion.

Almost all of the rooms are ready. The 75 seat restaurant opens in three weeks.

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