Budget chain Red Lion gets into the "Lifestyle Hotel" game with a new hotel in Baltimore. The new concept differs from traditional lodgings in some key ways.
Red Lion, a hotel chain long associated with budget and basic, rolls out Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor, the brand’s debut entry in lifestyle lodgings, those properties designed to appeal to millennials and to like-minded business and leisure travelers.
Located in the former Keyser building, a city icon built in 1905, Baltimore’s 130-room Hotel RL opened its doors August 1st. Like many of the lifestyle hotels, this one transforms a staid lobby into a social space.
Hotel RL’s entry evokes a Pacific Northwest coffee house by offering complimentary lattes and espressos from its Seattle-based coffee partner, Victrola Coffee. Guests can sip these while hanging out on The Steps, tiered, bench-like seating. Several times a week, local and regional musicians and artists take to the lobby’s stage. In August, listen to hip-hop and acoustic musical performances as well as to storytelling and poetry.
Greg Mount, RLHC president and CEO, says “The lobby and our living stage include the work of local artists, writers and poets creating a connection to the local community and make it easy for guests to understand the city. Art plans include the chalk walls—local artists would be charged with using the space as canvases, creating hyper local murals specific to the community or the amazing coffee being served by Victrola.”
If you want to get to know the Inner Harbor area, simply sign out the hotel’s bicycles, free for two hours.
Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor also appeals to the tech-reliant who, after downloading an app, can select their room and gain keyless entry. No need to line-up at a front desk, especially since there isn’t any. For those needing more assistance, staff are available.
Unlike some millennial-oriented, moderately priced chains, Hotel RL Baltimore’s rooms are a reasonable 384-square feet for a king to 692-square-feet for a suite. Don’t expect a closet. Instead stow your clothes in the gear stash, an open area with hooks that is designed to replicate retail racks and displays. Room prices typically range from $189 to $229. www.redlion.com/baltimore.
Hotel RL properties are slated to open in 2016 in Salt Lake City, UT, as well as Spokane and Olympia, WA.