By Michael McCarthy By Michael McCarthy | September 15, 2020 | Food & Drink Lifestyle Travel & Recreation Cocktails
Four Seasons Baltimore isn’t surrendering to the calendar—the property takes advantage of warm fall days with summer fun alongside the Inner Harbor.
For reasons that have always confounded me, Labor Day typically delivers an abrupt end to most of the delights of summer. Which makes absolutely no sense. After all, the calendar—at least in these parts—doesn’t dictate those humidity-free, 75-degree evenings. Gorgeous weather, including some of the best of the year, lingers until Halloween.
The Four Season Baltimore figured out this equation and delivers unmatched ways to enjoy the next 45 days. Here are four ways to begin:
1. Dine outdoors at Maximón. The property’s restaurant debuted just before Covid-19, and when I visited in late winter, the design team was mapping out its expansive outdoor dining area long before anyone knew the alfresco route would be a boon to any property. This one, designed by local visionary Patrick Sutton and overlooking the Inner Harbor, is nothing short of a showstopper.
The restaurant is a culinary homage to South America and Mexico. Colin King, who worked at Jose Andres’ Oyamel Cocina Mexicana in DC and most recently for New York City-based Empellon, leads the kitchen. Much like Andres, King dives deeply into regional dishes south of the border, including hamachi (ají amarillo leche de tigre, honey nut squash, apple, black mint) and pozo rojo (crab chicharrón). But King is also wise enough to take advantage of sourcing from the Chesapeake watershed. Immediate hits include rockfish ceviche, fried Chesapeake blue catfish and whole roasted black bass with ají amarillo, black mint, yucca and green beans.
The outdoor space is inspired by Sutton’s travels throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and Oaxaca. Classic Spanish colonial-style tile lines the expansive area. Cedar shingles—mirroring beach palapas—cover the bar, and bamboo trellises shade banquets. With pops of fuchsia and magenta, coupled with lush plantings and fruit trees, Sutton has created a destination inside a destination.
2. Rent a cabana and spend the day at the pool. There might not be a better vantage point for a pool in the Mid-Atlantic. The 121-foot infinity pool—which is dreamy on a warm afternoon or evening—can be taken up a luxe notch by renting a cabana on the Harbor Terrace. The expansive spaces include a personal server, hourly custom amenities and minibar fridge with a choice of soft drinks and juices. Bonus: the hot tub is several feet away.
3. Sail on the Four Seasons’ catamaran at dusk. On a recent Friday evening, my wife and I cruised the Inner Harbor as Nathan, a young boat captain, navigated the property’s 40-foot catamaran. The vessel is yours for two hours, as the sun does a slow swoon toward the horizon and warm breezes roll across the water. The tour takes guests (perfect for a date night) to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
4. Indulge in a new food program on the Splash Terrace. From Sept. 17-Oct. 24, the Four Seasons will host Dinner Under the Stars, the perfect alfresco experience for two to four guests—with exceptional views of the harbor and marina. Appetizers include tuna crudo and a seafood tower; entrees include artichoke risotto and dry-aged ribeye; desserts include stone fruit galette and chocolate torte. Thu.-Sat., 7-9 pm; two seatings at 7, one seating at 7:15, two seatings at 7:30 (excluding Oct. 3 and Oct. 10), $85 per person, with an additional $40 wine pairing.
Balcony room from $485, executive suite with harbor view, $945, 200 International Dr., Baltimore, Md., 410.576.5800, fourseasons.com/baltimore
Photography by: Photos courtesy of the Four Seasons; Maximón photos courtesy of Atlas Restaurant Group