I Traveled during a Pandemic
But only because I really, really had to.
Charm City (aka Baltimore) holds a special place in my heart. My family and friends frequent the city for its seafood, harbor-views, art, history, seafood and…did I say seafood twice? Sorry.
It was our go-to hangout spot, with each visit bringing something new that we hadn’t discovered before.
Of course, that was all before the pandemic.
After months of my job only needing me to work safely and comfortably from my computer at home, I suddenly received a request to travel to my beloved Charm City for a “very important business weekend.”
My first thought was, “can’t this just be an email?” I even asked if we could attend virtually…you know, like we’d been doing for the last six months. I got a response along the lines of, “No.” Oop!
When you’re the youngest person on the team, and the only woman of color, and it’s your first job out of college, you kinda feel obligated to attend. Is this an example of one of the negatives of corporate Capitalism? Absolutely. But anyway…
Baltimore has a Black population of over 60%, and as we know that Black and Brown communities are disproportionately affected by Covid-19, I was extremely hesitant to travel to the inner city.
I spent the next few weeks trying to schedule ways to make 9am and 9pm meetings in Baltimore while traveling back and forth from DC over the course of two days. But after looking at gas prices, my “gently used” car, and considering sleep deprivation, I very soon accepted that wasn’t going to happen. I would need to stay overnight, and I wasn’t about to ask to stay with my at-risk relatives in the city…which meant I’d have to book a hotel.
A symbol of Baltimore’s historic past, Sagamore Pendry Baltimore is the reinvention of one of the city’s most storied properties, perched on a pier in the center of Fell’s Point neighborhood. The hotel was renovated with a creative vision rooted in its historic Charm City allure. Yes, I am a history and architecture buff.
The hotel is also home to the Italian-influenced “Rec Pier Chop House” and a seasonal pool bar and grill. As far as accommodations go, all of the 128 guest rooms and suites combine Baltimore’s heritage and history with modern amenities and design. Marble bathrooms, large bay windows, flat screen TVs and comfortable beds bring an air of luxury and historical taste. But room rates are pricey.
I traveled to the Pendry with certain privileges because of my job. And while the rate I received was lower than what others might pay, I can very confidently say that the Pendry is worth the higher cost and 4+ star reviews. I would recommend the hotel for comfortable business travel, a romantic getaway, or even just a solo trip if you really want to treat yourself.
And, to answer the question I know you must be thinking:
The hotel staff goes above and beyond to keep guests safe and comfortable during the pandemic.
From providing health kits equipped with masks, hand sanitizer, cleansing wipes and health information; to enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing in common areas for hotel staff and guests, I felt very secure and able to work comfortably knowing that efforts were being made to keep myself and others safe.
The hotel was also not overly populated, and I frequently took advantage of the room service option to avoid eating inside the restaurant. Higher-end hotel privileges and amenities like these may not be what you’d find at smaller, cheaper hotels operating at this time. And for the purposes of my travel and my desire to remain pandemic-conscious, the Pendry exceeded my expectations when it came to keeping guests and attendants safe. Surrounded by local culture, architecture, and minutes away from the inner harbor, there is an abundance of things to do while remaining socially distant. So, to put it simply, if you can afford it, I highly recommend the Baltimore Pendry.