All luxury hotels aim to provide escapes from the daily grind for their guests. Some just have a way of whisking the concept to new heights by not only providing brilliant accommodations and spot-on service, but by sprinkling in a bit of whimsy. From pirate-themed packages in Baltimore to shark-infested vacations in Boston, our editors have uncovered three properties that take more than a bit of pride in being playful.
Swashbuckling at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
While most folks find pirates pretty fascinating, the reasons behind Baltimore’s affinity for the colorful characters go well beyond Johnny Depp movies. Back in the early 1800s, when the U.S. and Britain weren’t seeing eye to eye on much, some ship owners in Maryland turned their vessels into privateers. With the government’s blessing, they began commandeering British ships, helping Baltimore to earn its “Nest of Pirates” moniker. On your next vacation, pay homage to the city’s plundering past with Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore’s Pirates and Princesses Family Package (running through September 2; requires a 14-day notice). The overflowing booty includes a swashbuckler-themed gift bag for kids, complimentary Internet and parking and Four-Star accommodations in a standard guest room. Still, the biggest treasure in the chest is a voyage for four through the city’s Inner Harbor aboard The Fearless, an authentic-looking ship that appears to have sailed over straight from The Pirates of the Caribbean set.
Shark Hunting at Revere Hotel Boston Common
Even legendary marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau probably couldn’t explain the public’s obsession with Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.” People can’t help but dive into the network’s weeklong slate of insightful documentaries and campy sci-fi flicks each year. Boston’s Revere Hotel, a smartly decorated, 356-room boutique property in the city’s Theater District, is getting in on the fun with its own shark-themed events from August 4 through 11. For starters, the 2011 Discovery Channel special Jaws Comes Home will be screened for hotel guests at the property’s plush 208-seat venue, Theatre 1, on August 4. Two of the movie’s stars, captains Billy “Cap” Chaprales and Nick “Niko” Chaprales of the shark-awareness crew Cape Cod Shark Hunters, will join marine fisheries biologist John Chisholm for a Q&A and after-party when the film concludes.
If that weren’t enough to sink your teeth into, the new Rooftop at Revere will unleash its “Eat Like a Shark Week” menu on guests at the same time. Tasty bites such as mahi mahi tacos and Nantucket Bay scallop ceviche will be available alongside cocktails such as The Hammerhead (Bombay Sapphire, St. Germain, simple syrup, cucumber, Sprite, lemon) and Sharknado (Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 8, Bacardi Pineapple Fusion, and pineapple, cranberry and orange juices). Proceeds from the shareable drinks will go to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a new nonprofit raising awareness of the feared animal.
Spying at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown
With popular shows such as Scandal, Homeland and The Americans peering into Washington D.C.’s sinister underbelly, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the city’s spell of intrigue. But if you were hoping to take things a few steps further than a mere fantasy, Capella Washington D.C. — 49 rooms of dark hardwood flooring, overstuffed lounge chairs and other simple, elegant touches — has just the experience for you. The property’s The Spy Who Loved D.C. package makes sure that you look (Burberry trench coats and Oliver Peoples eyewear from Saks Fifth Avenue) and drink (complimentary martinis and a bottle of champagne) the part of a globetrotting secret agent. But if that’s not enough to stir your inner sleuth, the offer (available through December 31) also includes a visit to the International Spy Museum (in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, no less) and the chance to complete one of two fully engrossing missions — one deals with penetrating and escaping the fortified museum, while the other sends you on a clue- and contraption-filled operation around the city — thus allowing you to see sides of the nation’s capital that you’ll never find on television.
Photos Courtesy of Four Seasons, Capella Washington DC Georgetown and International Spy Museum