At our Staff Appreciation party last fall Denise was the lucky raffle winner of a free night’s stay at a nearby Hyatt Place hotel. After realizing that she and her husband were not going to be using it she offered it up to me. The thought was that perhaps my Mom could use it while she was in town helping with wedding planning. Mom though is easy to please and was fine sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor (aka the voucher went unused).
The wedding came and went and next thing I knew the voucher was set to expire, mere days after our return from St. Lucia. We figured there was no reason to let a free nights hotel stay go to waste so Z called and made a last minute reservation. An in-town getaway for two? Sure!
Hyatt Place, Owings Mills, MD
The hotel is located just outside of Baltimore in Owings Mills, 20 minutes from our house.
I’ll be honest, the area immediately surrounding the hotel is nothing spectacular—there’s a mall, office buildings, apartment complexes…typical suburb stuff. The hotel itself though was quite nice. New with a modern feel. Our room was sizeable with a separate living room area and everything!
To my delight there was not only a coffee maker but a fridge AND kitchen sink (I’ll have to do a whole separate post about my preferences for travel).
The Artful Gourmet Bistro
For dinner we headed to a nearby establishment called The Artful Gourmet Bistro.
The restaurant consists of multiple dining areas as well as a bar. As you can see below, when we arrived we were the first to be seated in the back dining room…we had the place to ourselves (the room filled up completely by the time we left though).
With a name like “Artful Gourmet” it was fun to read over the menu and see the thematic names of the dishes!
I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir while browsing the entrée options. To be honest I’m just not loving wine (or really any alcohol) these days. It didn’t taste overly delicious…it just tasted like…red wine. Meh.
As anyone with food allergies/intolerances/issues/etc. knows, dining out can be stressful—will there be things I eat? will I get sick? will they find me annoying if I ask to make 1000 changes to the menu? I often find myself getting into this mindset which is no fun. Thankfully our waitress was overly helpful when I told her about my food restrictions (absolutely no garlic/onion). She assured me that all the meals are made to order so I could add/leave out anything I wanted and she would personally double check with the chef regarding any ingredients used to assure there was no garlic/onion included. I felt much more at ease.
The lighting being what it was, I gave up on trying to photograph our meals but they were both tasty. Z went with one of their daily specials: chicken in a dried plum sauce over linguini while I went with their turkey burger and sweet potato fries.
Bonus: they gave us mints with our check. Have you guys tried these?!
They are Chocolate Starlight Mints and they are fantastic. I’ve had them twice this holiday season and want my own personal stash stat!
If you’re a local Baltimorean The Artful Gourmet was a nice place with great service. If nothing else go there for the mints!
It’s All What You Make of It
The rest of our get-a-way included a 5 am wake up (per usual), in room coffee, a treadmill run a la fitness center AND breakfast which was included.
The moral of the story is that getaways don’t have to be an extensive, overly planned out thing. Even in your own town it’s ok to play tourist every now and again. I encourage you to get out there and treat yourself to a change in scenery!
I want to know…
Have you ever stayed in a hotel in your town?
What’s your favorite feature of hotel rooms?
When is the last time YOU had a getaway?