Nearly two years after the project first broke ground, the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel welcomed its first guests on March 20th. The $60 million project is the brainchild of Sagamore Development Co., which serves as the real estate vehicle for Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, along with Montage International.
The 128-room property sits perched on the historic Recreation Pier in the Fell’s Point neighborhood of the city. In developing the hotel, designer Patrick Sutton drew inspiration from both its nautical heritage as well as the equestrian nature of the Sagamore brand.
Everything about the Sagamore Pendry is intended to evoke a Baltimore-centric vibe, with the end result being a fusion of the building’s gritty, structural past with an overlay of luxury and fine finishes. Cast iron columns ring the library-like lobby lounge area and guest rooms are filled with nautical materials like polished brass, rich leather fabrics, and mahogany wood.
The artwork found throughout the hotel is also primarily rooted in Charm City. A 10′ X 12′ painted mural by local street artist Gaia commands attention inside the lounge, while an “infinity piece” made-up of a series of intertwined colored light circles by Chul Hyun Ahn (another Baltimore talent) greets guests just before check-in.
Similarly, references to everything from the Star-Spangled Banner, which was penned nearby (within 1,000 yards of the driveway), to the Orioles (the team’s signature “O” can be found in the entry vestibule’s steel screen display) are strategically scattered throughout the building. The two exceptions to such hometown decor are the Art Basel-purchased video art piece of a woman swimming that hangs in the southern lobby outside of the pool deck and, most prominently, the 3,500-pound, 12-foot long bronze Horse and Bridle sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero that anchors the courtyard.
The Sagamore Pendry was designed to accommodate locals and visitors alike. Washingtonians looking for a quick escape will find a complete spa at their disposal, along with a zero-edge pool nestled on the waterfront which is reserved strictly for the use of guests alone. The nearby waterfront grill and bar posed a unique challenge for builders in that the Maryland Historic commission would only allow structures that were “temporary” in nature on the pier. A solution was cleverly devised through the use of a shipping container — albeit an “haute” interpretation of one — which serves a dual purpose in also referencing Baltimore’s shipping heritage.
Noted restaurateur and chef Andrew Carmellini is the guiding force behind the hotel’s food and beverage programs. The Rec Pier Chop House is the property’s flagship restaurant, which serves seasonal Italian fare with “modern panache.” Carmellini himself is particularly fond of the hotel’s take on a crab cake (he tops it with a special pizzaiola sauce), a version of which he served to Plank in New York when interviewing for the job.
Speaking of the Under Armour mogul, Plank wasn’t content with merely renovating Recreation Pier. He also acquired the entire Inner Harbor’s fleet of water taxis, which conveniently dock right next to the property, as part of his long-term plan to develop the city’s Port Covington area. Still, for those who can afford it, the Sagamore Pendry also boasts its own private boat dock on the other side of the building, which is probably perfect for those guests checking into the 1,400-squarefoot presidential suite.
Alas, fellow billionaires might have to wait a few weeks before dropping anchor. Rumor has it that the hotel is already completely sold-out for Baltimore’s popular Preakness horse races next month.
This article has been updated to reflect that Montage International is Sagamore Development Co.’s partner in the hotel. It had previously said Montage Hotels & Resorts.