550 Light St., 410/234-0550 or 888/424-6835,
It’s a shame, really, that the uninspired 1980s design of this hotel (sort of a boring brick box married to a utilitarian vision of a Parisian apartment building) does so little to proclaim that it’s one of the finest lodging options in the city. Renovated in 2005, the InterContinental has a lot going for it: The 195 rooms are really big, and (in all but the most basic rooms) the furniture is old-world European and sturdy.
There are 22 suites as well, offering various degrees of luxury (and cost). The lobby features a changed-daily floral bouquet that’s the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, and the rooftop health club has great views and everything from free weights to StairMasters. Best of all, the Explorer’s Lounge is one of the city’s best places for an opulent cocktail while overlooking the Inner Harbor.