Magnifying glass, tents and benches: 5 decorative ideas that I borrow from the Hotel Ulysse

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Last month, I had a transformative experience at the Ulysses Hotel in Baltimore. Maybe it’s because I’m a creature of comfort (tell me you’re a Taurus without telling me you’re a Taurus), but there are very few places I like to stay out of my apartment. Since this weekend, I’ve been reassessing what it really means to live a life of luxury, though. Beyond the glamorous decor, what sets Hotel Ulysse apart from so many other places I’ve frequented overnight is the hospitality – from the concierge who greeted me at the front desk and the servers at the restaurant to bartenders and housekeepers, I felt so cared for by every person I interacted with.

I honestly never wanted to leave Hotel Ulysse, even though I was in town for other events, because everything I could possibly need was there. When I was hungry, I could grab a bite to eat at the Ash Bar restaurant. When I wanted a nightcap, the doors of Bloom’s were wide open. And when I was finally ready to call it a night, the elevator was waiting in the hallway to take me back to my room. I want to be Odysseus’ Eloise, but until permanent residencies are offered, I’ll have to settle for recreating that fantasy in my own home. Here are five design ideas I picked up from my recent visit.

Ash Bar features burl panels, finished in high gloss and inlaid with steel.

Photo: Brett Wood

Don’t be afraid to spin the magnifying glass

If you enjoy magnifying glass as much as I do, then Ash Bar will easily become your favorite place to gather, with its brilliant magnifying glass panels. I don’t think I’ve been surrounded by so much magnifying glass in my entire life, but I was absorbing every minute of it. I had the pleasure of staying in one of the Queen rooms while I was in town, and before I could even settle in, I was distracted by the magnifying glass bathroom. (The checkerboard tile shower also caught my eye in the grand scheme of it all.) If fully committing to a burl aesthetic seems too overwhelming, consider material-covered accessories instead — Ulysses has burl lighters and bottle openers scattered throughout the establishment. More than anything, it reaffirmed my desire to continue my quest for burl wood credenza and side tables.

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