The Hotel at the University of Maryland is the first and only four-star property in this area of Prince George’s County. It’s a visual WOW when you enter the lobby, comfy and dignified, locally-oriented in its decor, casual and impressive, and exceedingly convenient to the University and easy commuting distance to Washington, D.C. and other Maryland suburbs. And, it wasn’t easy. Among other things, the College Park Airport is a mile from the hotel and Federal Aviation Administration officials feared the hotel, as designed, would be a danger to aircraft.
So, the original thirteen-floor hotel and conference center became a ten-floor property and even added rooms. It’s filled with wonderful, creative touches. As an example, the two pieces of artwork in the lobby are by Baltimore-based sculptor Rodney Carroll. “Blackwater” is located behind the registration desk and presents Carroll’s love of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (east of the Chesapeake Bay). It’s made of stainless steel and copper nickel and measures 40’ wide by 17’ high. Yeah, it’s big and striking. At the landing between the first and second floor lobbies is “Mermaid’s Purse” which looks somewhat like the egg sack of a shark or skate (often seen along the beach) or a skate swimming through the water, depending on how you like it.
There are two large ballrooms with space for 1,500 people for weddings and other functions, meeting space throughout the complex for conferences and meetings, and a 24-hour business center. Rooftop banquet facilities and a veranda overlook the southern entrance to the University of Maryland. As you walk around the hotel, note the names of the meeting spaces which include the Terrapin Ballroom the Diamondback and Wright Brothers boardrooms, Calvert and Crossland ballrooms, Charles Carroll meeting room, Francis Scott Key meeting room, Harriet Tubman meeting room, the Wayne K. Curry meeting room, and the Jim Henson meeting room.
Luxury appointments are evident in the 297 guest rooms (including 21 studio suites with kitchenettes, five one-bedroom suites, and three signature suites). The guest rooms feature fine linens, plush beds, a mini refrigerator, 40’ television, high-tech lighting controls, coffee machine, complimentary Wi-Fi, makeup mirror, and personal safe.
On the ground floor are the lobby bar, the Old Maryland Grill (OMG) restaurant (featuring dry-aged steaks and seafood and local beers and ciders on tap), Bagels ‘n Grinds, Potomac Pizza (outside Baltimore Avenue entrance), and Kapnos Taverna (favorites from the Greek Islands).
Before you start your day or after you’ve finished, there’s a fully-equipped 24-hour fitness center with Matrix equipment, a Red Door Spa, and an indoor pool. A shuttle van is available to whisk you to nearby attractions and facilities. Also, there are 28 electrical charging stations in the parking garage behind the hotel. Travel into Washington, D.C. is a breeze as the College Park Metro Station on the Green Line is less than a mile from the hotel. A Purple Line station, connecting Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, will be steps from the front door, beginning sometime in 2022.