Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore Offers Major Grand Prize for Grand Prix

An opportunity to meet Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan and a pair of VIP passes for the races surrounding the Grand Prix of Baltimore weekend highlight a grand prize package being offered by the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore – and your chance to win is as easy as taking a victory lap.

To become eligible to win the Grand Prize for the Grand Prix as part of our “Race to 1,000” campaign, all you have to do is “like” our Facebook page. That’s it. Like our page and you are automatically entered to win the once-in-a-lifetime racing experience.

The Grand Prize for the Grand Prix package includes:
*Overnight Accommodations at the AAA Four Diamond Royal Sonesta Harbor Court
*Complimentary Valet Parking
*Dinner for 2 at Explorers
*Two (2) VIP passes for Grand Prix of Baltimore weekend (Full access to pit, paddock and grandstand areas for all three days of the event)
*Access for two (2) to a special invitation-only fundraising dinner on Friday, August 30
*Autographed photos from KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan and Simona De Silvestro
*Special meet-n-greet and photo with Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan

So, are you ready? Set? Ok, let’s GO!!! Enter to win by clicking below, and register by simply hitting “like” for our Facebook page:

Enter to Win: Grand Prize for the Grand Prix



New Summer Menu!!!

The results are in and the new Summer menu at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore has everyone talking…and eating! Executive Chef Josean Rosado and his talented culinary team have created a summer menu with the theme of “International Comfort Food with a Baltimore Twist.” What does that mean? Well, you just have to come to Explorers Restaurant located on the second floor of the hotel to find out.

Through June 30, the iconic Inner Harbor hotel has been featuring weekly specials to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Sonesta brand being located at our Inner Harbor hotel. From now through June 22, buy one entree and get one free. Then, from June 23-30, get 50% off your entire bill (not including tax or alcohol). It’s our anniversary gift to you!

Now, back to the menu…it definitely has something for everyone. From seafood to soups to salads, the variety is almost endless. How about rockfish, crab cakes, or chicken sliders? For summer, what’s fresher than a grilled vegetable stack, or wings prepared with honey from our own third floor apiary (basically, our own beehive where 30,000 honey bees weave their magic). Plus, there’s a crisp skin salmon, pan seared scallops, sun dried tomato risotto cake, and more. For dessert (you gotta save room), there’s a red velvet cake “bread pudding,” oreo cheesecake, brownie a la mode, peach-raspberry crisp, dessert “nacho,” or Chef Zeus’ own selection of ice cream (his ice cream is AMAZING!)

Hungry yet? Stop by Explorers for lunch and/or dinner, or give us a call at (410) 234-0550. Or book your reservation on Open Table.

Meantime, check out this video about how Chef Rosado and his culinary team decides what to put on a menu with this behind-the-scenes look at a Menu Tasting.

Bon Appetit!

New Summer Menu Items

New Summer Menu Items

Why I Love Baltimore

By Mary Sipes
Business Travel Sales Manager

Baltimore is my hometown and will always have a special place in my heart.  There are so many things that I love about Baltimore it would be hard to cover them all.  But for the sake of this blog,  I’ll focus on a former Mayor and his dream.

William Donald Schaefer was an iconic figure rising to national prominence when he transformed the city’s abandoned downtown waterfront to one of the most popular urban tourist attractions in the nation, creating jobs and drawing visitors from across the state and country. The Inner Harbor is now a major focal point for Charm City’s thriving tourism industry spearheaded by the great people at Visit Baltimore.

Schaefer’s vision was to revitalize the Inner Harbor and the surrounding neighborhoods to a place where people would want to live, work and play.  Thirty plus years later, I am amazed that his dream has become a reality and I was lucky enough to not only witness the transformation but to be a part of it.

Working in the hospitality industry for 26 years has given me the opportunity to tell the story of how Baltimore is “no longer a pit stop between Philadelphia and Washington DC” but an actual destination where people really wish to visit and stay.  I love the surprise that people show discovering that Baltimore is actually a great city and much more than they expected.  And this is my hometown that they experiencing!

To see the neighborhoods like Otterbein, Federal Hill, Canton, Fells Point and Mt. Vernon thrive with the old who have lived in these neighborhoods their entire lives mixed with the young professionals and families is another tribute to Schaefer’s vision.  Homes that were once inhabitable are now great investments for their owners and a source of tax revenue for the city.  Buildings that were abandoned are now refurbished and are home to new businesses and people alike.

One of the greatest visions in my opinion was the development of Oriole Park at Camden Yards utilizing the old B&O warehouse.  Rather than tear it down, it became part of the ballpark and a model for other cities.

Baltimore has come a long way from the blue collar industrial city my ancestors lived in.  There are still cobble stone streets and streetcar tracks from its early days.  Not to mention the painted screens and white marble steps on the front of the rowhouses.   Lucky for us, the developers of Mr. Schaefer’s dream found a way to incorporate the old with the new and to preserve the charm in Charm City.

Mary Sipes - Royal Sonesta Harbor Court

Mary Sipes – Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

We Have a Winner! That’s My Momma’s Recipe Contest

Congratulations! We have a winner in our “That’s My Momma’s Recipe” Contest. Terri Stafford from Baltimore, Maryland and her Chicken Kiev recipe received 176 votes (46.32%) of the 380 registered to claim the grand prize. First place includes:

  • Overnight stay at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
  • Breakfast and Dinner for 2
  • 2 tickets to a future Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards

Terri Stafford and Mom
Terri Stafford & Her Mom

Our other finalists will not go away empty-handed. Laura Davis from Pocomoke City, Md. finished in second place with 113 votes (29.74%) for her Steamed Shrimp recipe and earned an overnight stay at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court and dinner for two. Loretta Gazzara from Media, Penn. finished in third with 91 total votes (23.95%) for her Mom’s Marble Cake recipe. She wins a Sunday Brunch for 2.

The voting was processed and maintained by and delivered to us at the end of the contest on May 7, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).

Thanks to everyone who submitted preliminary entries and to those who took time to vote!

Most of all HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Vote for the Winner!!! That’s My Momma’s Recipe Contest

Congratulations to our three finalists for the “That’s My Momma’s Recipe Contest” from the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest. We received a lot of amazing recipes and essays and one thing is clear – we all love our mom and we all have great stories about how her love was the most important ingredient of all.

Now, here is your chance to play a part in what recipe is the best. One vote per person will be allowed per day, so vote once and vote daily, if you wish. The voting deadline is Tuesday, May 7 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).

Below, you can review the actual recipes. Then, go to the voting block at the bottom of the page, check the circle beside your choice, then submit your vote.

The great thing is all three of our finalists will win something. Here are the prizes:

Grand Prize (First Place):

  • Overnight Stay at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
  • Complimentary Valet parking
  • Breakfast and Dinner for 2
  • 2 tickets to a future Baltimore Orioles game

Second Place:

  • Overnight Stay at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
  • Dinner for 2

Third Place:

  • Sunday Brunch for 2

Here are our finalists and their recipes:

Terri Stafford and Mom
Chicken Kiev: Terri Warthen Stafford, Baltimore, MD
My mom is my favorite cook, and “Chicken Kiev” is my all-time favorite of her recipes.  Growing up, it was the most requested dish for our family birthday dinners and other special occasions.  With its Russian origin, it is something we never found on restaurant menus, which makes this meal distinct.   The trick is getting the butter to stay inside of the chicken breast.  If you can master that task . . . the chicken will ooze melted herbed butter as you slice into it.  Succulent and moist on the inside, with a crispy coating on the outside.  Bon Appetite!

Pound 8 large pieces boned chicken breasts very thin.
Place 1-1/2 tbsp. Fleischmann’s Margarine in center of each breast.
Combine 4 tbsp. chives, 1 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper; sprinkle over margarine.
Roll each breast and overlap sides, so that margarine mixture is completely enclosed; the flesh will adhere.
Beat 4 egg whites and 2 tbsp. milk together.
Roll chicken in bread crumbs, then in egg white mixture, and again in bread crumbs; coat well.
Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
Deep fry in hot (370 degrees F) corn oil until well-browned, 8-10 minutes. (Can also use peanut oil, too)
Drain well. Serve hot.
Makes 8 servings.

Moms Marble Cake
Mom’s Marble Cake: Loretta Gazzara, Media, PA
My mother has been gone for over 25 years now, but her Marble Cake recipe lives on!! Although my mom was ill much of her adult life, she made time to make her signature Marble Cake for most holidays and I have yet to taste a better one out there.  I have my own family now and my daughters ask me to make this cake recipe for every special occasion…They never met my mom as she passed away before they were born, but we can remember her in a special way with her delicious Marble Cake recipe every Mother’s Day!

Chocolate Mixture:
4 squares of bittersweet chocolate
8 T. butter
8 T. sugar

1 c. margarine or butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
3 t. baking powder
2 dashes of salt
1 c. milk
2 t. vanilla


Melt chocolate and butter together over low heat or in microwave-set aside.

Mix dry ingredients for cake together-set aside. Cream together butter and sugar in mixer with paddle attachment.  Add milk, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour into a greased tube pan and swirl chocolate mixture through with a butter knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Steamed Shrimp: Laura Davis, Pocomoke City, MD
My mom has been making shrimp this way, for as long as I can remember – a tip from an old fishmonger on Chincoteague Island many moons ago. You’re guaranteed to never have an overcooked shrimp! It’s such a gorgeous platter at a party – so impressive, yet so easy. I grew up outside of Annapolis, and every Friday night we’d head to our home on the Eastern Shore. These shrimp were always on the menu, not only for their ease of preparation on their cooking time. But, paired with simple sides like Silver Queen corn and baked potatoes – it’s the quintessential summer meal.

2 quarts water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup beer (Boh!)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp Old Bay
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Combine water, vinegar, peppercorns, coriander, allspice, and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once water comes to a boil, add shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the water comes back to a boil. Once boiling, IMMEDIATELY remove pan off heat and drain in a colander. Remove bay leaves and toss shrimp with seafood seasoning. Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

That’s My Momma’s Recipe Contest!

If you have an old family recipe, or a dish your mother prepared to perfection, the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore wants to hear from YOU!

From April 16 – 30, 2013, we are accepting entries for our “That’s My Momma’s Recipe” Contest. The Grand Prize winner will receive an overnight stay at our AAA Four Diamond rated hotel located on Baltimore’s scenic Inner Harbor. Also, breakfast and dinner for two; plus, 2 tickets to a future Orioles game at Camden Yards.

You can enter the contest at Here are the details and contest rules:

That’s My Momma’s Recipe Contest

  • Only one (1) recipe entry per person (and must be a FRIEND of our Facebook page):
  • Entry MUST be accompanied by a 100-word of less essay about why “My Momma’s Recipe” is the best.
  • Entry MUST include a photo of the created recipe, or better yet, a photo of your mom, or you with your mom.
  • All submissions become the property of the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore.
  • Entries can be sent to: You can also post on our Facebook wall, too, if you wish.
  • Entries will be accepted through Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
  • On May 1, our judges will select three (3) finalists and post them on our Facebook page
  • Once the three (3) finalist entries are posted on Facebook, everyone will have until May 7, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. to vote for their favorite recipe.
  • The entry with the most overall votes when the contest closes on May 7 at 5:00 p.m. will be declared the winner.
  • Must be 18 years-of-age, or older to enter.

Grand Prize: Overnight accommodations over Mother’s Day weekend at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore; complimentary overnight valet parking; breakfast and dinner for two; and 2 tickets to a future Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards.

Second Prize: Overnight accommodations and dinner for 2.

Third Prize: Sunday Brunch for two at Brightons Restaurant

So, remember…send 1) recipe, 2) essay, 3) photo to and GOOD LUCK!

For more information about the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore, visit: