Historic Charm in Cleveland

You know how my heart goes flippity-flop for historic properties, and this week, I got to see two in one week! One of my all time favorites is the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, and that’s where I got to start my week.  If you missed my post about the Netherland Plaza, you can read it in the post, “A Hilton Like No Other.” To wrap up the week, I got my first glance into the Tudor Arms Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton. The Tudor Arms is located just east of downtown Cleveland, near Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic.  There’s so much history to this place, but don’t let that fool you, the 21st century amenities guests are accustomed to are all there. So let’s jump in!

Historic lodging in downtown Cleveland

While offering the 21st century hotel experience, the pre-Depression era property is soaked with a rich history that includes lavish parties, massive, beautiful ballrooms, lively jazz music and ornate gargoyle statues. Speaking of parties, we were visiting for one of our own – the OHLA Greater Cleveland Stars of the Industry Event! Doesn’t that ball room look BEAUTIFUL??

Historic lodging in downtown ClevelandBuilt in 1933 by Frank Meade, a notable architect credited with a number of historic Cleveland properties, The Gothic-revival property was built to be a luxurious head-turner – bursting with ballrooms, a pool, bowling alleys and elegant, expensive decor. Then, it was called the Cleveland Club, a place for grand parties and celebrations.

The club wasn’t exempt from the Great Depression, and as it recovered it slowly took on a jazz club vibe, eventually transitioning into its current Tudor Arms name. At that time, it became a venue for notable musicians – think Lawrence Welk— as it carried on through the mid-century.

By the time the 21st century hit, the property had fallen into that “it needs some work” stage after undergoing very little restoration throughout its

Historic lodging in downtown Cleveland

lifespan. Through some ownership changes that included use as dorms for Case Western grad students, it eventually landed in the hands of some Cleveland developers in 2011 and went under a massive renovation to become the DoubleTree property it is today.

Historic lodging in downtown ClevelandThe history was properly preserved to maintain its status on the National Register of Historic Places. When you check in and take a bite out of that warm DoubleTree cookie, you’ll still be surrounded by the high ceilings, colorful interior rooms and intricate architecture that greeted guests of the Cleveland Club some 80-plus years ago. It’s a cherished gem with 1930s charm that stands to delight the contemporary hotel guest.

I can’t wait for my chance to return an stay overnight in this beautiful historic gem, close to the hustle and bustle of the newly invigorated downtown Cleveland.

Historic lodging in downtown Cleveland

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

Get Outdoors!

Today, I write to you from Mohican Lodge & Conference Center where I’ve been enjoying the state park for the OHLA Board Retreat. In honor of our theme today, the Superpowers of Life is Good, I’m going to stick to SIMPLICITY and tell you that if you haven’t checked out one of our State Park Lodges this summer, you still have time to enjoy the great outdoors at one of these fabulous places!

Burr Oak

Deer Creek

Hueston Woods

Maumee Bay



Salt Fork


“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

What’s in the Pipeline?

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Not that pipeline!!

Even as I started typing the headline, my thoughts immediately redirected to that famous Hawaiian scene, but maybe that’s because I spent my lunch hour reading about expected drops in rates to Hawaii in 2017 (please! please! please!).  But, my head isn’t too far in the clouds, because in Ohio, there’s a lot in our pipeline – our hotel pipeline that is!  Every day I receive emails about new properties being built across our great state, but today I heard a really crazy one. OK, not too crazy, but I saw headlines like Schott-topia, Schottenstein Resort, etc.  And, if you don’t know Columbus, you might not immediately associate Schottenstein with OSU.  Did you know there are three hotels on the table to be built near downtown Columbus as part of Schottenstein’s proposed “Grand Central” complex?

And that’s just the beginning. From proposed/planning to just opened, let’s surf through some of Ohio’s pipeline.

New Brand Properties

A few weeks ago we talked about Cobblestone, a new brand for Ohio. If you’re living under a stone – ahem – rock, you can read more about that here. But, they aren’t the only ones.  Soon in the Short North, Columbus’ Arts District, we’re expecting to see ground breaking on Moxy, a Marriott brand that claims to be “a boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel.” This property is moving in where the former Haiku Restaurant once stood. (Expected opening: Spring 2019).

And speaking of new brands, what about Cincinnati’s new The Summit Hotel, the first of Wydham’s Dolce Collection to enter the Ohio market?  This is a much anticipated project for the Cincinnati town of Madisonville. In addition to new meeting space for the area, this new property comes equipped with a roof top garden and an option for an “all inclusive stay” – breakfast, lunch and dinner included. (Expected opening Spring 2018)

Curio CollectionMoxy & Dolce are coming into the Ohio market slowly and quietly.  But Curio is making a huge splash (you’re thinking about Hawaii again, aren’t you?). My records show at least three Curio by Hilton properties under development in Ohio right now.  Curious about Curio? There’s a lot to know! Curio is a new-ish brand for Hilton, replacing the former DoubleTree model for historic renovations and independent conversions. I’ve had some experience with Curios in other states and I’m super pumped to see them finally making the Ohio market.  Some of these are rumored to be Curios, but bear with me! On the docket are: Curio by Hilton Cleveland Huntington Bank Building, Cleveland (2018); Curio by Hilton Hall of Fame Village, Canton (Summer 2019); The Hayden Columbus, Curio Collection by Hilton (unknown).

Not to be outdone by the modernness of Moxy or the rush of Ohio

Tru by Hiltondevelopment of Curio, comes another addition from the Hilton family of brands that came into Ohio with jackhammers blazing.  Tru says it is “vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart.” With super bright colors and a funky exterior, you won’t be able to miss one of the five properties making their way to Ohio. Soon to open it’s bright doors to “something different” are: Tru by Hilton Cleveland (2019); Tru by Hilton Grove City (unknown); Tru by Hilton Columbus Airport (unknown); Tru by Hilton Huber Heights (2018) and Tru by Hilton Dayton Beavercreek (proposed).

New Independent Properties

Now, don’t get too stuck on the brands battling their way into Ohio.  There are plenty of new independent properties also making their way onto the scene. Personally, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of Findlay’s Image result for marathon petroleumHancock Hotel, being built by Marathon Petroleum and managed by First Hospitality Group (Hotel LeVeque, Columbus & Renaissance Toledo). This hotel has been on the books for a while and will hopefully open February 2018. At opening, the hotel will be complete with not-so-common independent amenities such as a ballroom which can accommodate 360 people, a full service restaurant, Mancy’s, and an impressive presidential suite with a rooftop terrace. Read more, here.

Some of our new independent properties are new builds, others are

Image result for ohio city logoimpressive renovation undertakings and some, are both.  Take Cleveland’s recently announced Hulett Hotel, the first lodging accommodation of its kind to open in the vibrant Ohio City. The Hulett Hotel is a 25-room project nestled in the heart of Ohio City in the former Luthern Metropolitan Ministry building. The project is in planning stages, but the Ohio City resident and owner/developer plans to have the property open for business by Summer 2018.

Finally, I’d be remiss (and my husband will lecture me for hours) if I didn’t mention the much anticipated BrewDog hotel, The DogHouse, in Canal Winchester. Truly independent in nature, in just two months, BrewDog raised over $300,000 through a crowdfunding effort to help kickstart the hotel and sour beer brewing facility. Beer fanatics, like my husband, were quick to scour the contribution levels which guaranteed investors perks such as a flagship stay, a trip to the beer spa, or even a soak in the beer hot tub. I’m not 100% sure how that’s all going to work, but I’m sure happy to watch it develop in my own backyard. Meanwhile, TJ will just be daydreaming of his flagship stay and soak in the beer tub, the crowdfunding shutdown abruptly when anticipated funding soared past their goal of just $75,000.

Needless to say, we’ve got a lot going on. By my count, there are at least 100 hotels being planned or executed in Ohio as I write this blog.  Are you in Ohio and wondering what’s being built around the corner or on your drive to work? Just ask!

Who ever said Ohio isn’t the hippest place to be?  I’ll tell you what, in Ohio, you can find it here.

Image result for ohio find it here

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck




WOW in West Chester

Don’t you hate when you have your heart set on some event or activity and then it gets ripped away by another calendar intrusion? OK, OK. I can’t completely complain because I was on vacation, BUT, for the first time since I joined the association family, I missed the Ohio Society of Association Executives (OSAE) Conference a few weeks ago.  Guys, this was a big miss. Why, you ask? Because.  There was an evening filled with whacking golf balls off of a deck zillions of feet in the air at Topgolf. There was a DONUT TRAIL. And, we would be staying at the beautifully renovated Cincinnati Marriott North (CMN). Fortunately, I have the job I do and I got to recreate at least part of the missed conference and stayed at the property this week. It was a big deal for me because after so many dedicated nights away from home and travel time, I finally got to enjoy one of the <75 M Clubs in the country, I got to experience one of the most bad-ass treadmills I’ve ever ran on, and I got to see one of my favorite good friends and his amazing team. Let’s go!

Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriott

As some of you know, Marriott has a new package it’s rolling out for many of its properties.  And I won’t be the first one to say it… FINALLY! For a while there, you could have dropped me in 100 different Marriott lobbies and I wouldn’t know where I was because they all looked the same. The Cincinnati Marriott North is all moody and thoughtful with grays, blues and greens as its theme. (The new Marriott Columbus University Area sticks to reds, for example).  There are of course some things you can always expect with a Marriott, exemplary service, fantastic amenities and a really good night’s sleep.

My room was beautiful.  I checked in late, so I was ready to catch some Zzzs. I wasn’t surprised to see the new design following some of the trends I’ve seen of new-builds: clean lines, less clutter, Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriottminimal desks, multi-purpose trays and spaces. One of the other changes I’m a huge fan of is no more of that stock artwork.  My room had two photos of Cincinnati – one of the historic Union Terminal & Cincinnati Museum Center and the other of the tree-lined park by the Ohio river. Another fun thing I’ve noticed at other hotels and that I saw here was an opportunity to go green.  If you’re like me, you really don’t leave a mess when you travel. Actually, I presume I’m every housekeepers favorite. I keep all of my trash to one can, pick up all of my used towels and place them on the top of the toilet and rewind the hairdryer and place it neatly back in place. So why not be rewarded?!

Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriott

Now, you can hang a little tag outside of your door at night to inform staff you don’t need housekeeping the next day. The reward? Loyalty points! Genius.

After a great night’s sleep – you know where I’m headed. I walked into one of the *BEST* gyms I’ve been in in recent memory.  It was my dream come true. Compact, efficient, big mirrors, AC set below 68 and oh, those beautiful treadmills. I know, you are literally laughing at me right now. But have you seen one of these new LifeFitness gems?  Did you know you could run along the beach in Monterey, CA and wave at fellow runners from all over the world, right from Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriottthe comforts of your very own (OK, the CMN’s) treadmill? I didn’t think so! I know it’s a little hard to understand from my photo, but see that little green, human-looking blob in the middle? It is a human! It’s a woman, in London, running with me on the beach. I can even see her picture. Crazy. You should have seen me kick it into high gear when I saw a pack of runners I could actually pass.

Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriott

After I entertained myself for over an hour with all of the fun gym toys, I needed to eat. This was my moment of glory.  The M Club. If you’re a Marriott Gold or Platinum member and you’re lucky enough to be at a property with an M Club, you receive a hot breakfast each morning, hors d’oeuvres and desserts at night, plus a fancy Starbucks machine and 24 hour access for working, Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriottsocializing, etc.  If you aren’t a Gold or Platinum member, you can pay to upgrade your room. This M Club was created using space from the former restaurant and is located on the first floor. It’s truly an awesome perk and from a business perspective, a way better concept than the former concierge lounge, tucked away on whatever floor.  Think of when you walk through the airport and

Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriott

pass the XYZ Airline Lounge where you’re longing for free high speed wifi and cocktail service without a bunch of screaming children?  It creates FOMO. If you put this on the first floor, guests see it and want to be part of it. If for some reason the M Club isn’t for you, there’s a fantastic looking breakfast buffet available at the new Butler’s (formerly River City Grille). Cool new heating and cooling technology makes the buffet look sleek and inviting. Would they have minded if I ate twice?

I did my best to make the most out of my quick trip to Butler County and the fantastic Cincinnati Marriott North. After months and months of renovations, it’s no wonder their staff recently jumped to the top 25% of all Marriott’s in Customer Service. Now they’ve got a product to really be proud of. Can’t wait to see where they go next!

Greater Cincinnati Area Lodging, Marriott

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck