LeVeque Luxury

Hotel LeVeque Columbus, OHHi, Inn Lovers! As the newbie of OHLA, this is my first contribution to the Inn Love blog, so hang with me as I share my venture into downtown Columbus to Hotel Leveque, the first Autograph Collection in Columbus, situated within the iconic Leveque Tower. Trust me, you’ll want to hear about this one!

The LeVeque Tower has always been an iconic part of the Columbus skyline, completed in 1927, it became the fifth tallest building in the world (standing ½ foot taller than the Washington Monument). Fast forward to 1975, when Katherine LeVeque took over Hotel LeVeque following her husband’s death. She then managed the day-to-day operations of the hotel, where she lived on the 41st floor until 2011, the same year the hotel officially became a landmark.

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OHThis property’s MO is “A Beacon of Hospitality”, how fitting! From the moment I pulled up in front of the striking building I was in awe. The entryway alone is enough to take your breath away with its intricate metal working, hanging lamps, tiled flooring, painted ceilings… Oh my gosh, we haven’t even made it inside yet!

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OHAs I walked through the lobby to the super hip front desk I couldn’t help but to look up and see the stellar light fixture in a soaring atrium. I began putting the pieces together and saw the overall theme; astrology! There were seemingly subtle notes all around me including the shimmering ever-changing constellation artwork behind the front desk pods. (Forgive my picture from Christmas, I just had to include this one of the lobby, it was so beautiful! And the tree almost reached the second floor!)

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OH

Hotel LeVeque Columbus, OHOk, Inn Lovers, the sleeping rooms are SO fun! The rooms carried on the overall theme with ultra-modern furnishings, pops of gold and yellow, and light fixtures that mimicked the fixture in the atrium. Abstract shelfing also offered unique books, gadgets, and gizmos. After all this excitement, I could not wait to see the restaurant and lounge.

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OHFirst, I wanted to freshen up and the bathroom did not disappoint! Spacious with marble tiling throughout. And by spacious I mean you can fit at least 15 people in the shower alone. I would be remiss not to mention the toiletries by Cliff Original, which I later found out is a local company right here in Columbus!

I made my way to The Keep Liquor Bar, an overall French concept. It was dark and exciting with quite the menu for food and drink. I started with a Front St. Fizz and dabbled in a few small plates (the braised short rib was delectable!). I couldn’t help but to stay a little longer and absorb the vibe.

Hotel LeVeque Columbus, OH

Eventually, I decided I needed to end this fun visit and head to bed (it was a work night after all!). However, I was surprised again! My room had gotten turndown service complete with a projected constellation on the ceiling. This night I got to fall asleep under the stars.

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OH

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OH

Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OH

Happy Travels!


Dapper Dual Property

Marriott Columbus University AreaIn the spirit of welcoming our new Director of Membership, Lauren Stazen, and the Ohio State spring game coming up (sorry readers, at some point everything in Columbus relates back to OSU football), I decided to visit Lauren’s former property – Marriott & Residence Inn Columbus University Area! The dual property is the first of it’s kind for the brand, and you’ll want to see this one. Come with me as I explore Marriott’s new concept, located just two miles from the heart of Ohio State’s campus.

Dual property? Yes! This project served as a pilot program for Marriott International featuring a full-service Marriott connected to an extended stay Residence Inn. I could immediately tell a difference when I walked in the front doors. It was so OPEN. The lobby and soft seating flowed right into the bar area and then opened into the restaurant. It honestly all felt like the same space, which was extremely welcoming and very on-trend (for all my Chip and Joanna fans out there).

Marriott Columbus University AreaAnd speaking of trends… I learned that Columbus’ stake in the fashion industry was the designer’s décor concept for the Marriott side of the property. Warm neutrals greet you as you enter the front doors and continue down the halls and even into the elevator, which looks like a men’s tie on the inside (fun fact: the neutral pallet was chosen based on the colors and fabrics used for luxury men’s suits).

Marriott Columbus University AreaI headed back into the open space at the front of the property (which Lauren later told me is called the “Great Room”, very fitting) for dinner at MODA. MODA (meaning “fashion” in several other languages) continues the trendy theme of the property with unique dishes like the braised short rib nachos and a slow roasted mojo pork Cuban sandwich, but I have to say my favorite dish was the roasted brussels sprouts.

Marriott Columbus University AreaAfter dinner I was allowed a sneak peek at the M Club…which is always the cool part for a person who isn’t loyal enough to any brand or airline to reap the benefits of points or miles…but I may have been convinced after seeing this space. The room is filled with mostly white marble on the countertops, floors, and a feature wall with accents of maroon throughout. There are plenty of spaces to sit and work, hang out and watch TV, or enjoy my personal favorite…the 24-hour coffee and snack bar.

Marriott Columbus University AreaVenture down a connecting hallway and you’ll find yourself in the Residence Inn, which pays homage to Ohio State academics through its décor in the public areas and sleeping rooms. One of the most notable pieces of artwork (that I’m trying to figure out how to recreate) is a script Ohio made of 12,000 pencils that hangs just behind the front desk. Cozy spaces surround you in the lobby with textbooks, a fire place, area rugs (also custom OSU themed), flat screen televisions, and comfortable seating that truly makes you feel at home. And after touring the space, I’m thinking I just might have to book my next extended stay here during a Buckeye football game, which can never come fast enough for an Ohio State alumna 😊

Marriott Columbus University Area

Marriott Columbus University Area

Marriott Columbus University Area


Happy travels!

The Queen City Comeback

I think I may have spoken too soon about Spring coming given the snow that appeared in Ohio this week…luckily for me, I had the perfect property on my travel list to bring me indoors. Even better, in my hometown of Cincinnati!

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OHIf you haven’t visited Cincinnati recently, now is the time to start planning your trip. The last time I lived in Cincinnati, in the early 2000’s, downtown was not even close to a destination for residents or tourists. In fact, part of downtown was ranked in the top ten most dangerous neighborhoods in America (Over-the-Rhine). Today, those neighborhoods are unrecognizable. Join me as we explore the beautiful boutique brand that has focused its attention on revitalization projects in cities experiencing a renaissance, the 21c Museum Hotel.

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OHThe first time I returned home from DC, I thought my friends were joking when they asked me to meet them at a bar in Over-the-Rhine (OTR, as we call it). Downtown Cincinnati truly was THAT bad when I left. Today, I am so proud of the hard work and funding dedicated to the revitalization of the city I love so much…and the reason I admire properties like the 21c Museum Hotel.

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OH

“For more than 10 years now, the 21c Museum Hotel experience has seamlessly blended art and hospitality. Our multi-venue contemporary art museum, unique boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants together create a new kind of travel and cultural experience, globally connected yet rooted in the local community.”

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OHThe mission of 21c Museum Hotel was apparent when I walked into their Cincinnati location, I honestly had a hard time telling it was a hotel, it’s truly that focused on art. I checked in and met up with CJ Lecky, Corporate Director of Sales and Business Development, who gave me a wonderful tour of the museum, located on three floors of the property, while telling me all about how the brand got its start.

“21c Museum Hotel was founded by preservationists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The couple wanted to take an active role in the preservation and revitalization of downtown Louisville motivated by changes happening in and around their hometown.”

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OHCJ informed me that the couple really had no intention of opening more than one property, but it was easy to see how the concept caught on, earning not only national, but international attention and awards. In fact, all seven 21c Museum Hotels were ranked among Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Hotels in the World. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the brand has also earned Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award, Monocle Magazine’s Best Hotel Brand, and Inc.’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies recognition.

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OHAfter I finished touring the appropriately-timed “The Future is Female” exhibit, showcasing contemporary feminist art from around the globe (check out the pictures – it was incredible), I headed to my room. It was no surprise that the room was every bit as quirky and wonderful as the hotel lobby – notice anything about the shower wall? And I have to say…this was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve ever slept in.

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OH
I had a snack and custom craft cocktail at the Metropole downstairs before I ventured out to revisit the Cincinnati nightlife that didn’t exist when I lived there. The 21c Museum Hotel is very conveniently located… within a few blocks of any number of activities you might enjoy: The Aronoff Center for the Arts, Fountain Square, breweries, shopping, and of course Cincinnati’s hottest new neighborhood…you guessed it…OTR. Bonus: one of my personal favorite Cincinnati restaurants, Sotto, is across the street. Get the donuts if you go, thank me later.

What a wonderful getaway to my beloved city that might become your new favorite destination too! One thing is for sure, I will be returning in the summer to experience their fabulous rooftop cocktail terrace.

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OH

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OH

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, OH

Happy travels!



Modern Beauty in Bangkok

Spring is fast approaching and I think we are all ready for what the season brings…a change in weather, experiences…and bloggers! As some of you may know, Halle had her beautiful baby boy this week, so I’ll be standing in to take you along on some of my travels. I was fortunate enough to leave behind five inches of Columbus snow a couple weeks ago and step off a plane into 90 degree Southeast Asia.


I have to admit, Bangkok was a bit overwhelming for me. I didn’t know what to expect, and I’d really only seen pictures of beaches, islands, and elephant reserves in Thailand. Bangkok is not that. Despite part of its city limits reaching the gulf of Thailand, Bangkok is a huge metropolitan area almost the size of New York City, just as crowded and busy. So, you could say I was thankful for a relaxing break at the Park Hyatt.

This property is a bit hidden on the inside, as it sits atop the 8 story Central Embassy mall (sidenote – I could probably write an entire blog about the malls in Asia). You first travel up a few floors to the most inviting space filled with bookstores, restaurants, study spaces, and children’s playgrounds on the same level and weave your way back to a set of elevators marked as the hotel’s.

Once the doors open on the 9th floor, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the Park Hyatt Bangkok. The designer of the interior space wanted to embody “livable luxury”, and it’s obvious. The entire hotel smells like the lobby of a spa, every wall is a fresh hue of ivory or light wood with carefully placed artwork, and the architecture is remarkable. I almost felt like I was in an art gallery or museum, everything feels so intentional.

It’s hard to pick a favorite space, so I have to tell you about two, the pool and the rooftop entertainment area.

The pool. Wow. After a long morning of sightseeing on foot in 80% humidity, lunch by the pool was a dream. When you walk onto the pool deck, you instantly feel like you’re in a garden. If you choose not to sit along the 130 ft. saltwater infinity pool (I saw more infinity pools in Asia than I’ve seen in my lifetime), you can continue to the back where a few stairs take you to different levels of cabana-style seating. We chose this spot (mostly because the cabanas are essentially queen-sized beds covered in the softest terry cloth) and ordered a couple drinks and (of course) Thai food!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves here, but I think I was pleasantly surprised when the service was just as impressive as the scenery. There isn’t a tipping culture in Asia, so at most places you have to let staff know when you need anything. Not here. Our servers were angels, telling us about the history of the property, suggesting the best meals for an authentic Thai experience, and always with a smile and wonderful attitude. We could have stayed all day, but it was time for a few more sights before we returned to the Park Hyatt bars and restaurants.

It’s difficult to find a word other than “wow” to describe the different parts of the Park Hyatt. The bar and restaurant space are phenomenal. Three floors of entertainment to explore, complete with a rooftop bar overlooking the city. I’m not sure if this is true, but I heard it was modeled after a “bachelor pad”, which makes sense given the vintage BMW motorcycle in the lobby, cigar bar upstairs, and racing memorabilia filling the bookshelves. If you didn’t want to sit outside, the cocktail bar also offers floor to ceiling views of the city from just about every spot in the room. And to make your custom cocktails that much more enjoyable, there is a house DJ who sits right above the liquor wall to give you a club experience without actually having to go to a club.

I can’t speak to the food in this particular restaurant, as we didn’t eat there, but I’m sure it’s just as amazing as everything else at this property. I am determined to make it back to the Park Hyatt Bangkok based on this trip, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting this beautiful part of the world!



Happy traveling!