Here Comes the Future!

It is hard to believe we are well into October, my favorite time of year, and approaching the end of another amazing year of growth in our industry statewide. We’ve added new first-time brands in the state, are adding rooms to existing properties and local flare & innovation is all the rage.Canopy by Hilton - Nationwide Blvd.

Looking at the blogs of the past, there are certainly familiar themes that connect them all in some way. Lifestyle brands, creative marketing, leaders challenging the status quo and the importance of your service culture.

Now, more than ever, OHLA focus’ on empowering our upcoming leaders through education and workforce development opportunities. Many of the commonalities will be addressed at our upcoming Annual Conference this November to help prepare our industry for the future.

What is behind the mass emergence of the Lifestyle Brands?All Brands

Multiple major lifestyle brand developments are happening essentially simultaneously in Columbus, within just a few miles of each other. It is a major BOOM for the area!

AC Hotel by Marriott (Park St.)

Aloft by Marriott (Olentangy River Rd.)

Aloft by Marriott (Easton Town Center, Alston St.)

Canopy by Hilton (Arena District – Nationwide Blvd.)

Moxy by Marriott (Short North Arts District – High St.)

In the Northwest region of our state development of a Tru by Hilton and a proposed AVID by IHG is in the pipeline. In Northeast, another Tru and near Cincinnati an Aloft. Best Western is also at the forefront with brands like Glo & Vib.

What questions do you have about these brands? Brand longevity? Differences between them? Hear from our Lifestyle Brand Panelists: Jenny Aboudou,Senior Brand Manager, Canopy by Hilton; Michael VanAkkeren, Senior Director – Marriott Global Operations Design & Development, Distinctive Brands; Michael Morton, Vice President of Owner Relations, Best Western; Kip Vreeland, Chief Officer of Full Service Franchising, Marriott International.Moxy Rendering - Columbus, OH

Brands like these are trying to give the ultimate local, fresh, new vibe that our younger and up and coming travelers yearn for. Our Unique Lodging of Ohio (ULO) properties are truly already hitting the nail on the head. From a one bedroom guest house, to cabins in the Hocking Hills area, to a 200-room independent hotel. Each of these properties present a unique experience for their guest. Some of our properties have renowned restaurants, excellent spas, all encompassed within a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

WelshHills - Granville, OHWe will be presenting our ULO Property of the year award at our annual Gala to pay tribute to a very special ULO. Last year, The Welsh Hills in was our winner. This award-winning Bed & Breakfast is nestled in the historic Granville’s Welsh Hills Equestrian Countryside. It is complete with perfectly appointed guest rooms, a complete signature breakfast each morning and picturesque courtyard with a heated pool. (If you have stayed at, work in or have worked with a ULO property; we want to hear about it! Submit a ULO Property of the Year nomination!)

Industry progression is marked with innovation and technology. The Westin & Marriott brands are embracing this through Amazon Alexa Echo, to offer a voice activated hotel butler of sorts. Need more towels? Ask Alexa! We are driven on warm, fuzzy hospitality. Are you as curious as I am on how integrations such as this may work and affect our clientele? We’ll be hearing from Greg Pappas from Evolve Controls, who will walk us through what the hotel integration looks like. Evolve Controls works with Volara to integrate solutions such as those listed above: voice activated thermostats with Honeywell and concierge services with Amazon Alexa.

There is A LOT happening in our state and industry and we are here to help you manage it. I hope to see you at our annual conference this November to learn, network and toast to our future!

Until Next Time,

Lauren

Curiosities at The Cincinnatian Hotel

Since 1882, this building has been a landmark hotel and is included on the registry of Historic Hotels of America. This property has withstood the test of time and is most recently known as The Cincinnatian Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, which stands as the first Curio Collection property in our state.The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

The gem that is The Cincinnatian is polished and shiny all over again. Throughout the hotel, reminders of Cincinnati’s history and the remarkable architecture of the property is preserved. Walking in there is an atrium-esque lobby area. However, it was not always an atrium, I learned that there was an interior fire some time ago and to maintain the property, the interior damaged rooms were removed. (Crazy, right?) Now the atrium, has made way for a vast skylight, which allows natural light to overflow the space.

Let’s back up for a second and talk about the lobby. The décor is impeccable. With unique pieces of furniture, bright colors, and Cincinnati related artwork. Several pieces struck a chord with me: a horizontal colorful image of the Cincinnati skyline that was folded to create dimension, a fun & bright rendering of President William Howard Taft and my favorite a wall of 90 framed beverage napkins. (Yes, I said beverage napkins! We will come back to this one.)The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

I could have spent most of my day admiring the fun artwork but I also had to pop my head into their dining options. First, their grab & go or made to order outlet, Hannaford Market. A great place to grab breakfast or lunch with white tile lined walls and the menu featured on a floor to ceiling chalkboard. Gliding barn-like doors opened to extra dining space or a potential private area. Within this space was my favorite piece(s) of art. Time to circle back to the wall of 90 framed beverage napkins.The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

Each napkin featured a hand sketched Cincinnati-related piece of art, such as a three-way from Skyline Chili, a queen’s crown representing the Queen City or Fiona the famed premature hippo born at Cincinnati’s Zoo. It was so unique and interesting that I had to take a few minutes and look at each individual sketch for its meaning.

The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OHAt the busy intersection of Vine Street & Sixth Street, sits the very new Brick & Mortar, an upscale gastropub with a locally-influenced menu. The concept revolves around a large 4 sided bar surrounded by a mix of seating options. Again, the decor is perfect! Comfortable couches and ottomans under an array of various light fixtures, offer a great place to relax or catch up with friends.

The front desk is just as colorful as the path I took to get there (my path was the long way). Behind the desk is a floor to ceiling custom mosaic tile that is a replica of the ceiling from the historic Cincinnati Union Terminal featuring vibrant shades of orange and yellow.The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

I made my way  to see the updated accommodations that featured a great mix of balance between a peaceful subdued palette with splashes of color through more art. As I made my way back down to the lobby, instead of the elevator, I opted for the stunning, original oak staircase which is such a statement.The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

It is safe to say, The Cincinnatian Hotel is back in its glory and has set the bar high for other Curio Collection hotels that will follow. Curious about other Curio properties? Log-in to MyOHLA for the New Construction Pipeline!

Until Next Time,

Lauren

The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

The Cincinnatian Curio Collection - Cincinnati, OH

There is Something About Avalon

There is a lot to be said about The Avalon Inn & Resort in the Northeastern corner of our state and my hometown, Warren, Ohio. I was back in Warren for a wedding (imagine that!) and had the opportunity to stay the night at this local Inn. The Avalon Inn & Resort is nestled alongside Avalon Lakes which is a legendary golf course that was designed by famous golf course architect, John Dye. The Inn itself offers excellent views of the course from entry, many of the sleeping rooms and the Grand Pavilion event space which offers a panoramic view of the course with its’ floor to ceiling windows.

When you are done with this read, I encourage you to take a look at their online magazine!

For some time, Avalon has been the premiere destination for various golf tournaments, outings and special events. I have fond memories of attending several LPGA tournaments as a young girl with my parents at Avalon and if I am being completely honest, I still have my Tweety Bird visor adorned with several autographs.

The Inn is charming with a classic approach to a modern time with white and brick exterior. Coming up the steps and through the main entrance I look out ahead and can see a sneak peek of the course. Before I get too far, I am warmly welcomed by the hospitable team (and many more times throughout my stay). I check-in quickly and am handed a sleek black and gold envelope with my key cards and onto room 163!

Avalon Inn & Resort - Warren, OHOur accommodations were spacious, comfortable, updated and quite lovely. The hallways have accents of black and foil gold patterned walls with white wood paneling. The same vibe carried on into the sleeping rooms with gray and charcoal metallic wall coverings. Our room had a large mini-fridge and coffee station (some of my most important things when traveling!). Oh, and the beds were SO comfortable!

While visiting Avalon there is quite the array of things to do such as hit the course for 18, take a swim in their large indoor pool, take care of all your fitness routines in their recreation center, hop on the shuttle to a sister property (Avalon at Buhl Park and Squaw Creek) to enjoy the spa or other golf options. Gatsby’s, Lobby Bar  and The Chophouse are all dining and lounge options. Gatsby’s  and The Chophouse are both obvious options in the area when looking for steak, seafood, pasta or an extensive wine list.

This property is also one of the most highly recommended for events. From their ballroom to the Grand Pavilion, these spaces are easy to make your own but do not require you to. They are beautiful spaces different in their own right.Avalon Inn & Resort - Warren, OH

I am sure you are thinking, “Wow! They really have it all!”. Well my friends, Avalon continues to grow and improve their guest experience. Currently, they are mid-construction on an outdoor, multi-tiered pool and lounge area and the renderings are beautiful!

If you are searching for an overnight where comfort, hospitality, golf and food unite, this is your spot!

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

Dual Properties, Oh My!

Across the brands and across the state we are seeing an increase in dual branded properties. Marriott, Hilton, IHG and Choice Hotels are some of the brands we are keeping an eye on as they expand in Ohio. As hoteliers, owners and management companies hone in on market trends, today’s society and the future traveler we have seen changes amongst the industry. Inclusive of the emergence of lifestyle brands and the phenomenon that is dual-branded properties.

The concept itself aims to encompass the needs of a market by providing different cost segments under one roof. By having two brands under one roof, the guest has an opportunity to experience the best of both brands while on the hotel’s side there is opportunity for savings in areas such as labor and back of house operations.

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

TownePlace & Springhill Suites by Marriott Easton
Opening October 2018

I had the privilege to participate in a hardhat tour of the soon-to-be open TownePlace Suites and Springhill Suites by Marriott at Easton. This dual concept is well underway with an opening date of mid-October and it is bound to impress. The design concept is fresh and bright and is carried seamlessly between the two hotels. (I am really hoping I can get a few names for the wall vinyl, wall art designs and light fixtures, they are awesome!) The common area and lobby are shared between the properties, which offers expanded options and outlets for all guests. Partnerships have been developed at the brand level with popular stores such as Springhill Suites with West Elm and TownePlace Suites with the Container Store. (See below for a few additional pics from my tour!)

 

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels Dual Concepts
Groundbreaking 2018

We have two dual concepts from Choice Hotels coming to Ohio offering two combinations. In Logan and scheduled to break ground this year, Sleep Inn & Mainstay Suites and a Comfort Suites & Mainstay Suites near Cincinnati, also looking at a 2018 groundbreaking. These properties will speak to the midscale segment and offer accommodations for extended stay and transient travelers alike.

 

Marriott Columbus University Area

Marriott and Residence Inn Columbus University Area
Opened August 2017

Celebrating their one-year anniversary this past August, this property was a first for Marriott International as it was the first time a full-service Marriott and an extended stay Residence Inn were featured as a dual property. Residence Inn guests enjoy all the wonderful amenities that come with the Residence Inn brand, but by being connected to a Marriott receive even more. Such as access to a full-service restaurant and lounge, extensive on-site event space and full culinary team behind the daily hot breakfast buffet and evening socials. What a combo!

A few others that are on their way & recently opened: Homewood Suites & Hampton Inn Cincinnati Downtown, Home2 & Tru by Hilton Grove City, Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites Toledo, the list goes on… Did you know OHLA publishes a New Construction Pipeline quarterly? It is available in the MyOHLA tab for members. Contact Lauren with questions!

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

Additional pictures from my hardhat tour of TownePlace & Springhill Suites by Marriott …

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

Something is Brewing in Canal Winchester

BrewDog known for its Punk IPA and Elvis Juice brews, opened its’ first United States brewery in Canal Winchester last year and now has opened Ohio’s first brewery-hotel, DogHouse Columbus Hotel. This 32-room boutique property is the epitome of a beer lovers dream.BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OHA sidewalk leads you past the brewery on the left and the dog park on the right, straight ahead is the entry for the hotel. Walking into to this lobby is different. It’s a comfortable, welcoming, be-a-part-of-our-family, order-a-beer, take-a-load-off kind of lobby. What better atmosphere to wait for your room to be ready in? Looking to check-in? Visit the bar to receive your key (a REAL key on a wooden keychain baring the BrewDog logo).

The lobby (I’m not sure what else to refer to it as, but lobby doesn’t feel right…. The communal area?) is furnished in rich colors, relaxed lounge furniture, neon signs, cool books, a ping pong table and grab & go snacks. My favorite neon sign is centered above the bar and reads “Welcome to the Hotel California DogHouse”.BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

I then went up to the third floor which was made clear as I stepped off the elevator to a full scale ‘03’ made of stacked beer cans. Turning the corner, I immediately looked into the open atrium, a part of the brewery. A quiet place where magic is made. Some suites, such as the BrewMaster Suite, has garage-like windows that open to the brewery. Each room is notably named after one of BrewDog’s brews such as Hazy Jane.BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

Now, what you’ve been waiting for… the sleeping accommodations. All the rumors are true. Yes, there is lovely smelling soaps and lotions made with Elvis Juice and its’ light grapefruit fragrance. Yes, there is a beer draught for your convenience in the room. Yes, there is a beer fridge also in the room with a mixture of canned beers. Yes, there is a shower fridge (notably my husband’s favorite feature). What is a shower fridge? Well, it sits just outside of the shower and is there if you are feeling thirsty mid-shower (or ladies… while you are blow drying your hair? Am I right?).BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

Outside of being a beer lover, are you a dog lover too? Good news for you! A few of the ground level rooms are dog friendly. I don’t think this place can get any better. Spend the night, enjoy BrewDog’s full-service restaurant & brewery and innovative accommodations with your furry companion (and there is a dog park adjacent to the hotel!).BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

The property also features a breakfast for overnight guests featuring local flare such as Stauf’s coffee.

If this doesn’t make you want to drop what you are doing and check availability, I don’t know what will. There is so much pride in this project and the employees certainly exude the excitement. I think we can all agree, we, as an industry are just as excited to have this groundbreaking property in Ohio.

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

Renaissance Era in Toledo (No pun intended.)

“Holy Toledo! Either that bird hit a landmine, or you just shot down a kamikaze pigeon!” Quick! Name that show! You guessed it, M*A*S*H. I am sure you are wondering, “Lauren, why are you pulling a quote from M*A*S*H?”. Boy, do I have a reason!Renaissance Toledo, OH

I traveled to our Northwest Lodging Council last week and had the opportunity to stay, enjoy and embrace the not-like-any-other Renaissance Toledo. In every way, this hotel pays homage to the city of Toledo. From being the “Glass City”, to Jeep manufacturing and yes, its’ famous connection to the television series M*A*S*H.Renaissance Toledo, OH

I arrived late in the evening and was ready to check-in, eat and sleep. From the moment I entered the lobby, I felt the innovation and excitement. (Toledo is often referenced as the Glass City due to its long history of glass manufacturing but is also known for its automotive industry. Toledo is the Jeep headquarters! These two facts are important to note as I tell you more about this property.) As I approached the faces of the front desks I immediately posed the question “What is this desk made of?”. The answer? Molds a glass blower would use when creating a glass vase, bowl, etc.Renaissance Toledo, OH

I then went on to walk to the elevators but before I got there I had to stop and take a picture of the military Jeep parked right in the lobby. The Jeep reminiscent of Willy’s Jeep in the M*A*S*H TV series. A Jeep in the lobby? That’s neat. I then went up to my room (I was upgraded to an amazing corner suite that looked out over the river! Thank you, Renaissance team!)Renaissance Toledo, OH

The rooms are just beautiful and are certainly just as unique as the lobby. The industrial design is comfortable and modern. The very first thing I noticed were that the hooks that hung on the wall were actual red Jeep hooks! Other notable elements is the M*A*S*H artwork in the bedroom and the bathroom mirror that pictured a lit half full glass of water and read “1/2 air and 1/2 water. Technically, the glass is always full.” (Which is my new favorite quote!)Renaissance Toledo, OH

After Oohing and aweing over the room I headed to the rooftop lounge, The Heights. Rightfully named as it offered views of the city and the river with indoor and outdoor seating and the loveliest wood-fired pizzas! I ordered the hummus served with pickled vegetables which was delightful and a four-cheese pizza which I took back to my room to enjoy and continue my 15-but-never-finished Netflix series.

The next day I learned more about the sleeping room design and it all clicked! The sleeping rooms are designed after a glass blower’s studio. Made possible with details such as the chaise in the bedroom which has a fabric like denim and a brown leather pouch hanging over with magazines that is comparable to a leather apron.Renaissance Toledo, OH

With the growth Toledo & Northwestern Ohio is experiencing it is safe to say they truly are in a Renaissance era and this property keeps the history and roots of Toledo alive.

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

Renaissance Toledo, OH

Renaissance Toledo, OH

Stay a Little…

Coming from a background as a sales manager in an extended stay hotel, I have heard it all! “Aren’t those kinds of hotels a little outdated?” “I could never stay in a hotel that long.” “WAIT! I can bring my dog?” My answer, every time… “You’d be surprised what we can offer you!”.

Extended stay hotels have made a huge splash in the hotel pond over the past several years in this upscale segment of extended stay lodging, with brands like Residence Inn by Marriott, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hyatt House and Staybridge Suites by IHG.Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OH

I recently visited the Staybridge Suites by IGH at Polaris, located north of Columbus and celebrating their one-year anniversary! I was impressed by the design layout and overall concept. With similar amenities to its counterparts a few attributes stood out (aside from being able to see Ikea & Top Golf from their parking lot… Eek!).

Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OHFirst, you know the door hangers that say “Do Not Disturb”, “Pet in Room”, etc. that never seem to actually stay on the door handle? Staybridge has a fun way to get the message across by utilizing magnets that connect to the door frame of the room. To go with this twist, I loved the verbiage: “Taking my Sweet Time Today. Come back later.” and “Shhh… Sleeping Like a Baby. Do not Disturb.”

Second, there are storage rooms for guests to utilize! Perhaps the guest is staying for several months OR returning weekly for a night or two. The best part? This is a complimentary amenity for all guests AND if you have a group staying you can have multiple folks with access to said storage room. Now, that’s convenient.

Third, the pool and outdoor area. This property features a large indoor pool (may be one of the larger indoor pools I have seen!) and a beautiful open outdoor patio for guests to enjoy. Topped off with a fire pit and a covered grilling area with two grills.Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OH

There is a lot to be said about the Staybridge Suites brand and their efforts to make the guest truly feel at home. Through researching, I also found out that Staybridge Suites was one of the first chains to go to complimentary Wi-Fi as an amenity (what a thought!)!

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

P.S. I also loved these little to-go bags available at breakfast…

Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OH

10 Years of Hospitality: Hilton Polaris

I was lucky enough to intern at the Hilton Polaris during the summer of my senior year at OSU (2012). Prior to my internship, I thought I had wanted to go down the road of events. However, after spending 3 months as a full-time intern (unpaid… sigh… but what I gained and learned about the industry and myself was priceless!), I realized soon my passion for hospitality laid within the clients and quickly after graduation I started my career in hotel sales.

Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OH

Hilton Polaris just celebrated their 10th anniversary of their opening, can you believe it? I can’t! Some things have changed in its’ appearance, but the hotel still beams in the Polaris area. Many of the staff members that I knew are still active on property (which says a lot!) and the same great inspired food is still very much alive.

Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OHThe interiors have had some updates and I am loving them! The rich dark floors and walls are accented with navy, tan, gray and other neutrals. My favorite seating area is in the lobby and features plush modern navy chairs next to filled shelves with books. In the middle of the lobby stands a tall accent wall featuring a fire place. Around this there is additional seating and the most interesting coffee tables that remind me of honeycombs.Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OH

Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OHOf all the hotels in the Greater Columbus area, this property has one thing the others do not, a full-service spa, Papillon Day Spa. After getting a treatment, I would naturally head to the Bar & Patio @ 8700. The outdoor patio area is a great way to unwind with over-sized floral arrangements, two large fire pits, and strung lights. While I was visiting, the bar was advertising rose inspired cocktails. (Spa + Patio + Great Local Food + Rose = My kind of day!) Oh! I can’t forget to mention that this property is also located next door to the Polaris Mall complex; did someone say shopping?

This property has dedicated the past 10 years to delivering hospitality through their employees, events, and on-site amenities. They’ll continue to be an important piece to the puzzle of the Columbus hospitality community.

Until Next Time,

Lauren

What’s Happenin’?

Our pipeline in Ohio is quickly growing. Along with the growth, exciting new opportunity and brands are making one of their first appearances in the state. Here are three brands developing in our state…

Canopy Logo

Canopy is beginning to make its mark in Ohio with its’ newest property in the state being built by Indus Hotels on Nationwide Boulevard in the heart of downtown Columbus. This lifestyle brand began internationally and as of last year has begun to lay its domestic roots. With a passionate focus on all things local within each of its’ cities, their vision for their local culture is spread through their employees who they refer to as “enthusiasts”. Across the locations from Iceland to the U.S., each room has a ‘canopy’ bed structured by a ceiling high gray headboard with an overhang. These sleek properties will be a must visit in the months and years to come!

BrewDog LogoYes, it is really happening! Very soon we will have…. A BEER HOTEL. I know what you are thinking, “Lauren, don’t joke about things such as this.” Rest assured, no jokes here! In Canal Winchester, BrewDog opened their first brewery in the United States. The brewery alone now has 3 locations within the Greater Columbus Area with sights on Cleveland & Cincinnati next. Now, they are on to their first hotel in the U.S., The DogHouse, with rooms featuring views of the brewery, in-room beer taps, and last but not least (and the single thing my husband is most excited about) there is a beer cooler in the shower! I am looking forward to the hops based and locally produced toiletries. Opening the end of August 2018!

Graduate Hotels LogoMy inner Buckeye is jumping at the development of The Graduate hotel in Columbus on the campus of The Ohio State University. This will be The Graduate’s first property in the state. The Graduate’s décor pays homage to the university itself. Common areas may be reminiscent of items such as the main library, noteworthy architecture, academics, and athletics. For example, the common areas of The Graduate on the campus of that school up North, is mocked after their gorgeous library and their academic seal is on the headboards. As an OSU Alum, I am so excited to see this come to fruition in Columbus!

Members – Are you wondering what else is in the pipeline for Ohio? Access the myOHLA tab at www.ohiolodging.com and review our New Construction Pipeline; updated quarterly! Or contact me with questions directly at Lauren@ohla.org.

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

Wellness with Westin: Across the 3 C’s

Heavenly bed. Lavender oil. Pet friendly. All things we relate to the Westin brand and their wellness initiatives. The fluffy heavenly bed always offers a comfortable nights’ rest. Now, with the lavender oil available bedside, you can soothe yourself and your mind into a tranquil state. To keep you healthy and on track during your stay Westin promotes healthy eating through their in-house menus, has a work out gear lending program through a partnership with New Balance, and the newly developed RunWESTIN program.

Equally important is mental health, so why not bring your furry friend along? Our pets are the greatest single way to relieve stress (and also to induce stress at times…). At Westin your pets will be treated just as great as you!Westin Columbus , OH

The Westin brand is a staple of wellness and community that is sewn into its’ culture at any Westin location you visit. We are lucky to have 3 equally unique Westin properties in the state of Ohio, shall we explore?

 

Westin, Cleveland

Cleveland Rocks! – I can hear The Drew Carey Show theme song chiming in my head with this hotel. In the heart of the city, The Westin Cleveland, truly encompasses the modern, vivacious, spirit that is the city of Cleveland. Everywhere you look inside this hotel is a surprise, you never know what you’ll find next. Rich wood, bright green from the exquisitely crafted Palm Painting, and unique masterpieces welcome you into the lobby. My personal favorite is the peaceful statue of an oversized head constructed out of hundreds of tree branches reclaimed from the construction of the Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge in the Tremont neighborhood. It is truly an experience to walk through this property. (Click here to learn more about the Art of the Westin.) Connecting with their Cleveland roots, their restaurant, Urban Farmer, is an excellent farm to table concept in a laid-back atmosphere. The brunch is delicious!

Westin - Cleveland, OH

 

The Westin Great Southern, Columbus

Known as the oldest hotel in Columbus and a staple for its’ unrivaled architecture, the Westin Columbus surely impresses all who seek its’ charming accommodations. The lobby is enough to make jaws drop with prominent high ceilings, marble floors, the second largest living wall in Ohio, and original woodworking in all its’ beauty. The most notable feature is the breathtaking ballroom; a classic gold and white room lined with a wall of windows, stunning stained-glass features, and intricate gold leaf woodworking. Recently renovated, the Westin Columbus still offers all the modern amenities and accommodations in a very metropolitan approach to the design and overall concept. For some of you, you may remember Thurber’s Bar. Well, Thurber’s Bar is no more! I got to see a sneak peek while still under construction, Westin Columbus, will now be home to a new concept: Great Southern Whiskey Bar. I think I know where this Columbus gal will be heading for her next happy hour!

Westin - Columbus, OH

 

Westin, Cincinnati

Want to feel in the mix and not lost in a large downtown metro area? Westin Cincinnati is situated in one of my favorite areas of downtown Cincinnati, Fountain Square. Just a short walk from several acclaimed restaurants, fun nightlife, and just outside their doors a scenic community area that houses concerts, ice skating rink in the winter, and so much more throughout the year. This place is a meetings mecca with so much to offer in regards to capacity and flow. The pre-function space is extremely spacious and feels open with an atrium style wall of windows looking out at Fountain Square. Take time to sneak to Over Vine, a quiet lounge that is quite literally over Vine Street with wonderful views! Talk about location, location, location!

Westin - Cincinnati, OH

 

Until Next Time,
Lauren