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!
If 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.
The 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.
“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.”
The 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.”
CJ 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.
After 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.
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.