We are All Students in the Queen City

“We are all students.” Sound familiar? We first talked about this school of thought back in 2019 when two new properties were in the pipeline for Ohio. The Graduate Hotels brand has made its mark since then with two unique and unmistakable properties in Cincinnati and Columbus. This brand pays homage to the most dynamic university towns by incorporating the spirit and cultural nods at heritage and history of each university and town.

The OHLA team recently hosted an event at the Graduate Cincinnati, and it did not disappoint. The colorful design and eccentric artwork are a far cry from its former, more traditional glory as the Marriott Kingsgate.

I laughed to myself when I came through the front entrance and a large bright green statue of Fiona welcomed me. Fiona is a hippopotamus that was born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the first in 75 years, and has become a mascot of sorts for Cincinnati. Her name also graces the vibrant bar & restaurant offering drinks & casual eats. I loved the atmosphere of this lobby and entryway. It just feels fun when you arrive, offering Fiona’s, Poindexter Cafe, and so many lounge areas to mix and mingle.

The event space is just as exciting; these are a few of my favorite pieces from these areas:

  • Bright custom carpeting featuring the ubiquitous Cincinnati flying pigs and Cardinals, the state bird of Ohio.
  • In the event rooms the lighting fixtures are meant to symbolize the smokestacks and nod to the relevance that riverboats had in the early history of Cincinnati.
  • Amazing locally inspired artwork throughout the pre-function spaces.

The sleeping rooms continue this property’s bold color palette with a keen focus on the University of Cincinnati’s history. I personally love the grid lined wallpaper in the rooms (perhaps a nod to the University of Cincinnati’s top ranking architecture and interior design programs?). Also, did you know that you can buy some of the Graduate Hotels’ most common wallpaper via Chasing Paper?

If you are headed to Cincinnati to cheer on the Bearcats be sure to check availability. I am positive it will be a nostalgic experience if you are an alum or a Cincinnati native.

P.S. Stay tuned to explore the Graduate Columbus in coming weeks!

Until next time,


Leave a Reply