21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati
What We Love
- Chef Michael Paley’s seasonal, wood-fired menu at the house restaurant, Metropole
- The free contemporary art gallery, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- A nine-story airshaft repurposed as an iridescent fiber optic exhibit by Danish artist Astrid Krogh
What To Know
- The gym is open 24 hours and there is a full-service spa on the 11th floor
- Some contemporary art exhibits aren’t for the tenderhearted
- Overnight valet parking (with in-and-out privileges) is available for $28 per night
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The 21c is an artful blend of turn-of-the-last-century architecture and a contemporary disposition. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and owners Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson — who kicked off the concept with their flagship Louisville location — worked with architect Deborah Berke to preserve its vintage appeal while integrating a contemporary interior overhaul. It’s hard to miss the elaborate mosaic tile floor and terra-cotta and plaster molding details. Browse the striking mixed media exhibits in the 8,000-square-foot gallery space, and then enjoy more original art in each guestroom. No generic sofa paintings here.
Bed and Bath
Guestrooms are a balance of chic and cozy, pairing modish furnishings with supersoft linens, plus handy amenities like iPod docks and Nespresso coffeemakers. Suites sport two flat-screen televisions and an impressive walk-in wet room with steam shower and tub (rubber duck included), elegant black-and-white decor and lovely Malin + Goetz bath products (you’ll want to pinch the cilantro hair conditioner).
Nearly every dish on chef Michael Paley’s inventive menu takes a spin in Metropole’s custom-built wood-burning oven, and he changes up the offerings regularly — though the string-roasted chicken is (so far) a reliable local favorite. Stop in for a light breakfast of wheatberry granola, or lunch on the charred spicy mortadella sandwich. After hours the bar turns out a mean Old Fashioned (dubbed the Don and Dirty in an homage to Mad Men’s rye-swilling Don Draper). But don’t miss the menu of shrubs, tasty colonial-era cocktails laced with flavored vinegar and such seasonal ingredients as Concord grape with juniper, or carrot with basil and achiote.
In the Area
The 21c is located smack in the middle of this compact city. See more art next door at the Contemporary Arts Center, and walk two blocks northwest to Jean-Robert de Cavel’s French Crust Café for an almond croissant or dejeuner of beef short rib with red potatoes and mushrooms. Don’t miss wandering over to Over-the-Rhine, a revitalized Italianate neighborhood just blocks from downtown, where you can try Senate’s gourmet hot dog, Abigail Street’s creamy bouillabaisse, or Bakersfield’s street cart–style tacos. And a must-see spot is Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and home to dozens of year-round grocery, craft and carry-out food vendors.
How to Get There
My husband and I wanted to get away for the night with our 3mo old baby. Upon arrival, the valet were extremely helpful, friendly and kind! The baby was hungry after the car ride and crying, and the valet guys couldn't have been nicer! The front desk staff was able to find us a room prior to check in time, which was extremely appreciated! My first complaint is that the hotel lobby restroom did not have a baby changing table! What hotel wouldn't accommodate a changing table?! Our room was very small. It had room for a king bed, nightstands and a desk where the TV was situated. There was no room to walk, move, sit. We asked for a refrigerator (they are not standard in all rooms) and it was immediately brought to the room. The bathroom was a decent size, but had few toiletries. Overall, the hotel was fine... nothing special for getting great reviews and a certificate of excellence.
The staff is great, the hotel from the moment you enter the lobby is a fun and modern environment. The lobby doubles as an art gallery and is regularly changed and updated. The location is great with more than a handful of restaurants and bars within a block. Both the room and bathroom are more than adequate size and well appointed. There is a quaint rooftop bar/lounge with limited options. Overall a great stay.
On a recent business trip to Cincinnati I stayed here and couldn't have been happier. The staff was very friendly, the ambiance is modern with a touch of romance, and the location is perfect for anyone who likes exploring the city on foot. My room was very spacious and had a great view of the downtown area. Can't wait to stay here again soon!
I loved my stay at 21C! A fun boutique hotel with a great art gallery and unique art throughout the premises. Great location, conveniently located in downtown Cincinnati, near restaurants, bars, walking distance (or short Uber ride) to OTR (the trendy "Over the Rhine," features many locally owned restaurants, coffee shops and wine bars). Walking distance to other downtown venues, like Brainstorm Event Space.
The overall ambiance of the hotel, the proximity to the Aronoff and the Metropole Restaurant, is what you’re paying for. The room itself was minimalistic, but comfortable. The rooftop bar was the highlight of our stay. FYI, there is no close parking. Your only option is $38 valet. You have to scan your room key in the elevator to get to your floor. (THAT would’ve been nice to know at check in) Overall pleasant experience.