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
I had a 5 star stay in this hotel. It's absolutely unique with its art gallery halls, and the location is perfect – very near the Red’s stadium; across the street from the Aronoff Center; and in the thick of the best restaurants. I saw both types of rooms: first, the small one you often get when you book through a "third party" (you know what I mean), and then the larger, super appointed one I was upgraded to because a nearby music festival created a rhythmic pounding in the first room (not a normal occurrence, but lucky me!). Both types of rooms are wonderful, well decorated, spotlessly clean, comfortable, and with a lux bathroom (although, honestly, the upgrade was indeed special and worth it if you can afford it). Staff is professional and accommodating. Restaurant is creative and reasonable. You cannot miss with this property. Well done, 21C Museum Hotel!
Tip: This Walnut Street property is downtown, so no free parking. Hotel valet is $38 a night. But right across Walnut Street and one short block down (beneath Prime Steakhouse) is a very nice, safe underground parking deck for $18 a night.
Great hotel - different than all the rest! Really cool spot, with a great location, giving you access to fun art throughout the hotel, great rooms and a great gym! Exactly what I wanted for my stay in Cincy!
The hotel facility, rooms and staff REALLY make you feel welcomed! The rooms and hotel were interesting with the art. Staff were very helpful. Rooms were really clean and inviting. No wonder such high ratings etc. I will stay again!