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
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- 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
This was the overnight hotel for a group bus trip and a very nice choice indeed. The room was clean and quiet - always a plus in an urban locale. The bathroom was certainly a cut above average in the decor and amenities. Where else do you find a yellow rubber duck on the ledge of the bathtub and three-dimensional tiles in the shower?
I ordered room service breakfast and good food arrived on time. Overall it was a good experience.
I've heard the saying, "just because it's unique, doesn't mean it's special". But, I really enjoyed my stay at 21c. I was in Cincy for business and luckily my company has a deal with the hotel on price. It's a unique hotel was a definite flare to be different, which I love. I've booked here three times and been placed in three different rooms. Each of the rooms had a different square footage, but all were spacious and very clean. The bathrooms are larger than average and spotless. There are tiles in the walk in shower with human body parts as shapes (boob, belly, pectoral, ear, eye, and collar bones). If this offends, this might not be your kind of place. The first 2 floors display museum exhibits, thus the name. The staff is excellent and took care of me in anything I needed. I'll stay here again!
This is a different sort of lux hotel--interesting and edgy, clean and modern, playful, informal, and very relaxing. If standing inside, you might guess you were in Stockholm or Copenhagen. You will experience no porter-shaming for wanting to take your carryon to the room by yourself, won't have to endure the run-through of how to turn on the TV, etc. Still, everyone from the valet to the restaurant servers seems very bent on giving great service all the while giving you space.
Hotels get at most 4 stars from me unless they transition away from the single-use plastic tubes of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner that are rarely if ever recycled. Putting in those refillable motion-sensing dispensers would fit in very nicely with the 21st Century vibe, and would work very well next to the breast tile in the shower :-).
Arrived late at the hotel after a long day of travel and work. Very nice attendants. Uniqueness in the Yellow pinguin and the bathroom. Very comfortable hotel. If you have an opportunity try them. It was a great nice surprise!
If business brings me back to Cincinnati, I will try staying there again.
The boutique hotel with friendly staff is the perfect place to stay downtown, with large comfortable rooms and GREAT bathrooms, nice art all over the lobby and in their museum floor, and amazing cocktails at their rooftop terrasse with a view