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
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.
So I can’t speak about how good this place is as a hotel, but the art museum that is attached to the hotel is super cool! They have modern art exhibits on two floors of the hotel and it is totally free to go through. They have thought-provoking art pieces that I found to be really interesting and they have some interactive pieces as well. I’d say if you’re downtown and you’re looking for something quick and fun to do, I would definitely recommend 21C!
Nice hotel, beautiful gallery and good service. Perfect location for walking to restaurants, bars and the Arnoff Center. Added breakfast to the room and it was delicious and plenty of options for anyone.
This hotel was in a great spot in Cinci. Easy walk to everything and OTR. The rooms were super clean and room service was quick and always spot on. Front Desk check in and help was 5 star. The hotel is a bit overpriced for Cinci, but that is the only reason for a 4 star review. I would stay here again. When parking skip the 38 a night valet, drive maybe a half block down and park yourself in public garage for 18 a night. Literally less than half a block.
What a refreshing twist on lodging by turning a museum into a hotel, and a museum it really is. The art scattered throughout the building - including the room's bathroom - was interesting and inspiring. My favorite aspect to this well run establishment was that it also was very "green" and environmentally responsible.