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
We couldn’t have chosen a better place to stay this past weekend. The hotel staff was friendly, our room was super clean, and the location was perfect. I’m very happy with every aspect of our stay and look forward to staying at 21c the next time we’re in Cincinnati.
21 C Museum Hotel is amazing. The museum is so cool, the staff is professional and courteous, the rooms are large, modern, clean and quiet. The price was very reasonable for what we got. It was a cold winter night so we didn't get to enjoy the outdoor dining/drinking areas, but they look amazing. I love this hotel and will recommend it to anyone visiting Cincinnati.
This is a "nice hotel" in downtown Cincinnati with an outstanding location for those who are attending a show at the Aronoff Center or other things in the heart of downtown. The staff was extremely friendly and pleasant to deal with. It is extremely clean and quiet.
This is a very contemporary hotel but in my opinion it is so much so that it's "sterile". It struck me as cold. The rooms are not very spacious but perhaps they could be considered average. There isn't a "view" hotel. It's not very high so you're not paying for a view. It is also one of the more expensive hotels in Cincinnati. Prices generally start at $200+/night on the weekends. I feel there are better values in downtown Cincinnati.
21-C has made salvaging downtown buildings an preserving their spirit a mission. But what's amazing in a place of expose brick walls is the ability to create an environment that leaves guests feeling inspired, welcomed, cozy and somehow hip.
Stopping en route to Cleveland due to weather, the front desk couldn't have been. more accommodating to a phoned in request for a room! The staff took the car, swept us in, got us to a room (and a really good HOT shower). Dinner was delicious and slightly progressive, without being impossibly trendy -- and the bartender made great wine and cocktail recommendations.
My travel mate didn't really care about the artwork, but it looked like the exhibition was provocative. To me, seeing what's on display may well be enough of a reason to make 21-C your place to stay in Cincy. Beyond a comfortable room with a great bed, a killer restaurant, bar and staff, they make you more sophisticated and educated without little-to-no extra effort!
Could not have loved this hotel more. stayed there after Hamilton and had a great visit. The customer service was incredible! There was a gift waiting for us when we arrived. The art was spectacular. We will definitely stay again!