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
Great museum that’s free! Very interesting art. Get a drink at the restaurant’s bar and then walk around the museum! Staff was so friendly and helpful. We spent about 1.5 hours here....cool, inexpensive, and air conditioned activity! Highly recommend the museum. Never stayed at the hotel. Attached restaurant / bar has great drinks.
Great hotel to stay in downtown. Pet friendly. The room was very clean, the staff friendly, and the museum was a cool experience. The valet service was quick, and the guys were very helpful in taking our luggage and cats.
When you check in, they just watch you shlep your bags, while the employees just wait at the front door. It’s shocking that no one offered to help. So this was our introduction, it only went downhill from there. Maybe they would like to be seen as an art gallery and not as a hotel.
Then, I have very specific dietary requirements. I went into the restaurant and asked to speak to someone from the kitchen. I handed him my measuring cup and my gluten free, slow cooked oatmeal. I asked if he could please measure out one 1/2 cup, place that in a pot with 3/4 cup water and cook it for 4 minutes. I didn’t ask him to do it out of kindness, I paid for it. I waited for ten minutes and the lady returned with a coffee cup, heavy, filled with oatmeal, that was more like a paste. I asked her where the rest of my oatmeal was and she said it was all cooked and was in the cup. It was baby instructions, and he couldn’t follow it. So then I went back and asked him if he could at least add more water, and cook it for a few more minutes. 10 minutes later, and I finally walked out. Nobody handed me anything. They probably just threw it away. Anyway, horrible attitude and service. Wouldn’t recommend this hotel.