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
Visited the 21 C in Cincinnati as we had been to the location in Louisville and Nashville. Also close to restaurant we wanted to visit. Reservation made thru manager.Upon arriving, it was moderately late and we are not familiar with Cincinnati. No signage and only found hotel by spying the penguins. Had it been our first visit would not have know to look or identify hotel by those. Check- in was okay, nothing special. Room was a regular King room. Close to elevator but still moderately quiet. We called one morning for extra towels and a few other items I had forgot to pack. We were brought 1 towel to the room. No mini- fridge in the rooms. Phone hard to use and no channel guide in rooms. Bar in hotel, somewhat eccletic. Small martini glasses, salad I ordered was okay but not memorable in a good way. Service was average. There is a rooftop bar but closed during most of our trip due to rain. Limited menu, slow service up there but nice view. Seating not overly comfortable. The hotel seems to be on the edge of the bad part of town so venturing a block or two away even during the daytime was a bit scary. They do take dogs but not allowed on the outdoor rooftop bar. The 21C hotels all have these strange little coffee makers in the rooms. They are like a Keurig wanna-be but don't work well at all. Cincinnati overall is not a Dog Friendly city. FYI.
I decided to give 21C another shot while in town for business and tried a larger room this time which made a huge difference. The suites feel luxurious and more like you're getting the value for what you're paying than the standard rooms. The big miss, still, with this hotel is the service. If you brand yourself a luxury hotel and then charge the rates of one, you can't have blase, disinterested staff working the front desk, room service etc., I assume part of what you're paying for at $500/night in a fairly inexpensive city is good service so you guys gotta up it big time.
This was our first visit to Cincinnati, and we used other tripadvisor reviews to influence our decision. We had high expectations for 21c Museum Hotel, and they were exceeded on every front--from the really exceptional team that handles your arrival and departure (it's hard to stand out in the valet and luggage collection area, but they manage to do it!), to the silky smooth and friendly check-in process to the room that surprised us with its exceptional comfort and functionality. Food was also terrific--and the wine list has some real finds if you are in the mood to spurge. Thumbs up on the 21c Museum Hotel!
Great location in walking distance to a lot of local sites, restaurants, etc. Valet parking is ridiculously expensive at $38 a day! I self parked at an underground garage across the street from the hotel for $18 a day. Very friendly staff. Loved the rooftop terrace and the unique cocktails menu.
I loved my stay in this museum wrapped in a hotel - or is it a hotel wrapped in a museum. The Future is Female exhibit had some amazing emerging women artists - and a few famous pieces that I hadn't seen in person before. The rooms are clean, with light hearted decor and tons of plugs.
Room service and the restaurant in the lobby are both great. The rooftop view is amazing, though service was a bit of a challenge up there, so bring your patience and take in the sights.
Take a walk and get dinner at Sotto or stroll around and check out all the cool nearby street art.