What We Love
- Live music with a side of small plates and creative cocktails
- Indulgent fare in the Palace Restaurant
- Time-tested service honed over more than a century
What To Know
- Happy Hour at the Cricket occurs Sundays through Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m.
- WiFi is free
- Valet parking with in-and-out privileges is available for $28 per night
- While the hotel is on Vine Street, valet welcomes are at the Sixth Street entrance
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
A grand marble and walnut entry staircase announces this French-style hotel’s pedigree. Now, following a $25 million renovation, this eight-story 1882 landmark has secured its place in both the city’s past and its future. The Cricket Lounge sets a swanky tone with afternoon harp music leading into evening piano or jazz, ideal soundtracks to the small plates and cocktails on offer. The Palace Restaurant, long a city favorite, serves hearty fare like duck confit with pine syrup and pear or rack of lamb with chorizo ragout and black garlic sauce. Queen city views, soft colors and period-style furniture make all the difference in the guest rooms.
In the Area
With a boomtown history along the Ohio River, Cincinnati is regaining its urban charm today. The downtown area—framed to the north by the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood—makes for an easy spot to spend your days (and late nights). The 1871 Fountain Square, with its bronze-fountain centerpiece, is a grand backdrop for outdoor performances, and the Weston Art Gallery wows with 3,500 square feet of commissioned installations. To close out the day, fill up on first-class fare (like Amish Chicken with truffle risotto) in the rustic, exposed-concrete dining room at Boca, followed by creative concoctions along Scene Ultra Lounge’s 30-foot mahogany bar.
How to Get There
I don't mind paying premium prices for a hotel for premium service. The staff couldn't be better, they were superb. But shouldn't have to pay $35 a day to park at a hotel. Very clean with professional and knowledgeable service.
I usually stay at the Hilton, but stayed here for the first time. I liked it better than the Hilton. The room was modern and had good black out curtains that had guide rails.
I had a deluxe room, which had plenty of room. Not all of the room was carpeted. Carpeting is definitely my personal preference. Not sure what a smaller room might have.
The one thing I like better about the Hilton is the executive lounge.
Next time I’m in town I’ll have a tough choice on where to stay.
The newly launched Cincinnatian had a major facelift which looks nice (the good). But conspicuously missing is the once large, sophisticated and expert staff. Way too few people on the desk, in the lobby and in the restaurant means those on duty were overwhelmed. Several different times we saw staff openly bickering with each other and obviously over-stressed. I felt bad for the front desk as they tried to juggle lots of phone calls, luggage and guests standing there in person. They were understandably cranky as a result.
Here were some other issues (no particular order):
1. HE’S GONE: There is no longer a bellman inside to help with luggage to your room or to store luggage. I believe the overworked front desk staff are being asked to handle it.
2. NO BIGGIE: The new pub restaurant offers decent bar food - but no fine dining or dinner options any longer.
3. MAJOR ISSUE; There was only one person working the entire Pub during a weekday lunch. The waitress was overwhelmed and frowning even with just a few tables. Entrees came out missing key ingredients and some special requests were forgotten. Nothing like the yesteryears of The Palace’s huge and attentive staff.
4. BUMMER WAY TO END A DAY: The bright lighting of the new pub and lack of experienced bartenders means it’s no longer a magnet for the evening business crowd (unlike the old Cricket Lounge). This will hurt high margin liquor sales.
5. NO FLOW: The room refresh is welcomed and still ongoing (some furniture on order), but the new low flow water restricted shower heads are a major step back for a luxury hotel. The all granite bathrooms are basically the same but now you can’t get a proper and quick shower (time to take baths?).
6. CLEAN UP THE JOINT: Housekeeping is not as thorough as before - perhaps they are overworked too. Hairs in the shower, trash left in cans and too few hand towels / wash clothes, supplies.
7. JUST WENT MISSING: Turndown service with house made cookies and morning newspapers seem to be gone.
8. SHE’S GONE TOO: The famously helpful concierge is gone - the concierge used to be very helpful with reservations and complex logistics (buying presents or arranging rides). Given how overworked the front desk was, I couldn’t ask them for more than the bare minimum.
9. BUGABOO: The morning coffee and tea setup is gone and the pay cafe coffee is not good. They need to bring back a (good) complimentary coffee and tea setup in the lobby.
Some good: the managers on duty were friendly and tried to make up for issues. The staff quickly sent more towels, etc when alerted. Mistakes in the kitchen were fixed with manager help. But managers doing makeup work is not the same as proper staffing. It feels like a luxury hotel being run like a motel.
If they can step up the service and add back some missing elements I’d give it a 4-5 star. But if they keep squeezing too much from too few they will get 3 stars from me.
The recently renovated Cincinnatian hotel is a bust. My recent stay included Bats flying down the hallway, a door to my room that you had to put your shoulder to to open it far enough to enter and a faucet in the bath hanging in the sink. Best of all the staff was so scripted but unwilling to do anything even move me to another room. Maintenance was on the way for 2 days but they were a no show, so was the management apparently the don’t work at night.
Stayed at this hotel for 3 nights, and I don’t have any complaints! The staff was very helpful, and even recommend things for us to do and see. The room was very clean and quiet. We will definitely stay here again!