One of the stunning new additions to our bustling Downtown is the 21C Museum Hotel, which I recently toured with Bridgett from 365 Cincinnati. Originating in Louisville, this innovative hospitality business arrived in Cincinnati to open its second location in the former Metropole building, positioned along the proposed streetcar route across from The Aronoff at 6th and Walnut Street. The ten floor, 156-room boutique hotel also serves as a contemporary art museum and cultural civic center.

Each room comes with cool accessories, like this cell phone handset, and an iPhone/iPod compatible clock radio.
View from the bedroom window.
Protruding anatomies on the bathroom tiles.
A nose by the toilet.

The Metropole building first opened in 1912 as an all-male hotel, then later was converted into subsidized housing during the 1970s. Over time, the building fell into disrepair. After the 21C acquisition, the hotel's original roof was fully restored, and the historic 1924 flooring in the bar area was preserved.

Deterioration of the Metropole Apartments before the transformation into 21C Hotel.
Image by Ohio Office of Redevelopment

Renovation begins to build 21C Hotel
Image by Ohio Office of Redevelopment
Image by Ohio Office of Redevelopment

Main stairwell: before & after
Left Image by Ohio Office of Redevelopment

New Metropole restaurant in 21C Hotel, with restored original floors from 1924.

Ceiling restorations with original 1924 crown moulding

The signature of 21C is the unique contemporary art scattered throughout the hotel. Both fun and elegant, the second floor gallery is free and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Including portraits, sculptures, colorful penguin statues, a life-sized Madonna, and kitschy 3D installments, creativity flows out into the hallways, conference rooms, and guest suites alike. The art rotates regularly for fresh perspectives every visit, with the current exhibit on display through June.

A camel collection donated from one of the former Metropole Apartment tenants.

Sea turtles line the hallway

My favorite part of the building's tour was discovering my soon-to-be new pampering destination: The Spa at 21C. Open to the public, guests are welcomed with a variety of services from 80-minute Swedish Massages, facials, body wrap treatments, manicures, waxing, and more. A menu of services are also offered for male clientele, wedding parties, couples, and groups.

In the hallway to the spa, these animated blades of grass blow in in the direction of the wind at that exact moment.

Just beyond the spa is the mesmerizing rooftop bar, complete with a jacuzzi. A stunning panoramic view of the city makes for the perfect night out, complimented with a cocktail. This is on my must-do list come springtime!

Panoramic view from the rooftop bar.

If you're looking for a modern, high-tech place to hold a meeting, 21C has you covered. The hotel has over 8,000 square feet of office space equipped with advanced lighting and audiovisual gear. With meeting places for every size of group, the building can also accommodate a gathering in their banquet room of up to 120 people.

For the casual meeting, beanbag chairs with a skylight.
The series of portraits in this meeting room feature real men with doll wives.

The catering team makes 21C the only event space in Cincinnati to offer ala minute dinner to large groups. That means the guest decides what he wants to eat that night instead of making a selection weeks in advance, like at a wedding. With one server per table, an attentive and personable dining experience can be enjoyed at even the largest gathering.

Another highlight of 21C is their eatery, Metropole, named in honor of the historic building. All of the food served is organic and locally sourced, with many products coming from vendors at Findlay Market. The dining area features a gigantic communal table, as well as an open cooking area with a roaring fire in the kitchen.

With an avant-garde, tech-savvy atmosphere, 21C Museum Hotel will easily become the new hotspot for Cincinnati entrepreneurs and visiting young professionals.