Planning a trip can be difficult — taking time off work, booking flights, finding childcare, picking activities and more. Luckily, you don’t have to venture far to get the all-encompassing retreat you’re looking for. 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati has it all in one location; a contemporary art museum, boutique hotel, full-service spa, restaurant and cocktail terrace.
“You have all of this at your fingertips under one roof. It’s such a unique experience,” says Jessica Tomain, director of sales and marketing at 21c.
Art At the core of 21c’s identity, the museum presents curated exhibitions and installations that reflect the global nature of art today. The current exhibit, “Dress Up, Speak Up,” runs through the end of the year. The artwork explores traditional Enlightenment-era clothing, coverings of ancient religious tradition and gender-bending bling of popular culture and more to explore the sense of self and others.
Aside from its artistic diversity, 21c is known for its accessibility. The museum is free and open to the public 24/7. The exhibitions and cultural programs rotate often, so be sure to stay up-to-date.
“People from all walks of life should be able to come into our museum and feel like they have representation,” Tomain says. “Their cultures and beliefs should be included.”
REST About 100 years ago, the building that houses 21c was opened as Metropole Hotel, which was an upscale all-men hotel, complete with a grand dining room and Turkish bath. It was promoted as one of
Cincinnati’s finest hotels into the mid-20th century. When restoring the building, much of the original architecture, crown molding and mosaic tiles were able to be preserved to their original state. But to give it a modern, forward-thinking flare, 21c included space to showcase the work of today’s artists.
The 156 spacious guest rooms are filled with custom furnishings and original artwork by 21c Founder Laura Lee Brown, including framed photographs and farm animal-printed pillows. While showering, guests may also notice quirky tiles with noses, eyes and lips — these body part tiles were created by Rookwood Pottery exclusively for 21c.
PAMPER If you’re looking for a downtown hotel with a full-service spa, look no further. 21c is the only one of its kind. The spa offers three individual treatment rooms and a couples’ room where guests can kick back, relax and enjoy a facial, massage, body wrap and more. Each treatment room has its own steam room and shower that guests can enjoy after service. The spa is located on the same level as 21c’s cocktail terrace, so guests can go out and enjoy the view before or after their treatments.
DINE Metropole is fine dining, yet approachable. The menu is a modern spin on heirloom ingredients and preparations, inspired by classic American cuisine. There is something for everyone on the menu, whether it’s steak tartare, duck confit, or a traditional burger and fries. Chef David Kelsey focuses on sustainable, no-waste cooking, and offers a seasonal menu based around very fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.
Metropole also offers a Sunday brunch with everything from smoothie bowls, pancakes, and egg omelets to smoked salmon benedict. The bar at the front of the restaurant is also open late on weekends, and offers a seasonal cocktail menu and a number of Kentucky’s finest bourbons and ryes. Prefer the fresh air? The seasonal rooftop cocktail terrace features handmade bottled cocktails, pop tails, adult slushies, and a laid-back summertime vibe to enjoy in comfortable outdoor seating with friends as the sun goes down.
“[21c] is such a great option for people who need a night away but can’t get far away,” Tomain says. “We couldn’t be more excited to re-open our doors on July 6.”
21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati is located at 609 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.578.6600 or visit www.21cmuseumhotels.com.