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The 9 Best Hotels in Cincinnati

From architecture to coffee, make sure you enjoy the best of the Midwest by staying in one of these great hotels

Written by
Jane Long
Rhys Thomas

Cincinnati is a history-steeped escape that’s beloved for its good manners, European-style neighborhoods, and rich architecture. Where else will you see Frank Gehry and Cesar Pelli in Ohio? Nowhere! Artsy and prosperous, this city has a wealth of theaters, art museums and music halls, along with a booming culinary scene that you simply have to make the most of while you’re visiting. There's something for everyone, as you can already gather. 

A recent renaissance in downtown and beyond means bars, coffee shops, and boutique hotels are always popping up in formerly downtrodden areas such as Over-the-Rhine and Northside. While anonymous conference hotels still tend to dominate (albeit often in beautiful Art Deco buildings and former banks), a cluster of alternatives takes in a hip hotel in a former department store, a boutique spot that doubles as an art gallery, and a music-themed mansion. A word of caution though, accommodation doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the city’s hotels have been ranked the most expensive in the Midwest. But you know, it is a beautiful and wonderful place to visit. Nevertheless, here’s our list of the very best places to stay in Cincinnati, and we've covered the majority of budgets too. 

Looking for some more inspiration?

🏙️ Here are the best things to do in Cincinnati
🍽️ Check out Cincinnati's best restaurants
🏠 Discover the best Airbnbs in Cincinnati

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The 9 Best Hotels in Cincinnati

1. The Cincinnatian

With a name like a newspaper, The Cincinnatian has offered the classiest lodgings in town since it opened as the Palace Hotel in 1882. Over a century on, the grandeur is still perfectly breathtaking you from the moment you step into the towering eight-story atrium lobby, dominated by an imposing marble and walnut grand staircase. The refinement continues in recently renovated rooms boasting ornate furniture, luxurious linens, and cozy fireplaces. Old truly meets new here, but in quite a unique and literal way. That aside, the hotel’s gracious service and distinctly 'The Cincinnatian' touches continue to make it a special place that people return to again and again (or certainly want to). These quirks including fresh baked cookies and complimentary travel across the city for their guests, in a London cab, no less. However, you're only a five minutes’ drive from Paul Brown Stadium and the Duke Energy Convention Centre, and there's also plenty of shopping and dining located nearby, should fancy a walk instead. 

2. The Westin Cincinnati

Located in downtown Cincinnati, this sleek and contemporary hotel is one of the city’s best, especially for businesspeople but also leisure. Rooms are designed spaciously, and decorated with marble-floored bathrooms and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. Some of them even overlook the iconic Tyler Davidson fountain, so cross your figners you land one. You’ve got blackout curtains and the Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds to ensure you have a good night’s sleep, no matter how busy your day may have been. In fact, the bigger worry is waking up on time!  Speaking of relaxation, the hotel offers plenty of ways to unwind. Whether you'd like to use the indoor heated pool or completely treat yourself with a little in-room spa treatment. To treat your tummy, head to the deli, gourmet seafood restaurant, or upmarket after-hours lounge. Or all three. If you decide to actually step outside the hotel for a bit, you'll find you're firmly in the heart of things too. 


3. Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

With a starry list of former residents including Winston Churchill and Elvis Presley, the Hilton offers a winning mix of historical splendor and contemporary comforts. Situated in the stunning Art Deco Carew Tower, its immaculately preserved lobby is a design fan’s dream – a colossal space filled with bas-relief sculptures, exquisite rosewood paneling, and elaborate ceiling frescos. Rooms are more simply decorated but fully equipped with modern amenities. Pick up a brochure in the lobby and take a self-guided tour of the hotel’s historic features, before dressing up for dinner at the awards-garlanded Orchids at Palm Court formal restaurant. Truly a place to be and feel important at in Ohio, but this doesn't mean you can't relax. The bedrooms ooze comfort, especially as they have cable TV with HBO and video games. If you ever venture outside, you'll notice you're located across from Fountain Square in the heart of downtown. There is on-site dining, an indoor pool and fitness center, though. 

4. Hotel Covington Cincinnati Riverfront

Cincinnati’s hippest new hotel isn’t technically in Cinci itself, but just across the Ohio River in neighboring Covington, Kentucky. Still, it's pretty close, and worth the slight detour – like most hipstery slightly out of town joints. Combining contemporary urban design with plenty of nostalgic touches, you can feel evidence of the property’s past as a department store throughout, from its towering ceilings to its huge window displays. Sip on a craft cocktail from super-knowledgable bartenders, and mingle with the local creative classes in the lobby bar. When hunger calls, enjoy revamped takes on southern classics like collard greens and fried catfish at in-house restaurant Coppins. If the weather’s fine, head out to the vast patio for lawn games or a film screening, or to just gaze at the lovely red brick that surrounds the gardens. You're nice and close to Northern Kentucky Convention Center, St Mary s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and MainStrasse Village, too. 


5. Best Western Premier Mariemont Inn

This Best Western is a small conference hotel with a difference – an extraordinary Swiss Alps-meets-Tudor Revival façade that looks more Verbier than southern Ohio. The hotel dates back to 1926 and features bedrooms firmly in the mock-Tudor style, with fireplaces, oil paintings, and huge TVs cheekily hidden behind roll-up tapestries (always peak behind the tapestries, wherever you might be). In-house restaurant The National Exemplar has been winning plaudits for its fresh take on staples like prime rib and linguine, which might seem like a broad offering, but you know you love both. Make sure you take time to explore the neighborhood when you're not in those conferences too. Mariemont’s eye-catching architecture and sense of quirkiness can be felt nearby. The area even lays claim to the only elected town crier in the USA, you literally can't see it anywhere else! 

6. 21C Museum Hotel

Appropriately located next to the Contemporary Art Center and across from the Aronoff Center for the Arts, this boutique hotel is an art gallery in itself, with rotating exhibitions covering the lobby walls, and guided art tours are on offer. You won't be the only person slowly gazing around the lobby, don't worry about that. The hotel’s reimagining of the 100-year-old Metropole Hotel building is credited with helping to revitalize Cincinnati’s historic centre. Rooms feature original artworks alongside neutral custom furnishings, Nespresso machines, and Malin + Goetz toiletries, which you should definetely remember when packing. Visit 21c’s buzzy roof terrace bar for great drinks and vibes, there's also a fitness center and a spa, so relax however you like. Outside, you're super central: The Taft Museum of Art and Sawyer Point Park are both a single mile from the hotel. Fountain Square is an easy five minute walk.


7. Symphony Hotel

This personality-packed boutique hotel is found within the newly regenerated neighborhood of Over the Rhine, which was originally home to the city’s German immigrant population. The Rhine's one of Europe's major rivers, going through Switzerland and touching base with places like Germany and Austria. Symphony Hotel & Restaurant (unsurprisingly) has a strong musical history too, names full of meaning here. The restored 1871 mansion was once used for music lessons and as a boarding house for musicians over the years, the celebrated Cincinnati Music Hall is just over the road, so it's always been a very convenient spot. Do you have a favourite composer? Well there's nine rooms which are themed around great composers, from Mozart to Mahler. But all rooms include plush bathrobes and complimentary daily snacks, so you won't be missing out either way. Jazz fans should head to the lounge for seasonal cocktails and electrifying live performances three nights a week. Everyone else can explore Cincinnati with ease, as this is within a mile of basically everything. 

8. The Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown

One of the newest hotels on the Cinci-scene, the Renaissance opened in 2014 in the neoclassical Bartlett Building, formerly home to a bank. So you know, huge ceilings and pillars and all that lovely stuff. There’s a definite focus on conferences in the hotel; historic Burnham Hall has space for a whopping 700 guests. But that doesn't mean you won't get warm service and a cosmopolitan clientele buzzing through the place also. Generously proportioned rooms have a modern, Pop Art-flecked aesthetic and include ergonomic workspaces and roomy bathrooms with posh Aveda toiletries. Stylish in-house restaurant D Burnham’s is named after the building’s architect – don’t miss the incredibly tasty signature burger bearing his name. Outside, you're 350 yards from Freedom Center, 550 yards from Great American Ballpark and 650 yards from Paul Brown Stadium, and there's a 24 hour desk, so go wild! 


9. Six Acres

Spread over six acres in a serene spot just 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, this Bed and Breakfast is a real idiosyncratic place to spend a night on your way in or out of town. The striking buttercup yellow property lies in the diverse suburb of College Hill and has a truly remarkable past. Originally built by Quaker abolitionist Zebulon Strong in the 1850s, it was used to hide fugitive slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. Very very cool. You’ll find the current owners’ passion for (and knowledge of) the house and its history infectious – as you will their warmth, they're always up for a chat. Sunny guestrooms have large, comfortable beds with soft sheets and private baths. It's truly all you'd need and more charming. The garden is incredibly peaceful too, yet so close to bustling downtown. A real gem. 

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