Cincinnati, Ohio, is a bustling, history-filled city with world-class museums, sports venues, dining, shopping, and recreational offerings. You will want to stay for several days when you visit. There are dozens of chain hotels from which to choose with varying room rates and amenities. Some are pet-friendly and located in the heart of the city, while others are on the outskirts in one of several neighborhoods. Cincinnati also has an impressive number of Airbnbs, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfast inns.
All the accommodation choices have their positive aspects, but this article highlights 10 with a unique history, charm, and special interest that are sure to provide a bonus to your time in Cincinnati.
Three of these types of accommodation were experienced personally during a hosted visit. All opinions are my own.
1. 21C Museum Hotel Cincinnati
The 21C Museum Hotels are dedicated to displaying and acquiring 21st-century art. The art gallery areas are open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are completely free of charge. Each has an onsite restaurant with an esteemed chef and the hotel buildings are part of historic preservation. Each 21C Museum Hotel also has a colored penguin as a mascot. In Cincinnati, the penguins are yellow.
The 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati is in the heart of downtown and within walking distance or a very short drive of major attractions. The rooms are comfortable and full of whimsical artistic touches. There is free Wi-Fi, custom tile in the bathroom, and luxurious bath products. A stay at 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati is a visual feast.
2. Symphony Hotel & Restaurant
Symphony Hotel, located in the Over-the-Rhine district and across the street from the Cincinnati Music Hall, is appropriately named. The theme of music continues with every room paying homage to a different composer. The furnishings and décor in each of the nine guest rooms reflect the period and compositions of its composer. Private bathrooms, snacks, bottled water, soft robes, sleep masks, and flatscreen TVs are a few of the amenities. Breakfast, which is included in the room rate, is served every morning in the Jazz Lounge.
The onsite restaurant is open to the public for dinner every Friday and Saturday. It’s also where you can enjoy the live jazz musicians who play on the weekends. Five-course, gourmet dinners are offered before scheduled opera performances at the Cincinnati Music Hall.
Symphony Hotel is a short walk from a Connector station, the Cincinnati streetcar that takes you from Findlay Market to attractions beside the Ohio River. That means you can park your car at the hotel and use public transportation very easily.
3. The Swing House
The Swing House might be among the most fun and architecturally amazing vacation rentals you will find. The star of the show and the reason for its name is the three-story swing hung from the ceiling that is in the middle of the main room. Mark de Jong designed and created the space, which is in the Camp Washington area of the city. The original house was built in 1880, but it has been converted into one large open room.
The Swing House is suitable for one or two people. The bed is on the main level, while the bathroom is down the spiral staircase into the fully finished basement. Parking is free in front of the house and a mini-fridge and microwave are available for preparing simple meals. Wi-Fi and cable television are included in the rate.
To book the house, you will need to find The Swing House on Airbnb or contact Mark through the website.
4. The Clifton House
The Clifton House, a bed and breakfast at 500 Terrace Avenue, is within walking distance of fine restaurants and boutique shopping. Cincinnati is made up of 52 neighborhoods divided into five districts. The Clifton House is in the Gaslight Clifton neighborhood of District 5.
There are six rooms with individually controlled air-conditioning, wireless internet, and private baths. Guests may help themselves to sodas, snacks, and pastries throughout the day, and chefs from the Midwest Culinary Institute prepare gourmet breakfasts every morning. Menus vary to incorporate seasonal produce.
The home built in 1900 features a spiral staircase and is filled with period antiques. It is best suited for couples who are visiting Cincinnati.
5. The Cincinnatian Hotel
The Cincinnatian Hotel, which opened in 1882, is in the heart of downtown and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. In its early days, it was among the first hotels to feature elevators and incandescent light bulbs. Despite its past grandeur, The Cincinnatian Hotel is a great choice for families or those visiting for business or recreational purposes. The junior suites have a separate bedroom with an adjoining sleeping or sitting area. Connecting rooms are also available.
The location is a perfect launching pad for major Cincinnati attractions. Within a mile, you can reach the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Fountain Square, Paycor Stadium, the Great American Ballpark, and Duke Energy Convention Center.
6. Graduate Cincinnati
Graduate Cincinnati is a fun place to stay where the iconic faces, places, businesses, and attractions are incorporated into the décor. It is like taking a lesson in the city’s pop culture. Look for colorful references to Union Terminal, Kenner Toys, Fiona the Hippo, Rookwood Pottery, Skyline Chili, President William Howard Taft, Neil Armstrong, the Crosley car, the Bearcats, and much more.
If you are an alum of the University of Cincinnati, a parent of a student there, or a fan of Bearcat sports teams, Graduate Cincinnati is located on campus making it a great accommodation choice. With a coffee shop in the lobby, a 24-hour fitness center on the third floor, and guest rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi and HDTV, you’ll have a wonderful stay.
7. Willis Graves Bed & Breakfast
Willis Graves was active in local religion and politics in Cincinnati, and the house was built for his family in 1830. Today, it serves as a bed and breakfast with a great location, setting, architecture, and skilled gourmet chef as its innkeeper. There are two suites in the Federal House, two suites in the Log Cabin, and an isolated suite in the Garden Cottage. The bedding is luxurious and a fabulous breakfast is served every morning.
Willis Graves Bed & Breakfast, which is actually in Burlington, Kentucky, is only 4 miles from the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport (CVG) and is very convenient to The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum.
8. Pickle Factory Boutique Hotel
The address for the Pickle Factory Boutique Hotel is in Covington, Kentucky, at the corner of Tobacco and Electric Alley, but it is only 5 minutes from Newport Aquarium and Paycor Stadium. There is an apartment and eight rooms available.
As expected, this hotel was once a pickle factory dating back 150 years. It opened as a boutique hotel in 2021 and a pickle suite awaits guests who want to carry the theme out to the max.
There is free Wi-Fi, free self-parking, and rooms with names such as the Neon Lights Room, Cigar & Bourbon Room, and The Pickle Jar Room.
9. Hotel Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
Hotel Cincinnati Netherland Plaza has the great advantage of being one block from Duke Energy Convention Center, three blocks from Paycor Stadium, and less than a quarter mile from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Aronoff Performing Arts Center. It has pet-friendly rooms and connecting rooms convenient for families.
Orchids is the name of the fine-dining restaurant at the Palm Court and breakfast is served at The Grille. The opulent French Art-Deco interior is stunning, so guests have the advantage of luxurious accommodations combined with a perfect location.
10. Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel
At Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, you’ll get recently updated guest rooms inside a historic building in a convenient location. It is a gorgeous upscale hotel in a building that began its life as a bank in 1901. Many rooms have large windows with views of the city. USA Today’s 10best.com ranks this hotel, along with three others in this article, among the best in Cincinnati. This article, however, expands to include bed and breakfast inns and a unique vacation rental. All the preferred and expected amenities of a chain hotel are present along with signature bedding.
Big-city hotels, boutique hotels, and cozy bed and breakfast inns are waiting to host you. Visit Cincinnati on several occasions and try a different one every time.