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The Cincinnatian Hotel

    The Cincinnatian Hotel
 in Cincinnati


Built in 1882, The Cincinnatian Hotel was designed as a grand hotel of the nineteenth century. Originally names The Palace Hotel, this eight-story French Second Empire hotel was the tallest building in Cincinnati. The hotel had 300 guest rooms and a shared bathroom at either end of each corridor. The Cincinnatian Hotel now has 146 guest rooms, including 25 junior suites and 9 suites. As the very best hotel in the city, The Palace Hotel was proud to provide elevators and incandescent lighting. It also had hitching posts along the front of the hotel and was strategically located in the heart of the city where the trolley cars made their turns. The Cricket was the only restaurant in The Palace and has remained very popular well into the twentieth century.

The Palace Hotel's name was changed in the early 1950's to be called The Cincinnatian Hotel. Unfortunately, the quality of the hotel deteriorated over the next thirty years, and it was about to be torn down to make way for a parking garage. Instead, however, the hotel closed for four years of renovation and, $25 million later, it reopened in 1987 as the grand hotel it is now. The beautiful atrium topped with a vast skylight was created in the renovation, and a hotel that once held 300 rooms now has half that amount in order to accommodate larger guest rooms with private baths. The extensive renovation, however still maintained the original flavor of The Palace Hotel in the exterior facade with its mansard roof, the marble and walnut grand staircase as well as the original safe from The Palace Hotel, which is now on display in The Cricket Lounge.

The fine dining room in The Cincinnatian Hotel, The Palace Restaurant, took the original name of the hotel. The Cricket Lounge kept the name from the original restaurant in The Palace Hotel, while the four meeting rooms on the second floor (Filson, Denman, Ludlow, and Symmes) reflect the names of the founding fathers of Cincinnati. The St. Clair room was named after the individual who, as governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed the city of Losantaville to the city of Cincinnati. The three major suites of the hotel also have historic value: The Emery-Presidential Suite was named for the original owners of the hotel (Thomas and Joseph Emery), The Hannaford Suite for its architect (Samuel Hannaford), and The Briggs Suite for the first general manager (Joseph Briggs). The Maria Nichols room was named after the woman who founded Rookwood Pottery in 1880.

Traditional in atmosphere and service, The Cincinnatian Hotel captures the warmth and gracious artistry of the turn of the century. Modern amenities and conveniences add an additional element of comfort and style. Six meeting rooms totaling 3410 square footage, with audio, video and high-speed wireless Internet access are available. Still an important part of the downtown cityscape, the hotel is within walking distance of the Convention Center, major league sports stadiums and fine shopping. The Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport is only 13 miles, 25 minutes driving distance. The Cincinnatian Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains the only small luxury hotel in the city.

The Cincinnatian Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 1999, dates back to 1882.


Guest Historian Series

Stanley TurkelRead more about the history of The Cincinnatian Hotel, as told by Historic Hotels of America 2014 and 2015 Historian of the Year Stanley Turkel. Excerpt is taken from his latest book Built to Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (AuthorHouse 2013).

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