Last weekend we were in Cincinnati, OH and we spent a couple nights at the 21c Museum Hotel and Spa. We ended up having such a memorable weekend. Truly one for the books.
It was a packed weekend. We really made the most of Cincy while we were there and I will be doing a full post on that. Check back next Wednesday. For now, I’ll focus on 21c. It was definitely a highlight.
Ethan and I have visited the 21c location in Lexington–several times. It is a downtown staple for us. [see this post] We stop in for cocktails if we are out for the weekend, we take in each art exhibit as it arrives, we have celebrated several special occasions (birthdays, New Year’s Day, Father’s Day etc, etc) with Ethan’s fam at Lockbox and it is our place of choice for a staycation too. Last month, spent the night there for our 1st anniversary and went to a charity dinner to support No Kid Hungry.
It’s become one of “our places”.
So–as you can imagine, we were excited to check out one of the other 21c locations. It was the obvious place for us to stay in Cincinnati.
And it did not disappoint.
If you are not familiar with 21c Museum Hotels then check out their page here. The overview and what makes it special? Each location is a boutique hotel, has a unique restaurant and ALSO houses a contemporary art museum. Pretty cool. It’s like checking three boxes all in one stop–lodging, eats and entertainment.
ps – there’s no charge to walk around and view the art exhibits and installations. It is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day!
Like I mentioned before, we had a full weekend. Before we left I did a LOT of research and planned out our entire stay. I had restaurants for coffee, lunch and dinner on the schedule. Bars for happy hours. Activities for entertainment. Etc, etc. I did not plan this around where we were staying–I just chose the best spots and went with it. However, everything ended up being in a super close and all in a small radius which proved to me what a great location 21c Cincy is in!
It is right downtown in a lively area. There are so many great things that you can walk to. And by walk to, I mean within a block or two.. or even right across the street. We also spent a lot of time in the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) area and that is just a quick Uber away. If you don’t mind a walk, you can even get back and forth on foot too. We did this a few times during our stay.
Recap: The location is GREAT.
We stayed in a corner suite on the 4th floor.
It was so nice because we had a couch and table area that were very spacious and then we also had a full bedroom and bathroom combo. There was a door you could slide open or closed between the two. To us, this is the best of both worlds. We love to have plenty of space to spread our things out but also like to sleep in a more cozy room during the night.
Hands down, my favorite part of this room though was the shower/tub combination. One day I will have something like this in our house–mark my words.
The bottom two floors of the hotel are filled with art. It is a rotating exhibit but always airs on the contemporary and thought provoking side. If you stay here or are in the area–either way–make sure you carve out time to walk around and take it all in with a coffee or cocktail.
The current exhibition in Cincinnati is Dress Up, Speak Up. You can see some snippets of the art in my snapshots above and read in detail about it here.
And whatever you do, do not skip the art installation on the way to the spa. It is on the walls that go up the staircase and there is no way that a photo can do it justice. The air outside directs the movement and noise of this piece and it is mesmerizing.
Ethan and I both had appointments at The Spa at 21c.
And I can tell you now that we are SO GLAD we did. I cannot begin to say what a treat this was.
To be honest, I was not sure what to expect. I have had several massages, wraps and facials before but the AromaTouch Ritual was new one to me. However, after I learned what it entailed I was FULLY on board.
You start off with 30 minutes of essential oils. You are face down on the table and one by one the technician puts each oil under the opening in the table for your face so you can smell it and then spends time dripping the oil down your spine and rubbing it into your back. This allows the oils to penetrate your nervous system and take effect throughout your whole body. There are 6 different oils used and they help with things such as stress, relaxation, inflammation, etc etc.
Afterwards the technician moves straight into an 80 minute full body massage. Heavenly. It was one of the best that I have ever had. There was muscle work, stretching, heating pads.. you name it. During one portion I was even sitting up right. The tables are electronic so they can raise you up into a seated position to work on you. It felt amazing and was still very relaxing because my eyes were covered with a mask.
Now comes the part where I think The Spa at 21c truly rises above the rest.
Each room has its own private glass/tile shower with a sky light and a full closet of amenities. I was so pleasantly surprised. But it gets even better–the shower has steam capabilities!! Gosh, I love a steam shower. I was turned onto them in Paris last February and will never pass one up now. So when my technician brought me to my room before my session and asked me if I would like to steam after my treatment was over I said, without any hesitation–absolutely.
At the end of my massage my technician turned on the steam shower for me before leaving the room and left me to steam for 15 minutes and then wash off and get ready before exiting to the outside world (always the worst part, haha). My shower even had a bench and timer that was visible inside it so I could fully relax and soak the steam up without worrying if I was taking too much time. After the steam goes off you can just stand up and take a full shower (body wash, shampoo and conditioner are provided on the wall). It is so nice to be able to wash all the oil off before putting your clothes back on! This made all the difference in the world because when you leave you feel not only relaxed but fully clean too. 21c also provides things such as a hair dryer, deodorant and a brush in the rooms for you.
I don’t want to say that I had low expectations for The Spa at 21c, because I did not. But, I will say that it exceeded my expectations. I was so impressed and would recommend a visit to anyone!
side note: We both had our treatments at 6pm on Friday night. Seems like an odd time for a spa session, right? Well it kind of was but hear me out.. We got to Cincy early Friday morning and had a full day eating, drinking and exploring the city planned so I figured that by the time we checked into our hotel around 4 and settled it would sound great to head to The Spa before dinner. It turns out it was awesome! It was just the break we needed. It felt great to take a deep breath, get off our feet and enter pure relaxation mode. By the time we met back up after our treatments we felt both content and recharged. It really put us in “vacation mode” and we headed into happy hour and dinner in the best mood.
I don’t think it will be the last time I go to the spa at the end of day one of vacation. There’s really something to it.
Now here’s the thing–The Spa at 21c has a new annual membership program. I just learned about it and I have to say, it’s genius. Designed really well and offers lots of bells and whistles.
- Quarterly spa sessions. Treatment varies each time. The Spa will select this for you.
- Complimentary valet parking on day of visit
- One predetermined complimentary spa service
- One 21c robe
- Four take home boxes that include items you can use to recreate aspects of the treatments. Think body scrubs, aromatherapy, facial cleansers, etc etc.
- 21% off additional spa services
- 21% off food at Metropole
- 21% off rooms at 21c
- Private access to the cocktail terrace
- Private art tour with museum manager
- $850. Or you can choose to pay monthly–$75 or quarterly–$275.
This would make an amazing gift from you to you OR from you to someone else! Trust me, after visiting The Spa last weekend–I know it would be a DREAM to experience this throughout the year.
We did not have a chance to eat at the restaurant at this 21c location but we will make a point to check it out in the future. It’s called Metropole and the menu looks tasty.
I will also be making sure I get back to 21c Cincy to visit the rooftop terrace for a cocktail when the weather is nice. It was a cold and very rainy weekend while we were there so it was a no-go. Marking this on my list for this spring!
If you all make a trip to the gallery or spa or decide to stay at the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati make sure to let me know. I would love to hear your feedback! xx