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Issue Date: January 2014 Issue


Slumber Party


Paris Wolfe

Cleveland's bellhops are about to get busy. Six new hotels are expected downtown in the next three years, adding almost 1,750 rooms. The Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation, plus Horseshoe Cleveland, have spurred a drive to attract meetings and tourists. "New hotels are crucial to putting Cleveland on the map as one of the fastest-growing midmarket destinations in the country," says David Gilbert, president and CEO of Positively Cleveland. As with downtown's apartment boom, developers are transforming historic buildings — such as the Cleveland Board of Education — into places for visitors. "Travelers like unusual places with history and character," says Ed Watkins, editor at large for Hotel News Now. So as the walls of the Cuyahoga County Administration Building come tumbling down to make way for a county-owned Hilton, we look at our hospitality surge.

HOTEL OPEN DATE ROOMS DESCRIPTION OUTLOOK
Aloft Cleveland
Downtown 
1111 W. 10th St
2013 150 Geared toward the next-generation traveler, with loftlike rooms and a hip vibe, the eight-story hotel on the Flats East Bank has the soul of a European modernist and features the stylish W XYZ Bar. "It certainly speaks to the business traveler," says Gilbert, "but it seems to be drawing a younger crowd."
The Westin Cleveland
777 St. Clair Ave. NE
2014 484 This re-energized, 22-story former Crowne Plaza will have a farm-to-table steakhouse and 40 suites with views of the city and lake. Those who want the same comfy sleep at home can buy mattresses and bedding. "It'll clearly be one of the nicest hotels," says Gilbert. "They're spending a great deal of money to make it better."
Kimpton Hotel Cleveland
East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue
2014 122 A bed-and-breakfast on steroids, homey touches such as yoga mats in guest rooms and super-food menu items will appear. It will share its Victorian-style Schofield Building with luxury apartments and a restaurant. "People are going to hotels that really fit into the surroundings of the city," says Gilbert.
The Metropolitan on 9th
East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue
2014 156 The Marriott's Metropolitan brand mixes modern, oversized rooms with historic elements of the former Ameritrust Tower. An indoor dog park, theater and grocery store are among amenities guests will share with residents. "The views are going to be spectacular," says Gilbert. "You're going to be really taking stock of the unique spaces."
The Drury Plaza Hotel
1380 E. Sixth St.
2015 180 The 82-year-old, six-story beaux arts-style Cleveland Board of Education will weave elements of its past into the new design. Meeting attendees will love its proximity to downtown Malls and the convention center. "It's in a beautiful, historic building," says Gilbert. "It'll also have terrific proximity to the convention center."
Le Meridien
1001-1101 Euclid Ave.
2016 206 Known for its use of large-scale artwork, the hotel looks to reframe the 112-year-old former office and retail building. The hotel's master baristas will wake up guests with their knowledge and service of global coffees. "It's a higher end product," Gilbert says. "It'll have great proximity to PlayhouseSquare."
Cleveland Convention Center Hotel
1219 Ontario St.
2016 600-650 The 32-story hotel connected to the convention center will be downtown's largest. It will mirror the surrounding Group Plan buildings with a limestone base, and the city's Malls with a rippled glass tower. "They'll have a lot of amenities," says Gilbert, "bigger restaurants, nice workout facilities, great open spaces."

Mixed Reservations

With new hotels booking their spots downtown in the coming months and years, there's bound to be winners and losers. Here's our assessment of who's in and who's out.
  WINNERS     LOSERS  

• Single Clevelanders Reason: Hotel bars

• West Sixth partiers Reason: More cabs

• Michael Symon Reason: Who is going
to come to Cleveland and not eat at that guy on The Chew's restaurant?

• Single out-of-towners Reason: Single Clevelanders

• Concierges Reason: Annoying questions from out-of-towners asking what there is to do after visiting the Rock Hall

• Cab drivers Reason: Too much time wasted trying to explain that the Flats are safe again


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