I recently had the pleasure to pay a visit to the great American city of Cincinnati, Ohio for my first press trip with Procter & Gamble – a multi-national corporation that started off back in the late 1800’s in, you guessed it, Cincinnati.
Choosing a venue when I plan a trip is half the fun for me; I love small, boutique hotels that embody the destination in which I’m visiting, and offer something extra in their own unique way. Bonus points if a place is able to make me feel like I’m experiencing the pulse of a neighborhood and community. I also look for how green and eco-friendly a hotel, B&B or venue is, because I think it’s important for those in the tourism industry to operate responsibly with a sustainable mindset (ESPECIALLY the bigger guys).
Sustainable travel encompasses so many elements and angles, it can be a challenge for business owners to master all the pieces of the puzzle while aiming for a perfect execution. But as a consumer, a few simple things to look out for are understanding if the hotel sources local produce for their restaurant, if the building is certified (LEED or is a TripAdvisor Green Leader etc.), supports local community efforts, is mindful of energy consumption with sensor or key-card lighting, or supports the arts, humanitarian, and social impact initiatives in any way. I could go on and on, but these are a few things that I noticed especially with the 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio which made my stay delightful.
The 21C is a 100-year old building, formerly the Metropole Hotel, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel offers a contemporary art museum, spa, gym, restaurant and bar. The design team worked to restore the character of this once-grand hotel while creating a modern, forward-thinking space to showcase the work of today’s artists.
Rated by Condé Nast Traveler as the #1 Hotel in the Midwest (2014-2015), this space is built for creatives; the hotel has everything you need to get s*it done, break a sweat, and feel culturally stimulated.
The 21C hotel offers 156 spacious rooms designed by Deborah Berke Partners are adorned with minimalistic art. My favorite surprise: cute body part sculptures adoring the subway tile bathroom shower (there was even a boob). Oh, and the bed was super comfy and I slept like a baby.
Metropole is the hotel’s New-York vibe restaurant with a constantly changing menu. Executive chef Jared Bennett sources the best seasonal ingredients from sustainable farmers and producers around the region, which I love. While I only indulged in breakfast while I stayed there, it was always delish. Farm fresh eggs, baby.
Sadly this time around I did not get to enjoy this feature, but the spa uses products by Tasha & Co. Organics, a brand committed to introducing safer and superior quality natural base skin and body care products. They have a progressive mindset geared towards the ethical use of nourishing natural and organic base ingredients, using environmental and research oriented chemists in the development of products. They offer safer product alternatives that are free of pesticide harvested ingredients, petroleum, sulfate, paraben, gluten and formaldehyde. Plus, their products are made fresh to order and are formulated with a generous amount of paraben free and natural preservatives to help ensure a long shelf life.
With International Women’s Day approaching at the time of my visit, exhibit The Future Is Female could not have been more appropriate. Investigating identity, consumer culture, ecology, history, mythology, and power, the art featured in The Future is Female illuminated both the consequences and the persistence of the struggle for equality. Featured artists included: Zoe Buckman, Zanele Muholi, Saya Woolfalk, Alison Saar, Margarita Cabrera, and more. In fact the hotel has more than 8,000 square feet of exhibition space, where you can discover contemporary art in the most unexpected places (from the sidewalks to the elevators). The exhibitions and cultural programs rotate often which keeps things fresh!