This seems to be turning into art deco week on the blog, but I couldn’t wait to share these! We were in Cincinnati recently for my brother’s wedding, and stayed a night at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel.
This downtown art deco gem was first opened in the Carew Tower complex in 1931 as the Netherland Plaza Hotel. Nowadays the Hilton brand has been tacked onto the name, and while guest rooms are much the same as you’d find at any Hilton location, the hotel is worth a visit for the lobby area and neat art deco details scattered throughout the building. Here’s some of the best bits of the hotel:
Once the hotel’s grand lobby, this space has been restored and converted into the “Palm Court” bar and dining area. The Louis XV style murals along the ceiling are a bit of a departure from the overall French art deco style of the hotel, but they are part of the original decor.
The incredible, locally made Rookwood Pottery ram’s head fountain sits at the end of the dining room, with Louis Grell murals on the ceiling above depicting the hunt of Diana, and Apollo on his chariot.
Chandelier and Louis Grell murals (with the message “Welcome Travelers”) above the entry staircase.
Carew Tower was envisioned as a multi-use building before the concept was commonplace, offering shopping and office space in addition to the hotel. This unique vision ended up being financier John Emery’s salvation in 1929. After being declined for a bank loan because the building concept was unconventional, Emery ignored his financial advisers and sold his stocks and securities to finance the project. Not long after, the stock market crashed, wiping out the fortunes of many–but not Emery, who was able to continue with construction in the aftermath.
The shopping arcade features these fantastic floral Rookwood Pottery tiles at both entrance arches. (More info on Rookwood in this post).
If you’re thinking about seeing the hotel in person, you can easily stop in and wander through the hotel without spending a dime (ok, maybe on parking). But I’d recommend using the grandness of the Palm Court bar as a very valid rationale to sit down and have a drink or two.