If you find yourself feeling friendless, head to the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel just minutes from downtown Cleveland. The Sheraton’s Hemisphere’s Lounge isn’t Cheers, but it might feel as if everyone should know your name. Plus, the hotel makes for a relaxing respite as an overnight stay.
During my family’s recent respite at the Sheraton, I headed to Hemisphere’s around 11 pm to order Asian dumplings to take back to our room, but became interested in conversation and the energy of people on the move.
Guests from a wedding party, members of a gospel choir conducted by Gladys Knight, a man who travels the country with stock race cars, and another woman coming back from her 30th high school reunion had converged, not yet ready for their day to wind down.
I put the dumplings aside and ordered a glass of wine, not ready to leave the hum myself. Plus, the bartender kept getting drawn into various conversations, so getting my bill took a bit of time.
Hemisphere’s Lounge was designed for such interactions. Along with the sleek black granite bar, lounge chair groupings, and the wide expanse of the welcoming lobby that includes the several computers of the business center, there’s room for everyone to cluster into conversations. The openness of this multi-purpose area draws people in.
Although, I didn’t see anyone playing chess during our stay, the two chessboards at the edge of the lounge give the impression that lingering is encouraged.
Hemisphere’s isn’t the only area of Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel designed for enjoyment. Earlier, we hung out at the spacious pool and hot tub area, and I spent time in the exercise room on the Life Fitness elliptical machine. Individually wrapped earplugs are included in the workout area, so I plugged into the machine’s TV and caught the tail end of “Three Amigos.” Along with the normal exercise room equipment, there are free weights, a floor mat and a Core Performance diagram chart to help guests work through a series of exercises.
The only hotel on the grounds of the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the Sheraton serves as an overnight stay for people in transit, those on vacation like us, conference goers or wedding parties.
The vibe, however, is air travel. The hotel’s artwork–several paintings and prints center around an air travel motif. Departure gate information with minute by minute updates can be found on the electronic board across from the elevator. There’s also a check-in kiosk in the lobby.
Our comfortable two double bed room on the 6th floor with a view that overlooked the airport was dog friendly at no extra charge. Instead of leaving our dog at home like we usually do, we brought her with us.
Room features included a coffee maker, iron, hair dryer and ironing board. The bedding was plush and splendid, and the bathroom a sleek mix of wood, brushed nickel and modern fixtures.
We did notice that on our floor someone had ordered room service earlier. The tray was left there from the time we arrived at 8 pm and was still there at 12 pm when we checked out the next morning. In general, though, the staff was attentive and friendly.
If you do stay here, there is a free airport shuttle. From the airport you can catch the Rapid Transit to downtown Cleveland if you don’t have a car or don’t want to bother with downtown parking. The Rapid Transit will take you to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center and to any of the major league sports venues.
I happened upon the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel at Hotel.com. Our room was a deal at $85, $103 counting tax.
One of the people I talked with at the bar paid $169 for his room but he had booked the room two months earlier.
Breakfast is not included with the standard rate, but WiFi is free throughout. In addition to Hemisphere’s lounge and restaurant, there is a cafe that serves Starbucks and muffin type fare.
As a note: don’t let the $12 parking sign alarm you if you arrive by car. It doesn’t apply to hotel guests. We paid $5 for parking with in and out privileges. Get your ticket validated at the reception desk.
Other room types are King, Sheraton Club Level (both two double bed and king) and a King Double Sofa Bed Suite. The Sheraton Club Level includes: complimentary deluxe continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuveres in the Club Lounge.
Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel
5300 Riverside Drive
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein, Member of Midwest Travel Writers Association