Renaissance: Luxury Meets Respite in Downtown Cleveland

Elegance and comfort in marble and gold gilding.

Elegance and comfort in marble and gold gilding.

Built in 1918, the Renaissance Hotel at Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio has been one of my favorites for years. I’ve enjoyed the elegance of the lobby many times when I’ve popped in for a look-see after a visit to Terminal Tower’s mall, but it wasn’t until a deal too good to pass up appeared at Hotel.com that I thought my husband and I should check in as guests.

The Terminal Tower rises upwards in the background

The Terminal Tower rises upwards in the background

Terminal Tower is part of the building complex that includes the Renaissance Hotel. This Beaux-Arts building first opened as a combination train station and office building that included apartments by 1928. Until the Prudential Center in Boston surpassed Terminal Tower’s 708 feet height, the tower was the tallest building in North America outside of New York City. The ceiling of the entry to Terminal Tower is a worthy rival to the beauty of the Renaissance Hotel’s lobby. Fortunately, in a few steps you can take in both and more.

The centerpiece to the lobby is a massive tiered marble fountain festooned with fresh flowers that seasonally change. Chandelier lights, oriental rugs and arched windows add glamorous details while the furniture is sink into comfy. The murals of vintage style flowers add a touch of romance and nostalgia.

The lobby is a wonderful place to enjoy conversation, or do what we did in the evening and hang out in the Lobby Court Bar with its 1920’s nuances. Try the in-house cooked potato chips and a locally made Great Lakes beer.

Although Sans Souci, the mostly Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in the hotel has a reputation as being one of Cleveland’s finest, we headed close by to the Warehouse District to Johnny’s Little Bar. This bar, opened in 1956 is just one of the Warehouse District’s many dining options. We knew we’d have our chance with Sans Souci for brunch in the morning.

Brunch in Sans Souci has a Mediterranean appeal

Brunch in Sans Souci has a Mediterranean appeal

Brunch was a delightful experience that included lox and capers, fresh mozzarella slices with tomatoes, roasted potatoes with flecks of green and red peppers and sausage with sauteed zucchini. This is just part of the bounty.

The atrium where inside rooms have a view of the pool.

The atrium where inside rooms have a view of the pool.

In between the afternoon check-in and brunch, I took advantage of the expansive exercise room that includes an area in the atrium near the pool. Treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes and exercise balls are ample to allow many people to exercise at one time. There are also children friendly activities. The exercise room is open 24 hours a day.

The L-shaped swimming pool is large enough to accommodate adults who are into hanging out and children who might feel a bit more active. Or, don’t swim at all. Just hang out and enjoy the 10 story atrium’s light. Unfortunately the pool closes at 10 p.m. and doesn’t open until 9 a.m.

A well appointed king bed room.

A well appointed king bed room.

Our room, one of the 441, was a king bed version on the same floor as the exercise room. Our room, located on the inside of the hotel, opened to a patio connected to the atrium. Large patio chairs and a table were an inviting touch. Rooms include: a coffee maker with tea service, a flat screen TV with premium movie channels and high speed internet for a fee.

Along with the suites, the hotel also has 50 suites. Thanks to the Hotel.com, our bill for one night that included the brunch for two and taxes was $112.

Because of the proximity to Cleveland’s downtown offerings, Quicken Arena and Progressive Field are within walking distance, and its stellar service and elegant comfort, the Renaissance Hotel, (24 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44113; (216/696-5600) remains one of my favorites.

Book directly at the Renaissance Hotel’s website or at Hotels.com, Expedia or Travelocity.

Post and photos by Jamie Rhein

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