Five of my buddies met up here for a reunion in the middle of the country, so Aloft was like a dorm for this middle-aged group. The view of the Cuyahoga River--the stretch that once caught on fire--is a window into the industrial past, and you can see Lake Erie peeking out around the bend. I didn't even mind the train noise in the late morning since you know you're under an impressive steel bridge instead of in the sleepy suburbs. It's fun to stay in a re-purposed building and not in a sterile big-box hotel. When we were enjoying beverages at the bar, we stayed in the warehouse district and so avoided driving; there was pretty much everything you need available within walking distance. The Italian place right by the parking garage in back is a nice spot to enjoy some drinks and appetizers, especially if the sidewalk cafe part is open; I'd recommend the scallops. Also, the pantry of items you can pay for is the most extensive (and most carefully provisioned) of any I've seen at a hotel. The staff were welcoming and helpful about splitting a bill. This hotel's strength is that it can function as a home base: it even has a pool table, and plenty of banquettes or conversation pits. I enjoyed the balcony as well--same industrial view--but was surprised that people were smoking there. That's illegal in NYC! A non-smoking balcony for bar patrons and guest would be a big plus. The pounding techno could also have been turned down. Which brings us to a key point--Aloft is designed for 20-somethings. It's chic, hip, and a bit cold. Try sliding the bathroom doors and you'll see what I mean. We figured we were the only guests who remembered the Vietnam War. Still, staff were friendly, and they worked with us for a group rate. The two desks overlooking the Flats were a nice touch, so that two people can set up their computers or their papers and cosmetics. Overall, it was the 19th C in the 21st, and I'm glad they saved the building.
- Also Known As:
- Aloft Cleveland Downtown Ohio
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