For the past three years, I’ve attended a conference in Cincinnati in August and have stayed at the Crown Plaza Hotel Cincinnati North, since it’s located right across the street from the Conference Center and it’s within a very easy walk just across the road. Hubby tags along since the hotel has free WiFi and there are several places in Cincinnati we like to visit while there. We stayed here two nights. This hotel is connected to the CoCo Key Water Resort and is very popular with families using that attraction. Unfortunately, the only way to obtain a pass into CoCo Key is through the hotel front desk, so there is a continuous line of swimsuit-clad people clogging the front lobby and check-in desk. This makes no sense and causes problems for hotel guests, who have to wait in a long line to speak with the front desk or check in/out. The check-in desk is located quite a winding distance from the entrance to the CoCo Key Resort, as well, which means the floors are constantly wet from the bathing suits and bare feet…just waiting for someone to slip, fall, and hurt themselves. Children are frequently running back and forth (dripping wet) to the check-in desk to exchange/replace torn/missing wrist bands that they have to wear during their visit to the water part. In addition, the hotel rooms and elevators are also located down that same winding hallway/path, so hotel guests are dodging those same wet, excited children (and their usually inebriated parents). And on a final note concerning the hotel and CoCo Key, parking is, of course, at a premium, causing hotel guests to park quite a distance away while the water resort patrons take up the hotel guest spaces.
I will now review the hotel itself. The check-in/out staff has always been friendly, albeit a bit flustered at times when overwhelmed by hotel guests and water park patrons. Check in and out is handled efficiently and quickly. We did have a problem with the room key and had to come back down and have it re-scanned (or whatever it is they do to them). The hotel itself is fairly well maintained, considering the usage it receives, but it could use some constant maid/cleaning service as the floors seem to always be dirty (and wet). Outside trash cans and the grounds need to be picked up and cleaned more frequently, as trash was littering the sidewalks both days we were there. The common restroom (right outside the lobby and restaurant) has always been clean and stocked when I’ve had occasion to visit it. There is a smaller restroom for use by their conference-attending guests, but it is very small (two-seater) and always smells, with no air circulation whatsoever. Hubby reports the men’s restrooms to be the same. The elevators are typical for hotels in that only one or two seem to operate at a given time. Depending on the time of day and usage, of course, the wait can be somewhat long. Other times, not at all. The room hallways were always dirty and we never saw or heard anyone vacuuming them.
Our room the first day was clean, smelled nice, and was well stocked. The room came with a single-cup coffeemaker and as typical for these, the coffee was horrible. A refrigerator would have been nice to store soda pop, as they were $2 each in the hotel vending machine (no joke!!) The floor ice machine operated fine, but was extremely loud and had a constantly running water sound that one could hear all the way to the elevators! Our room was located on the third floor and at the end of the hall. Soundproofing is nonexistent as we heard doors opening and closing and people talking all night. There is also a large gap under the room/hallway door. Noise from the freeway outside was very loud as well, even though the windows didn’t open. As I mentioned, we stayed here two nights. Our second day, while I was at the conference, hubby stayed in the room to use the WiFi and just relax. He waited for the maid service, as he knew he would need to leave to allow them to clean. By 2:30, no one had shown up. He called the front desk and was assured the room would be cleaned shortly. By 3:30, still nothing and another phone call told him they were on the way. It should be noted that check-in for a guest is at 4 p.m., so all of the rooms have to be turned over before then. At 4 p.m., he went to the front desk…after waiting in the water park/check-in line for 30 minutes (are you kidding me?!). The front desk manager said she would send someone up immediately. By the time I got back from the conference at 4:30, there was still no maid service. We decided to go out for dinner and figured the room would be cleaned by our return. You guessed it…at 7:30 p.m. the room STILL had not been entered. Off we trotted back to the front desk and THIS time we weren’t so nice about it. By 8:30, the bed had been made, but the sheets not changed, as the chocolate I had accidently smudged on them the night before was still there. We did have clean towels, though. The used glasses were not cleaned or changed out (lip smudges and fingerprints still clearly visible), but they had been turned upside down and new paper coasters placed on top to make it look as if they had been changed. For our “trouble,” we were given free breakfast buffet coupons to use…which brings me to the restaurant.
The breakfast buffet hot items consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, some kind of seasoned deep-fried potatoes, and some other kind of egg-thing that no one was sure what it was. Pasty oatmeal was also available. Everything tasted like traditional, low-quality buffet food. However, a nice assortment of fresh fruit was available, as was cottage cheese, and plain yogurt. Various boxed cereals and milk, granola, apple and orange juices, mixed assortments of bread and plain bagels for toasting, a muffin or two, and sweet Danish was offered. The coffee here was better, but nothing to write home about. If you do NOT have a free breakfast coupon, skip eating here and go a mile down the road where there are plentiful breakfast options more worth your hard-earned money.
All-in-all, the price and convenience of this hotel is NOT worth it. Next year, I’ll look around for someplace else that actually cares about and caters to their hotel guests.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.