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“Cleveland? Yes, Cleveland!”

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J. Palen House Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 13 Cleveland B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 11, 2012

But that we now had here but one ten thousand of those Bed & Breakfasts across America as memorable as the J. Palen House. Apologies to the Duke of Westmoreland, but the Palen House in Cleveland’s Ohio City is truly special.

Diane the proprietor runs a tight enterprise yet makes it look seamless as all the best do. No details are left to chance … from the immaculate cleanliness, fresh cookies and snacks in the kitchen, spot-on suggestions for restaurants and attractions to the cozy, comfortable and eclectically decorated guest rooms. If only more city neighborhoods could be reclaimed with the interesting, tasteful touch Diane brings. Her prodigious antique hunting recalls an Americana gone by.

The J Palen House has more than one residence. My wife, Joanne, and I have stayed in the Main House on Bridge Street and found it comfortable. But we prefer the Retreat on Jay Street. Private, quiet, a throwback to the days of the nearby “Christmas House” without the Red Ryder, it features a supremely comfortable bed, a Jacuzzi tub with flickering LED candles all around, a spacious glass shower, and two comfortable chairs that challenge one to stay awake long enough to finish the last of the white burgundy. And, if one is lucky, the gray tabby that makes its home outside will sidle up for a quick massage.

In the morning, guests gather in the dining room of the Main House to be fed a classy starter for the day’s activities … the freshness offered by the West Side Market, a Cleveland gem, is in evidence. The chicken sausage prompted our purchase at the Market to enjoy later at home. Diane’s faithful companion, Ron, does a terrific job making sure everyone has what is needed including plenty of coffee if the cobwebs need sweeping after the previous night’s adult beverages at the Velvet Tango Room, the Great Lakes Brewery or the Light Bistro. All are an easy walk. If you need more coffee, the Koffee Café is a good place to get an UnStarbuck’s latte and hook into wifi. Fine dining? The Flying Fig and Crop are nearby and Momocho has the market covered for margaritas and enough guacamole to paint the town green. Snacks? Don’t miss the Pad Thai at Kim Se in the West Side Market.

We drive about 40 miles to get to the Palen House. We love the neighborhood, don’t have the hassle of an airport and its attendant TSA, or the sameness of an impersonal hotel, yet still get a taste of cruising the city. Chicago and Toronto’s loss, Cleveland’s gain. But I think we’re onto something. The Palen House is one of those discoveries that prove Gerald Murphy correct: living well is the best revenge.

Room Tip: Reserve early … Diane sells out every weekend.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JCNMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 - 117 of 214 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2012

My husband and I alternate planning our anniversary weekends and this year, our 11th, was my turn. There are a lot of options in Ohio but I settled on J. Palen House in Cleveland based on all the glowing reviews and also that I could have a jacuzzi in my room. We were not disappointed. From the moment we arrived Diane gave us a warm welcome along with a tour of the house and our bedroom. We stayed in the Webster room in the main house. The room was decorated beautifully and even had a walkout balcony with a small table and chairs to enjoy the fresh air. I'd planned some of our activities but wasn't sure about details until I spoke with Diane who was a wealth of information and very helpful with directions, discount coupons, or anything else we needed. She couldn't have been more accomodating. Her breakfasts are the perfect way to start your day and she can prepare something for every dietary need. There was always great conversation with other guests or with Diane who offered quite the history lesson on the neighborhood and the city in general. We loved every minute of it and would return and recommed to anyone.

Room Tip: Pictures of each room and good descriptions of each are on their website. They're all lovely an...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mrsdolittle714
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We stayed for two nights in the Roost. As soon as we arrived, we wish we had booked a longer stay. The accommodations were cozy, extremely clean and private. The renovations to the barn kept the original character of the building in tact.

The breakfasts were top notch, just the right portions to start the day. Ours included apple pancakes, eggs benedict and fresh baked pumpkin bread. Diane was very helpful in recommending where to go among all the choices in Ohio City. We were within easy walking distance of all the restaurants in the area. It's a great location with comfortable accommodations and hospitable hosts. I recommend it very highly!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

My wife and I traveled to Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and wanted to stay in a nice B&B. After looking at the reviews we chose the J. Palen and were very pleased that we did. It turned out we were there for Sweetest Day, which is the third Saturday of October every year. If you are not from the Midwest you may not have heard of this day. If you are from Cleveland, you definitely do know about it.
We stayed in Palen's room and found it comfortable and charming. The host and hostess are very nice and the conversation we had a breakfast with the other guest is a big part of why we like B&Bs. There are 10 places to sit for breakfast. 6 are around the main table, 2 are at a table beside the main table and 2 others are in a different room. If you do not want to be social at breakfast choose the other room. If you want to be part of the conversation sit at the main table.
To make coffee in the morning you need to turn the machine on using the button on the back lower right.
Ohio CIty is very close to downtown without being downtown. The main street is 2 blocks away and lined with restaurants, shops and bars. The Eastern Market is also there and worth a visit. We took public transit downtown after visiting the market and found it clean and quick. Unfortunately the free downtown shuttle we had been told about was not operating.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Gyrfalc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

We stayed 2 nights in The Roost. It was lovely - would be great for a week because of the kitchen, which we only used for the coffee maker and put some soda/water in the fridge. The breakfasts were delicious and our hosts friendly with lots of great advice for the area! Would recommend wholeheartedly. Great location too.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank GG1107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We stayed in Palen's room, which is outside of the main house, in a separate building. It was very quiet, and we did not mind walking the block or so to go to breakfast. The room and large bathroom were clean, the bed very comfortable. All the buildings are decorated with beautiful antiques. Diane made suggestions for a great place to get cocktails (The Velvet Tango Room) and she and Ron provided some discount coupons for some local restaurants and attractions. You can easily walk to the famous markets, Great Lakes Brewery, and the many restaurants in Ohio City. They were friendly and welcoming.

They very nicely accommodated a food restriction for our party. But breakfast was nothing special, despite raves that we heard from locals as well as the internet. Food was average and small-portioned. We weren't the only ones confused by the three course breakfast listed on the website. The first two courses came together- maybe a 1/4 cup of mixed fruit and one slice of mini-sized quick bread (pumpkin.) We don't expect Cracker Barrel amounts of food at a B&B, but we have stayed at many and have had better breakfasts.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MSC73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

My wife and I spent two nights in the Landis Suite at the J. Palen House, which was definitely one of the best B&Bs we have stayed at. The charming, historical home was wonderfully decorated and very cozy for a cooler weekend. Our suite consisted of a separate sitting room off of the bedroom and a bathroom as large as the bedroom! The bathroom shower with body jets was large and wonderful. The king size bed was firm and gave me some sleep issues our first night, but I attribute that to my back and not the bed. Our suite was very clean, as well as the entire house itself. Breakfast was very good; we were served fresh fruit both mornings with the main course our first morning being a breakfast quiche with ham and a balsamic-glazed fig, and great french toast and chicken sausage the second morning. Everything was delicious. A guest pantry was provided at the bottom of the staircase for an evening snack or drink. Diane and Ron were great hosts and made us feel very welcome.

The B&B is centrally located in Ohio City, a stone's throw from the West Side Market and many great restaurants - everything is within a short walk. By car, downtown Cleveland is 5 minutes away.

The only minor inconvenience, which really was out of our hosts' control, was the traffic outside - at night traffic noise could be a bit annoying while in the sitting room, and to a lesser extent in the bedroom, though a noisemaker or heavy sleeper could easily thwart it. There is one off-street parking space behind the house on W 28th Street which is first-come, first serve; beyond that you will have to park on the street, which depending on the traffic level could be a bit challenging. We happened to get lucky and had exclusive use of the house parking spot for the duration of our stay.

Overall, our stay was wonderful, and we will definitely consider staying here on future trips to the Cleveland area.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kelrodjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about J. Palen House Bed & Breakfast

Address: 2708 Bridge Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113-3067
Location: United States > Ohio > Cleveland
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Cleveland
Price Range: $149 - $229 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charm, Sophistication and Location!Northeast Ohio's only luxury Urban Inn within a mile of all downtown activities, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame,Horseshoe Casino, Aquarium Playhouse Square Theaters, All sport venues and 10 minutes from Cleveland Clinic, Walk to 28 of Cleveland's most interesting restaurants, breweries and the West Side Market! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
J. Palen House Bed & Breakfast Cleveland, Ohio

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