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.
- 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