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Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
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2,416 - 2,421 of 2,658 reviews
Reviewed November 1, 2010

Like other large cities in the nation, Cincinnati offers many attractions and entertainment venues for visitors: the arts, sports, shopping, dining, and convention facilities to name just a few. Cincinnati is also a nice place to visit for the weekend traveler. And on those occasions when splurging a wee bit more on lodging accommodations is the order of the day, there are some very fine newer and older hotels to choose from. On a recent weekend visit to the Cincinnati area, I opted for a dose of Midwest history, opulence and gentility and stayed at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza on West 5th Street near downtown Fountain Square.

The Hilton Cincinnati is a National Historic Landmark and charter member of historic Hotels of America. This lighter colored brick edifice rises dramatically in subtle tiers above the downtown area. A flag flutters from a pole atop this immense building reminding one of a towering castle. Well, perhaps the Hilton Cincinnati harbors no aspirations of being an European fortress, but it does feature an eye-catching French Art Décor that has been restored to its 1930’s grandeur including Brazilian rosewood paneling, indirect German silver-nickel light fixtures, and tapestry-like overhead ceiling murals.

Other guests besides myself wandered around gawking and taking pictures of the hotel’s cavernous nooks and crannies. There is a rich combination of architectural space, darkly polished woodwork, overhead murals, mirrors, and sconce lighting that delights the eye.

During my recent visit, the front desk staff was very efficient, courteous and helpful both with the check-in process and answering questions about the hotel’s restaurants and proximity to Cincinnati area attractions. The concierge desk staff was also most helpful and pleasant in answering additional questions.

My king size single room was on the 8th floor and, at my request, away from the ice and vending machines and the elevator lobby. The traffic on the street was inaudible save for an occasional siren somewhere nearby. However, being situated next to a room designated as a hospitality suite was noisy at first. Eventually the loud conversation and laughter diminished and then stopped by early evening. Such annoyances are minor and should not generally be viewed as cause for upset or motivation for a front desk complaint call. They’re part of the broad spectrum of services provided by the larger hotels.

My room while not gigantic was certainly adequate for the solo traveler. The various lamps positioned strategically throughout the room provided decent lighting day or night. The furniture while not overly chic would seem to accommodate most every traveler. My only critique with the furniture seems to be a tendency with certain hotels towards lighter weight, space age styled, ergonomically designed desk chairs which frankly are not that comfortable and teeter on being hazardous. I almost tipped over twice. Unlike some hotel beds I‘ve experienced elsewhere, my bed at the Hilton Netherland was incredibly comfortable and provided a very supportive, restful sleep.

The in-house restaurants at Orchids at Palm Court featured a breakfast buffet, a brunch and menued lunch and dinner selections for every traveler’s palette. During my visit, there were only a few early risers for the Sunday breakfast buffet besides myself. The charge? $15! Well worth the price and modest by some hotel standards at that. The buffet layout was not sprawling; but it was plentiful, neat, well attended and replenished as needed. Food selections were clearly labeled and within easy reach unlike many buffets where plexiglass sneeze guards require contortionism and followup rotor cuff surgery. The full range of items which I sampled were each delicious.

The day of my arrival, I had lunch at the hotel as well. The cost of entrée and a la carte items was in line with what one would expect of better urban hotel dining environments. I opted to sample one of the Fountain Square restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel for dinner Saturday night. They’re busy! It’s probably advisable to make reservations at some of these nearby restaurants; otherwise one might expect a wait until seated or an offer to be seated in the bar at a high top table which just isn’t as comfortable as a table or a booth. Call ahead and reserve if in doubt.

Situated at one of the corner entrances to the hotel is a lovely shop featuring the work of a coalition of local artists: paintings and prints, ceramics, turned wooden bowls and other object d‘art, jewelry and other media. Don’t speed past without at least taking a look inside this tasteful, museum-styled gallery. Any one of the artists themselves might be minding the shop on the day you stop in.

During my weekend visit, there were various business functions and a wedding reception scheduled. Combine the presence of these many function guests with the many travelers dining in the restaurants, seated at the huge oblong bar amidst the palms, checking and out, and you have a good idea that this hotel grand dame knows that it provides the occasional and extended stay traveler with a memorable blend of Midwest history, opulence and gentility.

Robert from Indiana
Hoosiergadabout
Dates of Stay: October 23-24, 2010

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank Hoosiergadabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2010

We stayed in a double room which was huge, but very small bathroom. Found hair on blowdryer and on bathroom floor, but other than that no complaints. Very Nice staff. Quiet rooms.

I did not get a chance to eat the elagant hotel restuarant, but several friends in our group did and said it was fabulous. Room service was excellent and fast. There are lots of places to eat nearby.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank NYMom863
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2010

I recently stayed at this hotel for 3 nights during a conference that was being held also at the hotel.

The hotel itself is stunningly beautiful. The room was immaculate and had everything that I needed (almost). I did find that my floor of the hotel had a strong stale smell.

The conference facilities were normal - nothing awful (almost), nothing spectacular. The food was great for buffet food and staff service was fantastic.

The hotel does not offer wireless internet. I don't mean that it wasn't free, it just didn't exist. I traveled with a smartphone and tablet computer - neither of which can connect via cable to the internet. If our conference hadn't brought in third party wireless for the conference session rooms, I would have been out of luck. Even so, as I was on a work conference, it would have been nice to be able to check office email and carry out a bit of work from my room - but this was 100% impossible because of the lack of wireless internet.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
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Thank mcheater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2010

I travel about once a month for business, sometimes staying a small chain hotels and a couple times a year at large resorts for conferences and meetings. This was the nicest hotel and best experience I have ever had.

We arrived about 1 p.m. after getting tired of shopping and sightseeing and thought we'd try to check in. The front desk had no problem accommodating the early arrival, even with three weddings and multiple other events going on. The valet took the car and the bags were at the room just a few minutes after we got there.

The room was a jacuzzi suite. It was large and spacious and there was little noise from the outside into the room. The room was impeccably clean, the best was ridiculously comfortable, and the amenities were great. We also had access to the Belvedere Club, although we got up there late and only got to enjoy the view of the skyline on the terrace.

The hotel's art deco interior and spectacular service will bring us back again in the near future.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank eightonesix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2010

The hotel common areas are clean and lovingly maintained, and the decor is fabulous. The staff was efficient and courteous. My room was very large but under furnished, and the carpet was worn in places. But, it was clean. Because of the size of the room, the TV was too small and too far away to be watched comfortably from bed. Noise from concerts and events in Fountain Square can be quite loud, even on the upper floors, if you are in a room facing toward the square.

The event/catering staff was fabulous, and the food was much better than expected for large gatherings. Some of the smaller conference spaces were dated and showing wear, and one of our sessions was overrun by very large cockroaches that ran across the floor and walls; I suspect they came in from outside as the weather got colder, but still...I did not see any signs of insect activity in any other area (including my room), and management said they treat the hotel monthly for pest control. The fitness center is large and has a lot of offerings, though some of the equipment is showing its age.

Internet connectivity was spotty, and expensive. I've come to expect free WiFi, so this surprised me. My biggest complaint is that this hotel does not offer recycling for cans, plastic or newspapers. The volume of waste generated by our conference was appalling, and conference organizers said there was no recycling because the hotel did not offer it. SHAME ON YOU HILTON. Given the number of events you host, you need to offer in-room recycling as well as recycling at events.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
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Thank Love2CampDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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