Showcasing more than 200 original works from central Ohio artists, the new Hilton Columbus Downtown offers all the cache of a chic gallery—there are even abstract prints on the ceilings above the beds! Interior public spaces are sleekly contemporary and filled with natural light thanks to the soaring glass ceiling that caps the 12-story-high atrium.
Guest rooms are surprisingly small, but attractively furnished with comfy beds and down comforters. Amenities include coffeemakers, mini refrigerators, 42-inch LCD TVs, alarm clocks with MP3 connections, and Wi-Fi (for a fee). Bathrooms boast large walk-in showers (some have tubs) and light dimmer switches. Some rooms open into the atrium; if privacy or noise is a concern, an exterior room might be the better option.
The Gallerie Bar and Bistro highlights dramatic decor and an eclectic array of locally sourced menu items, including vegetable frittatas and oxtail French onion soup. The food shines; unfortunately, the slow, uneven service doesn’t measure up to the same standard. Breakfast selections run $7 to $14, and most dinner entrees range between $20 and $30.
With easy walkway access to the convention center and conveniently located between the trendy Short North neighborhood and downtown, the Hilton is well positioned for business and leisure travelers. Once it hits its stride, this should be the premier place to stay in Columbus. Rooms start at $159 a night with valet parking available for $24 (self-parking is $18).