Location: Though the Hilton Columbus Downtown sits opposite the Convention Center, and even has a connecting skybridge, this hotel isn’t only about commerce and business. Its address midway on Columbus’s five-mile long High Street places the hotel near the arts district. Known as Short North, the area was once a no-go neighborhood riddled with crime, but as is often the case, it provided cheap living for artists who civilized the neighborhood. Further on lies the University District and the Wexner Center. In the opposite direction, turn right out of the Hilton and the Downtown area holds historic theaters and the riverfront, and the Arena District is exactly that: a sports and entertainment hub. There is also the famous German Village, where homes have an annual open-day to show off their style and the German heritage. Behind the Hilton, in the opposite direction of the Convention Center is the city’s historic North Market. The High Street is easily walkable, but also there’s a free bus service running right along this stretch. Columbus also has a communal city bike and even CoGo, communal Smartcar program.
The Hotel: Built on a former empty lot in 2012 from the ground up, Hilton Columbus Downtown has a towering 12-storey central atrium with 532 rooms surrounding its four sides. Two sides overlook the second floor restaurant area. Being so closely connected to the Short North Arts District, this Hilton has adopted a strong arts presence itself. Throughout the hotel, there’s a permanent collection of works by local artists, including Christian Faur’s skyline created from crayon tips, which is behind the check-in desk. There is also a monthly changing display on a side corridor, which changes in conjunction with Short North’s First Saturday Gallery Walk.
The stark modernism of the lobby is warmed by natural wood and a spiral staircase, which leads to the second floor restaurant and social area. Apart from sitting and a work/play space with communal computers, the second floor is where you’ll find the fitness center.
The hotel is LEED Gold certified, meaning it was built with strong positive environmental and health initiatives, including a saline cleaned pool, also on the second floor. There is also a Whirlpool hot tub.
View of a Room: 943 This one-bedroom suite echoes the simple clean lines of the hotel, and its muted palette of neutral grey and beige. The living room has a couch and arm chairs and TV, as well as a kitchenette with an empty ‘fridge. There is a coffee and tea making facility, too.
The bedroom has a comfy king sized bed, a TV, and a day bed and desk built-in by the window, which looks over the convention center. It’s not an appealing view particularly, but with the city’s winding elevated highways weaved into the near-distance, it has a certain hum to it.
The main bathroom has a walk in shower and there is a powder room–each is stocked with Peter Thomas Roth products.
Each guest room has individual artwork and this one includes a three-dimensional white wall hanging, and a vibrant cityscene in the loo. Above the bed, the ceiling is dominated by a pale blue abstract painting, which is soothing, rather than distracting from rest.
Restaurants and bars: The Coffee Bar is located by the front entrance. Gallerie Bar and Bistro on the second floor is split into two distinct areas. The bar is large with plenty of places to lounge, including by the window. Gallerie Bistro gives Midwest produce a French twist, and includes small plates as well as starters, entrees and desserts. Local beers are rotated seasonally, and the wine list is finely curated.
401 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215