All of Cleveland's downtown upscale hotels are virtually interchangeable. All have excellent rooms and health and fitness centers and, with the exception of the Ritz-Carlton, the rates are all fairly competitive.
The main difference among the upscale hotels is the restaurants. The restaurants at the Renaissance and the Ritz-Carlton give those hotels a slight advantage over the other downtown Cleveland upscale hotels.
Cleveland Hotel Located right in the heart of Public Square, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is a throwback to the grand hotels of the early 20th century. This hotel boasts 491 rooms, a fitness center, one of the best restaurants in Cleveland (Sans Souci), an indoor pool, and a huge formal lobby with a lot of marble and a piano bar. The hotel is connected to Tower City, an upscale shopping mall that hosts a Hard Rock Cafe, Morton's Steakhouse and ten cinemas. There is also an underground tunnel in Tower City to both Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena and a rapid transit stop that can take you to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The hotel and Sans Souci each received four diamonds from AAA.
The Ritz-Carlton is located on the third level of The Avenue at Tower City and so it enjoys all the same advantages of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The restaurant at the Ritz, the Riverview Room, is an upscale, white glove restaurant. The food and service are both great, but the atmosphere is stuffy. There are 208 guestrooms and 22 suites. Each guest room has a marble bathroom, twice daily maid service, computer modem capabilities and the famous Ritz-Carlton terry cloth bathrobes. The hotel has a fitness center, an indoor pool and massage therapy (by appointment only). The Ritz-Carlton received four diamonds from AAA and four stars from Mobil. A bit more expensive than the Renaissance, but isn't a sure thing from your date worth a couple of extra bucks?
Cleveland Marriott at Key Center
The Cleveland Marriott offers 400 guest rooms located just north of Public Square. The hotel is fairly new and still looks it. If you are a fitness nut, you may want to stay at the Marriott. It boasts a private health club (more than just a fitness center) for use by hotel guests. It also has an indoor pool. The restaurant at the Marriott, David's, is not nearly as good as the offerings at the Renaissance or the Ritz-Carlton, but Frank & Pauly's, an Italian restaurant, is located just across the street from the hotel. Three diamonds from AAA.
This hotel is located in the beautifully restored Arcade, an historic landmark in the heart of Downtown Cleveland.
Wyndham Cleveland Hotel at Playhouse Square
As its name suggests, the Wyndham is located across the street from Playhouse Square. If being near Playhouse Square is important to you, then this is where you should stay. Otherwise, we would suggest the Renaissance, the Ritz-Carlton or the Marriott. The Wyndham has 205 rooms. Amenities include a pool, a spa and an exercise facility as well as a restaurant and lounge.
Omni International Hotel
The Omni is located near the Cleveland Clinic about fifteen minutes from Downtown Cleveland. It is not in a very pretty neighborhood so unless you have business at the Clinic or in the nearby University Circle area there is no reason to stay at the Omni. Having said that, the Omni is a first class hotel with 300 rooms and a health club.
Mario's International Spa and Hotel
This hotel is located in Aurora, Ohio, about thirty minutes southeast of downtown Cleveland. Mario's Spa is a nationally recognized spa facility that was named one of the ten best day spas in America in a Conde Nast readers' poll. The restaurant serving the hotel is more than adequate.
If you are looking for a romantic weekend, check into Mario's. Geauga Lake Amusement Park (soon to be Six Flags of Ohio) and Sea World of Ohio are located minutes away from Mario's.
The Glidden House is a 60-room hotel/bed and breakfast located in the University Circle area, an area that encompasses Case Western Reserve University, University Hospital, Severance Hall and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Glidden House is located directly across from Case Western Reserve University's School of Law. No health club or fitness room and no restaurant, although breakfast is served to hotel guests.
That Place on Bellflower, an upscale restaurant, is located directly behind Glidden House and Sergio's, an informal restaurant that serves lunch and dinner is located right next door.
The Baricelli Inn is located in an old greystone mansion in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. It is known more as an upscale Italian restaurant than a hotel, but it does have seven rooms each with a private bath. The Little Italy area abuts the University Circle Area and is approximately 25 minutes from downtown Cleveland.
Little Italy is filled with great Italian restaurants and art shops. Breakfast is served to hotel guests in the main dining room.
If you are on a budget, check out of the hotels listed below. The bad news is that downtown Cleveland does not have many choices in the moderate and budget hotel category. The good news is that the upscale hotels don't cost that much more if you are willing to stretch a little.
Embassy Suites Hotel
The Embassy Suites Hotel has 268 rooms, a health club, a pool, a restaurant and is located in a building that has a full-service grocery store. If you are in Cleveland for an extended stay, the Embassy Suites is not a bad option. This is probably the best of the second tier hotels. It is located on East 12th Street, which is only a couple of blocks from the main downtown business district.
Radisson Hotels Gateway
Located across from Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field you'll find a pretty basic Radisson Hotel with 142 rooms. Several bars and restaurants (most notably, The Winking Lizard) are located within a very short walking distance. Good place to stay if you are in to catch a Tribe game on a weekend, but its location is not ideal for business travelers. Has a fitness room.
For those of you on a budget, consider staying at the Hampton Inn. Its East 9th Street location makes it a convenient place to stay for Browns' games and visits to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Because it is only a couple of years old, it is in good shape and not a bad choice if you are watching dollars.
Holiday Inn Lakeside
If everything else is booked, try the Holiday Inn Lakeside. It is not very conveniently located (unless you are going to a Browns' game or the Rock Hall) and it is a Holiday Inn. Enough said.
Airport & East Side Hotels
Cleveland's eastern suburbs of Beachwood and Mayfield Heights are home to a number of large corporations. The major chain hotels serve these suburbs. If you need a hotel in one of those areas, you can try the Marriott (216-464-5950) or the Radisson (216-831-5150).