Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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Columbus, Ohio, has its first Art Boutique hotel, and let me tell you how much I love this place. Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, located in the Short North neighborhood, is an oasis of luxury and art. Great care is taken to ensure a luxury experience, from the valuable staff to the crisp, luxurious rooms. Here at the Joseph, there are 135 guest rooms (including 11 suites and a Presidential Suite) – and plenty of art. It’s for the discovery-minded traveler, who loves to learn about a place, as well as appreciates art and good food.

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

But let’s talk about the exterior, first. The Short North Neighborhood was revitalized in the early 2000s, and The Joseph, while a new building, strove to maintain the 1800s character of this well-loved neighborhood, whilst including modern design. The result is a gorgeous explosion of design, angled back off the street to keep the light in. If you can bear to leave The Joseph, step outside to High Street and shop and dine well to your heart’s content. Look soon for ten great restaurant recommendations from the most helpful front desk staff I’ve ever met, Ryan Barkhurst, a self-professed food nerd who knows the Short North area like the back of his hand, and has eaten his way up High Street hundreds of times, and loves his city.

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

We toured the hotel with Kellee Marker of The Joseph, who talked art, inspiration, and the Short North neighborhood with us (thank you! I love learning the backstory of a place). I was impressed to learn that The Joseph is named after owner Ron Pizzuti’s dad, who immigrated from Italy at the age of 18 months, and worked hard his whole life, and instilled the entrepreneurial focus that Ron and his son, Joel, embody.

With Kellee Marker. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Myself and Kellee Marker - happy to see this art!

From the start, guests will feel very welcome at The Joseph. The friendly staff make the welcome even warmer...

Anthony, of The Joseph. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Anthony and I, talking art and favorite hot dogs from local hotspot Dirty Frank's

Blair! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Blair and I. While showing a serious side for the selfie here, when you arrive, he flashes the warmest, biggest smile I've ever seen

When you walk in, you'll notice that art is everywhere – even on small tables and shelves. This is a hotel that LOVES to share art, large and small.

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Before I swoon into the art, let's talk rooms...

The Rooms

illy espresso! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Snacks. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

In room illy espresso machine (swoon) and Dean & Deluca Snacks for purchase

First glimpse in – don’t you LOVE the wooden bed canopies? They were made and installed by an Amish family in Fredericksburg, Ohio.

Gorgeous, handcrafted wooden bed canopies. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Our comfortable, clean, crisp room

The view from one window toward downtown:

Looking out the window toward downtown. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

And toward campus:

Looking toward the Ohio State University Campus. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

illy espresso plus a view of campus? Happy educator! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

illy espresso plus a view of campus plus art books? Happy educator!

in-room art. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Art on the walls enhances the room - and check out that amazing clock

caffeinate! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Caffeinate!

Cinq Mondes amenities. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Our daughter, the amenities aficionado, loved Cinq Mondes, a luxurious line of botanical spa products for the skin and body, which are specially formulated to heal, nourish and revitalize your skin and senses. 

The Art

Art is everywhere – in the lobby, on each floor, and in the gallery areas on the second floor. How did it start? Well, renowned art collector Ron Pizzuti (owner of the Pizzuti Collection, an extraordinary art gallery that The Joseph guests can visit for free. Story on that to come!) was so impressed with Ohio artists that he commissioned 31 pieces from 15 local artists/artists with local ties for this art boutique hotel. The Ohio Portfolio, consisting of these commissioned pieces and owned by the Pizzuti Collection, can be seen in the rooms, as well as on the second floor gallery, stairwell to the second floor (my favorite piece!), and on each floor near the elevators. Ron is an art collector, but is also a man who values relationships with artists, who invests early and continuously (as we saw again and again in the Pizzuti Collection) in them, and values dialogue with artists, as a way to learn and focus and assist in their careers. A team of caretakers from the Pizzuti Collection rotates and cleans the art here in the hotel. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Ron Pizzuti’s art smarts, vision, and commitment to local artists. Take a look at some of my favorites:

Eye of the Needle, 2009; The Weeper, 2009; Old Man, 2009; Stoop Up, 2009, Zohar Lazar and Jason Middlebrook. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Eye of the Needle, 2009; The Weeper, 2009; Old Man, 2009; Stoop Up, 2009, Zohar Lazar and Jason Middlebrook

I saw Othello’s Visage in His Mind, Murano glass and wood, 2013, Fred Wilson. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

I saw Othello’s Visage in His Mind, Murano glass and wood, 2013, Fred Wilson

NYT, Acrylic on Canvas, 2013, KAWS. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

NYT, Acrylic on Canvas, 2013, KAWS

Spectator Usually Quite Drab, 2009, and Measureable beauty of unfortunate loathe, 2009, Heimir Bjorgulfsson. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Spectator Usually Quite Drab, 2009, and Measureable beauty of unfortunate loathe, 2009, Heimir Bjorgulfsson

My favorite! Located in the stairway of the Hub, between the first and second floors. Listen to the video - do you hear the sand?

The Solo Knight – I, Bicycle wheel, plastic bottles of water, sand, LED, steel, aluminum, motors, pulley, timing belt, ball bearings, 2014, Diane Landry. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

The Solo Knight – I, Bicycle wheel, plastic bottles of water, sand, LED, steel, aluminum, motors, pulley, timing belt, ball bearings, 2014, Diane Landry

Icon Stack, 2010, Steven Bindernagel. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Icon Stack, 2010, Steven Bindernagel

I care, 2011 and  Atlas Arcadia 2, 2011, Thierry Feuz. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

I care, 2011 and  Atlas Arcadia 2, 2011, Thierry Feuz

And my second favorite, this gorgeous horse with the demon eyes...

Gravedigger, 2006, Scott Lenhardt. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Gravedigger, 2006, Scott Lenhardt

And this creative SOUL sign, in the Hub:

West Liquorsoul, 2009, Narl Ward. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

West Liquorsoul, 2009, Narl Ward. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph
West Liquorsoul, 2009, Narl Ward

Near the Soul sign, there’s The Joseph Soul bar, serving illy coffee and espresso, as well as pastries.

The Joseph Soul bar, serving illy coffee and espresso, as well as pastries. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Digital Media art above the coffee bar - it reminds me of being in Turkey!

Digital Media Art: The Dervish, 2010, Single channel video, black and white, silent, Haluk Akakce. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

The Dervish, 2010, Single channel video, black and white, silent, Haluk Akakce

And funky mirror art near the Joseph Soul Bar – which one is your favorite?

mirror, mirror, on the wall.... Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

The Hub

Art reflects life in the Hub, which is an art-inspired, innovative gathering place. The two-story atrium reflects art and life, and leads to the second floor gallery and conference/ballrooms (where you can hold weddings, meetings large and small, and classes). The ceilings are crafter from wood reclaimed from the Ohio River, and carved to fit the space.

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

And looking across the second floor gallery

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

In The Hub, there are lovely seating areas, and even a stone filled fireplace.

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

Kids are welcome here, as at all Starwood Properties. Here is the children’s kit, for your kids to create their own art! There is also a large park one block away, for when you need to run off the energy in wide open green spaces.

Kids welcome kit! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

The exercise room was clean, had new machines, and plenty of amenities (like ear buds and hair bands!):

The Exercise room. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Other rooms we toured featured enormous bathrooms, suite rooms, and more beautiful curated art:

. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

What a tub view! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

The Spa Suites are new and beautiful, and include a heated tile recliner in the shower, room for massage services, and more. The spa features the Espa brand of amenities. You don’t need to be a guest at The Joseph to reserve a time at the Spa Suites. You can learn more here

Spa Suites. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Spa Suites. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Fresh flowers in the Spa Suite. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

What a shower in the spa suite. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Yum

We ate an extraordinary meal at The Guild House, a locally-sourced farm to table restaurant on site – read our review and chef interview.

The Guild House.. Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

The Guild House, home of many an extraordinary meal

Happy! Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

This little dog sums up our stay here – happy and looking at the art.

More information:
Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph
620 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio
http://www.lemeridiencolumbus.com/

And offers the Starwood Preferred Guest Program

And, most happily, access to the Pizzuti Collection
 

Details: 

The Hub, the atrium and second floor art gallery, is free to visit

Pets are welcome

Internet access is free in the lobby, available for a charge in the rooms

The hotel is completely handicap accessible

Parking is valet for $30 a night, or self-pay in the parking ramp across the street

The hotel features many specials, including a Game Day package (Go OSU!). Be sure to check the website for offerings and events, such as a monthly gallery hop on first Saturdays.

Art and Luxury: Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

 

 

 

 

Note: we were lucky enough to stay at The Joseph courtesy of the hotel - thank you!

All photos courtesy and copyright Wandering Educators

 

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