A Celestial Stay at Hotel LeVeque

The 1920s roar back to life at Hotel LeVeque.

Never has the connection between stars and diamonds been more hospitable than at the glamorous Hotel LeVeque, Columbus’ newest boutique property and AAA Four Diamond awardee. Fittingly houses in what Architectural Digest named one of the 10 most beautiful Art Deco buildings in the world, the chic hotel has embraced its Jazz Age origins and paid homage to its status as the former highest structure between New York and Chicago.

Visitors will find heavenly bodies everywhere — on light fixtures, artworks and in-room decor. There are even in-room telescopes should guests feel a desire to gaze at the real thing. (But views from the original copper windows are pretty spectacular as well, with half of the 149 rooms facing the Scioto River.)

‘Touched the Sky’

“Ninety years ago, when the building was built, people said it touched the sky,” said Michael Shannon, director of sales and marketing for Hotel LeVeque. “It was a beacon and even served as an aerial lighthouse for pilots, so it made sense to honor that legacy when it came to the interior design.”

Fresh off a $27 million renovation, the hotel, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, fills the first 10 floors. Office space, tower apartments and residences complete the remaining 47 stories.

Built from European marble and glass, the building has a timeless elegance. “I like to refer to this building as a ‘she,’ as a ‘her,’” said Shannon. “I like to give a human element to it. The glazed terra-cotta tile exterior is her gown, and the ornate sculptures and mosaics are her jewelry.”

Careful thought has been applied to every aspect of the inside as well. Forget a generic hotel lobby. Hotel LeVeque’s feels more like the set of a Busby Berkeley film. One might hear the music of Louis Armstrong or Bessie Smith drifting through the high-ceilinged space, where jewel-tone velvet furnishings recall the Jazz Age. The property has even coined its own lexicon. Staff, dressed in fashion-forward uniforms commissioned from a local designer, greet guests — who come for an “experience,” not a typical hotel stay — at the “arrival desk.”

“We’ve made an effort to appeal to each of the five senses, from the texture of the fabrics to the scent of our soaps, candles and conditioners. They’re all locally sourced and created with our signature scent, a blend of lavender and bergamot,” Shannon said.

Custom Decor

Rooms feature a gold-and-gray palette with spacious subway-tile showers and marble-clad vanities. Each is custom-cut because of the 33 variations of room size. “It gives a lot of character because you will seldom stay in the exact same room twice, unless, of course, you want to,” Shannon said.

Small wonder the property has been attracting travelers from New York, Washington and even overseas. “We’re not a big chain. We’re providing something more upscale and refined, with service and atmosphere that’s unique in this market,” Shannon said.

Local residents who would enjoy a closer look at the iconic gem without staying the night should visit The Keep. This modern French brasserie and bar with a rustic speakeasy vibe away on the mezzanine floor. It features hand-crafted cocktails and classic French dishes updated with a modern twist.

With so much history and decades of attention, it’s surprising to learn the swanky skyscraper was rarely ever fully occupied. Thanks to dedicated preservation efforts and financial investment, that’s finally starting to change. It seems for a dame born in 1927, her best days lie ahead.

Barbara Wayman is a regular contributor from Dublin, Ohio.


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