Hotel LeVeque Offers Starry Nights in Historic Tower
When I stepped into our room at the very new Hotel LeVeque in the very old LeVeque Tower in downtown Columbus, I felt like a starlet in the Golden Age of Hollywood — except in place of a cut-glass decanter of bourbon there was an assortment of sweet and salty snacks in glass jars.
The Art Deco skyscraper, built in 1927, has long been the “shining star” of the capital city’s skyline and is capitalizing on the night-sky motif to make its patrons feel like stars themselves.
From the enormous tubular crystal chandelier in the lobby to the nattily dressed front desk staff to the Art Deco style designs, the Autograph Collection boutique hotel shines.
Each room is unique because of the nature of adaptive reuse. When built by architect Charles Howard Crane for the American Insurance Union Citadel company 90 years ago, it was the tallest skyscraper between New York City and Chicago and was the fifth tallest building in the world.
The hotel occupies only floors five through 10, while the rest of the building remains office space. The room my husband and I occupied, on the eighth floor, featured a king size bed with a slate-gray, velvet-covered head board and foot bench that matched floor-to-ceiling gray velvet drapes. The gold chaise longue punctuated the room, along with a large, framed poster print of whimsically depicted constellations. A pint-sized telescope and star-motif objets d’art were displayed on a large glass shelving unit.
The bathroom, entered through a heavy wooden door on rollers, wowed us with a white-tiled shower as big as our bathroom, bathed in natural light from a frosted window that took up nearly all of one wall. The shower door was floor-to-ceiling glass. Fixtures and accents everywhere were shades of gold, black and white.
Our room looked out onto Columbus City Hall, with COSI just beyond, across the Scioto River. The hotel is next to the Palace Theater, and just a few minutes’ walk in either direction from Nationwide Arena, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Short North, downtown eateries and breweries. It’s steps away from the Scioto Mile, a newly redeveloped swath of riverfront parks and public spaces, including a 15,000-square-foot interactive fountain area (yes, you can play in the water), free outdoor concerts, bike paths, walking trails and more.
When we returned from our junket on the Columbus Ale Trail and dinner at Rockmill Tavern, a 15-minute walk away, we found on the bedside table a “starry sky” nightlight next to a small tray with two Columbus-made chocolate truffles, painted with white stars. Nearby was a teal-gray card with an Art Deco illustration of the hotel topped with a shining star. On the back was a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt: Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
As we lay in bed gazing at the electrically illuminated Milky Way above us, I mused to myself that living in such luxury makes it rather difficult to stay grounded.