In a historic, adaptive-reuse building in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, is Kinley Cincinnati Downtown, a lifestyle and boutique hotel that conveys the energy of the city. The name “Kinley” stems from the word “kinship,” implying a focus on social connection. To do that, Kinley was designed to be the “living room” of Cincinnati, says Mitch Patel, president and CEO of Kinley’s owner, Vision Hospitality Group. Kinley serves as a comfortable property with a modern and sophisticated twist. Kinley’s 94 guestrooms vary in sizes from bunks to suites to accommodate all kinds of travelers. The property’s color palette uses a bold blue combined with gold accents to give guests something different than an ordinary hotel stay. Art is meaningful to Cincinnati, so Kinley partnered with Cincinnati Art Underground, an organization that shares both local and national art, to highlight artwork in various mediums from local artists. The property’s signature restaurant, Khora, is named for Khorasan wheat—an ancient grain—and has a pasta-driven menu. There is also the Exchange, a lobby bar that serves coffee in the morning and cocktails in the evening. The lobby was designed so that guests and locals can enjoy drinks or catch up on work. Seating is currently socially distanced to ensure everyone feels comfortable. “At the end of the day, people who are coming here like great design and want a great stay. They want to be able to have some food and drinks and socialize. Those are the kind of things that people want to do at hotels, but we also wanted it to be practical,” Patel says.
In the lobby is a hand-painted mural by local artist Andrey Kozakov, and outside of the property is a mural called “Allegro,” which was painted by Barron Krody in 1971. “Art is part of the fabric of Cincinnati,” Patel says. “Murals and abstract murals were a big part of the culture of Cincinnati over the years.”
With the “living room” concept in mind, Patel wants all guests to feel safe and relaxed in the lobby. He adds, “We want this space to be a multipurpose space. It’s what guests are looking for in a lobby. We want it to be full of life at all times of the day, both in the morning and in the evening.”
3Bold and Serene
Patel notes that the walls were originally supposed to be a cream color, but ultimately, Vision Hospitality Group decided that blue gave off the desired vibe. “We wanted to be the living room of the neighborhood; that’s our goal with Kinley,” Patel says. “We thought about the unique space we’re creating, and the color is just one part of it.”
To create a sense of home, plants provide both pops of color and comfort. “It’s important for us to have plants,” Patel says. “Plants make people feel better. It becomes more like a home. It’s cozy. Also, the juxtaposition of the colors of the wall and the textures of the plants works really well.”