Columbus, Ohio, Area Lodging

by Debbie Selinsky

Columbus, Ohio, is a bustling state capital, a commercial hub, a rich arts community, an ethnic melting pot and home to the state's beloved Ohio State University Buckeyes. Hotels are plentiful throughout the metro area and run the gamut from skyscrapers with the most modern amenities to bed-and-breakfasts and long-term apartment lodging. Attractions include the city's historic State House, Jack Hanna's Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and charming German Village.

Bed-and-Breakfast Inns

If you prefer a bed-and-breakfast inn to a large chain hotel, one of Columbus' most famous is the German Village Guest House, located in the traditional German village south of the city about 15 miles from Port Columbus Airport. The AAA 3-Diamond property was renovated and converted to an inn in 2005. A highlight is the boxwood hedge garden featuring an outdoor fireplace and sitting area. Guesthouse rooms include stocked kitchens, living/dining areas, gas fireplaces, TVs, and DVD and CD players. A buffet breakfast is served. Also part of the property is Whittier Suites, which features large luxury suites in a converted duplex one block from Schiller Park. In the Short North Arts District, the 50 Lincoln Short North Bed & Breakfast has seven guest rooms and a parlor for reading and relaxing and offers a full breakfast and proximity to the museums, galleries and theaters in the arts district. The inn is within walking distance of downtown and the convention center and is 12 miles from the airport.

Major Downtown Hotels

Most major hotel chains have properties in the downtown area. These include the AAA 4-Diamond Hyatt on Capitol Square and The Westin Columbus. The 22-story Hyatt has 400 rooms, some with outstanding views of the historic State House, 150 years old in 2011. The Hyatt is within walking distance of German Village, OSU and the theater district. A complimentary shuttle will drop guests in surrounding areas. Guests at the Hyatt have access to 24-hour business and fitness centers, massage services, fine dining, a casual restaurant, bar and lounge. Dating to 1897, the Westin Columbus was known for many years as the Great Southern Hotel. Though renovated to today's standards, the property's original stained glass windows, marble floors and crystal chandeliers have been retained. The hotel features 187 rooms, 58 suites, the High Street Grille and Thurber's Bar, which features prints of American cartoonist James Thurber's work. Good news for Fido: The hotel accepts pets up to 40 pounds and even offers its Heavenly Dog Bed. Nearby attractions include Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Center of Science and Industry and Franklin Park Observatory.

Budget Hotels

Columbus and its environs offer numerous economy hotels and motels (including Motel 6, Red Roof Inn and Days Inn) for those who want to visit without spending a lot of money. An example is the Days Inn Columbus North, about two miles from the small town of Worthington, three miles from Polaris Fashion Mall and movie theater and nine miles from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The Days Inn is small but offers both rooms and suites, accepts pets and has an outdoor pool, free WiFi and complimentary continental breakfast.

Hotels Near Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

One of the area's biggest draws is the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, located in the small town of Powell. The hotels closest to the attraction, which includes the brand-new Zoombezi Water Park, are in the upscale suburb of Dublin, Ohio. An example is the recently renovated AAA 3-Diamond Courtyard by Marriott Columbus in Dublin, 3 3/4 miles from the zoo, aquarium and water park, 11 miles from Columbus proper and 20 miles from the airport. The hotel, which has easy access to Muirfield Village Golf Club, offers free parking, free WiFi and a fitness center and pool.

About the Author

Debbie Selinsky is an award-winning writer based in North Carolina. Selinsky is the former senior editor of "Success Magazine" and deputy director of the Duke University News Service. She has written about travel for many years and specializes in cruise travel, having sailed on more than 100 cruises. Selinsky attended North Greenville University, Oregon Institute of Technology and the Poynter Institute for Journalistic Excellence.