Located in a 19th-century mansion in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine area, across from the Cincinnati Music Hall, the Symphony Hotel is where a three-movement composition meets a five-course meal. Owner Karen Blatt had the historic home renovated and converted to a B&B, with bedrooms named for some of classical music’s best-known figures — Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert — and decorated with busts and sheet music to carry out the musical motif.
The hotel is open for nightly stays and breakfast is included with each room. Couples looking to make the most of their stay, however, are encouraged to pair their visit with tickets to the symphony, the opera or the Cincinnati Pops. “We’re open all the time as a B&B, but our restaurant and its five-course dinners are done only when there are performances at the Music Hall,” Blatt says.
The five-course meal, which runs $42 per person, is created and prepared by the maestro of the kitchen, chef David Buchman. A former sous chef at The Maisonette in Cincinnati, Buchman specializes in light French cuisine. Blatt says Buchman also prepares breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings; guests can enjoy a continental breakfast on the other days of the week.
Although the restaurant is open only on performance nights, you don’t have to attend the performance or stay at the hotel to dine there. “Typically, the concertgoers are the earliest arrivals and get there between 5:45 and 6 p.m.,” she says. “Our last seating is about 8 or 8:30 p.m.” The hotel has a wine service and full liquor license, making the Symphony a good place for a post-concert nightcap, too. “Some guests will wait to have their dessert until after the concert, then come back and have it with coffee or wine,” Blatt says.
If you’re staying at the Symphony, but not going to the symphony, Blatt recommends other nearby destinations, including the Museum Center at Union Terminal (www.cincymuseum.org
), Findlay Market (www.findlaymarket.org
) and the newly renovated Fountain Square downtown (www.myfountainsquare.com
). But, of course, her first suggestion is the special she offers at the Symphony. “For $225, you get dinner for two, an overnight stay, breakfast, two tickets to the symphony and a bottle of wine,” says Blatt. What better way to add harmony to your relationship?