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mariemont inn

Hotel History

Mariemont’s Beginnings:

Mariemont was envisioned by its founder, Mary Muhlenbery Emery, as a “National Exemplar” in practical town planning. Mrs. Emery was convinced, far ahead of her time, that congestion and poor housing were due primarily to bad city planning, and that this problem could not be corrected easily without rebuilding an entire neighborhood. It could be changed, she felt, by constructing a community and its housing according to principles of town planning. Mariemont, pronounced “Mary-mont” not “Marie-mont” was named for Mrs. Emery’s summer home in Rhode Island, which was named for a town in England, thus the English pronunciation. The town was to illustrate the best architectural, engineering, and environmental concerns possible for this type of development.

Mariemont was to be a model “English garden” community and a self-sufficient town where good planning would prevent common big-city problems. “Cincinnati, like other areas, had grown so fast that slums had grown up,” said Fred Rutherford, Archive Chairman for the Mariemont Preservation Foundation. Mary Emery was concerned. She said, “Let’s go out into the country and build something where people of modest means’ can live.” “Because of good zoning and planning, it is still intacted,” Mr. Rutherford comments. Today Mariemont thrives in its eye-catching, harmonious, and mostly English-Tudor style architecture. Tree-canopied streets with wide, grassy medians sets Mariemont apart from other areas around Cincinnati. The village has a reputation of being charming and quaint with its scattering of mini-parks. Mariemont also prides itself on having the nation’s only elected town crier, who dresses in colonial costume to call villagers to the non-partisan town meetings.

Acquisition of the property located about ten miles east of downtown Cincinnati and on a plateau above the Little Miami River began in 1913. The first spadeful of Earth for Mariemont was turned by Mrs. Emery on April 23, 1923. Twenty-five of the country’s leading architects were employed to work with the plan developed by John Nolen, the eminent town-planner hired by the Mariemont Company to design and build this community on the 420 acres of gently rolling farm land anciently inhabited by Indians. The first building was completed in 1924-25. There is only one church in Mariemont, per Mrs. Emery’s design, the interdenominational Mariemont Community Church.

The Mariemont Inn:

The three-story, half timbered and brick Inn and block of shops are among the largest buildings constructed by the Mariemont Company and yet only half of the architect’s design was completed. The two wings, one on Wooster Pike and the other on Madisonville Road, were to extend twice as far as they do today.

The Inn was designed by the prominent architects Zettle & Rapp, whose original linen drawings are in tack and at times on display at the Inn. The design style set by the Inn, Tudor Revival, was chosen by the Mariemont Company to set the tone for the entire village. However, the stock market crash of 1929 combined with the death of Mary Emery sidetracked the continuity and development of the village.

Originally designed to be Mrs. Emery’s private guesthouse, the Inn opened to the public on April 13, 1926 and was used by the Mariemont Company for its core offices until 1929, when the building became a hotel. An attractively landscaped sunken garden with bowling green was located on the present parking lot site.

Our recent multi-million dollar restoration

Concept: The Mariemont Inn combines the 1920’s history and grandeur of a private guesthouse for the village’s founder, Mary Emery, with a contemporary design and first-class amenities for discerning business and leisure travelers. This upscale property is a historic landmark that celebrates the history of the first planned community in the United States and captures the spirit of the Village of Mariemont.

Over the last decade, the hospitality and travel industries have seen many changes. The Inn’s owner knew they had to do something to meet the growing expectations of the Inn’s guests. He spent a few years drawing up all kinds of plans. One thing that he knew for sure was, whatever he wound up doing, he was determined to maintain the original character of this building.

Décor/Design: The owner, an architect by trade, studied his options for the three-story, 36,000-square-foot building. Enter the dual laminated glass windows from Wisconsin the custom furniture from Montana the authentic Axminster rugs from England the oak moldings culled from a convent in Covington, Kentucky special sound-defeating drywall out of California.

The owner redid everything from top to bottom, every wire, pipe and wall was replaced and relocated, as discreetly as possible. “Our goal was to cater to the discerning traveler, primarily the business traveler, while also making this just a great place for people to come in, relax, unwind and enjoy themselves,” said Bill Spinnenweber, the Inn’s general manager. “What that guest want is plenty of room, peace and quiet, and a place to stay that’s near the action.”

The rooms are exquisite: each has its own safe and fireplace, a desk with a Herman Miller chair, nothing but double-queen and king-sized beds. The classic beds were designed with large, arching headboards capped with LED lighting. The big color TV - the kind that tends to dominate a typical hotel room - is hidden behind a roll-up tapestry picturing a historic Mariemont scene, custom-made by a California company that morphs their products from actual photos.

The Inn’s exterior and interior public spaces are virtually unchanged. However, the original guestrooms have been reduced from 60 to 45 to accommodate larger, more comfortable spaces. The heavy oak feeling of the Tudor period has been incorporated into the furniture in a classic style all tied together with a slight repeat of dentil moldings. English Axminster patterns splash around the floors boarded in large solid oak base boards and moldings. Hand painted oils paintings and a fireplace in each guestroom helps complete the ambiance of a residential setting. Unseen by the guest but felt throughout is the carefully orchestrated engineering and construction of every aspect of the guestroom experience.

Facility: The Mariemont Inn offers spacious guestrooms and high ceilings. Guestrooms offer a sense of the property’s history and are designed with a residential look and feel.

    44 guestrooms and 1 suite
    2 meeting spaces that can accommodate 18 to 150
    On-site private dining, catering, and event services
    The National Exemplar, restaurant and bar, plus Southerby’s Pub, an additional casual hotel lobby bar
    Fitness center (Gymnasium)
    Business center (The Exchange)
    Leased retail space

Amenities: The Mariemont Inn offers all of the amenities a savvy traveler needs and expects, plus unexpected and unique surprises that showcase the hotel’s unique historical character.

General Manager: Bill Spinnenweber is well connected in the hospitality community with his 16 years of experience including his Masters of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University. Mr. Spinnenweber is also actively involved in hospitality committees for Ohio Best Western properties.

Ownership: Spinnenweber Builders, Inc. A sole proprietorship of J.D. Spinnenweber.

Operator: Spinnenweber Asset Management, LLC. A Cincinnati-based partnership between brothers Dan and Bill Spinnenweber.

Affiliation: The Mariemont Inn is affiliated with Best Western International, the world’s largest hotel group, known for their flexibility to allow each property to be individually owned and operated to fit the each hotel’s needs. The Inn is also affiliated with Historic Hotels of America, a Preferred Hotel Group brand. Historic Hotels of America (HHA) is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. HHA has identified more than 220 quality hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic architecture and ambience.

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