Hotel Group: Aparium Hotel Group
Booking Type: Points Booking
Room Type: Madison King Deluxe
Date of Stay: February 2018
Hotel Covington is a relatively new hotel in the Cincinnati area opening on Sept 27th, 2016. Nevertheless, don’t think there isn’t any history in the building it occupies. In 1907, businessman John R. Coppin, after winning $33,000 on a horse race at nearby Latonia Race Course (now known as Turfway Park), began construction on what became known as Kentucky’s first skyscraper. This day and age we don’t consider a seven storey building to be a skyscraper, but in 1907, it made national headlines. From then to 1977, Mr. Coppin ran a successful department store out of the building. In 1988, the city of Covington purchased the building, turning it into their city hall, which they occupied until 2014. That’s when the Slayers Group and Aparium Hotel Group came together to build what I consider one of the top hotels in the greater Cincinnati area, to the tune of around $22 million dollars.
The hotel consists of 114 rooms under six different room types. The Coppin King is named after the founder of the building. Queen City Queen is named after the nickname of Cincinnati. Madison Deluxe King is named after the main street which runs alongside the hotel. Knowledge Suite is named after Mr. Coppin’s winning horse that helped fund the building. Roebling Suite, is named after the famous bridge that connects Ohio and Kentucky, which is just a few blocks away from the hotel. Latonia Suite is, of course, named after the horse track where Mr. Coppin won his lucrative horse bet.
Something to take note of is this is Kentucky’s newest AAA Four Diamond award winner. AAA is one of maybe two hotel rankings I take note of so that is a big accolade to receive.
Here’s a complete description of the history of the hotel as well as some useful information.
The hotel offers guests a fitness center, one full-time restaurant, a seasonal walk-up eatery, a coffee bar, a patio that features lawn games, music, movie screenings, and finally, overnight valet parking at $12. I love when a hotel doesn’t overcharge for valet. Another thing I love about this property is they let you cancel up to 6pm, 24 hours before your arrival. I wish all hotels had such a guest friendly policy.
They do not have an ATM on the premises but there is one about a block from the hotel.
I could have paid $168.14 for my Madison King Deluxe room, but instead I chose to use 13,451 Chase Ultimate Reward Points, yielding me 1.25 cents per point. For the record, I wouldn’t recommend using Chase points for a booking like this, because I feel Chase points are worth far more. This is a hotel review site after all, so I don’t necessarily mind redeeming my points for something like this. There are plenty of websites out there pointing you in the right direction when it comes to getting great value from your points. Feel free to shoot me an email if you need help getting started.
I arrived at the hotel a little earlier than the 3pm check-in time but had no problem being accommodated. There was no valet out front when I pulled in but the front-desk agents took care of my vehicle for me. I had been to the hotel before so I needed no explanation of the property, and after finishing the formalities (CC & ID), I was off to my room. The front-desk agents were friendly and professional. The lobby is an open space, with seating lined along the large windows, with the restaurant bar and some restaurant seating in front of the bar. Beside the reception desk is a small shop with an array of clothes and other items for purchase.
I was in room 716, which is at the end of the hall on the 7th floor. I can’t find the exact square footage, but I assume they are the same as the Queen City Queens, which comes in at 400 sq ft. As you can see, the king bed has a maroonish color velvet headboard. The LCD TV is above the work desk with an open closet in the corner with two drawers. The safe is in those drawers along with the laundry price list and slippers.
The mini-bar is under the work desk stocked with local goods and beverages. I applaud this hotel for having reasonable mini-bar prices, and one thing I always point out is the couple’s kit. Few hotels have these but I think it’s a brilliant idea. Above the closet was a set of Uno cards. Sadly, they didn’t have Golf Channel on their channel listings.
The bed was soft with plush pillows, and both nightstands had somewhat easy access to outlets underneath. As you can see in the second photo below, the ironing board is tucked under the bed in an open drawer. The curtains were almost full blackout the next morning when I woke, which is a huge plus.
I had views overlooking downtown Covington and the nearby neighborhood. If you are looking for good views, I would request a room with views of Cincinnati.
I was expecting better Wi-Fi since this is a new hotel, but the speeds were just decent.
There was no coffee maker in the room, instead they give you two tokens to redeem at the Coffee Bar in the lobby.
And in case you forgot something, here is a list of things you could get at the hotel.
The bathroom had a walk-in shower and single sink. The water pressure was strong, with quick hot water, and the thick, heavy towels were good. I was let down by the robe, though. I had high expectations they would deliver on a nice robe, but this might be one of the smallest I’ve seen in a hotel room. It fit like a jacket, not plush at all.
The toiletries were from William Roam. It was nice to see this hotel use something different, as I’ve never seen this before, but they were nothing to write home about.
The hairdryer was a simple Conair 1875, with no concentrator attachment, which is disappointing.
The fitness center is located one level down from the lobby. It didn’t look like much, but for the space they have, I think the equipment options were perfect. There were five different cardio pieces, free weights and a weight machine, and some medicine balls.
The walk-up eatery was closed when I was there, but I did have drinks and dinner at Coppin’s Restaurant Bar. They describe Coppin’s as having hyper-local sourcing from their food to their drinks. This is a popular spot. The place was packed most of the evening. I should have made reservations, but I didn’t and had to wait until 8:30pm before we could get a table in the restaurant. They also offer a private dining room beside the bar area.
If you know me, you know I like to over order. I think that’s more of a good thing than bad, but there’s no reason why we have to decide that. Here is what I ordered while at the bar and for dinner. I started off with a glass of rosé then a Bloody Mary when I first arrived at the hotel. This was anything but your standard tomato drink. The bartenders have a wide range of bitters starting from your typical orange bitters all the way to some strange pepper bitters. I can’t recall the name of the pepper, I should have written it down, but they used it in the cocktail and it put a whole different spin on the drink. It’s not for everyone but I was ok with it.
For dinner, we started with the deviled eggs with candied bacon, which I didn’t love but everyone else seemed to like, as well as the venison sausage with house mustard and pickled red cabbage. I loved this dish! The sausage was cooked perfectly, and the cabbage and mustard balanced great together. For the main course, we had the vegetable pot pie with a green salad. The salad received praise while the pot pie did not. The lack of a bottom crust layer was noticeable, and the flavors were just not there for our taste. I had the hanger steak with cipollini onions, scalloped potato, carrots, and bone marrow butter. Did someone say bone marrow butter? That’s like cheating. I was a big fan. I thought the flavors worked great together, and the steak was cooked perfectly. As for sides, because who doesn’t need sides with all that, we had the tots with chili, garlic, and Duke’s dip. These were like tots on steroids. I would order them again in a heartbeat. Lastly, we had the charred cauliflower with nuoc mam. I would highly recommend ordering these as well. The char was perfect. For dessert, I’m just kidding, we did not have dessert. I do have some respect for myself. Overall, I rate the dinner as one of the better ones I’ve had in a few weeks. This was my second time eating here and they did a fantastic job. Between the food and the service, I’ll recommend this place for sure.
Here are all the menus I gathered from the bar and restaurant, including some room service menus.
There wasn’t much happening on the patio, since it was February, but I could see this place being a great spot during the warmer months. They did, however, start a fire in the fireplace once the sun went down.
As for the Coffee Bar, it’s located beside the bar in the lobby with a full list of coffee beverages.
I felt the service was very informal. Not to say it was bad, but there are a few things that were notably missing. I emailed them about getting a late check-out and one other request a few days prior to arriving, to which I received a response saying I could have the late check-out. Both my requests were not noted in the computer so starting about 10:45am, I had housekeeping knocking on the door several times trying to get in. Only after they called and asked what time I was leaving did she say my request was not noted. I didn’t go to bed that night until about 6am so I was in no mood to deal with someone bothering me the next morning. Furthermore, late that night we were having drinks at the bar and we asked for Bulleit, that’s bourbon for those of you who don’t know. The bartender felt the need to tell us he doesn’t like Bulleit because he had heard they fired the daughter of the founder because she was gay. Just for the record, I support everyone, makes no difference to me how you live your life. You have my support, but I certainly don’t want to be preached to by my bartender about what he likes because of some claim that may or may not be true. We actually looked his claim up and from what we could tell that wasn’t true. I hope it isn’t, but who really knows. With that said, I still give them a 8.4/10 for service.
I had a great time while I was here. I think the property is in the running for best in the greater Cincinnati area. I need to stay at two more properties before I can truly rank who is the best, but this place makes a strong case. I would highly recommend this hotel.
Have you stayed here, what are your thoughts?