The Road to Cleveland: Haven’t booked your hotel yet?

road-to-cleveland-2If you haven’t already booked your hotel for Health Journalism 2016, you should do so immediately.

While the conference hotel, Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, has officially sold out of our room block, a few rooms for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights might still be available at the heavily discounted rate if you go through AHCJ’s training coordinator, Ev Ruch-Graham ( or 573-884-8103).

As of this writing, the folks at the conference hotel, Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center (216-696-9200) say they have plenty of rooms available for $249 (plus Cleveland’s 16.5 percent bed tax). The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel (216-606-5600), a five-minute walk across Public Square to the Marriott and a six-minute walk to the Cleveland Convention Center, still has rooms available at pretty close to what the conference rate was, but only if you book and pay for it now.

The Cleveland International Film Festival begins March 30 and runs through April 10. It’s a big event. Many of the festival’s big-draw films will be screening at Tower City. Many people involved in the films and the festival will – if they haven’t already booked their accommodations – be competing for the rooms you want.

There are many hotels within an easy walk or fast and cheap cab ride to the conference venues. I’ve lived in Cleveland for more than 30 years and, having attended meetings, conferences, weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs (and once, a wake) the following (in no particular order) are the ones I’d aim for.

Doubletree Cleveland Downtown/Lakeside (216-241-5100) on Lakeside Avenue, which is home to many of the City of Cleveland’s governmental buildings and offices, is a short walk to/from both conference venues. Here, you’ll score a good, basic single or double (maybe with a lake view if you are lucky) for $149 (plus tax).

Hampton Inn Cleveland Downtown (216-241-6600) on E. 9th Street is a bit on the traditional side – I think of it as cozy – and families rate it highly. It, too, is a short walk to both conference venues, and if you call now (it’s filling up fast) you can still score a single or double for $149 a night (plus tax). When you call, ask for a high-up, north-facing room so you’ll have a view of Lake Erie (and the steel and glass Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, too).

Residence Inn Cleveland Downtown (216-443-9043) on Prospect Avenue, like all the other hotels listed here, is a short (and interesting) walk to both conference venues. Rooms run $140 and up (plus tax), and, because of its center-city location and cozy feel, it’s very popular, so, like the hotel mentioned above, it will fill up fast.

Aloft Cleveland Downtown (216-400-6469) reminds me of the sleek/modern hostels I’ve stayed at in Australia and Germany (well, the tiny bathrooms are more private). It’s an 8-10 minute walk from both conference venues and if you book now, it’s just under $200 (plus tax) for a double (which means this is a great place for a room share). And, since it’s in the Cleveland’s storied “Flats,” the dining options near the hotel run the gamut from rare burgers and brew to (even rarer) sushi and sake.

Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade (888-882-1234) is across the street from the Marriott and the Cleveland Convention Center. It’s a circa 1880 shopping arcade where the upper levels have been (meticulously!) restored and converted into a hotel that gets consistent rave reviews: the lower level has interesting shops and a food court. Call now and you can probably score a sharable double for about $200 (plus tax).

Radisson Hotel Cleveland – Gateway (216-377-9000) on Huron Road, is an 8-10 minute walk to both conference venues. One of Cleveland’s largest hotels (and one that’s changed hands several times) it’s been a conference stand-by for decades. According to the hotel’s website, single and doubles are available for between $149 and $184 (plus tax). If I were looking for a room, this would be one of my first calls, and I’d definitely ask for a high-up, west-facing room.

Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown (216-658-6400 ) on Carnegie Avenue is about 12 short blocks from both conference venues. The route takes you past Cleveland’s oldest cemetery – which is beautiful, not scary. It’s a good, basic hotel where – if you act soon – you’ll score a good, basic double for $140 (plus tax) a night. If I were driving to the conference, this would be my first choice for a place to stay.

Comfort Inn Downtown (800-861-0001) on Euclid Avenue would be my last call. Not because it’s a bad hotel, it’s not: staff here is friendly and helpful. But it’s 10 long blocks from the conference venues. That said, a taxi and/or the City’s free up-and-down-Euclid Avenue trolley can get you where you need to be in five minutes. Single and double rooms start here at $120 (plus tax).

The Road to Cleveland

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