STORY TIME: A Hoosier’s weekend in the Land

Shelbie Goulding

Shelbie Goulding

When given the opportunity to stay in a luxury hotel in a city like Cleveland without having to lose hundreds of dollars, don’t bypass it. Jump at the opportunity without thinking twice, especially if you’ve never experienced a night in Cleveland before.

Since I wasn’t losing money from staying at the hotel, I thought I’d at least spend money on overpriced food and drinks. Knowing myself and how I have no self-control, I cashed out a specific amount of money to spend for the night so I wouldn’t break the bank.

When I arrived at the hotel, my mouth dropped as I entered the double doorway. A shopping center with stores, restaurants and bars covered the lower level and the first floor. Bulb hanging lights strung across the center of the hotel from the first floor, hovering the lower level. I was honestly expecting a shiny version of a Holiday Inn, but it was extravagant and aesthetically pleasing in its architectural design and style. It was only four floors high, but it was spacious.

The room was beautiful. The ceiling was twice the height it should have been with a modern and high-class style. The “city view” was sad since I was only on the second floor, but I didn’t come to enjoy the view.

The woman at the desk mentioned a bar on the first floor during check-in. I craved an old fashion.

I went downstairs and ordered an old fashion with an extra cherry, my signature drink. The price was $14, but I whipped out my cash like I was a boss and owned the night. Looking back, I’m embarrassed. I sat back in a lounge chair facing the inside of the hotel, enjoying its architecture for a while longer.

The next stop was the Chocolate Bar on the other side of the hotel.

Again, I ordered an old fashion with an extra cherry. I also ordered a crème brûlée thinking I deserve a treat for myself.

Sadly, the bartender broke the news and said they were out of crème brûlée. But he didn’t ask what else I’d like. Instead, he set down these mini chocolate cups the size of a soda bottle cap. He then filled them with chocolate liqueur. He didn’t say a word this entire time, so I’m confused and laughing from the awkwardness happening in front of me. When he was finished pouring the liquor, he told me to turn around, so I did. When he gave me the OK to turn around, rose petals and chocolate flakes surrounded the chocolate shots. He said it was on the house for the inconvenience, and he for sure had my heart after that.

I continued to sit at the Chocolate Bar the rest of the night because I’m a sucker for good bartenders, and I’m not about the club life Cleveland has to offer.

I was always told going out to clubs is the best in Cleveland, but social drinking in a positive environment is my idea of a treat. Although, I think the fact that I drink my liquor like a 60-year-old man doesn’t help, but I don’t think I would get the same experience I got that night as I would in a club.

That night I slipped into my marshmallow of a bed all cozy with a nice buzz going on in my head. I’m not a city girl, nor would I ever pay for a hotel like this, but it was the kind of experience I’d want from a first night out in Cleveland. Maybe someday I’ll try the club scene.

Shelbie Goulding is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected].