An independent boutique in the heart of the city’s newest arts district
Benjamin Franklin’s Junto Club — aka the Leather Apron Club — was founded for “mutual improvement.” Such is the ethos that runs throughout the Columbus hotel that bears its name. The main floor looks more like a learned man’s study, lined with old books and anchored by a cozy fireplace. Long wood tables with outlets and high speed WiFi invite anyone to come and work. And with an all-day bar and a coffee shop in the lobby, it’s sometimes hard to imagine leaving.
The hotel is across the street from the Center of Science and Industry, and you can request free tickets to expand your mind further. A gear locker sits next to the hotel elevators filled with ways to get exercise and explore the city. The rooftop bar has stunning views of the Columbus skyline and Scioto River, and draws locals for sunset cocktails. Later in the evening, the lobby and floors around it fill with the comforting aroma of a wood burning oven, as the smells from Little West – the Junto’s onsite restaurant – make the space even homier.
A little west of downtown, in the heart of Columbus’ up-and-coming Franklinton district
The Junto sits in Franklinton, a neighborhood just across the river from downtown Columbus that’s been rehabbed into the city’s newest arts district. Murals line walls that stretch from the hotel to a couple of nearby breweries – Land Grant and BrewDog – and a short stroll across the Scioto River takes you into the heart of Ohio’s largest city. You’ll also find a walking path winding through the neighborhood to Lower.com Field – home of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew. On the same street, you can catch a Columbus Clippers baseball game at Huntington Park.
If you’re looking for a guide to Columbus, see here. Other cool stuff to do near the Junto Hotel:
- One of the country’s top science museums, the Center of Science and Industry, is literally across the street. You can request up to two tickets as part of your stay and check out everything from dinosaurs to rat basketball.
- Stroll the bars and restaurants of the Short North neighborhood, about 10 minutes away by car. It’s Columbus’ more-developed arts district and the heart of the city’s nightlife.
- Learn the history of America’s military through stories from its veterans at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, a few blocks away.
- Try toppings-to-the-edge Columbus-style pizza, known for its thin crust, sweet sauce, and provolone. Donatos is the big player, but you can find all kinds of local spots along the Columbus Style Pizza Trail.
- Take a historic architecture tour of the city with Columbus City Adventures. You’ll learn Columbus’ history, from the slums and factories that sat along the river to its revival as part of the City Beautiful movement.
- Eat your way through German Village, a red brick enclave with cobblestone streets and loads of history. You’ll stop at the famous Shmidt’s Sausage Haus, Katzinger’s Deli, the Brown Bag, and can even grab some Jeni’s ice cream if you want dessert.
- Rent a kayak from the hotel’s gear locker and take a paddle on the Scioto River. With enough notice, hotel staff can have it ready on the banks for you.
Spacious, bright rooms with daybeds in the windows
Guest rooms at the Junto are done up in what the hotel describes as “comfortable residential,” continuing the lobby’s welcoming air upstairs. They’re painted in muted blues and grays with wood fixtures and lots of light, so even the smallest rooms have a distinctive feeling of home. Daybeds fill the large window sills in many rooms, creating a quiet place to read or take an afternoon nap. And larger rooms come with comfortable couches and sitting areas that tempt you to spend more time in your room than you probably should.
All rooms have pourover coffee, walk-in rain showers, mini-fridges, blackout curtains and 55-inch flatscreen TVs. They also come with plenty of floor space and oversized windows, so entry level rooms seem larger than they actually are.
The Junto’s rooms break down into 13 categories, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll group them as follows:
- Standard rooms – These are the Classic, Match, and Bunk rooms, which range from 258 square feet for the Bunk room to 350 square feet for the Match. Bunk rooms have a King bed with a bunk on top, Classic Rooms are essentially King rooms, and Match are Double Queens.
- Executive Room – These larger standard rooms measure 434 square feet, with a King bed, wood floors, daybeds and lots of places to unpack your luggage. If you’re traveling as a twosome, this is your best bet.
- Artists rooms – The Artist’s Flat and Artist’s Suite are two room suites with full living rooms and a King bedroom. The Flat is 450 square feet, and the Suite is 500 square feet, including a soaking tub in the bathroom.
- City Escape – This 480 square foot King room comes with its own balcony overlooking the Columbus skyline.
- The Apartment – As the name might imply, the Junto’s largest room is effectively a full apartment, complete with kitchenette, dining room table and a queen-sized pull-out sofa in the living room. It measures just over 1,200 square feet.
The most unique amenity at the Junto is the Gear Garage, where you can check out pretty much any kind of recreational equipment to use while you explore the city. Bicycles, kayaks, pickleball and tennis rackets, skateboards, scooters and picnic baskets all beckon guests from behind a glass door near the elevators. If you’d prefer to take something up to your room, the locker also stocks record players with records, Bluetooth speakers and Polaroid cameras.
The Junto’s rooftop bar is an indoor-outdoor space with sprawling views over the city skyline. Post up at the bar or head to the outdoor firepit; fresh chopped wood and oversized couches invite long, leisurely happy hours. You can also getaway to a private dining space if you have a big group, and a small food menu if you want something to soak up the specialty cocktails.
The wood-fired restaurant serving American cuisine sits on the corner of State and Bell Streets, with outdoor seats at the bar and smoky aromas filling the air. On a sunny day, you can enjoy a beer with roasted artichokes or Diablo Yuzu garlic wings as you lounge streetside. Then delve into ember roasted prawns or an Ohio Wagyu Denver Diane steak. The restaurant is destined to become a community staple, with views from the street showcasing a lively scene at the bar.
The hotel’s coffee shop is open from 7-11 a.m., serving fresh baked pastries and coffee from Columbus’ own One Line. You’ll also find fresh fruit and juices if you want something healthier.
The lobby bar offers a convenient place to grab a cocktail while you finish your work in the evening, and serves light bites from Little West like onion dip and cheese boards. You’ll find a big menu of original drinks like the Rye-Tai, basically a Mai Tai with whiskey. And classics like the Gibson and G&T.
Beer and Poutine Window
The back of the Junto Hotel opens onto a pedestrian walkway that runs through Franklinton. Late night strollers can step up to the hotel’s beer and poutine walk-up window, called Little West Poutine, which sells exactly two things.
The Junto’s large fitness center is open 24 hours, with four treadmills, two Peloton bikes, two rowers, battle ropes, medicine balls, a squat rack with plates, two ellipticals and dumbbells going up to 70 lbs. Basically, if you don’t get a workout in while you’re at the Junto, that’s on you.
Parking is available at the Junto for $45 per night.
What is the closest airport to the hotel?
John Glenn Columbus International Airport is just 7 miles away.
What is the hotel’s address?
77 Belle St, Columbus, OH
When is check-in and check-out?
Check-in is at 4pm and check-out goes until noon.
How far is the boutique hotel from Ohio State University?
The school is just 3 miles north.
What are the hotel’s amenities?
The hotel has room service, 24-hour front desk, free WiFi, concierge services, dry cleaning and valet parking. There are also 14,000 six different meeting spaces with a total of more than 14,000 square feet. They include rooftop terraces, ballrooms, board rooms, private apartments and other workspaces.
How far is the hotel from COSI (Center of Science and Industry)?
Junto is right there. It’s just .1 mile away.
Who owns The Junto?
Hotel operator Makeready/Rockbridge owns The Junto.
When did the Junto open?
The boutique is a new hotel. It opened in June 2023.