The Omni Netherlands Plaza is located in downtown Cincinnati on 5th Street West. Built in 1932 in French Art Deco style, it is Cincinnati's oldest, grandest, and most beautiful hotel. Unfortunately, it is also falling apart under incompetent management.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Omni, be sure to see the Continental Ballroom, which used to be an ice skating rink. The Hall of Mirrors, lavishly adorned with 24 karat gold on almost every surface, is haunted by the ghost of the green lady... or some say. Just to be safe, don't go in there alone at night! The Omni has lost too many housekeepers because of that damn room.

Be sure to eat in the Palm Court before you leave. Chef Erik's desserts are to die for-especially the strawberry puff pastry! The Palm Court was originally an opulent lobby where society matrons and their unmarried spawn would sit preening themselves, gossiping about everyone's clothing, and trying to find suitable matches for the hideous daughters. Weddings at the hotel took place in the Julep Room (originally a chapel).

Now the Omni has sunk to begging for corporate dollars. We host conventions, put up with Pantera's antics in the bar, have room service send Britney Spears her 24 watercress sandwiches and two boxes of laxatives each night, and grit our teeth, remembering our past splendor. Ain't progress beautiful?

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