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Downtown has several distinctive choices for travelers to lay down their weary heads. The Westin Great Southern, 310 S. High St. (tel. 800/WESTIN-1 or 614/228-3800; www.crowneplaza.com), has all the supreme luxury of a Westin without the feel of a chain, probably because the building is historic, has a spectacular ballroom, and is connected to the Opera House. Theater Cafe, the hotel restaurant, is very good. There is 24-hour room service, a fitness center, onsite spa and, of course, the chain's signature "heavenly beds and baths." Each of the four diamond-rated hotel's 186 rooms is beautifully appointed with Queen Anne-era furnishings. Doubles run $125-$200. Elsewhere downtown, the high-rise, Marriot-owned The Columbus, A Renaissance Hotel, 50 N. Third St. (tel. 614/228-5050; www.marriot.com), offers rooms with contemporary decor, workstations, high-speed Internet access, attentive service, and a heated rooftop pool with a view of the Columbus skyline. In 2004, the Renaissance was converted from an Adams Mark. Their restaurant, Capitol Grille, serves American fare with a strong emphasis placed on local ingredients. Doubles run $109 to $189.

The Blackwell Hotel and Conference Center, 2110 Tuttle Park Pl. (tel. 866/247-4003 or 614/247-4000; www.theblackwell.com) a new, beautifully appointed accommodations located on the Ohio State University campus, features a friendly staff, making for a warm introduction to the campus and the city. What sets them apart is their attention to the details that make for a perfect night's stay: pillow-top mattresses and your choice of pillows. The rooms feature leather chairs and high-speed Ethernet lines; many of the 151 rooms also have combination fax/copier/printers. There are sixteen suites, many of which have two bathrooms, one with a Jacuzzi. The presidential suite is indulgent and spacious, with an all-marble bathroom, Jacuzzi tub, stall shower and a separate kitchen area. Doubles run $129 to $219; $169 to $499 for suites.

If you love to shop and don't want to stray far from the source, there's no better place to stay than Colonial Revival-styled Hilton Columbus, 3900 Chagrin Dr. (tel. 800/HILTONS or 614/414-5000; www.hiltoncolumbus.com). Located onsite at the sprawling paradise Easton Town Center and just ten minutes from downtown, it is the full-service hotel of choice for serious shoppers. Packages such as their "Weekend in Easton" make a getaway an enticing possibility. At 400 square feet, the standard room is spacious, includes a workdesk and Italian marble bathroom. The gleaming Italian-marble lobby is accented with fresh floral arrangements and French chandeliers. Doubles run $165 to $259.

For a truly unique experience, try The Lofts Hotel, 555 E. Nationwide Blvd. (tel.800/73-LOFTS; 614-461-2663; www.55lofts.com). Built in the former Carr building, which dates back to 1882, the exposed brick, wood beams, modern stylings and floor-to-ceiling windows signify the expansiveness of loft-styled living. Details such as the New York City subway tiles in the bathroom, Aveda shampoos, and fine Italian linens have helped this relative newcomer gain a growing reputation as the chic place to stay. Rooms are also outfitted with high-speed Internet, Touhy executive desk chairs, and gourmet coffee; the hotel has an indoor pool, sauna, gym, and restaurant and is located in the Arena District. Doubles run $149 to $219.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.