We’re just as surprised as you. If you had the chance to read our “Sandusky is Shedding the Rust and Quietly Becoming Awesome” post, you’d have seen that we technically knew it was coming, so I guess we can’t be all that surprised. It’s just that seeing it in person and talking about it are two very different things. This is the kind of stuff you see in larger, hipper towns like Austin, Texas or Cleveland, not Sandusky, Ohio. We’re not talking a Red Roof Inn right off the highway. We’re talking about a legitimate local hotel opened by legitimate locals. But then again, Sandusky really is becoming awesome. Or better yet, it IS awesome.
The Hotel Kilbourne is the product of two local visionaries by the name of Ryan Whaley and Nikki Lloyd. The couple’s ideas first came together in the form of a 1930’s themed speakeasy just down the street from the hotel dubbed Volstead Bar. Specializing in booze forward old school cocktails, the joint is definitely something usually reserved for larger cities, much like the aforementioned hotel.
So, first things first. You’re probably wondering where the name came from and the answer is quite interesting. Hector Kilbourne, a Freemason and the surveyor who created the original plat of Sandusky in 1816 back when the town was called Portland, laid out the streets to form the Masonic emblem. If you’ve ever spent much time driving around Sandusky, he’s the one to blame for all the weird angles. Thanks Hector. Onto the hotel itself.
Located in the center of Sandusky’s entertainment district, The Hotel Kilbourne is ideally situated just steps away from the city’s best amenities. See a show at the beautiful Sandusky State Theatre, pop into Small City Taphouse for some sushi and craft beer or slide into hearth tavern for a wood fired pizza. Or you could just walk around and take let your eyeballs feast on stuff like this…
The hotel itself is comprised of nine modern, deluxe rooms. Visitors staying the night will have their choice of a luxury city view, luxury lake view or penthouse suite. Along with boasting a spacious living area, the penthouse suite has a nifty Murphy bed that folds up into the wall, making it a unique room perfect for hosting small events as well.
This place is seriously cool and you get that sense when you walk into he lobby. Simple with clean lines everywhere, yet elegant enough to know you’re in for a luxurious stay. The cucumber infused water is a nice touch as well.
A lot of the facets built into the hotel rooms were meant not only to create a unique space, but preserve the historic integrity that’s so important to many of those who grew up around the area. Like these beams for example, which have been kept during the gutting process and repurposed inside a few of the rooms.
Now to the bathrooms, which if you’re like me, have to be solid. You’ll first notice the size, which is more than ample. Beautiful tiled floors lead into showers that are big enough to fit a party of 10. Quit snickering, we’re not insinuating anything. They’re just very spacious. The showers also come equipped with rain style shower heads, which unfortunately, is going to run you about $150 and a trip to Home Depot when you immediately realize it’s missing from your personal bathroom.
More bathroom stuff, because we like bathroom stuff — This place has Molton Brown soaps. If you’ve never heard of them, it’s pretty much body cleansing heaven. Blended in England, it’s clear these folks like smelling good and lucky for visitor’s of the Hotel Kilbourne, you’ll come out smelling like Tom Brady.
Oh yes, did we mention this place had two bars? One of them being a rooftop scenario? On the lobby floor through one set of glass doors you’ll find Moseley’s Public House. A great spot with and small patio and glass doors that supply patrons with a panoramic view of Jackson Street Pier on Sandusky Bay. We dig the vibe in there as well — Upscale enough that you feel like you’re fairly important, but just mellow enough so you watch an Indians game and not feel like you need turn up your nose. A carefully thought out selection of wines fits perfectly next to a few select cocktails and of course all of the assumed accoutrements of a nicely stocked lounge.
While the lobby bar is open seven days of a week, Moseley’s Rooftop Bar is only Friday – Sunday, weather dependent and usually closes around ten to not wake the tenants, so be swift on your fourth floor voyage. Once you’re up there however, the place offers up a spectacular view of Sandusky Bay and the surrounding Lake Erie region. Be sure to grab yourself a Modelo Especial on draught, as they’re only $3.00.
So if you need a good night’s sleep before hitting Put-in-Bay, staying for a Cedar Point weekend or just simply just in town for a drink, check this place out. You’ll see just exactly why we’re so stoked on Sandusky, Ohio.