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Lobby and Featured Grand Staircase Art Display at Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph in Columbus, Ohio

An amazing private artwork display is highlighted in the lobby, and along the grand staircase, at Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph in Columbus, Ohio.

When fans following Valparaiso University's Crusaders traveled to Columbus, Ohio last month for March Madness for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball game finals, Columbus was also celebrating the opening of its newest hotel to welcome guests.

Just days before the big game, Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph at 620 North High St., in the vibrant Short North Arts District, held its grand opening for the new multi-million dollar boutique hotel March 10.

It is hailed as the city's "first art hotel," and features exclusive artwork from the world renowned Pizzuti Collection, and 31 pieces from 15 local Ohio artists. As the owners of the hotel, the Pizzuti Family are proud of their varied art pieces by international artists KAWS, Rob Wynne, Nari Ward, Fred Wilson and others.

The hotel is under the umbrella of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and managed by Wischermann Partners. The new 10-story hotel, which was built on a stretch of land previously used as a parking lot, was designed by renowned Miami-based firm Arquitectonica to complement the unique historical aesthetic of the neighborhood.

Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph has 135 modern guestrooms, including 10 executive suites, two contemporary spa suites, and a modern Presidential Suite. The hotel also has nearly 7,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space, a lounge area called Soul and a 24-hour fully equipped fitness center with floor to ceiling windows and views.

The most amazing features in the the hotel's dramatic two-story lobby are the large pieces of art on loan from the private art collection of owners Ron and Ann Pizzuti. The hotel is named after Ron's father "Joseph." The hallways even feature "artistic abstract" vibrant wallpaper designed exclusively by Brooklyn artist Almond Zigmund and the three event spaces feature the art of their namesakes: internationally recognized Ohio artists Aminah Robinson, Denny Griffith and Ann Hamilton.

The Pizzuti Family also commissioned more than 31 new pieces of art from 15 Ohio artists for use in the hotel's guest rooms, hallways and lounges. Guests can also use of their room keycards to access the Pizzuti Collection Gallery exhibitions located across the street.

The new hotel is also home to restaurateur Cameron Mitchell's The Guild House, accommodating 140 guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring locally-sourced, artisan cuisine combined with wines from around the world. Mitchell's restaurant also does all of the hotel's catering events and even the in-room dining.

In observance of the Le Méridien hotel signature trademark, the hotel serves guests a "custom eclair" unique to the property. The special creation is a lemon eclair "with a hint of anise," the favorite flavors of the hotel's owner Ron Pizzuti. Pistacia Vera Bakery, a sweet legend in Columbus operated by siblings Spencer Budros and Anne Fletcher, custom create the eclairs for the hotel.

FYI: (614) 227-0100 or lemeridiencolumbus.com

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

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