Family Vacation Critic Favorite

The Island House Hotel

102 Madison St., Port Clinton, 43452, OH

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1 Room / 2 Adults

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2 adults
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Editor's Rating


The year-round Island House Hotel in Port Clinton, Ohio, first opened in 1886 with 50 luxurious guestrooms- and only one bathroom! Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe are a few of the notable celebrities who stayed at the Island House Hotel in its early days.

The hotel sat vacant for several years, but after extensive renovations and modern upgrades, the Island House Hotel reopened in 2008 as a condo-style hotel, with each unit privately owned. The guestrooms and suites were expanded and upgraded to include their own bathrooms, along with modern-day conveniences.

Located within walking distance to several restaurants and the Jet Express Ferry to some of the Lake Erie Islands, this charming hotel is perfect for families.

Our Editor Loves

  • Historic hotel
  • Walk to ferry
  • Free Wi-Fi

Family Interests

  • Museum/Cultural
  • Theme Park
  • Water Parks

Family Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Family Room 5+
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Kitchenettes
  • Laundry
  • Onsite Dining
  • Refrigerator

Room Information

Find the Best Price for Your Stay

All of the 39 guestrooms and suites feature a refrigerator and microwave, along with 19th century high ceilings. There are no rollaway beds available, however Pack 'N Plays are available at no additional cost. An elevator is available.

Standard Guestrooms
The spacious guestrooms with high ceilings have a king or two queen beds, along with a microwave and mini-fridge. There is also a bathtub featured in the bathroom.

Apartment Suites
The large apartment suites also feature high ceilings and two queen beds. A sleeper sofa can be found in a separate living area, along with a kitchenette that includes a full refrigerator, stove and oven, sink and plenty of counter space. The kitchenette is stocked with all glassware and flatware and includes a small table. The large bathroom features a bathtub. Two televisions can also be found in the apartment suites, which sleep six people comfortably.

Parlor Suites
The Parlor Suite features a king bed and separate living area with a sleeper sofa, which can be closed off by French doors. There is no kitchen in the Parlor Suite, but there is a mini-fridge and microwave available, plus two televisions.


Nothing Special

by Lael W

A downtown historic hotel - there is plenty of potential here, but it needs some work. We stayed a couple of nights in October 2019. There was a used bar of soap in our bathtub. The drain stopper in the tub did not work. Although we were out most of the day, housekeeping never cleaned our room. They did provide us with clean towels when we took our dirty towels to the desk. There was no window in the bedroom and the place was a bit dated. Comfortable bed, though.

Historic hotel with excellent service

by Wendy P

My husband and I had a one night stay at this quaint hotel. We enjoyed hearing about the history of the hotel dating back to the 1880s. In the lobby, there is a list of many famous people who have stayed here, including presidents and Al Capone. There is historic decor in the public area, but we found our room to be updated and comfortable. The staff was friendly and accommodating, even telling us that if we had a cooler that needed ice we could bring it to the front desk and they would fill it for us.

Family Activities

There is no pool at this historic hotel, however, the beach is not far away. The sandy beaches of East Harbor State Park are about a 15-minute drive from the the Island House Hotel. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, families can enjoy swimming, fishing and boating at this state park.

Ferry Service
The Jet Express Ferry, which offers service to both Put-In-Bay and Kelleys Island, is within walking distance to the Island House Hotel.

Family Dining

A complimentary, continental breakfast is available to guests from 6 to 10:30 a.m. each day. Things like yogurt, cereal, fruit and pastries are available.

A full-service restaurant, which is in partnership with the hotel, serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and has direct access from the hotel.

Planning & Tips

All About the Extras
Free Wi-Fi is available to guests throughout the hotel.

Free parking is available in a lot behind the hotel.

No Minimum Stay
There is no minimum night stay when booking a room at the Island House Hotel, so stay as long or as little as you'd like.

The Art of Smart Timing
The hotel is open year-round, but its peak season is spring and summer, as well as New Year's Eve.

Getting There
Port Clinton, Ohio is located about 20 minutes from Sandusky, Ohio and just across Lake Erie to Put-In-Bay and Kelleys Island. The hotel is about 30 minutes to Cedar Point Amusement Park, less than an hour to Toledo, Ohio and three hours to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It's about an hour and 15 minutes to Cleveland International Airport.

Getting Around
Families can walk to several local restaurants and the Jet Express Ferry, which goes to Put-In-Bay and Kelleys Island. But a vehicle is needed to venture away from the hotel.

For Mom and Dad
There are a few bars located within walking distance to the hotel.