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If Akansas wasn't already on your list of places to visit in 2013 (and we hate to say it, but why would it?), here's a new reason: the art-obsessed boutique hotel chain 21c Museum has just opened a new 104-room property in downtown Bentonville, AR. And yes, those penguins have made an appearance once again. 25 of them, in fact. Only this time, they're green!
Hence, the six-foot tiger sculpture, the "hairy chandelier", and the elevator mural (pictured) that turns a normally tedious moment of waiting into an opportunity to feel cultured. Walmart must feel so proud.
Hotel Openings / Art Hotels / 21c Museum Hotels / Hotel Art / Cincinnati Hotels / Ohio Hotels / → All Tags
Fresh off last week's ribbon cutting, we buzzed by Cincinnati's new 21c Museum Hotel on its first Saturday in business for a quick tour. Our visit was so fresh, in fact, the paint literally hadn't even dried yet (we saw a guy running around spot-touching the walls).
When we arrived at 5 o'clock the hotel was booked solid and curious passerby were parading in, some having just caught "The Nutcracker" matinee at the performing arts theater across the street. Or checked out the latest exhibits at next door's sprawling Contemporary Arts Center (designed by Zaha Hadid). Or just pounded few brewskies at Toby Keith's bar around the corner.
In other words, the location's choice and the masses welcome! 24/7, in fact. The 10-floor, 156-room property, just like its Louisville sibling, doubles as a contemporary art gallery whose exhibition spaces are free for anyone to peruse, any day, at any time.
UPDATE: A rep for 21C Museum Hotel tells us that you don't have to know the hotel founders to book a room but you do have to book early. For example, they are already getting requests for next year and since there are only 90 rooms and a lot of repeat guests, the rooms will go fast. Hurry!
This weekend is the 2012 Kentucky Derby and if you were smart, you booked a hotel room way back in February. But sadly, the hotel that we all really want to stay at for the Derby is never going to be available during the horse race.
We're talking about the arty cool 21C Museum Hotel, a hybrid contemporary art museum/boutique hotel. The hotel is booked this year and presumably, next year and the year after that and the year after that. The reason being is not just because it's a popular spot but also because we've heard during the Derby, friends and family of the hotel's owner get first priority. Aw shucks.
For now, we'll have to live vicariously through these up close and personal snapshots from Business Insider. In the meantime, we'll be scheming of ways to get into the owner's good graces.
[Photo: Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider]
Now that Wal-Mart heiress, Alice Walton, has opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art (it was her millions and her incredible art collection that got the museum off the ground), cultured visitors to the museum in Bentonville, Ark. are in need of an equally cultured place to stay.
The hotel will be located in the city's downtown arts corridor but Bentonville is a small town so the Crystal Bridges museum will still be walkable. The four-story contemporary style building will have 103 rooms, including suites, a fitness center and a sustainable restaurant. In fact, the whole building will be built and operated using green practices and sustainable materials. And of course, there will be art. Lots of it.
The 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville.
The good news is there's going to be yet another 21C Museum Hotel opening. That will make four 21C Museum hotels--the original in Louisville, the second in Cincinnati, a third in Austin and now, a hotel near Bentonville, Arkansas.
The odd news is that the people who are making this third hotel possible are some Wal-Mart people. The Waltons, the heirs to the megastore that famously bans music and books for being too provocative, are now supporting an art hotel. The WSJ reports:
A Walton family investment arm and partner 21c Museum Hotel of Louisville, Ky., are scheduled to disclose Tuesday that they will construct a $28 million, 130-room hotel near Bentonville's downtown square that will open by 2012.
The 21C Museum Hotel is one of the funkiest, quirkiest, art/design hotels in the world but if you can't find a way to get to Louisville, Kentucky, don't worry, there's still a way for you to bring home a piece of the hotel's sensibility--through its newly launched Online Shop.
Items from the hotel like scented candles from Malin + Goetz, jewelry from local designer Elva Fields, chocolates from TCHO and 21c-branded items like water bottles ($10), umbrellas ($30), t-shirts ($21, heh) and even mint julep cups ($48.)
And for those still lusting after hotel bathrobes, the 21c Museum Hotel robe starts at an affordable $72. However, our favorite item is the 6 1/2" tallred ceramic penguin that you also see placed at various parts of the hotel but in larger sizes. Waaay better than a t-shirt.
The 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville.
A reader in Ohio tipped us off last night about this excellent news for downtown Cincinnati--The 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky will open its second hotel in the old Metropole Hotel next year. And in living up to the museum part of its name, the new hotel will play a huge role in the city's burgeoning contemporary art scene.
Here are some detes from the press release:
The new 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati will be located adjacent to the Contemporary Arts Center and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts. 21c Museum Hotels is working with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation on the restoration, scheduled to begin next fall. The total expected cost for the project is $45 million.
21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati will offer 160 rooms, an 8,000 square-foot contemporary art museum open to the public free of charge, and a Proof restaurant and bar serving contemporary cuisine made with locally grown ingredients.