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Any hotelier who looks at their elevators as merely a necessary function by which to transport guests between the lobby and their rooms is missing an opportunity, because if our hotel has a quirky elevator, we're probably going to talk about it. Here are ten of the best hotel elevators we've come across over the last few years.
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.
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.
Another new Aloft opened yesterday in Rogers, Arkansas (population: almost 39,000 -- so not exactly Podunk Nowhere-ville) and the Arkansas folks seemed starry-eyed and enthusiastic.
The Benton County Daily Record was on hand to get guests' comments:
"This is really something," said Brig Caldwell, who spent about 20 minutes walking the main floor. "I had a chance to stop by for a preview the hotel was doing last night, and it was like I walked into a nightclub. The space. The lights. It's so much different from what a hotel is."
Maybe we're just jaded or something.
Wondering why the eff Aloft chose rando-ville, Arkansas to launch one of their first properties? Rogers is a quick 15-minute drive from Bentonville -- a.k.a. Wal-Mart HQ. Starwood ain't stupid.