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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]
It may be over in two minutes, but the Kentucky Derby is a weekend-long celebration in Louisville, and this year it's even tougher to find a hotel room in town. According to the local Courier-Journal, rooms have been filling up much more quickly than last year. In fact, most places you'd want to stay are sold out.
Already bought your fancy hat and still want to blow your month's rent at Churchill Downs? You can still find a place to stay, as long as you don't mind budget chains of the Holiday Inn, Best Western variety.
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.
While you'll likely be spending Black Friday elbowing people at Target for $3 appliances, you Kentucky Derby fans will want to do some hotel shopping before braving the crowds. The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, the official hotel of the Kentucky Derby, will offer a one-day-only sale on November 27 from 1:36 a.m.—to commemorate the 136th running of the race—until 11:50 p.m., EST.
Yes, the May 1 derby is far away, but the hotel's early specials will save you 700 smackers. It's not atypical to shell out more than a couple grand for a room during the derby, which makes it worth it to plan ahead. Plus, you can use the savings on some good betting at the tracks.
Just in time for the arrival of thousands of Ryder Cup attendees, Louisville, Ky., lost power Sunday. About 75% of the city lost electricity --including yours truly.
We were without news until we could get to civilization Monday (the office) where we learned the power company estimates a 10-14 day period with no power. That's no internet, no TV, no air conditioning, no lights, no appliances, zilch. What's a high-maintenance girl who dislikes showering by candlelight to do? Move into a hotel.
There are all those pesky tourists in town, and not a hotel room to be found. On Sunday night a few hotels offered price breaks to the in-the-dark locals but when the high-spending golf fans hit Louisville that was all over.
The few hotels left with rooms available have ratcheted up the rates to take advantage of the big event, never mind the quarter million people without power. We'll stay in the dark, thank you, before we pay almost 200 bucks a night for the luxury of light at the Howard Johnson Express Airport.
Let's just hope the power comes back on before the rooms open back up.
[Photo: Courier Journal]
Crazy/Sexy/Cool Art Hotel in Louisville
$129 a night
The21C Museum Hotel is one of the funkiest hotels we know of in the U.S. It's both a modern boutique hotel and a contemporary art museum with somewhat scary things on display. But it also has clean bathrooms. Tablet Hotels is offering $129 room rates at the hotel plus a complimentary sweet at check-in from now until August 31st.
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Add another to the list of haunted hotels: A former Ford employee purchased the abandoned, vandalized 30 acres of Waverly Hills Sanatorium in south Louisville for $225,000 in 2001, and is now determined to turn the spooky property into a first-class hotel complete with spa and business center.
Currently this gutted old hospital for tuberculosis patients, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts paranormal camp-outs for $100-a-head and was the subject of a six-hour feature on the Sci Fi Channel. Even wikipedia-ing this place will give you the heebie-jeebies. So will night-vision goggles and thermal sensors be part of the mini bar?
Things that do not come to mind when we think of the scene of one of our most pleasant, if not religious, bathroom experiences: many pairs of eyes upon us while we do our business, one-way mirrors and a red breed of Billy Madison-esque giant penguins.
And yet! The funky-fab (if not a bit creepy sometimes) 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, featuring all of these unsettling delights, has been named one of ten public bathrooms nominated for the honor of America's Best Restroom.
It's a cool bathroom and all -- and yes, we get it, it's art in a hotel that dually functions as a public art museum -- but imagine taking a pee in an environment with "gender-specific latent exhibitionist fetish features" such as these:
The men's restroom has a two-way mirror that allows users of a long urinal to contemplate passers-by outside the restroom. Both the men's and women's restrooms have tiny LCD screens displaying a multitude of different, open eyes in the mirror above the sink area that make washing up or primping a communal affair.