40202 Travel Guide

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The Hotel You Really Want to Stay at for Derby Weekend Is Never Gonna Be Available

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  Site Where: 700 W Main St [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
May 2, 2012 at 4:52 PM | by | ()

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]

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Now You Can Buy 21C Museum Hotel Swag Online

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  Site Where: 700 W Main Street [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
January 27, 2010 at 4:05 PM | by | ()

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.

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Save $700 on a Kentucky Derby Package during Black Friday

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  Site Where: 140 N. Fourth St. [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
November 25, 2009 at 4:09 PM | by | ()

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.

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(Bath)Room With an Anti-View: We're Not Sure We're Okay With This

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  Site Where: 710 West Main St [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
July 9, 2009 at 2:38 PM | by | ()

This could be a Killer View, we suppose, depending on how you look at it. This is the view from the urinals in the public men's room at 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. And those are real people. And they could be you!

Alright, we get it. 21C is an art in a hotel that dually functions as a public art museum but its "gender-specific latent exhibitionist fetish features" within the lobby bathrooms are a topic we've discussed before, and now that we're seeing a real (read: non-PR) shot of the view from in the little boys' room, we're not so sure we're okay with this.

Allow is to explain what's going on here:

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.

Dudes peeing in urinals while looking at us. Does that not make you a wee bit uncomfortable? Think about it. Really.

Anyway, rooms here start around $185 if you're interested in booking your own private bathroom without these exhibitionist features.

[Photo: gregverdino]

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A Bourbon-Soaked Stay in Kentucky

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  Site Where: 500 S 4th St [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
April 10, 2009 at 11:14 AM | by | ()

Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.

In this episode, Hotel Maven Katie K visits Kentucky...in her mind. Enjoy.

Lately I’ve been in a Great-Gatsby-decadence-craving sort of mood (as recessionary escape?). So dress me in my nattiest frock and hand me a bourbon tumbler, because I’m headed to the 1905-built Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Kentucky, blueblood haunt and one-time writing muse to F. Scott Fitzgerald (penned into immortality as his backdrop for Tom and Daisy Buchanan's nuptials).

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HotelChatter Reader Deals :: Funky Louisville Hotel With Clean Bathrooms for $129 a Night

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  Site Where: 710 West Main St [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
August 21, 2008 at 5:33 PM | by | ()

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.

Subscribe to HotelChatter Reader Deals
Have a hotel deal you think we should consider?  Or have a destination and date where you want us to check for hotel rooms and rates for you?  No guarantees on either, but you can try your luck by hitting us here: tips@hotelchatter.com. Please include "For Reader Deals" in the subject heading.

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21C's Bathrooms Worthy of Exhibitionists, Fetishists and the Title of America's Best Restroom

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 710 West Main St. [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
June 9, 2008 at 10:39 AM | by | ()

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.

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Ghosts, Bourbon Cocktails and Hootie and the Blowfish at the Seelbach Hilton

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 500 S. 4th Street [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
March 26, 2008 at 4:01 PM | by | ()

We now present you with our VIP Hotel Reviewer Series in which we hand-pick experts in the travel and media worlds and beyond to tell us what are their favorite hotels and why. Once a week, we'll feature a hotel review from said VIPs about their favorite leisure or business hotels. Pay attention: These VIPs are experts at what they do and they don't mess around when it comes to their hotels.

The next VIP in the series is Deidre Woollard, the founder and head writer at popular luxury blog, Luxist.com. Despite writing about what's hot in the luxury world, Deidre has spent time in a Super 8 Motel. Of course, she would never stay there again. Instead the next time she visits Louisville, Kentucky, she'll probably hit up the Seelbach Hilton. Enjoy.

[Photo: Caprig]

For a couple of years while getting my MFA through Spalding University's limited residency program I spent a lot of time in Louisville, Kentucky.

Each semester we spent 10 days in a hotel in Louisville. For the inaugural session of the program they put us in a Super 8 hotel. Not just any Super 8 Hotel, but one that happened to be located near what appeared to be a crackhouse.

It was noisy, loud and scary but both the visiting professors and students bonded as we chaperoned each other from elevator to room for security's sake. It was the last semester the program ever stayed there.

For the rest of my time in the program we stayed at the Seelbach Hilton, the grand old hotel downtown which was built in 1905. It was quite an improvement from the Super 8.

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The Hautest Bathrooms in Louisville?

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  Site Where: 700 West Main Street [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
March 12, 2007 at 9:05 AM | by | ()

Could it be? The New York Times may have finally found a great hotel worthy of writing about in its weekly Check In, Check Out feature. The 21c  Museum Hotel is in the heart of Louisville, and it's chock full of fancy contemporary art.

Artistry isn't limited to the Chuck Close hanging on the wall, though. The rooms sound nice, too:

Our river-view king room mimicked an efficient live/work loft space: a feather duvet and locally woven throw blanket covered luxurious 500-thread-count sheets; exposed brick walls played against brushed steel and neutral gray carpets. Road warriors will welcome the well-designed workspace with Herman Miller Aeron chair, wireless Internet service, a cordless phone and an anodized aluminum desk. Less productive types will flop down in the comfortable reading chair to unwind with the in-room iPod.

The 21c also has top-notch restaurant in Proof--it's got 60 whiskeys on the menu, though not all of them can be had through room service. Knock back a couple, and you'll have a ticket to the first floor bathrooms, which according to a bellman, have some of the best art in the place.

[Photo: NYT]

Related Stories:
· Check In, Check Out [NYT]


Like Living in a Museum

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 710 West Main Street [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
May 30, 2006 at 12:33 PM | by | ()

Last week we picked the 21C Museum Hotel as your 2007 Kentucky Derby stay. While guests were raving about the hotel's hip technology, blogger Crooked Timber gives us the scoop on the hotel's somewhat freaky artistic pieces.

Upon entrance, you almost have to step on the projection of two people sleeping in bed to get to the receptionists and/or the elevators to access your room....Big plastic red penguins are scattered across the building, not just in the designated museum section, but also in the hallways. I didn't care for some of the installations (like the film about a woman and a man having a seemingly pleasant dinner judging from their facial expressions despite the fact that mice are walking all over their food), but some of it was neat (like the falling letters on a screen where the viewer becomes part of the image)....The visit was much more fun than your usual hotel stay and it made me wish more hotels would put some interesting twist on the experience.

We also found a picture of this "interesting" sculpture that is found in the hotel's gallery. Normally, we would probably not want to see red plastic penguins and the birth of critters in our hotel but when you are stuck in Kentucky, this could give you something to do.

Related Stories:
· Heatherturnbull's photostream [Flickr]
· Planning for the 2007 Kentucky Derby Already? [HotelChatter]
· Museum Hotel [Crooked Timber]

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Planning for the 2007 Kentucky Derby Already?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 710 West Main Street [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
May 22, 2006 at 3:47 PM | by | ()

When Saturday's snail mail delivered up Travel & Leisure's Hotels Issue we got a bit overexcited--yeah, welcome to our lives.

The issue is chalk full of good glossy hotel info, but when we read the Viewing Rooms piece on 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, we realized this brand spankin' new hotel might just be worth of destination hotel consideration. Hotels that combine art and hospitality always pique our interest. Throw in the fact that this project is part of a larger, and judging from the photographic evidence on Flickr, rather successful revitalization of downtown Louisville and we were in.  

21C Museum hotel just opened in April, but already guests are raving about the service and the 42 inch flat screen plasma televisions. Let's be honest, giant plasma televisions help guests forgive most beta hotel service hiccups anyway. Now that the Derby is a thing of the past it shouldn't be all that difficult to snag one of the 90 rooms here if you are set to travel to Louisville in the near future. If you do go, take some photos and share them with us, will ya?

As for us, we are seriously considering booking a HotelChatter trip here for the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Despite Barbaro's horrific and tragic injury, which was really hard to watch, attending a Triple Crown race ranks fairly high on our to-do list. If you are thinking along the same lines, the cool girl at 21C said to call back "late summer" when they would begin accepting reservations for next year's Derby (May 5, 2007). Stay tuned.

[Image Via merfam/Flickr]

Related Stories:
· 21C Hotel Reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Louisville Hotel Coverage [HotelChatter]
· Travel & Leisure Hotel Issue [T & L]


The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved

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  Site Where: 335 West Broadway [map], Louisville, KY, United States, 40202
April 4, 2005 at 1:37 PM | by | ()

The Kentucky Derby is coming. If you have the funds, and want to do it up right, Bluefish Concierge has your back.

The 'fish will get you to and from the airport to the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. The Brown is a Louisville landmark that caters to Derby goers, as well as some of Louisville's favorite sons. In December of 2001 the Brown dedicated a suite to Louisville born boxer Muhammad Ali. No word on when/if the Brown will open a Hunter S. Thompson suite, or for that matter a Johnny Depp suite.

Getting a room at the Brown during Derby days is no easy task, however, if you go through Bluefish they will hook you up with dinner, sweet seats at the race, and plenty of Mint Juleps and Mimosas.

If you can't score a reservation at the Brown the first week of May you may want to stop by for a Hot Brown Sandwich if you get a chance--we hear they are worth the trip.

Related Stories:
·   Brown Hotel Reviews [TripAdvisor]
·   Kentucky Derby With Bluefish Concierge [Luxist]