21c Museum Hotel: Louisville, Kentucky
Art and preservation often cross paths; last weekend I found them happily intertwined at the 21c Hotel in downtown Louisville.
Disclaimer: I received a discounted media rate at 21c Louisville but all opinions are my own.
Preservationists and art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, sought to reverse the trend toward suburban sprawl by renovating a series of 19th-century tobacco and bourbon warehouses along downtown Louisville’s West Main Street and transforming them into a 90 room boutique hotel and art museum. "Pairing this desire with a second of their passions, to make contemporary art a part of more peoples’ daily lives, the couple embarked on a journey to create both an economic driver for the community and an oasis where art challenges and amuses, stimulates conversation and provokes new ideas." via 21c
I'd read about 21c before and was thrilled to visit last weekend with some of our longtime Georgia friends that now live in Lexington, Kentucky. Ryan and I breezed in from Bloomington Saturday afternoon to check in. The friendly front desk staff got us set up with our room in a flash and snagged a brunch reservation at the hotel's restaurant Proof on Main for Sunday morning. We ventured upstairs to scope out the room and drop off our bags. We snuck a glimpse of the lobby gallery and enjoyed more art all the way to our hotel door, even in the elevator.
Our room was sleek and modern with lovely details like monogrammed julep cups, Nespresso machine (major points), and a beautiful city guide. Two cozy robes, rubber ducky, and a black light in the bathroom were a fun surprise.
We only had Saturday to spend with our friends so we set out on a mission to check out the local beer scene. More on that adventure later.
After a late dinner and drinks at Garage Bar (so good!), Ryan and I got back to the hotel around midnight and to my surprise and delight it was full of people. People of all ages and backgrounds were exploring the galleries, talking and laughing. Not your typical museum scene and it was really refreshing. We played in the instillation by the elevators for a few before calling it a night.
Sunday mornings are for lounging in my book. Before brunch downstairs, I relished a quiet morning with my Louisville Original Makers City Guide and a piping hot Nespresso.
After a brunch at Proof on Main (a must), we perused the galleries before heading home. The exhibits are rotate often and feature up and coming artists from Louisville as well as international contemporary artists. The museum is open 24/7, 365 days a year and free! Public docent tours are available most Fridays and Saturdays at 5pm.
Don't forget to explore the neighborhood around 21c too. Just around the corner is the Little Slugger Museum, Louisville Waterfront Park, and countless bars and restaurants.
Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson have created the perfect union between contemporary culture, old world hospitality, and southern charm in 21c Hotel in Louisville. I can't wait to visit again!
700 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202 | 502.217.6300
Check out 21c's other locations in Cincinnati, Durham, and Bentonville.