21c Museum Hotels offer contemporary art experience

By: Katrina Gross ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of captivatist.com | The New York-based artist duo of Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, known for their labyrinthine installations, have created a colorful, shag-carpeted, wood-paneled custom hotel room at the boutique hotel in Louisville, Ky.

Travel is one aspect of millennial life that the majority of the generation may agree is appealing for a number of reasons. The freedom that comes with experiencing the culture and dynamic of a new city is one such appeal that has helped travel emerge as a trend with the millennials. Making short and frequent trips to various U.S. cities is worth the exploration.

Many hotel chains have noticed this trend and began developing cheaper and more hip boutique hotels in order to draw in customers looking for a unique hotel environment. One chain that recently jumped on the boutique hotel chain trend is the 21c Museum Hotel. Because of a few key differences, it is completely unlike any other boutique hotels currently running.

Founded and designed around the idea that contemporary art should be integrated into everyday life, 21c Museum Hotels takes the idea of life with art to a new level by having each individual hotel feature a complete modern art gallery with only 21st century art.

Since the establishment of the first 21c Hotel in 2006 in Louisville, Ky., four other hotels have been built in Cincinnati, Lexington, Ky., Durham, N.C. and Bentonville, Ark.

The 21c Museum Hotel chain received praise from a number of critics such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Travel and Leisure magazine. Each claim that 21c’s unique experience is changing the future of hotel travel while offering budget-friendly prices.

The main desire for the hotel chain is to create an extremely unique vacation experience that includes a strong artistic aspect. At the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, new media artist Brian Knep created Healing Tiles, which uses custom software algorithms to create a glowing pool of organic patterns on the lobby hallway floor.

The hotels exhibit art of essentially every medium from photography to sculpture and have collections rotate between hotel locations and other modern art galleries.

The 21c experience also includes a restaurant and chic bar with custom cocktails designed by the bartenders. Like the art galleries, the bars provide free entry to the general public as well.

The hotel offers travelers a truly unique experience that gives much more to visitors than a comfortable stay away from home or temporary escape from the daily routine.

The free art galleries and restaurants allow staying guests and non-staying guests of 21c alike to experience a mixture of good food and contemporary art in U.S. cities.