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21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY

21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY

Specialties

Nestled in historic Downtown Louisville, 21c Museum Hotel is a 91-room boutique Louisville hotel, contemporary art museum, award-winning restaurant and cultural civic center. As one of the most unique hotels in Louisville, KY, 21c offers one-of-a-kind experiences for guests visiting the area for business and leisure alike. Discover the plush amenities featured in our chic boutique hotel and enjoy a stay in one of our 91 luxurious guest rooms.

History

Established in 2006.

21c was launched by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, philanthropists and art collectors who had a vision for bringing contemporary art into people's daily lives and supporting the revitalization of one of America's historic city centers--their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

21c is woven into the fabric of the city and the downtown arts and theater district, serving as a gathering place where guests, artists, performers, and Louisvillians congregate for great food, innovative arts programs, and historic cocktails with a modern twist.

Art is integral to the character of 21c, which has 9,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring rotating curated exhibitions.  As North America's only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art of the 21st century, 21c's exhibitions are open to the public free of charge 24-hours a day, seven days a week and are complemented by a by a dynamic series of live performances and arts events.

 

Company Info:

Rating: 4.63

Address: 700 W Main St, Louisville, KY, 40202
  • Mon: Open 24 hours
  • Tue: Open 24 hours
  • Wed: Open 24 hours
  • Thu: Open 24 hours
  • Fri: Open 24 hours
  • Sat: Open 24 hours
  • Sun: Open 24 hours

Hotels in Louisville, KY
Museums in Louisville, KY

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Comments (144):

1. L. R.
Just finished a stay here.  We've stayed in hotels all around the country - the W, The Ritz, everywhere you can think of - this place TOPS all and every one of them.  I made our reservations last week and since then, their concierge has emailed me several times helping coordinate our visit - with suggestions for restaurants (we're vegetarian) to things to do.  Way out of the ordinary.  The check in process is great - filled with friendly faces and people welcoming you asking you where you're from.  The art work - fascinating - Kahinde Wiley, Chuck Close, heavy hitters here.  Art is everywhere you look, even in the basement.  We found penguins moved around in front of people's doors - obviously their friends playing tricks on them.  Everything about this place is so zen like.  The rooms have an I-pod for you use (where else would you see that) and a docking station, they send you chocolates nightly and turn down your bed.  When they come in to do this, they change towels and pick up your room for you (cleaning the garbage can out, washing your cup, etc.).  I really can't say enough about this place.  I think the bathrooms are ultra beautiful - so what if they have a shower curtain instead of a door - big deal.  The bathrooms are clean and sleek looking with great amenities.  We came out on our last morning there to get our car and it had a flat tire. Not a problem for the 21 C.  They rolled out a generator and pumped up the tire.  That's service!  From the minute you walk in until you leave, you know you're part of something special.

15/11/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
2. Cecilia C.
SUCH  a beautiful place.  I really felt like I was in NYC, not Louisville.  My sister got married in Louisville last summer and most of her guests stayed at this hotel so I had the opportunity to spend some time inside the bar and the museum.  It's all so entertaining and cool! Check it out.

23/12/07 | Link | Rating: 5.0
3. Jim G.
I got a chance to visit 21C as part of some family-related business. We had dinner nearby. The relatives were wowed and everyone got a chance to spend some time in the room as well as the museum area. 21C is a world-class boutique hotel in an environment that is interesting for both its historic context and the adaptive reuse of that space.

05/10/06 | Link | Rating: 5.0
4. M M.
Stayed here for a week on business travel.  It was such a relief to come back here after a day at the salt mines.  The rooms were luxurious, the staff was friendly and helpful, everyone seemed to be having fun, and the room service was the best meal I had while in Louisville!

27/06/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
5. Andrew K.
Forget the W. This is -- hands-down -- one of the coolest hotels I have ever stayed in. The 21C is no misnomer; it's truly housed in a museum with funky multimedia displays, and large plastic red penguins and segways out front. The beds are ridiculously plush and comfortable, the carefully selected, ever-trendy Malin and Goetz toiletries are divine, and the huge plasma screen TV certainly helped matters. The best service ever, including a delicious/gourmet bacon, french toast and cheesy grits combo that was thrown in (it won't break the bank even if you have to pay for it.) So what that the fire alarm went off at 2 am and the coffee maker was too high tech for 3 liberal arts college alumni?

13/08/06 | Link | Rating: 5.0
6. Gfiddy F.
Great rooms, and very stimulating art.

30/11/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
7. C L.
This review is for the museum.  Oh how I wished I knew about this place before planning my trip to Louisville, otherwise I would have stayed here too, budget be damned!

After my meal at Proof I was smitten. Any place that serves good food, eclectic drinks while playing Mustang Sally, Mos Def and the Clash deserves 5 stars.  Anyway, enough about the restaurant.  

I have to admit I didn't know about the museum attached to the hotel, and I am a modern art fanatic, so upon walking into the gallery I was blown away.  The museum features art collected by the owners of the hotel as well as other living artists of the 21st Century.  Photography by Mikhail Baryshnikov showcasing forms of dance in the Dominican Republic were on display along with a number of video installations, and sculptural works.  My favorite was "Text Rain" by Camille Utterback & Romy Achituv, and with this video installation you become part of the piece.  There were about 3-4 separate galleries within the space for solo shows, one of which featured an artist currently incarcerated in the Kentucky penal system.  There's also a cool space downstairs featuring additional works, and it looks to be a venue for special events too.

I adored this place for the simple fact that it was unexpected.  It really exposed my ignorance of Louisville, and I was so glad to have learned about this place.  I can't wait to come back, learn more about this city, and stay at this hotel!

12/11/07 | Link | Rating: 5.0
8. Sam J.
Great hotel, superb service, pretty good art collection on display.   I say pretty good because I live in New York and see great art all the time, but in these necks of the woods it's as good as it gets.    Restaurant is probably the best in town.  Pretty hip bar as well.   if you're coming to Louisville, and you stay here, you'll have no reason to go elsewhere.

14/08/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
9. Hannah H.
Stayed here while moving across country (Denver to DC...ugh 25 hours of driving). After a long, hot day in the car 21C hotel was an oasis. The art gallery in the lobby was fun and interesting. I of course loved the cool projection art by the elevators, I could have hung out in front of those all day! When we got to the room it spacious and relaxing - and since we were staying on a pretty slow night, they upgraded us for free. Sweet! I immediately hopped in the shower, using the peppermint shampoo and cilantro conditioner. I was afraid I would smell like a salad, but I smelled delicious and was totally relaxed. I wish I could have stayed here an extra night! A great hotel and highly recommended if you are staying in Louisville.

03/07/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
10. Naomi M.
"If this was an apartment, I'd live here." These were my husband's first words in our room. This is a wonderful hotel. The decor was NY loft. The bed was so comfy with a good assortment of pillows and super soft sheets. The towels were ultra plush. Kohler fixtures in the bathroom. Widescreen flat panel TV. Original art work. Everything was perfect. Every staff person we encountered was helpful and charming.
This was a stop-over as we drove back from the Westin Spa Resort in Hilton Head, SC and I wish we had just stayed at 21C the whole time. Well worth every cent.  

If at all possible, go down to the restaurant instead of ordering room service. The food from Proof is too good to let die as it steams it its little cover on its way to your room.

26/03/08 | Link | Rating: 5.0
11. Tim O.
I never thought I would discover one of the best hotels in the world in Louisville!  I came on a short business trip, and discovered that a wonderful hotel had somehow combined with a world-class art gallery and created a totally unique hotel.  Large wonderful rooms, and terrific restaurant in the hotel, and a stunning museum to wander after dinner.

26/10/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
12. Jen M.
My new favorite hotel.  I travel to Louisville frequently for work and I always look forward to staying at 21C.  It's artsy and fun.  They have ipods in each room and you can call ahead and they will create a playlist for you.  Uber cool.

The sheets and pillows are incredible but the mattresses suck.  They are springy like a Fairfield Inn mattress.  And the thermostat refuses to go below 68 degrees and the air barely comes out of the vents.

18/03/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
13. William G.
Very original in their concept and fairly well executed for the most part, probably the only reason for four stars instead of three.  It is in an old building that has been renovated and unless I just completely missed it, there was no swimming pool to speak of.  A rooftop deck/atrium would be stellar certain times of the year.

The fitness center/"spa" as described is on the bottom basement level and generally tough to find and not the most welcoming.

The concept is great, but generally I prefer more from a hotel for a leisure trip.  This would be a great spot for a night or two on business where you will not be doing more than sleeping at your hotel.

16/07/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
14. TJ U.
Great place to stay if your from a big city.... Trendy and modern

27/09/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
15. Martha H.
I cannot imagine a more chic and unique hotel. with the fabulous multiple floors of contemporary art, your stay is bound to be anything but dull. located in the heart of the ever-exciting downtown Louisville, 21C is a must-see, even if you're just going to grab a drink in the bar and look around the lobby.

20/10/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
16. Justin L.
This was an absolutely incredible hotel.  A really interesting concept by combining museum and hotel in one but makes for a lot of fun.  You feel like you're staying in a museum but not one of those stuffy, not fun ones.  The hotel is chic and has a lot of personality.  If you didn't know it, you'd think you were in LA, NYC, or Miami.

The room was excellent.  Very spacious, great furniture, nice bathroom and a super comfy bed.  These things matter *a lot* when you spend a lot of your life in hotel rooms.

I will definitely stay at 21C every time I fly to Louisville...

24/05/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
17. Jen M.
I stayed at 21C for business several times. It is a nice hotel, but certainly not the best property domestically. The rooms are dark and filled with West Elm furniture. If you need your daily dose of vitamin D...ask for an exterior room. There are much better hotel properties in downtown Louisville.  See it for the art, if nothing else.

21/12/09 | Link | Rating: 2.0
18. Joshua B.
Very fun hotel.  21C is on par with boutique hotels I've stayed at in New York and Miami.  The art is diverse and fantastic.  It's an outstanding contemporary art museum in the hotel basically.  There seems to be a focus on art that draws you in and invites you to interact.   The staff was attentive and genuinely friendly.  The main entrance is oddly cramped... but the rest of the lobby/gallery space is great.

We received an upgrade upon checking in.  The room was spacious and included a great, functional desk with an Aeron chair; free wi-fi.  Music and video art were playing when we arrived in the room; nice touch. Received turn down service (including ice) without having to request it.  The bathroom was on the small side and showing a little wear, but it was nice.

Would definitely stay there again.  Loved the art and the great vibes.

26/04/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
19. B K.
sitting in my room at the 21c hotel.  I just have to tell someone how cool this hotel really is.  It has the feel of "W Hotel" but with an art twist, which in my opinion sets it apart.  The staff is very friendly and accommodating.

They have a bed and treats for my dog, and a crib for my son.  Perfect.   Also ordered room service for breakfast.  Food was really good.

23/11/08 | Link | Rating: 5.0
20. Todd M.
The only downside of moving to Louisville was losing a good excuse to travel here and stay at 21C.

We enjoyed four stays at 21C over 16 months before moving to Louisville. The hotel showcases some really cool contemporary art, (it houses a notable contemporary art collection) including video art available on big screen plasma displays in the rooms, as well as in a viewing room off the lobby, and in the bar. The rooms are modern, with a clean design aesthetic and exposed brick on the exterior walls.

Besides the plasma screens, there's an iPod dock stereo in each room, and the hotel supplies an iPod with an eclectic mix of music. You can substitute your own, of course. The bath items are Malin+Goetz, which is a great touch. A single cup brewer takes care of basic coffee/tea needs. The concept is well thought out.

A couple quibbles. I like chilly hotel rooms, but 21C thermostats seem to bottom out at 68 degrees. Not cool enough for me, and that makes for fitful sleep. Also, I've noticed bad TV reception in each of the four rooms I stayed in. In two of the rooms, even the in-house video art channel was grainy and fuzzy. It's one thing to put up with that on a 10 year old motel TV, but on a big screen plasma, it's just not right. Some consultation with the cable company would make all guests happier. Don't expect to get much use out of the fitness room - it's in the basement and it's small.

In summary, room prices are reasonable for what the hotel delivers, the staff is friendly and is proactive about meeting your needs. Proof on Main, the hotel restaurant, is excellent. The bar is a true hotspot. The lobby bathroom was recently voted the second best public bathroom in the country, and while I'm not sure of the objective criteria behind that list, 21C does have a cool bathroom.

02/10/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
21. Alf A.
One of the most exciting spots in Louisville. The exhibitions are inspired and proof dishes out some the most creative pairings(leave the ketchup at home).

Even if you are not spending the night i would highly recommend touring the free galleries. 21c hosts some of the most inspired contemporary art anywhere.

24/09/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
22. Jay W.
Been hearin' bout this venue for a while and my wife and I decided to splurge and spend a night there enjoy the ambience, etc. It met all the expectations and hype, truly. The rooms are minimalist, clean, efficient and very comfortable. The lobby with adjoining art galleries impresses and relaxes all who venture into these spaces. What a great Friday night we had. Ofcourse, we had to walk down historic Main St enjoyiing the sights and smells as we went. The ratings and publicitiy are totally well-deserved!!

29/05/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
23. Raider J.
I luv this hotel....The best hotel in Louisville and one of the most artsy and trendiest hotels in the country..  Think of the W Hotel, but more artsy.

This hotel is a combination of an art musem on the first and basement floors and a cool boutique hotel with very trendy furnishings.

Great trendy bar and restaurant  that attracts beautiful professionals.....This hotel should be in NY, SF or LA, not Louisville.

30/03/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
24. Mary B.
My favorite hotels are the Four Seasons and the Waldorf Asoria. I believe I have been exposed to some high-end hotels and therefore, my expectations are exceedingly high. When I walked into 21C, I fell in love.  It has the service and care that a 5 star hotel possesses, while being amazingly unique. It is a modern art museum and a hotel in one.  All the artists are still living (hence 21C-21st century).  The design is modern, simple, and edgey. The rooms look like fantastic little studio apartments, with exposed beams and brick walls. The ceilings are high, the beds are comfortable... The bathroom was spacious and beautiful (and extremely clean). The restaurant next door, Proof on Main was amazing. Great food, wonderful drinks, and a vibrant environment.  And it has a cool history.  It was originally a slaughterhouse, and then a bank, and then a distillery.  It was by far one of the most memorable hotels I have ever stayed in.  Way to go Louisville, KY.  I love your hotel.

02/12/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
25. Debby D.
Nothing special about the room, the shower, the linens the towels the bed. Could have been a Marriott courtyard. The garbage trucks in the middle of the night and the loud party revelry coming in at 2AM in the corridors iced the cake on a Sunday night. Yes it's creative, and the art is unique, but a top inn or hotel this is not. A few tubes of different smelling shampoo body wash and conditioner do not make a top hotel, caring for guests and comfort do. The front desk staff was lovely, but can't make up for the sparse luxury. Our room was a luxury king at $319.. Same room at a local courtyard $109..

15/10/12 | Link | Rating: 2.0
26. Andrew S.
After many trips to Louisville over the last year, with glimpses of the 21C as it was being built from scratch on each visit, i had the opportunity to stay there just a few weeks after opening... Derby Week no less.

The place was ABUZZ with activity.

The 21C takes its name "Museum Hotel" very seriously. The wife half of the husband-and-wife team who developed the hotel is a member of Louisville's Brown family and her global upbringing allows the 21C to walk a balance between down-home Kentucky and cosmopolitan funk from the art adorning the walls to the video installations appearing around unusual corners.

You enter the hotel into a large art gallery, featuring curated shows, and at every turn, including the large 'museum' space downstairs, are pieces from Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson's personal contemporary art collection. Word on the street is that Louisville's residents are conflicted about the art --- much of which is provocative and further afield than community opinion might generally accept.

The bellhops and valets ride Segway scooters to and fro around the building, while the staff is highly attentive and friendly without ever being obsequious.

All of this is before you even enter your room, which is spacious, comfortable, and more alive with energy than anything thrown out by a W. Brick walls, a huge 42-inch plasma TV, a real work desk with Aeron chair, and high-speed wireless internet make it a great place to get work done, while the bathroom is stocked with amazing Malin & Goetz bath products.

Oh, and did I mention that the concierge calls two days before your arrival to inquire about your musical tastes? Why you ask? For your customized iPod Nano which appears on its own stereo docking station for listening pleasure while in the room.

The hotel's restaurant Proof on Main serves nouveau country cooking with Tuscan influences, and focuses on foodstuffs available through local farms and growers. The bar is one of the best hotel bars i've been to in a long time.

The 21C is reason in itself to travel to Louisville --- long weekend anyone?

14/06/06 | Link | Rating: 5.0
27. Kate D.
AMAZING.  We stayed here on our wedding night and it was perfect!  Unique, artful, fun, tasteful, luxurious.

01/07/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
28. Pam C.
Ditto to what everyone else has said. I highly recommend staying in one of their rooms one night even if you are a local. I slept so well!

30/06/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
29. Craig R.
This is a modern and hip hotel in the middle of downtwon Louisville about 1 block from the river and at the intersection of West Main and Seventh Street.  The hotel is funky and has art exhibits all over the place. The rooms are generously appointed and come with IPods with a pretty good selection of songs.  All the staff was super friendly and service was top notch.  The staff were willing to do just about anything we asked.  One of the exhibits in the hotel were these Penguins carved from recycled plastics.  We had them place one of them in the bed of one of our coworkers.  He was surprised when he arrived back to the room after a night out.  If you want a fun hip and centrally located place in Louisville this is the place.

01/07/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
30. Margie T.
The most creative, innovative and well run hotel I've ever stayed at.  It has a museum, gourmet restaurant, fabulous rooms, beds and linens to die for and outstanding spa services!  I'm a well traveled person and this was by far the best experience ever!  Now I want to beg them to come to downtown Tempe.  If you ever make it to Louisville this is a must experience!  You will not regret it.

16/06/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
31. Jason M.
Great hotel, lots of fun stuff to look at, the rooms are modern, clean, and well-appointed, and the staff is super friendly and helpful.

24/03/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
32. Teresa B.
This is place is definitely worth the stop..It's not necessary to stay in the hotel in order to visit the hotel....we stopped in only for a few drinks after a long day of shopping.  This place was hilarious.....a naked, crazy, zanie, off-the-wall, fun house.  By the way, this hotel was voted one of the top ten hotels in the world for 2009, 2010, and 2011.  As far as the details, I can only mirror the other reviews.   This is a total 5 star recommendation......enjoy!

25/11/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
33. Karen G.
This place simply smashing!!. Museum-hotel indeed,  conveniently located, near to Kennedy Museum, etc,etc.
Industrial brick look, neon lights, paintings,  photos, sculptures; all American artists.  When you get into the lobby it gives you an idea of gallery, but once you start walking the halls, amenities and rooms then you are in a serious modern art museum hotel.  Red Penguins, African sculpture, Smoke Rings and a  golden David; a mix of the Renaissance time with 21st Century pieces in a some 19th Century building or buildings judging by the halls and foyers,... I guess!
The hotel provides you with whole information about the art work  or collection.  I'm glad to hear that the Wilsons are planning to open another museum-hotel, this time can be in Tennessee.
I have to add that this hotel deserves 5* not only for the decor and art work, but for the hospitality.  Every single one of their employees were polite, courteous and kind during my business trip, thank you all.

16/11/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
34. Thameem K.
The best hotel I have stayed....period....I travel a lot and have stayed in many hotel but hands down, this is the best place I have ever stayed. The rooms are pretty big and the beds are just the best. It was difficult to sleep on my bed at home after sleeping at 21C hotel. And their Art collection is mind blowing ! Also the hotel has a sauna and steam bath, which was so relaxing. I woudl highly recommend this hotel, its an experience staying at this hotel for such less cost.

17/03/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
35. M. N.
Bring the money and enjoy the great service, good restaurant/bar, but above all the art, which could compete with most modern collections in any major US city. They brought a penguin to our room because we weren't totally satisfied with the in-room art - which wasn't bad but we were expecting more after walking through the rest of hotel before checking in. Staying here was one of the coolest trips we've taken and the fact that the hotel itself was our destination speaks volumes about what they have put together. We are already planning our next 21c trip ;)

10/10/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
36. Laura T.
This hotel is amazing, i think I will stay here the next time I am in Louisville.

07/01/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
37. Todd A.
I didn't even realize that 21C was named the best hotel in America until after I checked in here so I didn't go in with any crazy expectations.  Definitely a unique experience when you walk through the door with the art exhibits throughout the lobby.  This is a modern art hotel so clearly you are going to see some "art" that isn't quite what you are expecting.

I'll reiterate the rest of the comments - the men's bathroom in the lobby is worth a visit.  There's just something about peeing on two-way mirror turned into a waterfall.  It reminds me of the kind of thing you expect to see in Las Vegas.

My room was fairly typical in size, but everything is excellent quality right down to the soft towels and very high shower head (something rarely found in hotels).  I wasn't impressed with the comfort level of the bed.  It was fine, but nothing special.  I'm used to staying in the Heavenly beds by Westin, which are significantly more comfortable.

Great experience, glad I stayed here.

12/12/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
38. Pamela D.
Look, my wasted ass stumbled into this hotel in the early afternoon. My facilities were not about me as I entered the lobby. A nice man unloaded my suitcase from the cab, opened doors for me, and deposited me at the front desk where a nice lady handed me a room key and sent me on my way.

In the elevator I looked up, and was amazed to find I was in some sort of chasm. Or else they just have a really cool glass and light fixture up there. Whatever. Once in the room, I immediately passed out on the comfy king bed and woke up and hour later to explore.

Interesting concept, really. The room itself was sobering, and YES, pun intended! It was very comfortable yet strangely stark. Very devoid of art, which surprised me given that the hotel itself houses a museum. Though I can only assume that the purpose of this may be to force the guests into appreciating the art downstairs more.

Let's talk about being wet and naked for a moment, though, shall we? The shower....I can't. I just can't. My poor head still reels. It wouldn't work. I had to bathe in my own skin cells because I couldn't get the shower to work. And there is no fan in the bathroom, so after my skin soak, all I saw was a foggy alien-like person in the mirror and had to wait to put my face on! But, true story, all their bathroom goodies were nice.

I spent a large amount of my stay here in bed. I cannot stress how comfortable and QUIET the bed was. You know what I'm talking about ladies, you get a room and you're trying to get your bang on and all you hear is CREAK CREAK. And even if that happened here, you could just drown out that noise with the iPod and docking station in the room.

The icing on the cake, though, would be the red plastic penguins. No, I'm not one of those people on the penguin bandwagon. They seem like lonely birds that are no damn good at anything. What's so cute about that? Bitches can't even fly! But these red plastic penguins in the hallways....Tons of fun. Put them in front of other peoples door. Or be awesome and send them up in the elevator. Good fun.

Oh, and there's a bunch of art and stuff in the lobby. It's amazing. So are the bathrooms in the lobby. Peeing is like heaven down there.

19/08/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
39. Roy M.
Quite original -- a hotel and an art museum in one.  Cool, Hip, Funky.  Interior design is industrial chic.  Contemporary art everywhere you look.  Very entertaining.  Love those giant red plastic penguins that seem to move around when you're not looking.  Whoever put this place together was incredibly creative, with a great sense of humor.
The shampoo "flavors" were a bit too hip for me:  Cilantro-cumquat- asparagus shampoo?  Seriously, dudes. One drawback for us was the downtown location.  Turns  turns into a graveyard after 5 or 6 pm.  Otherwise, thumbs up.

23/07/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
40. Ebony B.
After a terrible experience at another establishment, this became my home in Louisville. It will now be the only place to stay while visiting this awesome city. It's THE place to stay, it's well worth the few extra dollars, and the experience is like none other. Do yourself a favor and stay at the 21C!

28/10/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
41. Katherine E.
Fantastic hotel stay! Upgraded to the "Just add Bourbon" package and enjoyed the truffles, bourbon, cocktails and breakfast. Service was top notch and hotel was beautiful.

23/07/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
42. Jessica D.
21C, I'm over you.

The first experience here was nice. We stayed in the corner suite, I ordered a large bouquet of flowers and some very nice Vosges chocolates to be delivered to my room before our arrival, arranged for a special dinner at Proof, etc. for our 3rd anniversary. The only problem this time was that the chocolates, which were shipped overnight from Chicago, had been put in the back behind the reception desk in the lobby instead of taken to the room and completely forgotten during the shift change so that we didn't get them until 10 pm that night after I'd already called the front desk twice, come down in person and asked them to check, and then called the chocolatier to ask if they'd even been sent. Totally 21C's fault.

The next visit, two years later, scheduled for our fifth anniversary, was TERRIBLE. I came in person to reserve the same corner room. I told the woman at reception that I was happy to take any Friday or Saturday date in June. All I wanted was the corner suite and a massage for 2 with female therapists for the hour before check-in so that we could be truly relaxed for our weekend away.

We arrived only a few minutes early for our scheduled massage, left our bags with the desk, and headed downstairs to a massage area that can only be called spartan. Tile walls, small stools in a hallway for waiting for your therapist, and a tiny room. Apparently, they couldn't find two female therapists, so I took the male to let my partner enjoy her massage in peace. The therapist was nice, but had EXTREMELY hairy arms, with thick, wiry hair down to his wrists. This ruined the massage completely because it felt like have someone run their beard on your oiled back for an hour. Or like a toilet brush. He was a great person, but if you perform massage services and are that hairy, you should probably wax or something. It was really disappointing.

Regardless, we left our massage and check into our room. For some reason, 21C had reduced the amount of art in the rooms. When we'd visited before, there were large pieces behind the beds. This time, there was a huge penguin poster up as a sort of place holder? That really brought down the atmosphere.

Then, we realized that the bed was broken. Like, the box spring was dead and the bed was hanging to the floor on one side. We called down to reception and asked them to send someone to fix it. This took almost an hour and took up a lot of our precious relation time. The fix was basically to stick a two by four underneath to hold the bed up. Yeah.

We went out to dinner on Market and watched the Louisville Pride Parade that was happening that evening before we returned to 21C to look at the museum space before turning in for the evening. Unfortunately, some kind of event was occurring that closed off the downstairs portion of the museum and Proof restaurant, meaning we could neither view the art in the lower level nor go into Proof for dessert and drinks as we'd planned. We returned to our room and called to inquire about room service for dessert, but they were running a limited menu due to their party.

We adapted to this problem, grabbed some snacks and juice from the minibar and attempted to wind down. Unfortunately, at 1am, the party was still going on right below us so that the comings and goings of the drunk revelers below entered our windows. At around 1:30am I called down to inform the desk that the party below was ruining both the romance and the sleep aspects of our 5th anniversary. The solution was to someone come up with us already undressed and in our nightclothes, have us gather our things, and move us to a much less enjoyable, inside facing standard room.

The noise died down, but it was now 2, we weren't in the room I requested, and never once, when I came in to make the reservation or when I checked in, was I told that a loud party would be taking place directly under my $300+ a night room. It was made clear that I was making arrangements for a special event and the only consolation I got was a gift certificate in a denomination that didn't cover the cost of breakfast at their restaurant (that was only good FOR breakfast), on a day the restaurant was not open for business, so that I would HAVE TO COME BACK in order to use it.

This place is run but complete incompetents.

10/05/10 | Link | Rating: 2.0
43. Bryan W.
Worth checking our even if not staying in the hotel.
A group of us were doing some geocaching around the downtown area and one of them brought us to this place (GC2D90K Raining Letters).
We knew we were in for something different when we saw the awesome red bedazzled stretch limo outside and the large red penguins above the door. The geocache had us explore nearly all parts of the museum and we took even more time to explore the rest of it on our own. There are some odd creepy exhibits here but some others are very cool and interesting. We loved the "raining letters" area where anyone standing in front of a certain screen can "catch" letters and spell words as they rain down on your image. The Cloud Rings exhibit was pretty awesome too...from two different perspectives. You have to check out the men's room too (even the ladies are invited to do so).....it's a very unique place to say the least!
So I'm not sure how good or bad the hotel portion of this place is but the museum area which is open free to all visitors is most definitely worth checking out when in the downtown area of Louisville.

18/06/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
44. Casey F.
This hotel defines the "boutique" hotel category. Ok, so perhaps it is the only true boutique hotel I have stayed in, but it is by far the coolest and most functional hotel out of them all, and I travel frequently.

The first time I came here, they gave me a complimentary upgrade to a suite. I was the lowest man on the totem pole on the business trip, and I got the suite overlooking the river, complete with a living room area, ginourmous TV, and dining room table to seat 8. The bathroom had both a stand up shower AND a bathtub. I think my bedroom in Boston is the size of the bathroom. Needless to say I enjoyed my one night in luxury.

I had the good fortune to return  to 21C last week. Service was impeccable (they even gave me a gift bag to use for the client's gift), my normal room was quite nice and spacious, and the art was as fun as I remembered. The desk in the room is great, and there's free wireless, always a bonus. Towels were soft and fluffy. The bathrobes were appreciated. I even took home a few red penguin odorless air fresheners for Christmas Tree ornaments.

The only downside - if you are in a room to the right off the elevators, you may hear some of the noise from the alley below, including trash removal very early in the morning.

All in all, i can hardly wait to return to Louisville, mostly due to this hotel. Ok, entirely due to this hotel. Too bad it's a pain in the a$$ to get there from Boston!

15/12/08 | Link | Rating: 5.0
45. Meghan B.
Plastic penguins, smoke rings, two-way mirror bathrooms, interactive video screens, mammoth type creatures with crystals in their dreadlocked fur....this place is out of this world and a must-see just because it's unique.  

I can't comment on the rooms, but the museum part is crazy and impressive even for people like me that aren't big fans of contemporary art.  Sure, the gigondo portraits of Victorian children that look like they belong in horror movies terrified me, but I did like the large metal tornado that takes up two levels.  One thing I didn't really get was a room where you could watch a video of two naked avatars standing across from each other in a doorframe and other avatars dressed like dominatrixes walking in and out between the two jay birds.  Guess that's too profound for me.

The best advice I have is to make friends with the doorman when you enter the hotel and just explain that you want to look around.  The doorman I met today was so friendly, explained how to get to all the exhibits, and  he let me see the coolest room there....THE MEN'S ROOM.  That's right ladies, I walked into forbidden terrirtory today.  (Oooooh, ahhhhhh!)

So, the women's room on the main museum level has two-way glass which definitely caught me off guard as I was drying off my hands and realized I was looking out into the hallway I had just come from.  

I have to say that the boys got the better end of this deal (not surprising...they never have lines and get the cooler bathrooms) because in the Men's Room, the urinal is actually a WATERFALL that takes up an entire wall...AND...the wall is made of two-way glass!  This borders on the edge between being creepy and being awesome, but I weigh it as more awesome.

10/08/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
46. Lis F.
Beautiful environment and upscale contemporary rooms!  We loved it and would def come back

11/08/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
47. Dan K.
Conde Nast Traveler's readers recently rated this as the best hotel..in the WORLD.  Now, I would not go that far, but it's pretty sweet. Being from Kentucky, I was nervous about something trendy taking over the downtown area (4th st Live..) and taking away from the charm of the Galt House, but this hotel has it down!

The art, the decor, the rooms, the service...I love staying here.  Anyone who doesn't is just too hard to please, as the staff here is wonderful.  Could not be better!

21/12/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
48. Chris C.
One of a kind hotel.

Stayed this past weekend and would do so again.  My ONLY complaint is the size of the room.  I got a room with a king sized bed, and it was probably only ~400 sq. ft. or so of space.  And that might be generous.  

Positives:

1) Staff is very helpful and polite.
2) Restaurant nearby (Proof) is great.
3) Upgrades in the room are noticeable - the soap they provide you with retails for $10 per bar on that company's website.  
4) Comfy bed with nice sheets.
5) Complimentary wireless.

Would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to stay in a contemporary hotel while in Louisville.  If you are more of a fan of "old money" types of hotels, then the Brown Hotel is probably a better fit for you.

23/05/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
49. Bernadette M.
I arrived in Louisville on a Friday morning without a room - knowing that with the number of hotels available surely one of them would have availability. Normally my instinct might be to stay at the Brown or the Seelbach but I haven't heard such great reviews about them lately...it's a shame to see such historic/beautiful landmarks not stay up to date and in good repair. Fortunately, I checked the reviews on Yelp and I was educated on 21C. The reviews for the most part were very high and so I decided to give it a go. It didn't hurt that Art is involved and my daughter is an Art major but that's a side note.

I live in San Francisco, I have traveled the world and have stayed at some beautiful hotels who also offer amazing service. I have also stayed places where the service was more reminiscent of a Motel 6. When I used to travel for business (2 weeks out of the month), my list of requirements were reduced to: Please just have a good bed, a decent shower and good food - you don't have to be beautiful, you don't have to have exceptional views just give me what I need to at least make the next few days bearable. 21C was exceptional on all counts. It was not what I would consider beautiful but it was very "cool." The style is ultra-contemporary but with an "above cool" air about it. The rooms are incredibly spacious and nice - loved the bed, the shower (amazing!) and the food...I have never received such yummy food from room service in 15 minutes!! The restaurant (The Proof), was also very nice. I ended up inviting my guests there to have dinner with me instead of going someplace else. Above all of this was the GREAT service...people were friendly, helpful and they just gave you a good feeling.

I can't wait to stay there again!!

20/07/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
50. Chad A.
Awesome hotel, superb staff, good food. Stayed for two nights on a business trip, and almost wish they'd turn this into a chain, but don't think it would work out well.

Great rooms, the room I stayed in had a large walk out balcony.

Only downside is it's a non smoking hotel, which is ironic considering the plaque on the front of the building identifies it as the former tobacco bank.

19/02/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
51. Sarah L.
This hotel is awesome. The art galleries in the lobby and beyond are such a fantastic feature -- very engaging and well curated. The front desk was off the charts helpful. We ended up deciding to stay overnight after eating at Proof, and since it was almost midnight and the hotel wasn't full, we were treated to a corner suite at a reduced rate. The staff helped store our bikes and find local bike routes. We ordered breakfast room service, which was prompt, delicious, and reasonably priced.

The room was one of the best I've stayed in, and the overall experience was extremely memorable. Loved this place and looking forward to coming back to Louisville and enjoying 21c hospitality again.

06/09/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
52. D C.
Wish I could give this place six stars.  

The Cuban exhibit in the museum is outstanding, really interesting.  The room was great -for what it's worth, my king room was enormous (room 417) and the bed was amazing.  The bath products are so good I bought some on my way out.  

Wish I could say the same for Proof, the restaurant, but god I went there twice and every dish we had was tragically soaked in butter and riddled with salt.  It was tough to eat unfortunately.  Too bad cause it's a great atmosphere.  Oh and the bar did a nice job- I highly recommend the pimms cup if you need a break from bourbon.

Love this hotel-recommending it to everybody.  The restaurant ?... Maybe it was a bad two days....

27/05/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
53. Ingrid C.
RED PENGUIN.

EVERYWHERE.

I love contemporary art, so it was great being able to wander through the galleries all through the night.

I got put up here while I needed to interview for a job.

I loved:
- exposed brick in the guestroom
- contemporary decor
- scalpel and scissor chandelier above the elevator waiting area on floor five
- cloudmaker (and all the art, in general, even though I snickered at some)
- Proof downstairs, to feed me after I got in sort of late
- 21C julep cups

Seriously, because of this place, I want my own julep cups engraved with some awesome design on them. And my name.

I wish I could've stayed here longer than one night.

28/05/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
54. Kesshann C.
I highly recommend this establishment. We were in town for 4 nights and had a great experience. We got into town early and were well received with a last minute early check in. Lunch was lite and delicious. Parking is convenient if you decide to self park. Client dinner was a hit. Bar is well stocked. The art on display is exceptional. They didn't miss a single detail. Can't wait to go back to Louisville.

12/01/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
55. Christyn K.
Had my bachelorette party here. TOO FUN. This place is definitely one of the coolest places in downtown Louisville. Envision an art museum, restaurant, and hotel, all in one!

ART: super interesting and modern. Like woah. Crystal Skulls (before the stupid movie, that is), red penguins, interactive exhibits, graphic design, sculptures, movies, etc. The exhibit could easily vouch as a whole independent museum that is well worth the trip if you are into modern, eclectic art. I only say that because I am not sure Louisville as a whole is ready for such rad art. Well, get ready, Ville!

HOTEL: super plush and fun. Staff was even super accommodating to my bachelorette madness and the "visitor" my maid-of-honor had arranged to visit us, if you know what I mean. Though I was embarrassed, the staff didn't seem to be! Our room was large enough to hold our little party, and to my surprise, no one called in a complaint about the noise we were making! The room came with some great amenities, including a plush bathrobe and an iPod deck :)

FOOD: Breakfast in bed is always the best way to start the day before your wedding :) Yummy granola and fruit, authentic grits, perfect service!

OVERALL: Great Louisville location (ie right next to the Slugger Museum); great staff; great valet; great option for anyone you are hosting in Louisville and need to impress ;) I'm a fan!

Thanks for adding some extra chic to Louisville, 21C :)

30/04/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
56. K. D.
Staying here was like an acid trip!  I knew we were in for something unique when we saw the red penguins perched on the front of the charming brick building.

I was here for a business trip, not pleasure, but this hotel by far more than made up for the severe lack of fun I was allotted on this journey.

I went up to my room shortly after checking in, and the maid was just exiting my room.  I keyed myself in, dropped my things and became aware of very soft music.  I walked farther into the room, where there was a bathrobe and throw spread across the bed, and I could now hear it was "Sexual Healing" playing on the iPod that at this point I thought someone left in the iPod dock...  I started to panic, thinking the staff had made a mistake and put me in someone else's room.  I opened up all the drawers and closets and finally became satisfied that this whole deal was just another part of their "uniqueness."

I freshened up briefly and exited my room only to find a 3 foot red penguin standing in the hallway...  these things are lightweight and apparently get kidnapped so people can do god knows what with them in the privacy of their own rooms, lol!

Onto the rest of the hotel...  there was artwork of some form around virtually every corner in this place.  From a tornado of "found art" reaching from the main lobby all the way down to the basement floor, to the "painting" of the brooklyn bridge done almost entirely with fishhooks and nails, to the chandelier made with nail scissors, and trees made of gym shorts.

The bar was hit or miss, but you must try their house-made tonic...  absolutely delicious!

This is definitely a must-see spot if you are ever in the Louisville area.  You don't need to be staying there to enjoy 90% of the fun.

23/04/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
57. Harry E.
Unless you are traveling with kids, I would recommend staying here.

Awesome art, even in the men's room.

Spectacular bar and restaurant.

Wonderful attentive staff.

If this were in California or New York it would be twice the price.

The rest of the reviews are accurate.

23/01/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
58. Mike F.
I didn't get a room, but I hung out at the real chilled out bar for some cocktails.  These folks know what they are doing as far as mixing some really good shit! With a decent selection of liquors and beers you can lose hours of your time here at the bar or walking with your drinks through the museum. I say go for it!

29/07/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
59. Mike G.
Strikingly beautiful with thought provoking art throughout. Together with perfect service and comfortable room, a memorable stay.

13/01/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
60. david h.
Little bitty penises and rubber ducky's. Those were my two initial and lasting impressions of the 21C Hotel.

When I checked in there were statues of young boys and girls in all their glory right behind the reception desk.

Rooms are way cool. Not an optimal use of space but its not my hotel so what do I care? The bathrooms are cool but not functional. There's no place to put your toiletries. Oh well, if that's the worst thing that happens, we're doing okay. Plus, every bathtub comes with a complimentary rubber ducky. How cool is that?

The service was great. The beds were comfortable. The museum, bar and restaurant make this the kind of place you don't have to leave to have a good time. I'm going to be telling everyone I know about the men's room in the lobby. You'll just have to pee for yourself. Doh! Long story short, this might be the coolest place I've ever stayed!

Smiley face and a star.

29/07/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
61. Zachary Sam Z.
I didn't stay at the hotel - this review is just for the contemporary art on display outside and in their lobby area.

It was amazing to be able to walk off the street and just enjoy the art. The Cuba Now exhibit was really interesting, and I was really intrigued by the Landslide: Every Tree Tells a Story exhibit that was in a room off to the side. It's a great way to lose yourself for an hour while in downtown Louisville.

Don't forget to check out some of the exhibits outside as well. The Cloud Rings in the alley, the 21c Pip Mobile stretch limo... wow. Neat stuff on display outside.

In closing, I love the red penguins.

25/09/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
62. Tim B.
my niece and I had the opportunity to stay here during Forecastle festival in July and had an amazing experience. The room, the museum and it goes without saying the incredible service you get here that makes you feel special. The attached restaurant and bar has great food and drinks and equally excellent service. It was not cheap but I would have to say it was worth it and did I mention the awesome service. I would stay here again for the festival next year if it wasn't for the distance from the venue and the lack of good cab service or other transportation options downtown with a festival of this size.

20/11/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
63. Jesse F.
This is one of the coolest buildings and art galleries I've seen in some time.

I would have liked to have stayed at the hotel over, but the price tag is a bit $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. You get the picture.

And pictures you will see galore in the gallery. 21C had a very, very interesting if not very strange installation from a up-and-coming artist when I visited on President's Day.

It featured an alt-universe boy's school in a post-apocalyptic setting. Very surreal stuff but deeply engaging. Would have liked to seen more.

That said, you do see A LOT. The hotel certainly doesn't scrimp when it comes to filling the gallery. With 2+ floors of space for the gallery alone, you're getting an eyeful at no charge.

Next time I'll have to stay here if I have the money. Would have liked to try their food too.

It's definitely worth the stop to see the gallery if you have the time.

13/03/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
64. Chris A.
Stayed over Thunder 2012.  What a fun hotel!   There is an art gallery attached, and the feeling of modern art extends to the hotel areas and the rooms.  Fun even though I don't always get "modern" art.

Guys - definitely check out the Men's room on the main floor.   Coolest urinal *ever*.

Part of the art are 4 ft tall red plastic penguins that "roam" around the hotel (sometimes showing up in hallways or even in guest rooms, though one did not make an appearance in our room during our brief stay - one was in the hall outside one night though).  Other penguins are attached to the building on the outside.   The video installation in the elevator lobby was also fun, which was good because there was sometimes a jam waiting for elevators.  The stairs are not accessible unless there is an emergency, so you have to use the elevator even if you are on floor 2.

The room itself was very comfortable - appropriately sized; our room looked out onto an interior courtyard which was great because we could sleep in without sunlight coming through the blinds.  Tall shower - the tallest I've ever been in, in fact I normally throw the washcloth and wet towel over the curtain bar to dry but I couldn't in this one because I couldn't reach it.  Flat panel TV with cable and turndown service.   Wifi was accessible; it seemed a bit slow at times, and required frequent re-authentication (but always worked).

The staff was extremely friendly (and not in that obsequious "I have to be nice to you because you are paying" way, but very genuinely interested in providing top notch customer service).   Valet is pricey but worth it downtown during a big event like Thunder.  Bath products were very nice (and included shampoo, conditioner, body wash & lotion).  Would definitely stay here again.

24/04/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
65. Ronnie F.
Stayed 2 nights over Thanksgiving period. My third stay in as many years. I get the feeling standards are slipping - maybe focus has become diluted as the franchise has expanded? 1. they checked us into a 2nd floor room directly over the restaurant.  Room smelled like cooking oil.  There was no problem changing rooms but why would they try to get us to stay in a problem room?  If you aspire to be a top hotel you shouldn't do this kind of stuff; 2. Only one of the room key cards worked. 3. Coffee/tea from room service (expensive) was lukewarm on 2 occasions;  4.  pork chop I ordered in Proof on Main was bony, full of cartilage/gristle - hardly any meat.  They took it back and comp'd me but that's not the point... 5. Turn-down service knocked at the door, We were napping so ignored it.  The kept knocking until we came to the door and told them we don't need it!.  6.  there was a problem with TV reception throughout our stay which they couldn't fix. I think the whole hotel was affected.  Offered us complimentary drinks.  Couldn't get CNN etc all the time we were there.There were one or two other small issues/problems but on the plus side all the staff we've ever encountered at this hotel are excellent. Apart from the pork chop problem (and it was a real problem) other meals were v good and staff at Proof on Main were great. The reason for four stars despite problems? Great room, great staff, great location, interesting/edgy art displays and 21C is probably the only game in town in Louisville.  They need to re-focus on the details.....

09/12/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
66. Sebastian C.
Love this hotel/ art museum! The men's restroom has the coolest wall! It has a glass waterfall wall that you pee on and can look out and it's mirrored on the other side so people can see out but people cant see you! Women's restroom just has a mirror that you can look out. Not as cool.

07/01/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
67. Alex K.
I came here my first visit to Louisville, and now I take all my friends and family on theirs. I've never stayed in a room, go figure since it is a hotel, no I go for the art, the bar, and the interactive bathroom.

Proof on Main, the bar is super swanky and fun for day drinking if you need a pit stop after showing off the river on your way to the Giant Slugger on the downtown section of your L'ville tour.

But lets get to the meat of 21C. Their bathroom. It's a sick pleasure of mine watching my friends visit the back gallery just beyond the bathrooms for the first time. I chuckle to myself as they eye themselves in the floor to ceiling mirror making slight adjustments, or even better, fully stopping and stooping in close to fix some makeup or straighten the eyebrows. Why is this funny? Bc on the other side of that one way mirror a man is watching you while he pees. That's right, the urinal IS that mirror, and it's an instillation piece of art. The point is to expose yourself in a certain way, and trust me from experience, you get stage fright trying to pee while people are seemingly looking directly at you hahah.

14/10/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
68. Christine D.
Named the #1 Hotel in the world, 21C is actually not just a hotel but an interactive art museum.
I've never actually stayed in the rooms, but the lobby of 21C is open to anyone who wants to wander in and check out the exhibits. By exhibits I don't mean some paintings on the wall. When we first walked in there was a video playing on the floor and it showed a man and woman sleeping in a bed. Stepping over that you are greeted very warmly and encouraged to take your time.

Favorite things to see were the letters that flowed down a wall that you could "catch" on your arms. It's hard to describe. You just have to go there. Also, the mens bathroom. Ladies, wait til it's empty and go up to the urinal wall where water is flowing and you can see out to the hallways where people are walking by! The ladies bathroom has a bunch of eyes that follow you and that are actual eyes of blind dart throwers.

Okay, i'm not going to give it all away. So, if you're in Louisville you should definitely stay here or at least just walk in and check it all out. It's pretty impressive. I enjoyed how kind the staff were and was amused the entire time. Check out my photos- it really is pretty cool.

18/10/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
69. Monica H.
This might be my favorite boutique hotel in America (North & South).

Incredible toiletries (Malin+Goetz). A knowledgeable and accommodating staff. Great art on display throughout the museum. This hotel never misses a beat.

The rooms were big and comfortable. CHANNEL 2 has art videos on all the time! That is a commendable touch. Fully stocked mini-bar - watch out it's one of those mini-bars that senses when you remove something. So check your bill upon check-out in case you put your leftovers in the fridge! King size bed room is as big as the rooms with two double beds.

Food is great at Proof, the hotel restaurant. The bar in Proof stays open till about 1:45-2A on the weekend when we were there.  Great hang for big groups. The hotel lobby couch is also a delicious place to relax with or without a drink.

The red penguins that travel around the hotel are fun to move around. It's worth the nightly rate. This hotel is top notch!

14/11/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
70. Anastacia B.
Stop everything. Make a random plan/excuse to stay here just because it could be the coolest hotel conception EVER.

Where else are you going to stay that has a red penguin that is going to greet you in your room? Okay i get that isn't a reason to stay at a hotel but that is just the beginning...Where else are you going to stay that has Malin+Goetz bath products? Ummm okay that would be enough to grab my attention but you also might NOT want to leave the lobby because when you walk through the doors your adventure starts. The lobby is jam packed with art installations, even the elevator area is an experience. Oh that's right the hotel is situated on TOP of a modern art museum! Great show during my stay.

My pops was with me and we had dinner at the Proof on Main. Super local, super good food. Except my dad's soup was cold and that's enough to make him dislike a joint, the man likes his soup freaking hot- alls I'm sayin. The cotton candy ender didn't improve his mood.

I'm yearning to return here and I'm really thinking I need to take a spin in the hotels bedazzled limo...yes it's true!!! You don't make things up like this.

19/04/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
71. Brian C.
I gave them a second chance.  The stay was completely flawless.  What I would've expected in the first place.  GREAT job on the clean-up guys!

12/06/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
72. Johnny W.
One word, Awesome.
Got a chance too stay the night here and there are endless things I could say about it.
Although I did not get to try Proof everything else about this place was pretty rad.
Alternating installations and attention to detail, everyone was super nice and helpful
I was pretty stoked too have the option of having cookies and milk brought to my room at night.

*Beware of the red penguin*

27/02/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
73. Samantha F.
My husband, his parents, and myself visited the museum one weekend afternoon after my husband and I had heard a lot about it.

They had some really interesting exhibits, but a lot of the art work they had hanging up wasn't that great. It was mostly photography, all taken by the same person, and all had just been Photoshopped to have the person multiplied in each photo.

I really hope they get some new works soon, we would love to go back.

04/05/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
74. Eric M.
Nice hotel. I enjoyed my stay here. Didn't know what to expect at this place but all turned out good. Room was nice, bed was comfy and parking was right next door and was under 10 bucks for the night. This place is definitely different than most hotels, wasn't really my style but I can't knock it for that, it was still nice. It is much more contemporary and I'm more the traditional style. Museum in it was pretty cool. Very close to the Louisville slugger museum only minutes away. Many food choices within walking distance also. Overall very nice hotel worth the money and deserves 5 stars.

19/08/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
75. Denise M.
This was an amazing hotel.

A wonderfully modern hotel with a contemporary decor. Well trained, amiable and knowledgable staff. The art museum downstairs is a wonderful place to walk through with a glass of wine or pass time while waiting for dinner.

04/05/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
76. sarah s.
This is a free museum - and it has some great digital media pieces. Just stop in if you're visiting this tourist area of Louisville - staff was incredibly friendly. I am definitely going to stop here again when I'm in the area. Don't forget to check out the restaurant - they had some incredible work in there as well.

11/03/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
77. Amanda M.
My husband and I were able to secure an awesome price at 21C for our wedding night.  I have been to the hotel many times to see the art exhibits but this was the first time I've actually stayed.  What a beautiful place.  The rooms are more than comfortable and uniquely decorated.  If you are a fan of art, you will love staying here.  The bed was so comfortable and it was very hard to leave the next morning.  

The customer service is always wonderful and you have to love the red penguins!  If I ever have the chance, I will definitely be staying here again!

14/05/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
78. Michael N.
Awesome.  I almost wonder if it's pointless to review this place in light of all the positive reviews.  Stayed in the artist-designed kaleidoscope room (cyclone room?) in the basement.  Nicest room I've ever stayed in.  Hysterically funny fake book titles inside a sealed glass case.  Artist-curated vinyl selection with antique phonograph for your listening pleasure. Room done in reclaimed barn wood.  Psychedelic themes throughout.  So cool.  Nice staff.  If this hotel were in NYC these people would probably be assholes.  Some controversial art on the walls, which you might not expect in the South, and frankly they don't give a damn, and neither do I.  Go to the bar - killer bourbon flights.  First rate all around.

02/09/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
79. Emily S.
We shared the octopus! Yum. We also shared the clams which were undercooked. The staff was amazing and quickly fixed the problem. The reason we went there was someone had sold my husband on their vegetarian options. There was 1? Maybe 2. The museum is amazing! So is their mint julep. Go for the art and cocktails.

05/10/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
80. Pug M.
This hotel is awesome!  I heard about this museum hotel before I went to Louisville, but unfortunately it was packed (maybe because of the Truck Show, or maybe it's is always packed).  So I only visited the place.  But it's awesome!  Loved the red penguin, and the water drop sculpture!  (the one with a projector and water-dripping sound)

I thought the store can be more interesting.  I hope they sell some red penguin key rings or other small animal sculptures, because I really wanted some.  They only had a big (candle stick size) penguin sculpture made of china, which was too big for me since I was travelling.

24/03/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
81. Rachel E.
We didn't stay, but we wandered through the art gallery. Every nook and cranny is stuffed with an awesome collection, some by local artists. I loved the tornado sculpture, perforated paper images, smoke ring machine, and the haunted dollhouse charcoal print. Definitely worth visiting.

20/06/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
82. Danielle W.
This place was the venue for a New2Lou event on a Sunday evening this month (December).  

The main lobby was designed in a typical modern fashion and the sign-in table was posted at the top of a staircase where you could get a great view of the party beneath.

Two galleries were connected to the venue room and were open for viewing which made for great entertainment.

Appetizers were provided: I tried all of it needless to say.  Sliders, fries, cream cheese with a beet mixture and bruscetta, and bratwurst.  An all American assortment I'd say.

New2Lou was celebrating their 3rd anniversary and the party was hopping!  The only downside had to be the acoustics.  Just too loud for a conversation unless you took to the galleries.  The sliders were DRY, but they had great potential.

I'll have to give this place another try though, I've heard good things- but minus two stars for the burgs and the sound.

16/12/12 | Link | Rating: 3.0
83. Brian G.
If you'd like to adopt a giant plastic red penguin named Chad he usually hangs out at the bar in the hotel of 21c.  Really, the place is one of a kind.  I stayed at 21c several years ago and came back again last week and the magic was still there.  21c is definitely a bright spot in the Louisville social scene and a more sophisticated one, which is a nice contrast from the sophomoric shenanigans that happen on 4th Street.

No doubt the 24 hour museum attracts crowds as much as the lively bar scene at the hotel.  But the hotel staff and the hotel itself are equally memorable.  Every component of the hotel is surrounded by some type of art, whether it is the view from the amazing men's restroom (ladies, do make it a point to check it out) to the elevator to the art that's posted in your room.  The staff is incredibly helpful and on point with the best restaurants in town as well.

Whether you're fortunate enough to stay at the hotel or just sipping some bourbon at the bar, 21c is definitely a place to spend some quality time.

27/09/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
84. Jeff M.
Great Hotel.  Very Quirky.  There isn't one inch of this hotel that isn't interesting.

F&B were great and the spa facilities were quality.

26/02/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
85. Elizabeth R.
This hotel rocks!!

The artwork is so cool, I feel cooler just by being in this place.

The rooms - sweet! Mine had gorgeous brick walls, and the bed was really comfortable. Plus, the bathroom had a little rubber duckie in it. Awww.

The Gallery event rooms downstairs were fantastic, as was the event staff, the event manager, Lori (who I tried really hard to make life difficult for), the food, the doormen, the front desk staff. Seriously! Everyone in this place embodies customer service at it's very best.

The restaurant attached to 21c has great food (try the bison burger - yum!) and a really extensive and fun drink list.

Overall, one of the nicest hotel experiences I've ever had (and this was a work trip, I wasn't even there to enjoy myself)!

14/11/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
86. Matt F.
They have a House car that is a limousine with about 70,000 red glass beads glued to it. They have red penguins throughout the hotel, even threatening to jump off the roof.

In fact, one of those red penguins is sitting on the desk as I write this review. Don't believe me? Check out the pic. I had to turn off the monitor because the light was freaking out the camera and putting the poor penguin in a shadow.

Let's see...awesome car to ride around in and red penguins surprising you around every turn. Anything else I need to cover?

Oh yeah, the rooms. They're swell, too.

Seriously, this just might be my favorite hotel in the Midwest. I've stayed all over the region; Chicago, Indy, Cincy, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Omaha, and this is one of the most fun and unique joints I've found anywhere.

I was also entering an elevator here once at the same time Chris Robinson was exiting. I wanted to tell him I was staying at the hotel but I figured that would just make him "jealous again."

17/11/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
87. Donna M.
Stayed here for one night and wished it could have been longer. The art is such a great treat and we found whimsical little surprises everywhere. The rooms are large and comfortable. Bathrooms are also spacious with fun touches like a rubber duckie in the tub. The staff is super friendly and not stuffy at all. They went above and beyond for is more than once on our short stay. I hope to visit again soon!

14/04/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
88. Dan G.
Methinks the lady doth protest too much!

We just wrapped up another perfect stay at the 21C, which was our fourth since they opened. We've never had a single problem. It is great, and I feel well justified with that assessment since they just won the 2009 Conde Nast Reader's Choice Award as Top Hotel in the US. It kind of reminds me of a combination of the W and the MoMA.

Rooms are sleek and modern. They are spacious and include a desk and lounge chair. Bathrooms are modern and include great smelling Malin + Goetz products. They have huge plasmas and preloaded iPods and radios so you can rock out. Modern spa with sauna and steamroom and gym with free weights, treadmills and elipticals for your use in the basement.

I also love the art and the little touches like the rubber ducky in the tub and the Red Penguins everywhere. You enter the lobby into their modern art museum. The art is trippy and the black light room makes me feel like I'm back in school and up to no good. The hip Proof restaurant and lounge is just off to the right. That looks to be the best scene in town, and you can get White Dog with your bourbon flights. Even the bathrooms in the lobby are really cool with a waterfall two way glass wall. We met a couple that was having their wedding reception in the lower lobby that must be an excellent setting. I've stayed at a bunch of high end hotels and the 21C is right up there as one of my favorites. I look forward to it every time we get down to Louisville, and I just love the penguins.

17/05/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
89. Jan W.
Stayed at this lovely property for a La Spinneta Wine Dinner.  First good impression was when the Manager of the restaurant in the hotel (Proof on Main) called us up to make sure we knew there was a special rate at the hotel for anyone attending the dinner.  Since we had already made a reservation at the normal room rate, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we would save money!

Second good impression:  pulling up at out front and meeting Manny the doorman/porter/valet/all around nice person.  He helped with the bags and offered to take them up to our room while we made our way to a local restaurant so that we would make the 2 pm cut off time for lunch.

Third good impression:  being greeted by name by the Managers/Sommeliers at Proof and then having one of them bring over the winemaker (from Piedmont, Italy) and introduced us.

The good impressions never really stopped: from the restaurant server who didn't just give us directions to Gallery Four for the reception, but insisted on walking us there;  to the desk staff and restaurant servers at breakfast who bent over backwards to insure that everything, simply everything, was to our satisfaction.

All in all, have never been in a hotel where the staff at every level was more attentive, friendly and helpful!   In addition, the room was absolutely lovely and the wine dinner spectacular!   Manny was also on duty when we left and he brought us two cold bottles of water for the road - outstanding service!

The fact that there is also a magnificent art gallery in the hotel and beautiful art pieces on every floor just adds to the attraction.

18/07/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
90. Chelsea M.
21C is a fantastic hotel! The art exhibits are always interesting and the rooms are clean, luxurious and very comfortable. I recently rented out a corner suite for my wedding- bridal party getting ready and wedding night. It was wonderful! The staff is accommodating and friendly. We had a very unfortunate incident, where the limo we had hired to take the bridal party around town for photos, never showed up. Lucky for us, 21C let us rent their red bedazzled limo on the fly and didn't even charge us for the full time that we used it. They really saved the day! Love 21C, can't wait to stay there again!

05/08/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
91. Natasha N.
Beautiful hotel! The artwork is captivating and the cocktails enhance the effect. I greatly enjoyed the gin and house tonic, the Italian 76, and the Helium Fizz.

30/01/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
92. David L.
The place is unique, well thought out and the staff well trained. The corner suite we booked as part of a package was fair value, with lots of space, a very comfortable bed and not too much room clutter. The only disappointment was the bathroom as the shower heads were rather basic and the bath an insult to tubs! In a top of the range room with a separate tub, I expected a tub you could soak in, but all we really had was an over sized shower tray. This I might expect in a SPG or Hilton...but here it was a real letdown.

Another minor point...which really did not effect our stay...but we were looking forward to after reading the website...original artwork on our suite room walls. What we got....paint and bugger all artwork...not a picture in sight.....no pictures at all! If you declare you are offering something then do.

The other issue we had was the noise from the street. When the place was constructed I would have hoped that good insulating glass could have been provided for the windows. One is in the city staying at a cutting edge place. You book a top of the range room and are woken enough to use the ear plugs that I provided. Plainly noise has been commented on before so why not put complimentary ear plugs in the room???? If airport hotels can insulate...why wasn't it designed here?

I should state that I own and run an award winning small inn and do have a high level of expectation and can be critical as well as offering genuine praise, but I provide ear plugs as some of our room locations are noisy. It shows an attempt at offering a solution that does not cost the earth.

Overall the staff as has been mentioned before are very good, efficient and not up them selves. The red penguins that move around the hotel are amusing and cannot help but make one smile.

Would I stay again...sure, but I would seek a room away from the street, which i believe the suites cannot offer?

Oh the ground floor toilets....in particular the mens are worth a visit. Here the architect had a sense of humour and it works!

21/05/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
93. Missy M.
My significant otter and I planned a weekend getaway to Louisville and decided to stay at 21C primarily to enjoy meals at Proof on Main. Also, guard penguins. Safety.

The otter had the car valet parked and service was speedy and friendly. We checked in and headed up to our room. Art is just about everywhere. In the elevators, in the halls, covering the tissue boxes.

Furniture in the room was comfortable, and there is plenty of lighting. There is a nightly turn-down service and they restock the ice.

The bathroom is a good size, with shower only. The toiletries have yummy scents like peppermint, rum and cilantro.

Our room included a mini-fridge with sodas, booze, Pringles (what? you don't keep your chips in the fridge?), and an intimacy kit (don't get snarky about the latter on FB if you're linked to the venue. lesson learned).

21C's location is near many museums, restaurants (but, ya gotta go to Proof) and  the "Yum! Center" (the sheep get dressed up like one another and flock here).

The otter and I enjoyed our stay and are discussing a trip to Cincinnati to check out the new 21C and Metropole.

16/01/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
94. J.J. B.
Didn't stay at the hotel & didn't eat at their restaurant (Proof), but was intrigued by the huge gold David statue, red penguins & red rhinestone-covered limousine out front.

Loved the artwork inside - very unique - gift shop was also cool - love the fact that you can view the art at all hours.

Restaurant seemed very pricey & staff (both at restaurant & hotel) seemed a little snooty in that annoying hipster way but I didn't let it bother me.

Would definitely go back to check out what art they feature next if/when I return to Louisville.

12/10/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
95. Sarah S.
We recently got married. Because we are not beach people and we love contemporary art, we booked our honeymoon for the cyclone room in 21c. My first tip: if the cyclone room is open, book it. You will never look at a hotel room the same.

Our experience was nothing short of complete magic. I wish I could list all of the details they completely nailed. The staff were the perfect mix of professional and chill. None of that fake "at your service" veneer, but they were seriously at our service 24 hours a day.

Then there's the art. Oh my. Their chief curator--whom I had the pleasure of meeting--has done an exceptional job with acquisitions. She also has an amazing way with words. The descriptive placards are probably the best I have ever read--accessible, intelligent, careful, tight.

I can't say enough about how much I love the mission, the model, the mode of execution. I have told nearly every person who will listen that they should immediately fly or drive to Louisville and spend a weekend at 21c. This is definitely at the top of my what-to-do-with-my-tax-refund list.

04/11/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
96. Sandy H.
Although I have never slept here. I have been several times. I have been in the rooms as well. Well, a King Atrium View. Beautiful. Love it. Love the style of the floor and how it seemed rustic yet modern. The Art in this place is just phenomenal.

27/03/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
97. Leah T.
With the economy the way it is, my husband and I now usually opt for short weekend jaunts as opposed to big vacations. Since we live in Lexington, that makes Louisville and 21c PERFECT for us, so we go here for special occasions:

-We spent our wedding night in one of the beautiful balcony rooms.
-We spent the last night before one of my husband's month-long European tours in one of the regular rooms.
-We spent my birthday in the "Asleep in the Cyclone" room, and since that was last night, that's the room I'm jazzed to review right now.

Move over, Ace Hotel Portland (which I also love), because WOW.

"Asleep in the Cyclone" is nothing short of amazing. It is an art exhibit that moonlights as a totally functional and comfortable hotel room. Everywhere you look there is interesting psychedelic-style artwork carefully chosen by the artists who designed the room, including a "cabinet of curiosities" featuring totally made-up book titles, authors, and bizarre pieces. There is a theme here, and if you are paying attention it is as artistically rewarding as a Joyce novel or Basinski record.

There are big, comfy pillows tossed about on different little nooks throughout the room. You can perch on one level and watch TV if that's your thing or perch on another or another with a glass of wine to get a better view of this amazing room. And while you're enjoying your wine and the cabinet of curiosities, you can also listen to records on an old-school cabinet phonograph--there's an artist-curated collection that compliments the room's Drop City vibes quite nicely. I in fact highly recommend the Alice Coltrane and the Pearls Before Swine for your magical evening.

I took pictures, but I'm not posting them. Because you need to see this room for yourself.

Don't book this room if you're in town to shop or be out on the town, but book it if you want to enjoy a night in--an atmospheric, psychedelic hang and a totally immersive art experience.

And please--don't turn on the TV.

29/06/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
98. Billy D.
Sleek, modern architecture with a unique, inspiring, thought provoking, and diverse modern art collection. The men's bathroom is not to be missed.

We weren't staying at the hotel but buzzed in to check out the art. It was well worth the time. I can't believe that it's free. Slightly pretentious, but people were generally nice. Cool gift shop.

I'm going to make this a stop every time I'm in Louisville.

27/02/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
99. Eliza R.
The 21c Hotel and Museum is a serious American gem.  The concept of a contemporary art gallery combined (that is free to the public, no less) and a posh hotel is genius.  I have only visited the museum portion and adjoining bar/restaurant, but I was impressed by the quality and variety of art in the gallery, as well as the caliber of drink and food.  Wow. So many cool interactive exhibits, too, like the eye balls that watch you in the bathroom as you wash your hands to the raining alphabet near the elevators.  I can't even imagine how awesome the rooms are... I am going to save some money to stay there in the near future.  Totally worth it.

19/12/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
100. Wendy S.
This was one of the best hotel experiences I've had in a long time.  I couldn't believe my luck stumbling across this gem.  

There is something just extraordinary about being able to wander around an exceptional museum in your hotel lobby at 1am.  Seriously, how cool is that?

The room was nice -- not fireworks, exactly, just a great room, bed, amenities.  I suppose I could evaluate it in more depth, but the museum is the star of the show.

We did have a nice meal (with an exceptionally dismissive and irritating server) at the restaurant.  Yum to fried kale!

11/07/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
101. Lillie O.
A wonderful experience. The hotel is contemporary in the best way, yet it incorporates the most intrinsic, old-school attributes of successful hospitality. While I did not have time to fully explore the art installations, I sincerely enjoyed those I came across. Why not fill a hotel with quirky art that makes you think? I really enjoyed the chocolates on my pillow, the luxurious robe in my bathroom, the genuinely friendly and accomodating concierge, the Nespresso machine, the complimentary WiFi and NY Times, and the constant, rich integration of modern art. I WILL stay at 21C again. Just fantastic!

23/10/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
102. Gary S.
As others have said, a delightful and unusual boutique hotel. Great art - of course, but also stylish design, comfortable rooms, excellent customer service. A pleasure to stay here!

12/04/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
103. Joes L.
In all of my travels from Beantown to Barcelona, 21C in Louisville is by far one of the coolest places I've ever stayed. Stylish interior, gourmet food (including the room service), free wifi and the friendliest, hippest staff.

I was lucky enough to check in on Halloween and see the employees' creative and ghoulish costumes. This place is awesome.

04/11/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
104. A C.
I visited Louisville with a work conference this weekend really appreciated this place. Love the idea and while I didn't stay here I would be interested in doing so. Restaurant was amazing. Art was cool.

22/05/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
105. Melissa M.
I stayed at the 21c in Louisville over a year ago and was thoroughly impressed! The staff was super friendly and helpful. The hotel design was fantastic--from the rooms, down the lobby areas, exhibits, and even the elevator area with the live camera projection. I loved that the fitness area was open 24/7, including the sauna. Couldn't wait to come back so I had to book a room for my upcoming weekend trip. Last time I had an amazing dinner at Proof with bourbon flights and platter of cured meats. This time I may just check out the bar. Hoping the 21c doesn't disappoint the second time around!

16/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
106. Allison H.
Scored a room for a decent price at 21C at the last minute, when I decided to stop in Louisville on my recent road trip. I kind of wished I had not been so tired and harried from traveling, it would've been easier to enjoy the place.

Everything is super modern and gorgeous, my boyfriend and I kept commenting that we weren't sure we were cool enough to be there. The layout of the gallery is inviting and the space flows very well. Took some time to walk around all of it even though I was tired, and I'm glad I did.

The room was nice - exposed brick wall, cool chairs and lighting. Only minor complaints were the below average water pressure and the bed was kind of hard, didn't feel as high quality as everything else did. Our iPhones (on Verizon) had barely any signal up in the third floor room. Had to rely on the wifi but I kind of expected that considering the type of building it's in. It was better in the lobby/gallery and near windows.

Overall it's an interesting concept that's executed very well. Very impressive, Louisville.

26/12/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
107. Alan R.
I love this hotel.  I just wish that I could get back to it more often.

01/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
108. J K.
This hotel could only be better if winning Derby horses were available for carriage rides.

19/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
109. Henriette B.
Fun, fabulous and quirky boutique hotel!  The staff is super friendly and courteous.  What is not to love about fun modern art! (Ok, so their recent display behind the check in counter is a bit bizarre)  I loved my luxurious room with soft robes, bed and espresso maker.  If I am fortunate enough to return to Louisville one day, I would certainly stay there again.

16/07/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
110. Pam S.
I am a fan of boutique and unusual hotels.  Sure, it's nice to accumulate points that really don't get me anywhere as far as hotel stays go, but there's always something wonderful about staying in a hotel that has something unique around every corner.  

If you have the opportunity to explore every corner, which I did not.

When I got a job offer in Chicago and started the process of packing up my life (and my cats), I mapped out a somewhat unusual road trip to take from DC to Chicago.  Instead of going through states I had already been through on my first cross-country move (this now makes #4 very large life change move), I decided to go through two states which I had not yet visited (i'm on a mission to hit all 50- I'm at 33) by traveling through WV and KY.  When deciding where to stop, I looked at either Louisville or Lexington, which were roughly an hour apart.  I settled on Louisville solely because of this hotel, picked because it is pet-friendly.  

After a long morning of watching movers pack up my belongings, I stuffed my Mini Cooper with the rest of my life (and the cats) and headed west.  And kept driving.  And kept driving.  And kept driving.  Let me tell you, West Virginia and Kentucky are DARK states.  There is nothing out there in the middle of the night.  I felt like I was in a horror movie.  One of the cats was not too thrilled either as he peed on a bag full of blankets.  

When I finally roll up to 21c at 11 p.m. at night, I was greeted by an adorable man in his early 20s, who was quite understanding that a) I was moving, b) I was carting two cats in a large carrier and c) that my car smelled like pee and would he be so kind as to valet it.  

Upon entering, I was welcomed by cheery staff undeterred that I looked like hell and that I had far too much crap for one person for one night.  They all said hello to the kitties and we were up in our room.  And what a room it was.  Much more spacious than some chain room and of course the art made it that much cooler.  Frankly, the room was HUGE.  The cats and I settled in for the night (I slept like a corpse) and after the best eggs benedict I've ever had (they have some unique, delicious options for room service) as well as a shower with delicious smelling products we were up to continue on our journey to our new home.  At least we were after I dragged my tuxedo cat out from under the bed.  

The gentleman who brought my car was also understanding about the clusterfeck of me and pets, and we were on our way.

Bottom line- I want to go back to Louisville just to stay at this hotel again.  It's THAT good.

07/04/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
111. Sean H.
Great art gallery/museum.  

Lots of fun works that pushed the envelope creatively without being too far out there.

Be sure to visit the bathroom.

06/07/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
112. Rich R.
Incredible place. Words can't describe it. Better than the W. Spacious. Unique. Definitely a boutique-hotel feel without the pretentious posh. No skinny jeans required.

09/02/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
113. Melanie K.
WALK THROUGH REVIEW ONLY

I have never stayed at the 21c hotel, but have attended many events here. The exhibits are always great conversation starters and thought provoking. There is a lot of open space with modern cut and shading to give you that artsy vibe.

There are two main gallery floors then you have to take elevators to the roof top or hotel rooms. The main gallery floor entrance area is connected to the Proof on Main bar and restaurant. Most events take place on the basement level that has an open central area with four smaller spaced rooms connected.

The Customer service is astounding. I have never roamed the halls without some staff asking me if I needed help or to order a drink from the Proof on Main bar. During events there is always plenty of staff to help with questions, creating cocktails, cleaning up, or serving appetizers so that the event feels effortless.

I insist that you always check out the restrooms and downstairs black lit felt room.

05/10/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
114. Diane B.
This was a unique hotel for sure. The hallway on the floors had very modern and cool pictures of female faces with big red lips. One wall in my room was a brick wall. Definitely different.

With all that said it didn't really make it special. It was novel but didn't do much for me. My internet didn't work. When I called the operator they said they reset the server or something and could have someone call me. I just wanted to send two important emails quickly to clients and go to bed. I had been up since 4 am. I work in technology and didn't want to spend 30 mins. on the phone with some tech support person. Wasn't worth it. Then in the morning the water was cold...fortunately I was only driving that day and could take a proper shower at the next hotel.

The cool stuff is fun but for the business traveler in particular you need the basics taken care of first. Next time will stay at the Marriott.

21/07/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
115. Laura B.
Very creative concept botique hotel.  We looked around the galleries and had a drink at the bar/ restaurant called Proof.  Had a very relaxing and fun time.

24/09/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
116. Jonathan E.
i really enjoyed this relatively small meuseum.   and it's free!  recommended.

14/07/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
117. Joe B.
Walk Through Only....

We walked through and checked out the artwork.  There were some really nice exhibits on display.  We enjoyed the time we were there and really liked the ring smoke exhibit.  Nice plays and looks like a nice hotel.  Would recommend.

28/12/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
118. Bdog B.
Are u kidding me.  
1. Event staff took everyones 1/2 to 2/3 FULL cocktail drinks away all night long when we weren't looking.  This was absurdly ripping off the person paying for their event tab BY THE DRINK.  
2. The catered food was OK.  Nothing special.  The food at the beginning was undercooked and cold.  
3. We turned down the AC in our room from 68 to the lowest it would go 64 and the temp never went below 71.
4. We were told a roll away bed would be charged $ and told their wasn't one available all in the same nonsensical conversation by the night manager who was extremely rude on the phone.  
5. We were told the bar and room service both had food until 1am and then we're told by the bar they didn't have food at 12:30.  Room service never answered at 12:30.
6. We waited at least 30min to get a taxi.

08/09/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
119. Candi B.
I could not think of anything else to ask for in a hotel! From the chocolates on the pillow to the cookies and milk we ordered to the room, the comfortable beds and the awesome art, to the friendly staff, everything was great. Money well spent!

01/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
120. Kristin A.
I would be far take the trip to Louisville to visit this place again. Whimsical and allows you to bring cocktails inside the museum to stroll with at your leisure. Also doesn't hurt that its attached to a great bar/restaurant called Proof. Very unique and worth the visit!

03/03/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0
121. Rachel F.
Since I have now had the immense pleasure of staying at the hotel, I wanted to update my review to reflect that.

We had a wonderful staycation in downtown Louisville that was simply 21C and dinner at St Charles Exchange. It was classy, relaxing, and such a great way to spend a night out/in.

The room was plenty big, cozy, cool art (varies from room to room), and a solid mini bar. The bed was like sleeping in the clouds and we ended up spending half the night watching movies and drinking wine not wanting to get back up from the heavenly comfort.

The staff was beyond incredible. Friendly, helpful, and seemed genuinely happy. Not a shred of judgment when I managed to check out and leave before realizing I intelligently left my phone in the room. And the door was politely held for me with a smile each trip in and out.

And a couple weeks ago I got to check out the new suite downstairs designed by an awesome pair of artists from top to bottom. Literally. Even the ceiling was incredible. I never knew carpet could be so badass. Or so all encompassing. Pretty sweet. Nicely done 21C.

02/09/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
122. Elizabeth H.
I came to see the gallery and stayed for a cocktail (or two!).  This is a place you have to stop in on your way through town if you are a visitor or it is the place you should take your next date if you are a local.  

The art gallery is open 24 hours and it is a great gallery that is a manageable size.  The bar Proof makes great drinks and you can bring them with you while you look at the art.  

Be sure to look around for art everywhere.  The red penguins outside, the bathroom, the elevator. There is art everywhere.  Enjoy!

28/03/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
123. Victoria D.
I'm going to just list the highs and lows.  Love the artwork!  Bartenders are extremely friendly and very good at their jobs.  Loved that the iron has an extra long cord.  Love the rubber ducky in the shower.  Wish there was a tub though.  (The tub comment was the worst thing I could come up with.  Well that and the price of the room.)  If you can afford $300 a night then it's the place to come.

15/10/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
124. Hannah T.
The museum inside of the hotel is a great destination in the Ville. The curator has great taste in my opinion. The art is fresh and edgy without being too over the top so it appeals to the wide audience. It isn't a huge collection so it only takes about an hour or two. So it isn't overwhelming for people who don't like museum. PLUS ITS FREE!

03/01/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
125. Burma N.
I really liked the acamodations. I, however, was very pleased with the hotel resturant. It was over priced and that tasty.

04/02/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
126. Tara L.
I finally had a chance to stay here and I can say, the experience lived up to my first taste of the museum, hotel and restaurant.  It had been some time since my last visit, so I was happy to see brand new exhibits as well as the familiar quirks and oddities that were present the first time.

When I first arrived, I decided to catch some of the playoff game in the hotel's bar while doing a little work. It was the perfect atmosphere for what I was looking for - a little energy but still low-key. As the game went on, I was pulled further and further away from work by interesting conversations with other business travelers, a television celebrity as well as the super cool bartender. The night ended with us having a mini dance party in the falling letters by the elevator.

I was also happy to find a room larger than I expected that was clean, comfortable and with very subtle (but still quirky accents.) Everyone can use a rubber ducky in their shower and there was a Mint Julep book and cocktail shakers, just in case you wanted to get jiggy with the mini bar.

Breakfast was also much better than I expected and very reasonably priced. My scrambled egg whites were perfectly pre-salted, my bacon was thick and flavorful and my coffee was served with cream and a few lumps of brown and white sugar.  

But the topper is when I checked out. I randomly forgot to bring a brush, but since I was wearing my hair back, it was not in full panic. When I went to check out, I asked if there was a nearby drugstore to pick one up and to my surprise, they gave me a complimentary brush in a cute little bag like magic. (First hotel to ever give me a bristled brush!)

So yea, basically my stay here only solidified my love for the place. Best hotel in Louisville and one of my favorite, ever.

14/06/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
127. Libby T.
Decent cocktails, great art, and a cool vibe adds up to even more than the sum of its parts. One of the most fun nights I've had!

I would stay here in the future, but if you're in town, a visit to the bar/museum is a minimum.

31/03/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
128. David R.
Oh, this is a hotel?  I hadn't noticed.  I was driven here by a local and got only as far as the swank bar.

Don't let the coolness intimidate you, though:  the clientele here seems like a pretty cosmopolitan mix of people.  Besides young urban clubgoers, heavily bearded and flanneled hipsters, and square middle-aged business travellers, there were at least a few normal people like me.

And our server was super sweet.  Do you know what was not super sweet, but rather just the right amount of sweet?  My drink.  They have an outstanding cocktail here called Late Harvest, with rye, allspice liqueur, and a couple of bitters.  It's a perfect wintertime libation.  If you like straight whisk(e)y, they have a wide selection that goes beyond bourbon into rye and scotch territory.  I got to sample only a couple before it was time to stumble home.  But it was a memorable Saturday evening.

11/03/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
129. Phoebe L.
After a long business meeting, i was referred to 21c by a local (since I am not from Louisville) and I was very happy with the selection. My sister and I ordered the Cauliflower 'steak' sandwich and the brussel sprout salad. Both items were really great. Being from NYC, I am slightly biased that we have the best food in the world but this place definitely meet, if not exceed my expectations. The modern museum inside is definitely a plus and makes the whole decor very impressive. The doorman in front was so awesome, along with the bartender (bc we sat at the bar for lunch.) Cheers to Louisville, good people and good food!!

18/03/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
130. Jeanie J.
The service was impeccable, the bed was luxurious, the art was fabulous and the atmosphere/ bar was hip & fun!
What else do you need?
Fantastic boutique hotel, it's a must stop in Louisville! We will definitely be back!

24/04/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
131. Christina G.
We came here for a wedding (didn't stay here) so I can only review 21c as a venue and art gallery.

There is a ton of modern art, from the moment you walk in the front door. Some exhibits I liked more than others, but all of it was interesting.

As for the wedding space, you go downstairs from the lobby into another part of the museum. Yes, there was art there too on the walls of the 3 rooms we had to ourselves during the wedding. There were 2 bars set up, which was plenty. After the initial rush during cocktail hour, we never waited more than a couple minutes in line.

The space itself is very pretty. Clean, white walls that really showcase the art. The red penguins really are cute too.

Friends stayed at the hotel and they said they really liked it. I'm glad I got to check this place out while in town.

23/06/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
132. Naiying C.
OMG, this is probably one of the coolest hotels I've stayed at. It's a hotel and museum, what can be better!? there is also a restaurant and bar attached! When I visited downtown Louisville during the weekend it was pretty dead so it's GREAT to have a place like this where everything is at one place.

When we went, we got an upgraded to a bigger room. YAY. It was spacious, clean and we were greeted with chocolate on the bed.  Their bathroom goodies are fabulous! It's actually smaller versions of the shampoo and etc. sold at their store, so if you love it enough you can purchase larger versions.

I guess one thing that was a little annoying was finding parking but all in all, great place to stay/drop by!

09/01/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
133. Jen B.
A free museum in the bottom of a cool hotel?!?!?! Yes, please! What a great find to explore with my daughter for an hour or so. I'd go back as the exhibits change as well.

14/01/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
134. Bill J.
Nice hotel in downtown Louisville that has the added bonus of being a small art museum.  The art is literally all over the hotel and it's definitely worth checking out...you don't need to be a guest to see a large portion of the art work.

Our room was spacious and clean and the front desk staff was very friendly and efficient. The hotel was originally a warehouse and they've kept some of the original support beams visible, which is interesting when compared to the overall modern feel of the the hotel. We weren't in our room for long, but it was very comfortable and I would definitely stay here again.

The restaurant at the 21c is a hot spot and we enjoyed our dinner there.  Don't overlook this hotel if you are planning a stay in Louisville.

05/01/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
135. Kathy V.
I have never stayed at the hotel, but I have visited the museum many times. And I absolutely adore it!

It is free to walk around and take in all the exhibits. They change their exhibits, I think, about 3 times per year. And there is *always* something interesting to see. The staff has always been friendly and helpful.
If you are looking for something to do as a local, with a visitor, or you're bored and downtown....stop by! It's worth the time!

23/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
136. Nichole K.
This place is amazing.

We stayed here while experiencing the bourbon trails and this hotel was everything and then some.

The restaurant that is attached to the hotel was a nice perk. I went down the next day after sitting at the bar the night before and they already knew my drink and by name.

The museum is a really nice touch to the whole experience as well. It's really nice to have access at all hours to avoid the crowds and revisit favorite pieces.

The hotel is located downtown which made getting around convenient.

Out of all the traveling I done, this has been the most unique hotels I've stayed at.

Thank you for a wonderful experience, 21c!

14/10/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
137. Kristie T.
How have I not reviewed this place before?  I've been a few times now, but I think I must've just reviewed Proof.  I love 21C.  I dear friend introduced me to it first and we went back again to entertain some out of towners and then went back one more time on my own.  I love the art work and it changes frequently.  This is a must place to check out if you're in Louisville.  Residents and visitors.

10/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
138. Emily E.
All kinds of awesome.  Be sure to take time to search out the random penguins throughout the hotel and to visit the exhibits on every floor.  It's expensive but definitely worth the experience.

17/02/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0
139. Suzanne B.
As someone who was born and raised in Louisville, I know it's easy to forget some of the gems in your own backyard.  21c is one of those gems.  I knew it was there, I had wanted to visit, but just hadn't made it out until recently.  

Boy have I been missing out!  I'm so glad I was able to make it there recently and see the place -- it's pretty impressive.  Rotating art exhibits give visitors a reason to come back and see what may be new.  The theme while I was there was Cuba, and the museum featured works by many Cuban artists. The works had a purpose, often juxtaposing something familiar (eg: high-end name brands) with something less familiar (eg: the high-end name brand printed on an image from Cuba's past). One of my favorites from the exhibit, was a candle with a light cord and plug attached, but exhibited far away from an outlet.  This was intentional, as the artist married past and future technology with no way to use either of them (no match, no outlet -- the light can't work).

The hotel is connected to Proof on Main, so if you get an appetite while you're there, you can pop next door for a little something to munch on. I had a slider and some fries, both of which hit the spot for a traditional burger and fries. Still, the garlic/parsley flavor and perfect texture on the fries, along with the seasoning on the slider patty (oh, plus the bacon!) made it something special instead of just a "meh" meal.

I'll keep my eye out for the next exhibit at 21c and you can be sure I'll head down there to check it out!

31/08/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
140. Megan M.
What a great place to stay. Three nights of bliss in a comfy, contemporary room with a posh atmosphere and luscious bed.
My bathroom came with plenty of space, a tall drinking, robe and was perfectly accented with a rubber ducky!
The staff always smiled and acknowledged while offering assistance. Not once did I find anything out of place. They really hold to high standards here.
Around the property are red plastic molded penguins that are pieces of art themselves. They are the real residents on site, and add to the unique character of the property. You'll find them in pairs, or solo, looking out windows, waiting outside your door, or riding up and down the elevator.

Proof, the in house restaurant, served a yummy spread for our crew while we stayed. (Breakfast only)

The oddest thing? Pigeons.
Yes. Pigeons.
They're inside. They're party of an art display. The irony of pigeons inside this hotel really comes to light after the first night. Stunning rooms, impeccable decor and tidiness- never could you convince me without my seeing them, that pigeons would be anywhere near this hotel!

The doorman in the morning was so nice, and personable. There's always one person that goes above and beyond, he's the guy. Very outgoing and friendly, always smiling and prompting good conversation.

While I'm not sure how often I'll find myself in Louisville, if I come back, I won't stay anywhere else!!

20/08/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
141. Kelly P.
21c is a go-to spot for me. I work downtown, and I frequent this place. The museum is wonderful, because it gives you a place to walk around, experience beautiful and interesting art, visit with friends, or just spend your lunch hour. The art exhibits change frequently, so you'll never get bored. Plus, they have a cute little gift shop in the front, so it's a nice place to pick up interesting gifts.

I've stayed in the hotel once. I live in Louisville, so a couple of friends and I got a room here just for the experience. Our room was nice, but it really wasn't everything I would have expected for the price we paid for just one night. Of course, you can always expand your budget and get a really cool art installation room. I'm sure those are awesome!

Now, on to the food. There's a restaurant inside 21c Museum Hotel called Proof on Main. It is amazing. Levon Wallace is the executive chef, and this man is a genius with food. Do yourself a favor and go check out something he's created. You'll be happy you did! You don't have to go to the museum or be a guest of the hotel to dine here, so check it out for dinner if you're ever in the downtown area. They also have amazing breakfast/brunch that I highly recommend. Of course, if you are a guest of the hotel you can dine here at almost any hour and you can even order a package that includes fresh cookies and milk to be delivered to your room. Heaven.

I'll leave you with one last bit of delicious information. During the summer months Proof on Main brings a gelato cart out onto the sidewalk in front of its doors on Main Street every Thursday. It's called, of course, "Gelato Cart Thursday." They have the most to die for flavors (Like smoked vanilla and toasted marshmallow, spiced chocolate peanut brittle, and blackberry lime sorbet. Yum!) and you can step right up and enjoy a small sample spoon of each. Once you decide what you'd like you get a hefty scoop for $3.00. (But remember, cash only!) They put up information and a menu on their twitter page: @proofgelato. If you're hankering for some gelato now, or on any day other than a summer Thursday, they also offer it inside the restaurant. Enjoy!

17/12/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
142. D R.
Very cool museum/hotel concept!

I stayed here three nights and the room was spacious, comfy and generally on the upper-echelon of hotel experiences. While I only had breakfast once in their attached restaurant, it was done well. The staff was fantastic and deserve nothing but the highest kudos.

Would certainly check out 21c when in Louisville again. Just watch out for the constantly migrating red penguins!

30/01/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0
143. Heather D.
One of my favorite spots in Louisville. I love stopping in here. Free to look around; no charge. They get some really interesting exhibits too.

When you walk in there's a gift stop to the right and check-in for hotel to the left. And blue meerkat statues. And red penguins, of course. There are a few big exhibit spaces upstairs and then several more exhibit spaces downstairs. The whole place has lots of interesting kitschy things to look at. Whether it's a smoke ring maker outside or a screen with letters that fall onto your projected head in the hall, there's lots to enjoy.

The last exhibit I saw had pieces touching on animal extinction; it hit me so hard I almost cried. I know this place gets some buzz, but not nearly enough in my opinion. You want deep art without steep cost? Look no further.

13/03/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0
144. Lo R.
A must see. Must go. Must experience.

What an interesting concept. A museum that is a hotel.

And this place doesn't hold back. They bring the art full blast. Every where you look you will find something interesting and unusual.

They rotate the art work every 6 months and try to keep local artist as their high lights and majority of what they exhibit.

The art work that has displayed during my stay was unique and wonderfully refreshing.

The hotel staff were incredibly nice. And honest. My buddy left a bag that had a couple expensive watches and they called us to let us know it was left behind. Really awesome. That would of ruined our trip for sure.

Proof on main (attached restaurant) is also a great addition. Wonderful food menu and an extensive bourbon and whiskey menu as well. Try at least 2 different flights, when in Rome.

Next time I come here I will have to stay in their suite. Beautiful and unique in its self.

Definitely  spend the time and visit this museum and if you get the chance, stay in the hotel. You will be most delighted.

Ps. Penguins rock.

24/03/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0