Okay, so it’s a little late in the game to be throwing cheers towards the 21C Museum Hotel for being named best hotel in the United States and 6th best in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, but better late than never, right? It is the best hotel in the United States (North America is you tally up the scores!) and its right here in the River City.
Over 25,000 readers wrote in and ranked the 21C as the only hotel in the United States to get a top-20 spot worldwide. The 90-room boutique hotel won in large part because of its unique character, and, of course, all that modern art. The Today Show simply calls the idea, “Brilliant.” (Check out the Today Show video, too.) Here’s a statement from the 21C:
Since 2006, 21c and Proof have welcomed visitors with the vision that contemporary art can be accessible for everyone, with exhibition and installations that, whether playful or thought-provoking, are always engaging. With hundreds of hotels evaluated, it is evident that Conde Nast Traveler readers have embraced the 21c experience. Their votes affirm our vision that excelling in the hospitality industry is not about extravagance—it is about providing an exciting experience that combines quality, service, authenticity, and affordability.
It’s also important to keep in mind what a transformation Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson’s 21C Museum Hotel has had on West Main Street. Even though it opened in 2006, it can feel like the 21C has been around for much longer as it has established itself as an anchor on Louisville’s most distinguished cultural address (and 2008 top-ten Main Street).
Not so long ago, though, the old tobacco and bourbon warehouses comprising the 21C were boarded up with paint peeling and nary a penguin in sight. Now, besides being the best hotel in the United States, the 21C provides some of the best architecture in the city with the help of architect Deborah Berke.