C21 Museum Hotels • Louisville & Lexington, KY

Sleep in an art museum in Louisville and Lexington, KY

C21 Museum Hotels… 

Centrally-located 21c Museum Hotels are multi-venue contemporary art museums, award-winning boutique hotels, and feature acclaimed chef-driven restaurants. The Company was founded in 2006 in Louisville by philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. Their mission was to share innovative art with the public and participate in the revitalization of downtown Louisville. The success of their Louisville flagship created opportunities for expansion around the world. 

The Museums…

For over a decade, 21c Louisville has been engaging visitors and locals. Outside, you’ll be awed by the immense, gilded,  30-foot-tall replica of Michelangelo’s “David”.  Once inside, you’re free to explore in 9,000 square feet of exhibition space.

And 21c Lexington displays solo and group exhibitions that reflect the global nature of contemporary culture. From the sidewalks to the lobby, there’s art all around you; specially-commissioned, site-specific works by some of the world’s most exciting artists.

Both galleries are open every day and rotate thought-provoking art installations frequently. The museums offer cultural programming, free and open to the public, 365 days/year, with scheduled guided docent tours.

The Rooms & Amenities…





Re-purposing the former home of a series of 19th-century warehouses, the Louisville structure reflects both its historical bones and its contemporary new life; some of the 91 rooms expose original brick walls. The 21c Lexington occupies the historic Fayette National Bank Building and also melds its historical design with the new. 

High ceilings, large windows, and custom-designed furniture are hallmarks of both.

Amenities include Complementary Wi-Fi, 42″ HDTV flat screen, Nespresso Coffee Machine, Alarm Clock/Docking Station, Malin + Goetz Bath Amenities, Luxurious linens, Original Artwork, In-room dining, 24-hour fitness center, Business center, Laundry service, Museum Hotel Shop, 24-hour valet service, Pet-friendly rooms, and an On-property Spa with massage services, sauna, and steam room.

The Whimsical Penguins… The 1st penguins were exhibited at 21c Louisville in 2006 after Brown and Wilson saw them at the 2005 Venice Biennale as part of a city-wide art project. They brought the penguins home and C21’s locals and guests fell in love with them; taking selfies and even moving them to their rooms and taking them to dinner!  Today, these adorable penguins are synonymous C21 Hotels; each 21c has its own flock of Penguins in a color that embodies the identity of their city. The Penguins greet visitors throughout the hotel – in the lobby, elevators, restaurant, and guest rooms. Visit the C21 Museum Boutique to bring one home as a souvenir! Sculpted from recycled plastic, the almost 4 ft. tall animal is a playful reminder of the importance of sustainability. A smaller ceramic version is also available.

The Restaurants & Bars…

Proof on Main at C21 Louisville extends the hotel’s artistic theme via culinary and site-specific art commissions. Through partnerships with Woodland Farm and regional artisan producers, Proof highlights the bounty of the Ohio River Valley.  The Proof Bar is a local favorite featuring over 120 Kentucky Bourbons in a dramatic, lively space. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch.

Lockbox at C21 Lexington showcases a menu also committed to the community’s craft purveyors, high-quality seasonal ingredients, and thoughtful cooking techniques. Lockbox initiated Bourbon Passport Club; a free program where attendees can earn a stamp for each event or experience on the bourbon journey to unlock exclusive perks. *Blackout dates apply so be certain to check their website.

The Spas… Pamper yourself with a spa treatment such as Swedish Massage, Reflexology Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Prenatal Massage, and Custom Massages.  The massage rooms are conveniently located adjacent to the sauna, steam room, and fitness facility but you can opt for the therapists to treat you in the comfort and privacy of your room.

About MGallery Hotel Collection and Accor Hotels…

The MGallery Hotel Collection of boutique hotels are found around the world. Well-known properties include Hotel Molitor Paris, INK Hotel Amsterdam, Queens Hotel Cheltenham in England, Santa Teresa Hotel Rio de Janeiro, Hotel Lindrum Melbourne, Muse Bangkok Langsuan in Thailand, and now, 21c Museum Hotels. 21c Museum Hotels joined the MGallery family in March 2019 with a focus on revitalizing downtowns and providing unique cultural and culinary experiences. MGallery is part of Accor Hotels, a world-leading augmented hospitality group of 4,800 hotels, resorts, and residences across 100 countries. With an unrivaled portfolio of brands from luxury to economy, Accor has been providing hospitality savoir-faire for more than 50 years.

  • Editor’s note: I’ve had the pleasure of staying at both of these awesome locations. Be sure to schedule time to admire their curated galleries. And don’t forget to take home a penguin…I sadly did not!

21c LEXINGTON, 167 W Main Street Lexington, KY  859.899.6860

21c LOUISVILLE, 700 West Main Street, Louisville, KY  502.217.6300


By Nancy Radlauer, Editor in Chief; Editor.InboundMagazine@gmail.com