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21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY Voted #1 Hotel in U.S. Again
Steve Wilson poses at 21c Museum Hotel, in Louisville, Ky. Wilson developed and owns 21c with his wife Laura Lee Brown, a descendant of the founder of Louisville-based liquor giant Brown-Forman Corp. Wilson stands next to an untitled work by American artist Rob de Mar made of mixed media, felt and iron. AP Photo/Brian Bohannon.
LOUISVILLE, KY.- For the second consecutive year, 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky has been selected as the #1 hotel in the United States and #6 in the world in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The awards appear in the November issue and are the results of the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice survey. This year nearly 26,000 individuals participated in the voting, evaluating more than 10,000 properties and destinations worldwide. 21c is the only U.S. hotel to be ranked as one of the world’s top ten hotels in the 2010 poll, beating out luxury brands such as Mandarin Oriental and Ritz Carlton. The rankings are based on the quality of rooms, service, food and dining, location and overall design.

“We are humbled that travelers from around the world have given us this honor for the second year in a row,” said Steve Wilson, Founder and CEO. “This award tells me that people have embraced the experience of 21c, and that the definition of a top notch hotel experience is changing. It doesn’t have to be about plush carpet and gilded mirrors. By engaging people not just in gallery spaces, but also in places where they eat, play, walk or look up from the grind, we show that art is not something that stands apart from life, but is a part of life.”

21c Museum Hotel was opened in 2006 by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, contemporary art collectors and philanthropists, who had a vision for bringing art into people’s daily lives and supporting the revitalization of their hometown. Housed in a series of renovated 19th century tobacco and Bourbon warehouses, the 90 room hotel is situated in downtown Louisville’s arts and theater district, and has become a cultural destination for locals and travelers alike. 21c creates a truly unique stay by combining world-class contemporary art, dining and hotel experiences.

Contemporary art is integral to the experience of 21c Museum Hotel. Art by living artists is around every corner — in the elevators, hallways, public restrooms, and in the restaurant and bar. Additionally, the property has 9,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring rotating curated exhibitions. 21c Museum is the only museum in North America dedicated to collecting and exhibiting art of the 21st century. 21c Museum is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and features the work of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists alongside that of local artists.

“With new art and ideas constantly appearing, there is always something new to discover. This is true not only for our guests, but for the people who work here. Our team’s genuine enthusiasm for 21c translates to a guest experience like none other,” says Wilson.

21c Museum Hotel’s restaurant, Proof on Main, features the flavor-focused cuisine of Chef Michael Paley. Influenced by the culinary traditions of Italy and the American South, Chef Paley’s menu features the region’s local and sustainable farmers and producers. The bar, a local hot spot, features over 50 of Kentucky’s finest Bourbons as well as seasonal, specialty cocktails. Complementing Paley’s culinary artistry, the restaurant and bar feature a series of changing art exhibitions and installations.

Shortly after the hotel opened in 2006, Brown and Wilson started to receive inquiries from other like-minded civic leaders interested in their vision and belief that art can be an economic driver for a community. With strong local partners who shared a similar passion for their respective hometowns, they decided to consider opportunities for expansion. Construction on 21c Museum Hotels in Bentonville, Arkansas and Cincinnati, Ohio is set to begin shortly, and the company plans to develop 15 properties over the next three to five years.

Currently on view at 21c Museum is New Acquisitions & Highlights, which features recent additions to the 21c collection, including never before exhibited works by Dinh Q Le and Kehinde Wiley; Rina Castelnuovo: Moments from Israel, which examines how individual people play a role in contributing to the complex forces that drive the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians; Teresa Diehl: All Over, a multimedia installation informed by the artist’s firsthand experience of conflict as a young woman in Tannourine, Lebanon; and Tracey Snelling: Woman on the Run, which has transformed the entire Street Level Gallery at 21c into an alternate world of shrunken buildings, a life-size motel, and neon signs that present a mysterious narrative about a fated woman. From January 21 – July 22, 2011, 21c will present an extensive exhibition of more than 50 works of contemporary Cuban art from the 21c collection, the majority of which will be exhibited outside of Cuba for the first time.

21c Museum Hotel | Steve Wilson | Louisville |


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