21c Museum Hotel Lexington
What We Love
- An artistic stay at a unique new property that's part boutique hotel, part art museumThe intriguing and even provocative artwork hanging or standing throughout the property
- The brand-new hotel itself, located in a historic sksycraper by McKim, Mead & White
- The location in downtown Lexington, whose cultural scene is on the rise
What To Know
- Opened in February 2016
- Lockbox restaurant serves up seasonal, locavore dishes
- The brand-new property is still perfecting its service; there may be some staff hiccups in the meantime
21c Museum Hotel Lexington has refined hospitality to an art – or rather, lots of it. A perfect addition to its city, which houses a slew of galleries and a renowned ballet company, this brand-new stay is both a boutique hotel and a contemporary gallery itself. Contemporary art appoints every room or public space; it’s as cutting-edge as what you’ll find in cities like Louisville and Cincinnati, whose 21c hotels have fast become TripAdvisor and Condé Nast Traveler favorites.
The collection is curated by a seasoned art-world pro, but it got its sharp redesign by high-profile Deborah Berke Partners. Before that, it was a bank, in a 1914 skyscraper (Lexington’s first) by McKim, Mead & White – the architects behind the Columbia University campus. Old-fashioned details still abound here, and you’ll see them as you explore. Swing by Lockbox restaurant, which retains some of its original marble and plasterwork, and realize you’re not just among works of art – you’re in one.
Rooms and suites
Your 21c abode is well-stocked, with a sleek Nespresso coffee machine, a 43-in. flat-screen HDTV and bath amenities by MALIN + GOETZ. But all this is secondary to the real star of the show – the original artwork sharing the space. Choose between a spacious Corner King room of 427 square feet, with lots of natural light from windows with two exposures, and a 686-square-foot, one-bedroom Deluxe suite, which also holds a living and dining area, a double vanity and a second TV.
Lockbox serves dinner and dessert under the direction of Executive Chef Jonathan Searle, drawing from the flavors and ingredients of surrounding Kentucky. Menus are seasonal, but a sample meal might feature Kentucky silver catp with toasted farro or a roasted-cauliflower soup with brown butter. Dessert options include the olive-oil cake with blood-orange curd and pistachio ice cream, with select liquors and wines available for pairings.It all happens in a space as sleek and sharp as the rest of the hotel, designed by award-winning Deborah Berke Partners, with original marble flooring and decorative plaster from its origins as Lexington’s first skyscraper. And yes, there are art exhibitions on rotation here, too.
Downtown Lexington is on the rise (not least because of this hotel), but its evolving cultural scene stands on a solid foundation. This city has offered a variety of dance-related offerings, musical acts and modern-art galleries for years, and there’s some impressive street art to see, as well. Of course, it’s horses that are Lexington’s most famous draw, so make sure to learn about them at Keeneland Race Course, depending on the season, or the popular museum dedicated to the native American Saddlebred. Other highlights include sprawling estates and historic sites in the area, such as Mary Todd Lincoln’s childhood home.
How to Get There
Gave the hotel a 5 because overall it was a great experience. The only minor situation was when I was checking out and needed change, the lady working behind the counter said she didn't have any. Less than one minutes later, I returned to give her an earring that I found in the room, and at that time she was giving a man change. I felt like she didn't tell me the truth and I believe in complete honesty and transparency. Since I witness her giving change to the man, I asked again, and she gave me change. That's the only incident I was not pleased with, and if definitely didn't effect your 5-star rating. I will be back, but do not wish for an "upgrade" to the 5th floor two windows to see the city. One was great, the other you had to get past the looking at a roof top. I will request a corner city view room again, but higher up. I fault myself for not asking if it had a rooftop view.
A great place to visit and be centrally located in downtown Lexington. Staff was friendly, rooms clean and art interesting. We loved the temperature-based lighting in the bar!! Can't wait for the next excuse to come and visit.
Traveling so much I have companion pass for Southwest. I get nice upgrades at Omni, Marriot, Hilton...
After a while it all looks the same and uninspiring. I miss my family and don’t want to be there. At least for a few brief moments during the coldness that is business travel - a little life was breathed back into me. I was reminded that there are people out there in the world that push for more and alter perception.
Well done. Brilliant concept and incredible execution and attention to detail.
Stayed 1 night, wish I had more time, would have loved to explore the art. Great customer service, friendly, helpful. Heat was a drag, couldn’t get the room temp set right. Override setting must be on.
The rooms were so large and well lit. The service was excellent and personable. The restaurant was incredible! I've never had a better breakfast sandwich or grilled cheese sandwich! We're definitely coming back and anybody looking for a unique experience in Lexington needs to check this hotel out!