It is unmistakable to miss the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville while driving by the historic west main street. Right outside its doors is a super-sized golden replica of Michelangelo’s David by artist Serkan Özkaya. It’s the first glimpse that tells you you’re in the right place for one of the best hotel museum concepts we’ve ever stayed at.


The museum has more than 9,000 square feet and is housed within five 19th-century warehouses. All the galleries are open daily and while they have multiple exhibits, they rotate often, so guests will find something new during each visit. During our stay, there were several interactive digital displays that our children loved as they became part of the art exhibition. The entire family enjoyed a mix of sculptures and digital video installations. There is no charge to explore the museum and it’s something that is truly unique to this hotel.

The guest rooms are also housed inside the five old warehouses and each one of the ninety-one guest rooms has high ceilings and large windows, full minibars, and Malin + Goetz bath amenities. While many of the rooms are standard offerings, there are two that really stand out above the rest. The Asleep in the Cyclone and the Rooftop Apartment are both accommodations that are quite unique and well worth the forethought of booking far in advance.  

When a guest stays in the Asleep in the Cyclone room, they will find themselves in the middle of a spectacular, colorful immersive art experience with a sculptural installation created by artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Loweand. In addition to the regular amenities in the rooms, this one also has a record player and records, artist-designed blankets and linens, and other art components.

The Rooftop Apartment is a one-bedroom apartment with an open living and dining area, as well as a large rooftop garden terrace (that is over 2,000 sq. ft.!). Every guest who stays in the Rooftop Apartment will enjoy the gourmet kitchen, full bath, two half baths, and many more luxurious amenities. However, as nice as that all is, the views are what turns this space into a breathtaking experience. Everyone will want to see the views of downtown Louisville and the river from the top of 21c.

Proof on Main is the onsite restaurant and the menu is filled with local ingredients that are grown or made from artisanal locals.  The restaurant is open seven days a week and serves meals from early in the morning until late at night. Anyone who is looking for a drink will love the bar, which has over seventy different Kentucky bourbons.  

There are many hotels in Louisville, but none are as fantastic or amazing as 21c. The way that the hotel and museum flow together seamlessly ensures that every guest has a wonderful and relaxing cultural experience while they are visiting this incredible city.