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Kentucky’s hippest hotel, just voted by Conde Nast Traveler’s readership as #1 in the country (and #6 in the world) for 2009, announced plans Wednesday to debut a new sister property just upriver in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 21c Museum Hotel, an upscale boutique which opened on downtown Louisville’s Main Street in 2006, has played a key role in revitalizing Derby City’s art scene. The renovated 19th-century tobacco & bourbon warehouse has drawn national acclaim for its high-style halls packed to the brim with whimsical paintings, abstract video art, photos and sculptures (like the lobby’s army of red penguin statues) – all from this millennium. The hotel’s 90 rooms feature custom touches, from furniture to pewter mint julep cups. Popular restaurant Proof on Main has become renowned for its modern twists on locally grown, regional cuisine (ahem, gourmet Bison burgers).
The location of 21c’s second set of doors, set to open in downtown Cincinnati adjacent to the Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center (opened 2003) and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts, couldn’t be better situated for art nuts. The project, scheduled to begin next fall, is slated for a 2012 completion and will pour an estimated $45 million into the century-old Metropole Hotel, transforming it from dilapidated low-income housing into a larger version of its Louisville twin — featuring an 8,000 square-foot contemporary art museum of its own (free to the public), plus an outpost of Proof.
From November 6 through December 30, 2009, the Louisville hotel is offering three enticing weekend promotions. Stay one night and receive a complimentary room upgrade. Two nights get you the upgrade plus a $25 voucher for Proof on Main, while three nights bag all of those goodies along with a $25 spa credit. Call 502-217-6300 and mention FALL 1, 2, or 3 to book your deal of choice.
Keep an eye out for the results of our own Smart Luxury Awards in this month’s issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine!