We were thrilled to be hosted by 21c Museum Hotel Durham last week. If you love art and enjoy staying in unique places or boutique hotels – this place is for you! It not only functions as a hotel for business or leisure, but also has a museum, spa, fitness center and a fantastic restaurant.
The on-site museum is filled with contemporary art that is changed twice a year, but it doesn’t stop there! There is art all over the property, from the rooms to the hotel’s restaurant Counting House.
Look out for the fuchsia penguins, they are everywhere. The staff also wear these cute fuchsia penguin lapel pins. I really want one now, or at least a mini penguin! Each 21c Museum Hotel location has a different color penguin. 21c Museum Hotels began in Louisville, Kentucky with art enthusiasts Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. They opened a contemporary art museum for the public to view free of charge and combined it with Louisville’s first boutique hotel – 21c Museum Hotel Louisville in March 2006. Since then, more 21c Museum Hotel properties were opened with the same art and boutique hotel concept. In addition to Louisville and Durham, there are properties in Cincinnati, Bentonville and the newest to open in Lexington, Kentucky.
There’s something new to see everywhere you look and you can tour the museum for free whether you are a hotel guest or not. This is one of my favorite exhibits. It’s a representation of social interaction (or lack of) during our times. We’re all buried into our smartphones and interacting via social media instead of face to face. This exhibit illustrates that issue with a new bride and groom doing so at their own wedding reception!
21c Museum Hotel Durham has valet parking and is also located near parking garages in downtown Durham. There are 125 rooms with contemporary art and decoration.
All of the rooms offer free WiFi, alarm/docking station, 42″ HDTV flat screen televisions with full cable line-up, Nespresso coffeemaker, in-room safe, luxury bedding and wonderful art! They’ll even give you soft, luxurious bath robes to snuggle in! You can also use their fitness center and book a spa treatment downstairs at The Spa at 21c or enjoy your treatment in the comfort of your room. Don’t forget to stop by the 21c Museum Shop to pick up a few souvenirs! Maybe a miniature fuchsia penguin?
If you visit the hotel, go to the public restrooms upstairs above the Counting House restaurant and check out these cheeky bathroom stalls! They are transparent until you lock the door and now you see me…..now you don’t! But do make sure it completely locks and the glass turns white because if it doesn’t, well anyone walking by will see all of your business! True story!
The hotel also makes a great venue for hosting meetings, parties, special dinners, receptions and much more! Yes, you will find art and photography in the conference rooms too! Their ballroom makes an excellent wedding venue as well.
Want to throw a unique party at this former bank property? You can book their vault (yes, a real vault!) for small gatherings.
I love the vault! It’s so classic! You should really have a party in there or have a party at Counting House.
Besides a party, you can have a meal there too, the food is delicious! Counting House offers food made with seasonal ingredients and local products. Try their Vault Lunch served Monday thru Friday 11a – 2pm. The Vault Lunch includes soup, salad, entrée and side for $13.
Each week the Vault Lunch menu changes to highlight the best seasonal ingredients chosen by Executive Chef Josh Munchel.
This is not your average cheesecake! It has a deliciously balanced sweet and savory taste (because cheese is suppose to be savory anyway) and it paired well with the house made ice cream and graham cracker crust. It was superb!
Don’t forget to look up and check out the art at Counting House while you dine! Relax with a drink in their bar or lounge; and don’t forget to view the creative, eco-friendly artworks made of reused materials such as tires, shoes and much more!
Thank you so much again 21c Museum Hotel Durham for hosting us. Your staff were friendly, welcoming and very helpful, we had a blast!
Although we were welcomed as guests, my opinions are always my own.