The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards are travel awards with categories including best new travel app, best boutique cruise line and best amusement park. Nominees are selected by USA Today’s travel editors, and the winners are selected by reader votes. Voting in best new hotel is open until noon Jan. 2.
At this writing, 21c is No. 9 in the 20 hotel competition, which includes properties in New York, Washington, Chicago and New Orleans. No. 1, at this time, is The Asbury in Asbury Park, N.J., promoted as having “large closets, custom-made mattresses and stellar seaside views.” The write-up for 21c describes it as “a new 88-room boutique property in Kentucky, ... part hotel, part contemporary art museum.”
The Lexington hotel is part of the Louisville-based chain of hotels by Louisville entrepreneurs and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson that incorporate art into all aspects of the properties, usually in revitalized structures, and include museum spaces. In addition to Louisville and Lexington, the quickly expanding chain has hotels in Cincinnati; Oklahoma City; Bentonville, Ark.; and Durham, N.C. A new property in Nashville is scheduled to open in May.
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The Lexington 21c opened in March in the First National Bank Building and in neighboring properties at Main and Upper streets. In addition to the hotel and gallery spaces, it boasts the Lockbox restaurant. Earlier this fall, the American Institute of Architects Pittsburgh gave 21c Lexington an award for excellence in historic preservation. In their comments, judges wrote, “The design team truly valued the past as an inspiration to invent the future. ... While a wonderful addition to the 21C portfolio, the real winner is the city of Lexington and its future patrons.”