21c Museum Hotel Lexington
Hip High Life
What it is
An 88-room hotel with a 7,000-square-foot art museum on the premises, plus a locavore restaurant that’s always abuzz.
What it isn't
Sluggish. Guest programming includes a recurrent Sunday ‘Yoga with Art’ class taught by expert yogis from The Massage Center, a yoga studio and massage spa that’s been a longtime regional fave since 1989.
What we think
You can (ahem) bank on a beautiful stay in this former Fayette National Bank Building, originally designed in 1914 by McKim, Mead & White—the architecture firm behind much of Columbia University and the Brooklyn Museum. Guest rooms were dreamt up by New York design firm Deborah Berke Partners, and are just as inspired as you might hope, with original art pieces on the gallery-white walls, streamlined furniture, and plush amenities, like Malin + Goetz toiletries, 42” HDTV flatscreens, and the cushiest possible robes for a night-in. For a literally cinematic stay, upgrade to The Harmon Room—inspired by Netflix mega-hit “The Queen’s Gambit” and stocked with Midcentury furniture, chess pieces on the ceiling, and even a guide to all the Lexington landmarks that made an appearance in the series.
You're here because
You’re obsessed with Swedish artist twosome Bigert & Bergström, famous for their climate change-related work. Their piece here, Tomorrow’s Weather, is nothing short of brilliant: glowing orbs that change color and brightness thrice daily to depict the next day’s forecast.
Perched alongside a well-heeled crowd at the glowing bar in Lockbox, you’re feeling a little like a Lexington local. So you splurge, ordering a dinner you know you’ll be memorably feasting on for weeks: pimento macaroni and cheese and braised beef short ribs with mushroom conserva. Heaven is a place on earth.
Restaurants & Bars
Lockbox- Simple soul food
On Lexington’s main drag, four blocks from Mary Todd Lincoln’s childhood home (now a museum)—originally built circa 1806. She brought her hubby Abraham here to visit in 1847.