Scores of local hotel owners with more than 17,000 rooms available can be forgiven if they’re smarting about The New York Times‘ latest update to its popular “36 Hours in…” travel feature. The new version about Louisville highlights restaurants (Butchertown Grocery) and shops (Evan Williams Bourbon Experience) that weren’t in business the last time the paper visited, in 2011. But one thing remains the same, even if the rates have gone up: The editors are recommending the same two hotels.
Last week’s feature: “Near Main Street’s Whiskey Row, the 21c Museum Hotel houses 91 rooms as well as a contemporary museum and the restaurant Proof on Main. Rooms from $269. The landmark 1923-vintage Brown Hotel offers spacious rooms and an opulent lobby bar to return to after day’s end. Rooms from $199.”
…vs. 2011’s: “Consistently ranked as one of the world’s top hotels, the 21C Museum Hotel is a destination in itself. Open since 2006, 21c features an innovative, locally sourced restaurant and over 9,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring such artists as Kara Walker and Chuck Close. 21C’s 90 rooms start at $200. Opened in 1923, the Brown Hotel provides a more traditional experience. The lobby bar has been a hangout for residents and stylish visitors for decades. The hotel’s 293 rooms, some of which fall on the smaller side, start at $180.”
Pictured, top: Conceptual artist Serkan Özkaya‘s 30-foot-tall version of Michelangelo’s David, which 21c’s owners commissioned and installed in front of the hotel in 2011.
Related: TripAdvisor has reviewed nearly 100 Louisville area hotels. The Convention & Visitors Bureau publishes a list of its own. Here’s the New York Times‘ Louisville travel page, and all the paper’s 36 Hours features.