21c Museum Hotel : Bentonville, Arkansas — Art Lovers Rejoice!


Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Soapbox Influence. They provided my stay at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR. in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are entirely my own. No penguins were harmed in the making of this post.

21c Museum Hotel -- Bentonville, Arkansas.
21c Museum Hotel — Bentonville, Arkansas.

What do contemporary art museums, green penguins, and comfy beds all have in common?

Stumped, you say? Well, let me show you!

Penguin at 21c Museum Hotel -- Bentonville.
Penguin at 21c Museum Hotel — Bentonville.

You can find all of the above in the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. All 21c Museum Hotels offer boutique hotel accommodations, multi-venue contemporary art museums, and chef-driven dining options!

So what’s up with the penguin? 21c Museum Hotels are known for their beloved mascots — large, plastic penguins. Each 21c Museum Hotel has them, and each property has its own color (Bentonville’s is green).

The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville encourages guests to interact with these not-so-furry friends. You never know where one will pop up!

At one point, there was a penguin in my room! I also found them in elevators, hallways, and one even joined us for dinner at The Hive.

During my recent stay in Bentonville, I had the pleasure of finally staying in a 21c Museum Hotel. I had heard about these quirky hotels many times, but never checked one out for myself.

It BLEW MY MIND! It was so much more than I expected. By far, the 21c Museum Hotel is the most unique hotel I have yet to experience.

My Accommodations at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville

During my stay at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, I stayed in one of the “Luxury King” accommodations.

Luxury King rooms are 386-396 sq ft. in size and include a comfortable king-sized bed, seating area with table, and all standard amenities.

In my room, I found a Nespresso coffee machine, a well-stocked minibar (with great prices!), and many other little luxuries.

All 21c Museum Hotel guest rooms include:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • A 42″ HDTV flat screen television
  • Nespresso coffee machine (I used this all 3 days of my stay!)
  • Alarm clock with a docking station
  • Malin + Goetz bath amenities
  • Luxurious and soft bedding
  • Original artwork

21c describe their accommodations as “spacious with high ceilings, large windows and a decidedly residential feel, providing a comfortable respite from the thought-provoking art and activity that fills the museum galleries.”

I find this description to be extremely accurate. At first, I expected a colorful, art-filled room, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was quite understated. It is comfortable, home-like, and warm.

The bathroom was bright and spacious. I loved the Malin + Goetz products as well as the plush robe, stand-alone shower and bright mirror.

Additional details such as cotton swabs, a hair dryer, cotton balls and a shower cap really elevated this bathroom to a luxurious space.

Art Galleries at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville

Beyond being a fabulous boutique hotel, the 21c Museum Hotel is an art museum. In fact, I saw many local residents and tourists alike visiting the hotel just to see the art.

There are multiple galleries throughout the hotel, all unique and special. 21c has an expansive modern art collection that is well-rounded with thought-provoking art from local and international artists.

You will find sculptures, paintings, portraits, and even videos. They have amassed a beautiful collection, and one I definitely recommend visiting in Bentonville.

The 21c Museum Hotel galleries are open every day and exhibitions rotate, so it is recommended that you make plans to visit often.

Additionally, they offer regular cultural programming and guided tours. At the present time, you can find guided tours being offered Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 p.m.

During my stay at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, they had a very special exhibition on display. It is entitled The Future is Female and has been carefully curated by Alice Gray Stites, Chief Curator and Museum Director.

According to Stites, “The Future is Female illuminates both the consequences and the persistence of the struggle for equality.”

I love that a lot of the art that I found at 21c challenged me to think critically about current political, social, and local issues.

This exhibit truly displayed womanhood as the multifaceted, complicated entity it still is. It challenges our current views of “feminism” while evoking emotions of devastation, confusion, empowerment and encouragement.

Feminism is not what it once was, and for that reason, this exhibit really shines.

5 additional facts about the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville

  • The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville has over 12,000 square feet of exhibition space!
  • The hotel offers pet-friendly rooms.
  • In-room dining is provided by The Hive.
  • Their chef-driven restaurant, The Hive, is led by Arkansas Native and James Beard Foundation Award Semi-Finalist Matthew McClure.
  • They have a 24-hour fitness center.

By far, the best meal I had in all of Bentonville was at The Hive. I had the “Pan Seared Scallops” dish, and it was absolute perfection. Our table shared all of the appetizers on the menu and I had a couple of cocktails. I don’t have a single complaint about anything we tried!

Our favorite appetizer was the “Butcher Plate.” Do yourself a favor and grab this appetizer for the whole-grain mustard alone. AMAZING!

The food, atmosphere, and drinks were all exactly what I would expect to experience at a luxury dining establishment. I will definitely be dining at The Hive again!

Final Thoughts

The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville is unique, fun, thought-provoking and comfortable. It is small enough to feel intimate, but big enough to ensure that you are on vacation.

Its prime location really makes it the perfect hotel for those wanting to stay in Bentonville, as it is right in the heart of the town’s center. I found that everything I wanted to check out in Bentonville, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, was within walking distance.

It was also a short walk to the Walmart Museum, Walton’s 5 & 10, Onyx Coffee Lab and multiple restaurants.

I will definitely be staying at this hotel again (later this year!) and will continue recommending it to others who plan on traveling to Bentonville.

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