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Walking into the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, visitors know right away that customer service is a priority. A bellman opens the door with a kind greeting. The folks behind the guest services desk are genuinely happy to serve. A contemporary, quiet restaurant sits on the left; a casual, unique lobby welcomes on the right. The spacious hallways, adorned with artwork, remind patrons that this is no ordinary hotel.
This is 21c Museum Hotel, recently hailed by guests on Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards 2015 as one of the top 10 best hotels in the United States. Built two years ago, it rests comfortably just off the Bentonville downtown square amid county buildings and local restaurants.
Kara Rubow with guest services at the Bentonville location says 21c offers a welcoming experience in the spirit of southern hospitality, pointing out that the location allows them to provide guests with the opportunity to support and experience the neighborhood.
“Unique shops and attractions surround the hotel. The hotel is family-friendly, in part because of the community, though we’ve had many local couples use it as a staycation [getaway] experience.”
Indeed, 21c Museum Hotel and the community complement one another in several ways. The hotel’s dark brick design blends with the older buildings and the historic Benton County courthouse on the square. The parking garage offers free public parking.
For families, the ice skating rink across the street provides cold fun in the winter as well as cool relief in the summer when it becomes a splash park. Visitors can take a short walk from the hotel’s front door to several local restaurants and shops. From late spring to early fall, the Bentonville farmers market has something for everyone. The half-mile trail found behind the hotel leads to Crystal Bridges Museum. A hotel guest can eat, pick up groceries, visit a coffee shop and get a haircut—all without giving up a parking space.
Hotel guests can see work by local artists on floors with hotel rooms. The main floor exhibits are open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Rubow says the hotel changes out the exhibits twice a year. People are welcome to take a stroll on the hotel’s main floor for a look at the paintings and other artwork.
For a dining experience of “refined Southern cuisine,” The Hive restaurant offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule for hotel guests and the public. Executive chef Matthew McClure works to create meals using local sources and seasonal ingredients in the state.
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