The downtown square in Bentonville, Arkansas is hopping with an array of things to do. On the northeast corner sits a chic museum that doubles as a hotel. Award-winning 21C Museum Hotel displays contemporary art from living artists both local and international. The “21” stands for 21st century. Its founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson had the desire to share their passion for the latest forms of art. The Museum is free to enter and open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
A flock of green penguin sculptures stand tall throughout the museum. They can be found moved in different locations giving their viewers something to chuckle about. The green penguins can be seen viewing other art, surprising its overnight guests in the elevator, or simply staring out the window. There have also been sightings of the flightless birds in the guest rooms playing dress up and getting read bedtime stories. According to the 21C Museum Hotels’ website, “21c fans and residents of Northwest Arkansas selected green as the color to best represent the region. The mission of Cracking Art Group is to raise awareness of environmental issues and the use and misuse of natural resources by creating artworks with materials derived from petroleum products. The name Cracking Art refers to the chemical reaction that occurs when converting raw crude oil into plastic, or the moment when natural becomes artificial. Founded in 1993, Cracking Art Group has created over 600 exhibitions worldwide.” These cute creatures also love to join guests during meals at The Hive.
The Hive restaurant adjoins the hotel serving up sophisticated, home-style country cooking. Contemporary art doesn’t stop in the museum lobby. A gallery of pictures charm patrons as they dine. From the dining room, the open kitchen design allows glimpses of the food preparations. The Hive offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a full bar to entertain the tastebuds. Quality freshness is important to The Hive. Head chef, Matthew McClure purchases ingredients from local farmers and producers. The restaurant provides grits as one of their delicious offerings sourced from War Eagle Mill located in Rogers, Arkansas, built in 1832. The mill still uses a waterwheel to power the turbine grinding grain into flour.
If adventurous guests enjoy the outdoors, 21C Museum Hotel offers free cruiser bicycles. The beautiful biking trails allow room for everyone to relish in their own style, from walking trails to the all-terrain mountain bike trails. The paved trails allow guests of all ages to walk or ride in comfort through the lush grounds. Visitors can savor more attractive art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, one of Bentonvilles popular museums, is less than a mile away from 21C.
It’s usually a challenge for most to sleep in an unfamiliar place, but guest rooms are clean and comfortable at 21C. Everyone can have a good night’s rest; sleeping in the smooth luxurious linens. The memory foam mattress allows for partners not to be disturbed. The bathroom lighting has three illuminations to choose. Great for those who like to leave a small glow just in case of nighttime bathroom visits. The Malin+Goetz toiletries are infused with an exclusive variety of herbs such as cilantro, peppermint, and bergamot. Perched behind the shower curtain sits a rubber duckie smiling back at happy tenants.