This hotel in Chicago, Illinois, features more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space, including a 400-person capacity main gallery, that is free and open to the public. 

Those looking to be surrounded by artwork at every turn will find such an experience at the 21c Museum Hotel Chicago. The ninth 21c Museum Hotel, located near the city’s Magnificent Mile, opened in early 2020 and continues the boutique chain’s approach of merging world-class works of art with modern and luxurious overnight accommodations. 

Featuring more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space, including a 400-person capacity main gallery, that is free and open to the public and nearly 300 rooms and suites, the hotel promises an art-filled escape within walking distance of many of the the city’s other world-famous cultural attractions. 

21c Museum Hotel locations are known for giving new life to old buildings. Opened in 1927, the Chicago location’s property was home to the Croydon and The James Hotel before 21c opened in February 2020. 

Artwork is displayed throughout the building, from the lobby to the hallways to the designated gallery areas, and special exhibitions run throughout the year. In addition, world-renowned photographer Nigel Barker (who was also a judge on “America’s Next Top Model” for 17 seasons) joined the hotel in spring 2022 to plan a series of special programs known as “Art of …” These events encourage people to think about the aspects of art that can be found in any craft, from fashion to cooking to sports. These events complement the range of special exhibitions on display at the hotel.

“As someone who spends six to seven months of the year in a hotel, it was always really important for me to find places that were different and would inspire me,” Barker says. 

The works of art extend to the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Lure Fishbar, which also has locations in New York and Miami. It serves fresh seafood from around the world, a raw bar with an everchanging lineup of oyster offerings and incredible sushi. 55 E. Ontario St., Chicago, Illinois 60611, 312/660-6100, 21cmuseumhotels.com