France is home to some of the world's best museums. The museums that most interest French hotelier AccorHotels right now aren't the ones in its own backyard, however. Rather, they're the ones inside the boutique lodgings of 21c Museum Hotels, an American hotelier in which AccorHotels plans to acquire an 85 percent stake, the company announced yesterday.
Philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Brown and Steve Wilson established 21c Museum Hotels in 2006, when they opened their flagship property in Louisville, Ky. Over a decade later, the company has 11 properties that are either open or under development. In addition to its flagship, it has hotels in Bentonville, Ark.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Durham, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville; and Oklahoma City; with three more in development in Des Moines, Iowa; Miami; and Chicago.
While every property is unique and distinct, each one features under the same roof a contemporary art museum, a boutique hotel and a chef-driven restaurant. Because of those assets, 21c Museum Hotels will join AccorHotels as part of the company's MGallery brand -- a collection of boutique hotels that retain their independence while also receiving sales, marketing and distribution support from AccorHotels.
The eight 21c Museum Hotels currently open in the United States will be MGallery's first hotels in North America.
"21c Museum Hotels is proud to announce our entry into the AccorHotels family," Wilson said. "AccorHotels is one of the world's leading hotel operators and will be a perfect partner and catalyst for 21c's continued growth. We are confident that the unique spirit of 21c will not only be preserved, but will flourish within the MGallery collection of boutique hotels. 21c will continue to bring the work of today's most dynamic and engaging contemporary artists to the public, and this partnership will be a tremendous boost for 21c's continued development in North America and abroad. We are extremely excited to see what the future holds."
Added Kevin Frid, AccorHotels' chief operating officer for North and Central America: "We are delighted to welcome 21c Museum Hotels as part of the AccorHotels family of brands, hence strengthening the group's footprint in North America in a very unique and promising niche. Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to grow the 21c brand, as well as introduce MGallery into the North American market, building both brand equities and further expanding the full range of unparalleled experiences for our guests. This strategic acquisition marks a new step in AccorHotels' strategy of being the leading player in the luxury and lifestyle segment in North America."
For four more hotels offering museum-quality art, visit NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com.