21c Museum Hotel OKC
Oklahoma,  United States

Staying at the 21c Museum Hotel in OKC

Staying at the 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City is one of the most unique hotel experiences I’ve ever had. And yes… you read that right. 21c is both a contemporary art museum and a boutique hotel. The art museum experience goes beyond the exhibition space that doubles as a lobby. From the architecturally stunning foyers to the contemporary pieces in each room, what really makes 21c special is that you feel like you are actually staying with the art.

  • Where to book it: 21c OKC
  • 135 rooms featuring doubles, studios, and suites
  • Free art museum with rotating exhibits in the lobby
  • Easy walk to downtown Oklahoma City
  • Mary Eddy’s restaurant and bar inside

Staying in a Contemporary Art Museum

The contemporary art experience begins before you even step foot in the hotel. Appropriately located in Oklahoma City’s Arts District, 21c is actually a converted automobile assembly plant. The red brick exterior and steel tree sculpture just outside the main entrance add to the historic industrial vibe.

21c OKC exterior

The lobby is where you will first be immersed in the art experience, but don’t expect a hotel lobby simply decorated with contemporary art. With over 14,000 feet of exhibition space, 21c is an actual contemporary art museum (free to the public) with rotating exhibits and site-specific pieces.

When you get to your room, large steel windows provide an even better feel of the industrial history of the building. In contrast, tall ceilings complete with floor to ceiling curtains give the space a very minimal and modern vibe. The unique contemporary art piece on the wall really pops against the minimalism of the room.

the rooms at 21c OKC

The Purple Penguin

My favorite part of staying at 21c was being greeted by the iconic purple penguins. This 3-foot tall recycled plastic colony adds a whole personality to the hotel. You can usually find one in the lobby, but the rest require some searching up on the hotel floors. It was especially hilarious to wander our floor each day to find their new hiding spots.

Mary Eddy’s OKC

Connected to the lobby is a delicious New American treat. Mary Eddy’s is yet another spot to find incredible featured art in an architecturally stunning space. It’s also another space to hang out with the purple penguin! (He might even dine with you at your table.) For dessert do not miss the Key Lime Semifreddo! Or the Dutch Baby! And save just a little room for the special treat that is served with every check- purple cotton candy.

Things to do Near 21c Museum Hotel in OKC

Although you won’t want or need to leave the hotel, there are so many attractions that are so easily accessible. 21c is in a prime location for exploring Oklahoma City. When possible, I highly recommend ditching the car and walking or taking the streetcar.

Walking DistanceStreetcar DistanceDriving Distance
The Jones AssemblyOKC National MemorialBoathouse District
StitchBricktownWheeler Park
Flashback Retro PubMidtown Skydance Bridge
Myriad Botanical GardensAutomobile Alley23rd Street and Beyond
OKC skyline

21c truly embodies both the history and revitalization of downtown Oklahoma City in one space. No visit to Oklahoma is complete without a stay here. If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my other guides to Oklahoma City!


For this post, I partnered with Visit OKC for a hotel stay at the 21c Museum Hotel. However, you can count on me to be a good steward of this opportunity- all thoughts and opinions are completely honest and completely my own.


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For Cassie, every destination deepens her love for God. Her mission is to inspire that same love in others. Hang around and find something to inspire your next adventure!

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