02/12/2013 01:09 pm ET

21c Museum Hotel Opens In Bentonville, Arkansas Near Crystal Bridges Museum (PHOTOS)

A new 104-room luxury hotel has opened in a small Northwest Arkansas town, a development that would be quite peculiar if that town, Bentonville, weren't already home to the largest art museum to open in America in at least a generation.

Best known as the world headquarters of Walmart, Bentonville is becoming an unlikely center of art and design thanks to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which opened in November 2011. The latest stage in that development is the 21c Museum Hotel, which opened Monday and welcomes its first guests Tuesday.

It's the third in a mini-chain of the art-obsessed properties, with others in Louisville and Cincinnati.

Among the features of the new 21c are 12,000 feet of exhibition space that's freely open to the public 24/7, a restaurant called The Hive and loaner bikes guests can use to access the area's 20-plus miles of cycling paths.

Two inaugural exhibitions at the hotel will run through July 2013: One, entitled "Dead Ringer," features work from Slater Bradley and Ed Lachman; the other, "Hybridity: The New Frontier," highlights more than 85 pieces from the 21c collection.

Rates at the 21c Bentonville start at $159.

21c Museum Hotel, Bentonville, Arkansas