If you read hotel marketing materials as much as I do, you’ll realize that many like to say they “feel just like home.” I’ve always taken issue with that – not because I don’t love my own home – but because when I travel I want my hotel to be different. I want to experience something unique and memorable. Comfortable, yes, but exactly like what I have at home…no thanks.


Luckily, some hotels still know how to surprise you. The Lancaster Arts Hotel is a former tobacco warehouse with a rich history tied to the city’s past, but as soon as you pull up to the entrance, you know you’re in for something different.


The brick building may look like any other former warehouse, but open the doors and you’re soon inside a world filled with quirky and forward-thinking art. Exposed brick walls, oversized plush chairs with backs crafted out of tobacco leaf-shaped pillows and original works of art fill this intriguing space. It’s the kind of lobby where you want to sit down and just take it all in. It’s not just oil paintings….the lobby is filled with everything from an antique carousel animal to a giant metal wire sculpture.


The Lancaster Arts has 63 guest rooms with 12 suites. The exposed brick walls and wide plank wood floors continue in the accommodations, where you’ll find more art and a decidedly inspiring ambience. In fact, “be inspired” is the hotel’s mantra and you’ll see it printed everywhere. Two of the smile-inducing touches that struck a chord with me were the sketchbook and pencil left on the desk (should the artistic mood strike) and the different take on the standard Do Not Disturb sign (here, it’s “Artists at Work”).


The Lancaster Arts has a well-regarded bar/restaurant, John J. Jefffries, located right off the lobby. It’s intimate, so it's perfect for smaller groups. There is also a delightful meeting room off the lobby that is perfect for groups of 20 or less, and the Blanche Nevin Room, which functions as the breakfast room, can also be transformed into an event space for up to 50.


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