The week of the Kentucky Derby, the city of Louisville, KY, is lit with excitement. Numerous festivities set the mood as the community anticipates the big race and the visitors coming to enjoy it. The visitors planning to attend the Kentucky Derby will have their mind on hats, horses and hopefully a few winning tickets. What they may not think about is where they will stay. As a good Southerner, here are three accommodations options that can take your trip from lovely to simply exquisite, making it one to remember for years to come.

Any visitor to Kentucky would expect to see some rolling hills, green grass and horses galloping in the field which you can experience at the beautiful Hermitage Farm; or enjoy the historic bed and breakfast property at the Inn at Woodhaven; or stay where President Lincoln stayed at Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn & Hotel.

3 Great Places to Stay for Derby

Hermitage Farm

10500 West Hwy. 42, P.O. Box 40, Goshen, KY 40026 • (502) 228-1426

“From its rolling hills to mares and foals grazing in its paddocks, Hermitage Farm is quintessentially Kentucky,” says Ashleigh McLean, Hermitage Farm’s Director of Marketing and Special Events. “While guests stay with us all throughout the year, there is no better time than Derby weekend to stay in a beautiful home on the grounds of a working Thoroughbred farm! It really is the Derby experience of a lifetime!”

Past Thoroughbred residents at Hermitage include Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and Breeders’ Cup winners, as well as more than 200 stakes winners. Image: Hermitage Farm

Experience VIP accommodations that are unlike any other at Hermitage. The house comes with a fully stocked kitchen and bar, and a private chef can be secured to cater to you and your guests during your stay. You will be shuttled around in a luxury SUV with a dedicated driver for the weekend. And more vehicles can be secured, if needed. Included in the rental is a private tour of the onsite Thoroughbred operations, which is a great way to see where horses like those running at Churchill Downs get their start. Beyond these great comforts and perks, you would be the only guests at Hermitage Farm during your stay, allowing you to experience the luxury of a hotel with the privacy of a private home.

The dining room can seat up to 20 individuals comfortably, and with seven beds, the house can sleep up to 14. Additional cots, cribs, pack-and-plays can be brought in as needed. If you are looking for a fabulous retreat when the Breeder’s Cup makes its return to Louisville in November, consider Hermitage, but they are also open and available year-round.

The house can sleep up to 14, with bedrooms featuring luxurious bedding and striking art. Image: Hermitage Farm

Join together in the dining room, set for 20, to enjoy meals prepared by your private chef. Image: Hermitage Farm

The Main House, built in 1835, serves as your home away from home as you visit this picturesque horse farm. Image: Hermitage Farm

The Smokehouse, which was the original kitchen to the Main House now serves as additional accommodations for four guests. Image: Hermitage Farm

Beautiful bathrooms are stocked with Malin and Goetz bath products to give you a luxurious escape. Image: Hermitage Farm

Situated on a 700-acre Thoroughbred farm, mares and foals graze in the paddocks surrounding the Main House. Image: Hermitage Farm

The Main House offers multiple gathering areas for you and your guests to spend time together. Image: Hermitage Farm

Inn at Woodhaven

401 South Hubbards Lane, Louisville, KY 40207 • (502) 895-1011

The Inn at Woodhaven  is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a well-known local landmark. The Main House and Carriage House, both built in 1853 by prominent Kentucky farmer Theodore Brown, are spectacular examples of American Gothic Revival architecture. The third building, Rose Cottage, was built in 1998 using architectural elements from the original buildings.

Each of the eight spacious guest rooms feature beautiful and inviting furnishings and elegant timeworn antiques. Complimentary coffee, tea, after-dinner liqueurs, desserts and beverages are available for guests to enjoy in the parlor or on the porches.

The Main House was built in 1853 and offers a spectacular example of American Gothic Revival architecture. Image: Inn at Woodhaven

All accommodations offer elegant antiques in inviting interiors. Image: Inn at Woodhaven

Take a seat on one of the many porches and enjoy complimentary coffee, tea or an after-dinner drink. Image: Inn at Woodhaven

The cozy Derby Room offers a great place to recap your day at the races with your fellow travelers. Image: Inn at Woodhaven

Remember that calories don’t count when you are on vacation, so dive into the buffet of breakfast pastries. Image: Inn at Woodhaven

Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn & Hotel

2227 Bashford Manor Lane, Louisville, KY 40218 • (502) 295-9005

You’ve heard of the Kentucky state song, “My Old Kentucky Home”? Well Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast is as close to that as you can get! This farmhouse inn set on private park land includes a country breakfast prepared fresh to order and featuring local, organic produce and fair-trade coffee bought from local farmers and coffee roasters. Amenities include canopy beds, window seats, clawfoot tubs, copper drencher showers, along with several modern amenities like Wi-Fi and wet bars, too. The most notable reason to stay here is because Lincoln did, too! In 1841, during his breakup with Mary Todd, he made several social calls to the house.

If you want to stay in a manor befitting a president, go to Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast, where Lincoln frequented! Image: Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast

Let Bashford Manor be your old Kentucky home. Image: Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast

Rooms in this historic property feature canopy beds, clawfoot tubs and window seats. Image: Bashford Manor Bed & Breakfast

Happy Derby!

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This article is sponsored by Hermitage Farm.

Looking for more tips on where to stay and what to do when traveling? See more here