Horses, bourbon and food … three reasons to visit Louisville, right? After all, ours is a town steeped in tradition and proud of its heritage. That’s why it’s such a great city to visit. So whether you have friends coming into town or simply need a staycation, a good cocktail or a great meal, these four beloved Louisville hotels are worth a visit.
21c Museum Hotel
700 West Main St., Louisville • (502) 271-6300
Located on Main Street in the heart of historic downtown Louisville, 21c is the city’s only true boutique hotel. This place packs a lot into its 90-room venue: a hotel, contemporary art museum, fine dining restaurant (Proof on Main) and renowned bar, and a cultural civic center. Known by its ubiquitous red penguins that are scattered throughout the property, this hotel is a completely unique experience for everyone from the hotel guest to the one-time diner. Owned by Louisvillians Laura Lee and Steve Wilson, this is a luxury hotel with amenities including a full spa and Proof on Main for room service. Guests can even order fresh-made cookies and milk for their nightcap! Rooms are stocked with original art, pewter mint julep cups, gourmet Nespresso coffeemakers and even Herman Miller ergonomic chairs.
Room rates start at $179 a night, and several tourism packages are available. And if you love this property, check out their other hotels in Cincinnati, Bentonville, AR, and Durham, NC.
SB tip: Don’t miss the bathroom on the first floor. It is a trip worth taking.
The Brown Hotel
335 West Broadway, Louisville • (502) 583-1234
Louisville businessman J. Graham Brown opened The Brown Hotel at Fourth and Broadway in 1923. This luxury establishment features fine dining at the English Grill and wonderful cocktails and bourbon at their lobby bar. You cannot mention The Brown Hotel without mentioning the Louisville culinary specialty created there: the Hot Brown. The Crystal Ballroom is coveted wedding reception — or other event — space, and there is the special Muhammad Ali Suite, dedicated by Ali himself.
Room rates begin at $244 per night, and there are several packages available from relaxation to romance, and even bourbon tours. There is also a club level with a club lounge included.
SB tip: The Brown has a wonderful gift shop filled with treasures.
The Seelbach Hilton
Yes, this is a Hilton, but it’s a local hotel to Louisvillians. Built in 1905, the Seelbach harkens back to the Golden Era. Its fine dining, The Oakroom, is a consistent favorite for special culinary experiences and boasts the largest wine cellar in the region. There is also the Old Seelbach Bar, with a large selection of bourbons. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Al Capone were both guests here. Fitzgerald was so inspired by the grand hotel that Daisy and Tom Buchanan’s wedding was set in the Seelbach in his novel, The Great Gatsby. Recently renovated, the hotel combines the old and the new for its guests and boasts three beautiful ballrooms for weddings or special events.
Room rates start at $219 per night.
SB tip: Head downstairs to the basement-located Rathskeller, constructed in 1907 of beautiful Rookwood Pottery. It’s a smaller event space, and the tile designs are from the same region in Germany as the hotel’s founders, Otto and Louis Seelbach.
The Galt House
140 North Fourth St., Louisville • (502) 589-5200
Stay in the heart of Louisville with the best view in town. The Galt House hotel originally opened in 1835 and is now in its fourth edition, with the final one being built in 1973 for one tower and 1985 for the second tower. Locally owned and operated, this large hotel attracts visitors from around the world, and from many downtown conventions with its 1,300 guest rooms. Presidents and world leaders have stayed at The Galt House, which features fine dining restaurant Rivue and the bar in the conservatory, Al J’s, which doubles as a glass pedway between the two towers.
Room rates start at $175 per night, and several packages, including shopping, sightseeing tours and bourbon tours, are available.
SB tip: For an incredible experience, book a riverfront viewing room for Thunder Over Louisville to watch the fireworks.
Now that you have a place to stay, check out what’s going on around town in our Louisville Happenings post.
Want to know where to stay in our other SB cities? Click any link below: