To say that Louisville's hotel scene is up-and-coming is an understatement; by the end of 2015, some 1,400 new rooms will be added to the city, including Louisville's first rooftop bar and restaurant, and first LGBT hotel. Needless to say, now is the time to visit Louisville as the city continues to grow and develop. When searching for a place to stay, there are a variety of existing options ranging from historical bed and breakfasts, trendy hotels, luxurious legends and tried-and-true name brand properties.
For starters, the 21C Museum Hotel began in Louisville (it has since expanded) and is a must-visit; even for those who aren't booking a room. The attached art museum and restaurant in the heart of downtown Louisville should not be missed! For opulent classics, the Brown Hotel and Inn at Woodhaven (a bed and breakfast) are overflowing with southern charm and stunning decor.
The sprawling, Galt House Hotel has 1,300 guest rooms and nine restaurants and bars - making it a popular choice in downtown. The Hilton Seelbach is another unique option in the heart of the city, or the area is home to a number of stand-out household names, like the Louisville Marriott East, and Homewood Suites Louisville East located about 15 minutes from the city center.
This list of the 10 best hotels in Louisville should help with choosing what hotel is right for you.
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Louisville East
For a comfortable, affordable stay in Louisville, the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham does the trick. Rooms and suite reservations include free WiFi access, airport shuttle, and complimentary hot breakfast that typically consists of eggs, bacon, waffles, muffins, bagels, toast, fresh fruit options, and yogurt. Depending on category, rooms may also have refrigerators and kitchenettes. In addition to a heated indoor pool area, guests have access to the gym across the street. They're pet friendly, but not smoker-friendly. There's a decent selection of books if you need reading material. The hotel is located about 15 minutes' driving from the downtown area and the airport.
Homewood Suites Louisville East
The Homewood Suites in Louisville is a classic example of a well-run name-brand hotel. Service is friendly, rooms are well-appointed and comfortable, and there are a number of amenities. Guests can use the fitness center, plunge into the pool, re-energize on the jogging track, or play a game on the basketball court. A breakfast buffet is included in the room rates, and complimentary WiFi can be found throughout the property. Perfect for families, the hotel offers several room options including studios, one- and two-bedroom suites that feature separate living and sleeping areas, fully-equipped kitchens with a full-size refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher.
Embassy Suites Hotel Louisville
Located 15 minutes from downtown and Louisville International Airport, the Embassy Suites has all-suite accommodations, a gift shop, indoor pool, fitness center, jogging track, business center, complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, and an evening cocktail reception. The hotel is pet-friendly (for a reasonable fee) and suites feature private rooms with separate living areas, complimentary WiFi, coffee makers, flat-screen televisions, refrigerators, and dining tables. The center of the hotel feels like a futuristic city, with an atrium cafe that serves American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Embassy Suites falls under the Hilton Hotel umbrella, so you can earn some points with your reservation!
Inn at Woodhaven Louisville
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, both the carriage house and main house were built in 1853, and a third building was added in the 20th Century that reflects the same American Gothic Revival style. The inn has eight elegant rooms that feature antiques, private baths with spa whirlpool tubs, and classical decor. Some rooms have fireplaces and private balconies. Linger on one of the quiet outdoor porches, take a stroll around the grounds or the Brown Park and Beargrass Nature Preserve -- both are only a block away. The inn is located just nine miles from the heart of downtown Louisville.
Louisville Marriott East
A perennial favorite among travelers, this Marriott is a standout in Louisville and has been honored with the AAA four-diamond award. All spacious guest rooms contain refrigerators, coffee makers, 42-inch flat screen televisions, and incredibly comfortable beds with plush pillows and linens. A non-smoking hotel, Louisville Marriott East offers free parking to guests, a fitness room, indoor pool with whirlpool, and complimentary WiFi. Charr'd, is the on-site restaurant that offers a variety of American fare, breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The bar features a stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail. The hotel is located about a 15-minute drive to downtown Louisville.
Hyatt Regency Louisville
In the center of downtown Louisville, this upscale hotel is a member of the trusted brand, Hyatt Regency. Spacious rooms and suites are hypo-allergenic, and offer Ohio River views, ultra-plush pillows and granite baths. The main dining venue at the hotel, Sway, boasts an inviting "front porch" just off the main lobby and southern fare sourced from local farms. There's also Einstein Bros. Bagels for a quick morning bite (Sway also serves breakfast), or room service when guests want don't want to go far. The fourth floor of the hotel is home to an indoor pool, outdoor tennis courts, and 24-hour fitness center.
Hilton Seelbach Louisville
This four-diamond hotel isn't your typical Hilton; built in 1905, it inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald when creating the backdrop for Tom and Daisy Buchanan's wedding in "The Great Gatsby". Recently-renovated rooms have new furniture and 37-inch, high-definition televisions. The Oakroom restaurant is a favorite among locals, and is an elegant and romantic venue that is Kentucky' only five-diamond award winner. A 24-hour fitness center, business center, gift shop, and complimentary airport shuttle are a few of the amenities available to guests. To really splurge, the Seelbach Suite features a parlor with a carved-oak fireplace, a cathedral ceiling and ornate, stained-glass windows.
Galt House Hotel & Suites
With a long history in the hotel business (the first dates back to 1835), there is a reason why the Galt House is still open today as it continues to offer sophistication to visitors. Perched by the waterfront in downtown Louisville, The Galt House is withing walking distance to most attractions and restaurants, or guests can hop on the trolley or catch a two-minute cab ride. Of the 1,300 guest rooms, 650 are suites with five types to choose from. Some of the most striking features of the hotel include a third-floor conservatory, a rooftop fitness center, nine restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool overlooking downtown Louisville, numerous shops, a spa and salon.
The Brown Hotel
This four-diamond winner showcases timeless English Renaissance architecture, and its two-story lobby is simply stunning. A hand-painted, coffered ceiling, Bottocino marble flooring, and finely-carved mahogany furnishings demonstrate southern opulence. The hotel is located next to the Brown Theater and a block from the Palace Theater. Free WiFi is offered throughout, and each of the 293 rooms and suites feature baths fitted with Spanish, Ramora marble and granite-top vanities, 32-inch flat screen color televisions, and pillow-top beds with Egyptian cotton linens and European white goose down comforters. Three dining options are offered at the hotel, including the award-winning English Grill, a premier fine dining restaurant.
21c Museum Hotel
Louisville first gave birth to this contemporary and artistic hotel in 2006, and since then two more locations have opened in Cincinnati and Bentonville (Arkansas). What makes the 90-room, boutique hotel so unique is that it is also a contemporary art museum and award-winning restaurant. Many rooms feature exposed brick walls or private rooftop access while others incorporate art exhibitions into the design. Luxurious bedding, Nespresso coffee machines, flat-screen televisions, free WiFi, and plush bathrooms are just a few of the room amenities. There's also a spa and fitness area, as well as room service from Proof on Main, the sustainable on-site restaurant.
About Amber Nolan
Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite places are Iceland for its remoteness; Panama for its parties; and Peru for its history.
Her work can be found on MSNBC.com, Frommers, and Sherman’s Travel, where she served as the Cruise Editor and Senior Producer. She is currently working on a comic novel about her shoestring travels as she hitchhikes on airplanes across the country in an effort to visit all 50 states. See Jethiking.com.
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