When you walk into a hotel, what is the first thing you notice? Does it smell like a clean hotel? Is the person at the front desk greeting me with a smile? I feel like those things matter…a lot. But the more traveling I have done throughout the U.S. the more things I have added to this list of important hotel features. Downtown Louisville has a number of hotels that fit this long list of demands that I have developed, so this article is in no way a comprehensive list of the best hotels in Louisville, KY. I have had the privilege of staying at many great hotels in Louisville, but these three really have an above and beyond wow factor that is unrivaled.
21c Museum Hotel
Yeah, as if reading “museum hotel” wasn’t enough to tell you how cool this place is, wait until you walk in the door. The place is shiny and modern, and you can get your first glimpse of the museum part of this innovative combo from the front desk. While at the front desk you will be welcomed by an enthusiastic, informed member of the staff, and yes, they will be smiling. In speaking with a few different people at the front desk I realized that I would never encounter a weak employee during my stay at 21c. The entire staff was just that good. The museum is always bringing fresh exhibits so there is plenty of entertainment without leaving the building. Also without leaving the building, dine in one of Louisville’s top restaurants, Proof on Main, which is part of the whole shebang. With some of the most attentive service I have ever received at a hotel and the interesting, artistic design of the rooms, this place is the total package.
The Galt House Hotel
Maybe you’re a history buff, maybe you like to be in the center of all the action, or maybe you just want something as simple as a water view from your hotel room. The Galt House can deliver on all three of these items and so many more! The first Galt House Hotel was built in 1837 so you can imagine that this place has seen it all. From Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses S Grant, The Galt House has had some interesting guests, including a visit from Charles Dickens. With two towers of 25 stories each and a total of 1,300 guest rooms, the Galt House is also Kentucky’s largest hotel, and our only hotel that is located directly on the Ohio River. This hotel offers apartment living with hotel amenities, waterfront balcony hotel suites, and city view hotel suites. The two towers of The Galt House are connected by a 10,000 square foot conservatory made of glass and steel that sits a few stories above fourth street and contains a cafe, a cocktail lounge, an aviary, a greenhouse, and views that cannot be accurately described without seeing firsthand. The Galt House also boasts over 125,000 square feet of meeting space, multiple ballrooms, pools, exhibit halls, exclusive, hidden lounges, and six restaurants, two of which are Louisville favorites Rivue and Jeff Ruby’s. This place is impressive to say the least.
The Marriott Residence Inn*
I use the asterisk because I am singling out the Residence Inn, but I could just as easily be talking about the Louisville Marriott Downtown, or the Courtyard by Marriott on Second St. All three of these Marriott hotels in downtown Louisville have been a beacon of quality service to me. They also have proven to be very flexible and understanding. I had to stay in the Residence Inn for 6 weeks after I was displaced from my home for renovations. The situation was stressful, but the staff at this hotel made everything seem more like a vacation. All three of the Marriott locations are convenient to different features of downtown Louisville. The Residence Inn is right by the recently restored NuLu district, which contains some of Louisville’s most exciting restaurants. Also within a block or two is Louisville Slugger Field and Waterfront Park. Serving a delicious, hot, complimentary breakfast buffet each morning, and complimentary dinners a few nights a week, the Marriott Residence Inn is a great option for an extended stay or if you’re on more of a budget.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Louisville, KY or you live here and you just want to get away on an in town vacation, these hotels will not disappoint!
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