As a longtime Louisvillian, I like to think I know where to find the best hotels, restaurants, and things to do around town. The problem I had when making recommendations to out-of-towners was that the good food and fun was nowhere near the hotels in the city. Until recently, hotels were mostly clustered downtown, near airports, and in the east end suburbs.

Related: Best Hotel Credit Cards

If you wanted to experience the eclectic shops, galleries, dining, and nightlife in Louisville’s historic Highlands neighborhood, or the burgeoning arts and culinary scene in the revitalized Nulu (short for New Louisville) neighborhood, you had to figure out how to get there from your hotel. . .

However, a handful of new hotels now make this neighborhood a must-visit home base for visitors and Louisvillians who want a stylish hotel with local flair.

Numerous hotels in the highlands

The Myriad Hotel. Tarah Chief/The Points Guy

One of those new locations is a 65-room Numerous hotels, which opened in September 2023 in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood. In its former life, The Myriad Hotel was the world’s largest disco ball factory, and its lobby lounge, Switchboard, was once home to the local Southern Bell Telephone Company. Paseo, the restaurant attached to The Myriad Hotel, opened in June 2023, shortly before the rest of the property.

A number of hotels can easily go too far into that history with obvious references around every corner, but you won’t find a disco ball spinning above the bed in every guest room. A few well-placed disco balls in the hotel’s public spaces add just the right amount of 1970s flair, while other references to the hotel’s history are more subtle (with the obvious exception of having a “party lights” button in the elevator).

“Design played a really important role here in interpreting some of the historical elements,” Craig Pischotti, co-founder of Common Bond, the hotel and hospitality management group behind The Myriad Hotel, told TPG.

The switchboard ceiling lights and wall sconces resemble the wires and lights you’d see in an old-school telephone company, and the artwork in the lobby plays up the hotel’s ties to the groovy disco era.

The Myriad Hotel. Tarah Chief/The Points Guy

But what really enhances The Myriad’s sense of place as a historic building in keeping with the neighborhood’s eccentric personality is the meticulous maintenance and restoration.

Daily newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily Newsletter

Join over 700,000 readers for the latest news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts

RELATED: From overwater villas to private islands in the Maldives: 8 luxury hotels you can book with points

“We like to take what’s there and reimagine it. Instead of trying to hide the industrial origins of the building, we celebrate it,” Pischotti said. “We kept the original concrete floors, lots of exposed brick and windows.”

The bright orange tower overlooking the pool is also original to the building’s factory days. When I visited the space, it felt alive and sparkling with personality, thanks to the upkeep, vibrant art, funky furnishings and element of fun.

The Myriad Swim Club. Numerous hotels

I have enjoyed many delicious meals at Paseo. After my overnight stay, I can attest that the coffee was good enough for me to skip my regular coffee shop and grab an iced Americano from Switchboard.

“We have really good food here in Louisville, and that’s because of the local farms,” ​​Pischotti said. “We have tied up with 25 local purveyors. We make everything from scratch at Paseo, which is very challenging, but you can taste it in the dishes,” he added.

I also secured a spot at The Myriads Swim Club later this summer, which was no easy feat. The pool stays booked and busy, likely due to regular DJ-led events and access to poolside bars and food service from Paseo.

Unlike most area pools that require a membership, The Myriad Hotel Pool offers day passes to local guests 21 and older Tuesday through Sunday. (Passes cost $10 per person Tuesday through Friday and $25 on Saturday and Sunday. The pool is open to hotel guests only on Mondays.)

The Myriad Hotel. Tarah Chief/The Points Guy

Pishotti doesn’t want only out-of-town guests to enjoy The Myriad Hotel’s charming personality.

“We want people to come to Switchboard for coffee in the morning and cocktails at night, or have brunch on the patio and stop for a swim in the pool,” he said. “We really want to embrace our Kentucky roots and create something that locals will love. We know that if locals love it, visitors will come to love it too.”

Related: 10 Best Hotel Pools in the US

Common Bond also operates the Bardstown Motor Lodge, a retro roadside motel in Bardstown, Kentucky, and soon plans to open the Broadway Hotel Frankfort in the heart of the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky’s capital.

Hotel Genevieve in NuLu

Hotel Genevieve. Nick Simonite/Hotel Genevieve

About a mile down the road in Nulu, you’ll find another of Louisville’s newest boutique properties, Hotel Genevieve. Hotel Genevieve is managed by Austin-based Bunkhouse Hotels, a hospitality group specializing in design-driven boutique properties. Hotels use artwork, design and food and beverage offerings to honor and celebrate the communities in which they are based.

Hotel Genevieve is no different.

“Bunkhouse is a very local, communal brand that’s also very design-driven,” Bunkhouse president and general counsel Lisa Bonifacio told TPG. “When people travel, they’re looking for an experience, and we’ve always been an experience-based hotel brand.”

Related: Best Hotels in Austin, Texas

Louisville is the proud home of the original 21c Museum Hotels location, which opened in 2006. Since then, however, Louisville has long been overlooked by boutique brands when choosing new locations.

When asked why Bunkhouse chose Louisville as an outpost, Bonifacio said, “South Congress in Austin has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, and that’s kind of how we’ve seen Nulu in terms of beautiful buildings, local shops and restaurants, and walkability. “

In terms of theming, the Hotel Genevieve can go heavy-handed, with bourbon barrels in every room and tables made with pictures of horses. Instead, it embraces Kentucky’s heritage and neighborhood history.

A colorful mural outside the building painted by Xavier Schipani depicts the history of Louisville’s Haymarket – an early 1900s outdoor farmers market in what is now known as the Nulu neighborhood.

You can see the history-making Kentucky quilts on the pillows in the guest rooms, the hotel’s signature robe (each bunkhouse location has its own robe pattern), and the logo of the hotel’s Parisian-inspired restaurant, Rosettes. The hotel’s speakeasy, Lucky Penny, is also named for Penny Chenery, owner of the 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Lucky Penny at Hotel Genevieve. Nick Simonite/Hotel Genevieve

Hotel Genevieve doesn’t stop at representing authentic Kentucky traditions; It also supports local artisans and businesses in surprising and innovative ways.

Rosettes’ popular roasted banana bread French toast drizzled with chutney is made with bourbon from the hotel’s neighboring Rabbit Hole Distillery. Additionally, works by local artists are displayed in each guest room and throughout the hotel’s public spaces. At the mini marquee, the hotel’s small market and coffee shop, you’ll find a selection of goods from local vendors, with snacks and drinks available.

Hotel Genevieve. Tarah Chief/The Points Guy

Like other bunkhouse properties, Hotel Genevieve is much more than a place to stay. Locals and hotel guests can pop into Mini Marché for their morning cup of coffee (which I can also attest to being delicious) and visit rooftop bar Genevieve for evening happy hour and beautiful city views.

“If you’re working remotely, there are places in the hotel where you want to sit all day instead of in a sterile lobby,” Bonifacio said. “With more people having that flexibility, it provides a better opportunity for hotels like Genevieve because it’s an environment that people really want to be in.”

Other conveniently located hotels

Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel, The Myriad Hotel and Hotel Genevieve aren’t the only lifestyle hotels sprinkled throughout the city. There is also The Bellwether In the highlands, Grady Hotel in downtown and Hilton Louisville Downtown Tempo by NuLu In NuLu.

These properties are invigorating Louisville’s hotel scene with something we desperately need: affordable places to work, live and play that both visitors and permanent residents really want to spend time in. They also offer something I’ve been looking for: places to get a great cup of coffee.

Related Reading:

Leave a Comment