The Brown Hotel, Louisville

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

We headed to Louisville on Chloe's ninth birthday at noon. She talked us into letting her go to school that day for her class picnic and it was her birthday after all, even though we planned on leaving at the crack of dawn. We arrived in Louisville at 7 pm eastern time. Jackie booked us a queen room, which almost put me over the edge when I realized that it was one queen not two. But after taking a deep breath and looking around the beautiful lobby, I just thought I'd have to let him sleep on the floor. I did ask the guy checking us in if they had a roll away, and they did but it was $20 a night. So I voted against that and just pictured him on the floor.

Our room was on a club floor of the hotel, the eleventh floor to be exact, and had to use our key to get us up there. We had a beautiful, spacious room that Chloe immediately pronounced as "fancy". We set our bags down and ventured across the street, on the concierge's advice, to a restaurant. We loved it as we ate outside near a courtyard facing the hotel and watched the locals.

The next day we had a little time to walk around Louisville before heading to my cousin's wedding. Jackie took us down 4th street for a stroll to the Ohio River. We walked by stores, restaurants and part of a block was blocked off near some sports bars where a 5K walk was going on to benefit a charity. Louisville has a very charming and clean downtown. Chloe enjoyed seeing all the horse statues around the city.

Open in 1923, the Brown Hotel was a prominent hotel for guests and social events downtown. It closed in 1971 and then served as the Board of Education. In the early 80s, it was remodeled and reopened with 16 stories and meeting rooms and is used frequently by the University of Louisville and business professionals. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and according to Jackie, it is a preferred hotel during derby season and one of the reasons he picked the hotel. The English Grill restaurant is located on the lobby floor and we considered eating there but they don't allow cell phones, sandals or shorts, so we enjoyed walking right by it.

I did have to ask housekeeping to bring us a working hair dryer one morning and it arrived in about a minute. And it wasn't that little one on the wall, it was a full size powerful dryer. Our room also boasted a feather bed, English duvet and the bathroom had marble and granite counter tops. I personally liked the single cup coffee maker and was thrilled that housekeeping let me get extra coffees each day.

We didn't valet our car but parked in the covered lot attached to our hotel for $20 per day. There is very limited parking downtown and there really is no other choice for parking. When we checked out on Sunday I noticed a parking sign for bikes. Louisville is a very forward thinking town that has a ton of bike trails, recycling and the sort. On our walk to the river we noticed a rack of bikes attached to a box. Later I checked with my good friend from Oklahoma City that lives there, and they were Humana Bikes for their employees to use for local errands. Hmmm, if only all businesses would take this approach...

The hotel is also listed as a Preferred Hotel and Resort similar to one of my favorite Memphis hotels, the Madison. We really loved the Brown, its location, accommodations and feel of the "fancy" hotel.

The Brown Hotel, 335 West Broadway, Louisville 888-387-0498 Check out this fancy website!

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