KY Travel Guide - Page 2
Add another to the list of haunted hotels: A former Ford employee purchased the abandoned, vandalized 30 acres of Waverly Hills Sanatorium in south Louisville for $225,000 in 2001, and is now determined to turn the spooky property into a first-class hotel complete with spa and business center.
Currently this gutted old hospital for tuberculosis patients, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts paranormal camp-outs for $100-a-head and was the subject of a six-hour feature on the Sci Fi Channel. Even wikipedia-ing this place will give you the heebie-jeebies. So will night-vision goggles and thermal sensors be part of the mini bar?
Things that do not come to mind when we think of the scene of one of our most pleasant, if not religious, bathroom experiences: many pairs of eyes upon us while we do our business, one-way mirrors and a red breed of Billy Madison-esque giant penguins.
And yet! The funky-fab (if not a bit creepy sometimes) 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, featuring all of these unsettling delights, has been named one of ten public bathrooms nominated for the honor of America's Best Restroom.
It's a cool bathroom and all -- and yes, we get it, it's art in a hotel that dually functions as a public art museum -- but imagine taking a pee in an environment with "gender-specific latent exhibitionist fetish features" such as these:
The men's restroom has a two-way mirror that allows users of a long urinal to contemplate passers-by outside the restroom. Both the men's and women's restrooms have tiny LCD screens displaying a multitude of different, open eyes in the mirror above the sink area that make washing up or primping a communal affair.
VIP Hotel Reviews / VIP Hotel Reviewer Series / Deidre Woollard / Hotel Ghosts / Hilton Hotels / Louisville Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
We now present you with our VIP Hotel Reviewer Series in which we hand-pick experts in the travel and media worlds and beyond to tell us what are their favorite hotels and why. Once a week, we'll feature a hotel review from said VIPs about their favorite leisure or business hotels. Pay attention: These VIPs are experts at what they do and they don't mess around when it comes to their hotels.
The next VIP in the series is Deidre Woollard, the founder and head writer at popular luxury blog, Luxist.com. Despite writing about what's hot in the luxury world, Deidre has spent time in a Super 8 Motel. Of course, she would never stay there again. Instead the next time she visits Louisville, Kentucky, she'll probably hit up the Seelbach Hilton. Enjoy.
For a couple of years while getting my MFA through Spalding University's limited residency program I spent a lot of time in Louisville, Kentucky.
Each semester we spent 10 days in a hotel in Louisville. For the inaugural session of the program they put us in a Super 8 hotel. Not just any Super 8 Hotel, but one that happened to be located near what appeared to be a crackhouse.
It was noisy, loud and scary but both the visiting professors and students bonded as we chaperoned each other from elevator to room for security's sake. It was the last semester the program ever stayed there.
For the rest of my time in the program we stayed at the Seelbach Hilton, the grand old hotel downtown which was built in 1905. It was quite an improvement from the Super 8.
Could it be? The New York Times may have finally found a great hotel worthy of writing about in its weekly Check In, Check Out feature. The 21c Museum Hotel is in the heart of Louisville, and it's chock full of fancy contemporary art.
Artistry isn't limited to the Chuck Close hanging on the wall, though. The rooms sound nice, too:
Our river-view king room mimicked an efficient live/work loft space: a feather duvet and locally woven throw blanket covered luxurious 500-thread-count sheets; exposed brick walls played against brushed steel and neutral gray carpets. Road warriors will welcome the well-designed workspace with Herman Miller Aeron chair, wireless Internet service, a cordless phone and an anodized aluminum desk. Less productive types will flop down in the comfortable reading chair to unwind with the in-room iPod.
The 21c also has top-notch restaurant in Proof--it's got 60 whiskeys on the menu, though not all of them can be had through room service. Knock back a couple, and you'll have a ticket to the first floor bathrooms, which according to a bellman, have some of the best art in the place.
· Check In, Check Out [NYT]
Blogger Candi, a librarian in real life, got all excited recently about the determinants of delight wherein you can achieve satisfaction when you remove expectations (especially high ones) of a performance. She learnt about 'em at a library-related conference where they were trying to get folks excited about libraries again. Oddly enough, she ended up being delighted by the staff at the Cincinnati Marriott hotel nearby.
First, it's impressive and spotless when you walk into the hotel. The bed was a dream complete with a down-filled duvet comforter (the only way to sleep in my opinion) ... When I called the front desk they greeted me by name before asking how they could help me. If you passed a hotel employee they would smile and greet you....
Then, on the morning of my last day there, a hotel employee went above and beyond by helping me find my car in the parking garage. And it was very embarrassing ... And even more amazingly, he didn't show the slightest hint of what he had to be thinking (which had to be what an idiot. Even I was thinking it). This last bit of my stay bumped me up to delighted.
While this sounds like the standard in hotel service, we guess for a Marriott in Kentucky, this type of attention is a treat. And just in case you were wondering, from this hotel stay Candi deducted that if you treat library guests like hotel guests they will keep coming back for more. So all you frumpy librarians better start smiling when we check-in and check-out books.
[Photo: Michael TM]
· Cincinnati Marriott reviews [TripAdvisor]
Last week we picked the 21C Museum Hotel as your 2007 Kentucky Derby stay. While guests were raving about the hotel's hip technology, blogger Crooked Timber gives us the scoop on the hotel's somewhat freaky artistic pieces.
Upon entrance, you almost have to step on the projection of two people sleeping in bed to get to the receptionists and/or the elevators to access your room....Big plastic red penguins are scattered across the building, not just in the designated museum section, but also in the hallways. I didn't care for some of the installations (like the film about a woman and a man having a seemingly pleasant dinner judging from their facial expressions despite the fact that mice are walking all over their food), but some of it was neat (like the falling letters on a screen where the viewer becomes part of the image)....The visit was much more fun than your usual hotel stay and it made me wish more hotels would put some interesting twist on the experience.
We also found a picture of this "interesting" sculpture that is found in the hotel's gallery. Normally, we would probably not want to see red plastic penguins and the birth of critters in our hotel but when you are stuck in Kentucky, this could give you something to do.
When Saturday's snail mail delivered up Travel & Leisure's Hotels Issue we got a bit overexcited--yeah, welcome to our lives.
The issue is chalk full of good glossy hotel info, but when we read the Viewing Rooms piece on 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, we realized this brand spankin' new hotel might just be worth of destination hotel consideration. Hotels that combine art and hospitality always pique our interest. Throw in the fact that this project is part of a larger, and judging from the photographic evidence on Flickr, rather successful revitalization of downtown Louisville and we were in.
21C Museum hotel just opened in April, but already guests are raving about the service and the 42 inch flat screen plasma televisions. Let's be honest, giant plasma televisions help guests forgive most beta hotel service hiccups anyway. Now that the Derby is a thing of the past it shouldn't be all that difficult to snag one of the 90 rooms here if you are set to travel to Louisville in the near future. If you do go, take some photos and share them with us, will ya?
As for us, we are seriously considering booking a HotelChatter trip here for the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Despite Barbaro's horrific and tragic injury, which was really hard to watch, attending a Triple Crown race ranks fairly high on our to-do list. If you are thinking along the same lines, the cool girl at 21C said to call back "late summer" when they would begin accepting reservations for next year's Derby (May 5, 2007). Stay tuned.
Have you been struck with a sudden desire to put on a super-sized pastel hat and watch the Kentucy Derby Horse races this weekend?
Even though the races are just a few days away, the Best Western Ashton Inn Suites is offering a three-night stay for $900 that includes a two-room suite with continental breakfast, shuttle service to Churchill Downs (just two miles away), complimentary bottle of wine and welcome basket with collectible glasses, program guides and best of all, taxes.
Just be careful when you ask for a late check-out. One guest was told by the front desk to get out ASAP even though a late check-out was agreed to. Then she discovered a random charge of $20 on the room bill which inexplicably angered the clerk.
As we were asking her about the extra money on the bill, she was saying some words I wish not to repeat (alot of Fthis F that and B** and C*** and alot other foul words.) After I told her I wanted to speak to a Manager she got very rude and started throwing paperclips and paperweights at my friend.
We suggest keeping your hat handy at check-out so as to deflect incoming office supplies.
Image via Bridgepix/Flickr
Hotel swimming pools are not always the relaxing activities they promise to be.
Fire crews took four children and two adults to the hospital after they were exposed to carbon monoxide while at the Marriott Cincinatti Airport in Hebron, Kentucky. One of the children had passed out at the pool and high carbon monoxide levels were detected coming from the pool's heater.
Everyone is expected to be okay but we are pretty wary now of indoor swimming pools.
The 'fish will get you to and from the airport to the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. The Brown is a Louisville landmark that caters to Derby goers, as well as some of Louisville's favorite sons. In December of 2001 the Brown dedicated a suite to Louisville born boxer Muhammad Ali. No word on when/if the Brown will open a Hunter S. Thompson suite, or for that matter a Johnny Depp suite.
Getting a room at the Brown during Derby days is no easy task, however, if you go through Bluefish they will hook you up with dinner, sweet seats at the race, and plenty of Mint Juleps and Mimosas.
If you can't score a reservation at the Brown the first week of May you may want to stop by for a Hot Brown Sandwich if you get a chance--we hear they are worth the trip.