Emily and I were completely charmed by Louisville, Kentucky when we visited for a Southern Weddings V8 editorial shoot a few weeks ago! Every local we met seemed to love their hometown so much. While we hated having to say no to questions of “Have you done this? Have you seen that?” (our trip was far too short!), the one Louisville gem we did get to experience was The Brown Hotel. We practically leapt at the opportunity to stay there, and arrived knowing very little about it–other than that it’s the home of the original Kentucky hot brown, a sandwich we’ve been intrigued by for years! Reason enough to stay there, right? :)
I love this line about The Brown Hotel on their website: “Anchoring downtown Louisville with a firm grasp on history paired with a 21st century appreciation for hospitality.” We found this to be so true! The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places, and many of the architectural features and details are the originals from when it opened in 1923. The lobby was a work of art, and the concierge was top-notch. After we checked in, they remembered us for our whole stay, which I’m always impressed by! While we didn’t try out the lobby bar, we did hear rumors about their impressive selection of bourbon cocktails.
Last two photos by Chris Witzke
As soon as we arrived, we got freshened up and joined Debbie, the Events Manager, for dinner at the English Grill. The English Grill is The Brown Hotel’s main restaurant, as well as the birthplace of the aforementioned hot brown. Debbie warned us that the hot brown is kind of like eating Thanksgiving dinner, so neither of us ended up ordering it, but now, I seriously regret not just getting it to split! However, we did thoroughly enjoy our meals–Emily had the farmer’s salad followed by braised short rib, brown sugar bourbon glazed carrots, and dauphinoise potato, and I had a Caesar salad (their homemade dressing was delicious!), followed by wild salmon with dauphinoise potato and white asparagus.
After two long days in a row, between traveling and our editorial shoot, going back to our suite each night was heavenly! Our rooms were a tiny bit different than the two pictured below, but we unfortunately didn’t remember to grab any of our own pictures before crashing and watching The Bachelorette :) Unsurprisingly, The Brown Hotel is a favorite amongst Kentucky Derby attendees, and we loved the subtle derby touches throughout the hotel–a perfect nod to the rich history of nearby Churchill Downs!
We loved our stay at The Brown Hotel and in Louisville overall–both of us have our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to return soon, with husbands in tow, to experience much more of this fun Southern city!