The highly anticipated Hotel Genevieve has officially opened its doors in the heart of Louisville’s vibrant East Market District, marking a significant milestone for both the city and the Bunkhouse hospitality group. In collaboration with the renowned real estate development firm, Mountain Shore Properties, Bunkhouse has created a stunning boutique hotel that is sure to become a sought-after destination for travelers and locals alike. The first hotel project for Bunkhouse in Kentucky, Hotel Genevieve also marks a significant moment for the East Market District, also known as NuLu, as it becomes the neighborhood’s first boutique hotel.
Hotel Genevieve is a stunning six-story property boasting 122 rooms, making it the largest hotel in the Bunkhouse portfolio to date. The hotel’s design pays homage to the vibrant city of Louisville, with a lobby art gallery that showcases local talent and a retail shop that features unique Kentucky-made products. The hotel’s four culinary spaces, all helmed by James Beard-nominated Chef Ashleigh Shanti, are sure to delight visitors, with an all-day ground-floor restaurant, a rooftop bar, and lounge offering sweeping views of the city, an intimate secret bar, and a vibrant mini-market that will open later in May.
Hotel Genevieve takes its name from the regional type of limestone known as Saint Genevieve, a key ingredient in bourbon production that is found throughout Texas and Kentucky. This name not only pays tribute to the hotel’s location but also reflects the origins of Bunkhouse, which has deep roots in Texas. Additionally, Saint Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris, nodding to both the French origins of Louisville and the many women who worked on the project.
The hotel is a collaboration between Bunkhouse, ROHE Creative, and LLW Architects, resulting in a thoughtfully designed space that pays homage to the vibrant nuances of Louisville beyond just its famous bourbon and horse racing. As Bunkhouse’s first urban core hotel, the design draws inspiration from the patron saint of Paris, celebrating the French origins of the city and merging it with Louisville’s unique character.
The design of the property is a blend of French modernism and Old World charm, creating a playful and feminine space that beautifully contrasts the masculine undertones typically associated with bourbon and downtown Louisville. The use of cool and natural color combinations, including shades of blue, terracotta, and warm yellow, creates a modern take on a historical color palette and energizes the space by bringing the outdoors in. Custom, curvaceous consoles from ROHE in an ivory high-gloss lacquer are used to reflect the room’s saturated hues and add another layer of luminescence to the space. Additionally, Kentucky’s quilt culture becomes a muse, with modern quilting patterns showcased in the corridor carpets and bedroom throws.
The hotel boasts four distinctive culinary concepts, masterminded by Culinary Director Ashleigh Shanti, who brings a fresh perspective to Louisville’s food scene with her roots in African American foodways. Shanti, a 2019 Eater Young Gun awardee and 2020 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year finalist, infuses her passion for food history and storytelling into each concept to create an alluring culinary experience.
Located on the ground floor, Rosettes is an all-day restaurant named after the coveted ribbons awarded in horse races. The restaurant offers a vibrant dining experience that showcases the simplicity and quality of local ingredients while drawing inspiration from Parisian al fresco cafes and Shanti’s Southern/Appalachian heritage. The restaurant, adjacent to the lobby, exudes an elegant ambiance while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere. Brasserie details, including cafe curtains, Royer-inspired lighting, and outdoor seating, create an inviting space that encourages guests to savor their morning coffee and enjoy celebratory dinners. Rosettes’ menu is driven by the philosophy of showcasing the beauty of uncomplicated, locally sourced ingredients in a creative and flavorful way. The combination of Southern and French influences creates a unique culinary experience that celebrates the region’s diverse flavors and culinary traditions.
Hotel Genevieve Bar is the first rooftop establishment under the Bunkhouse brand, offering French-inspired cocktails and light fare with Mediterranean influences. The venue boasts magnificent views of the Ohio River and the city and pays homage to the city’s namesake, King Louis XVI. The indoor and outdoor seating areas are filled with tasteful accents, including a grand chandelier from Olde Good Things. The menu features a creative take on traditional bar food, emphasizing shareable plates.
Lucky Penny, a cozy speakeasy that serves cocktails and bar snacks late into the night, is also located within the hotel. The speakeasy is tucked away inside Mini Marché, a bright yellow neighborhood market that will soon open and offer local provisions from Kentucky, as well as coffee and grab-and-go options for breakfast and lunch. The market will also serve Chef Ashleigh’s famous banana bread, breakfast sandwiches, and fresh produce.
As the first Bunkhouse hotel in Louisville, Genevieve is committed to collaborating with local partners to provide community-driven experiences that highlight Louisville’s culture. Bunkhouse plans to work with partners such as Black Soil Kentucky, Louisville Orchestra, and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy to create programming that celebrates the city’s unique heritage. For example, Genevieve will host an art walk in collaboration with the Rabbit Hole Distillery, which is a neighboring establishment. The art walk will feature rotating mural installations by local and US-based artists and will enhance connectivity between the hotel and the distillery. Rabbit Hole will also create a signature single-barrel bourbon for the hotel, complete with artist-designed labels. Other collaborations will include a custom in-room zine designed by local creative studio Zimmer-Design and artwork sourced from the Wheelhouse Gallery, both of which will capture the city’s distinct character and quirks.
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