Hotel Genevieve – exploring the layers of Louisville

Situated in Louisville’s growing East Market District, Hotel Genevieve is a new hotel project from hospitality group Bunkhouse in collaboration with real estate development firm, Mountain Shore Properties and is Bunkhouse’s largest hotel to date…

dark walls and gold ceiling in the Lucky Penny in Hotel Genevieve by Bunkhouse

Designed in collaboration by Bunkhouse and ROHE Creative, a female-owned and operated Philadelphia based interior design firm, Hotel Genevieve is inspired by a city that is much more layered than bourbon and horses, with design that represents the nuances that make Louisville a destination for all. An intersection of unexpected opposites, the hotel dives into the River City’s history. Richly decorated, each design accent tells a story, from bold usages of colour to a playful mix of vintage and modern furniture, and a vivacious art program featuring local talent.

plants and floral couch in foreground with dark wall and art in the lobby at hotel Genevieve

Image credit: Nick Simonite

As Bunkhouse’s first urban core hotel, the design leans heavily on verdant green hues to contrast the metropolitan structure and location. Luxurious and feminine architectural details bring life to the space and reference the city’s namesake, King Louis XVI, heavily featuring Louisville’s vibrant local flora and fauna, with Goldenrod shining throughout the suites and ground floor restaurant.

“Louisville is such a great town,” said Amar Lalvani, Executive Chairman of Standard Hotels and Bunkhouse Group.”Beyond the Derby and the bourbon trail, both of which we love, the city has a lot to offer culturally in terms of the art scene and food scene as well. We were particularly taken by the NuLu neighbourhood which has this incredible vibe and community which we are excited to be part of. Like all our hotels, we hope and believe that Hotel Genevieve will become an anchor of the neighbourhood where locals and visitors mix seamlessly.”

eclectic mix of art framed against a velvet draped background in the lobby at Hotel Genevieve

Image credit: Nick Simonite

Turning off of Market Street in the heart of the bustling NuLu neighbourhood, guests are greeted by a large-scale mural leading to the neighbouring Rabbit Hole Distillery. Once inside the lobby, vibrant hues and curated accents such as terrazzo floors, provide the backdrop for vintage furniture and artwork that reference Louisville’s storied history, from horse racing and beloved musicians, to its quilting heritage, which is made modern by the locally-based Anchal Project and Jeffrey Sincich. As guest’s check-in, they can explore the curated selection of retail that Bunkhouse is known for, including their first collaboration with Block Shop Textiles on their coveted Kimono Robe and items from local makers.

patterned tiled floor and mid century leather furniture in bar at Hotel Genevieve

Image credit: Nick Simonite

Four distinct culinary concepts are found throughout the hotel, concepted by Culinary Director Ashleigh Shanti, who brings a distinct voice rooted in African American food to the city. Awarded 2019 Eater Young Gun and named a 2020 finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year, Shanti weaves her passion for food history and storytelling to create an inviting culinary perspective. Each concept will feature unique, immersive takes on Southern classics with global flair, overseen by Executive Chef Devon Rosenblatt (previously from lauded North End Café).

Rosettes, the ground-floor all-day restaurant named for the ribbons won in horse races, offers a lively food experience driven by simple, local rustic ingredients and inspired by al fresco Parisian cafés and Shanti’s Southern/Appalachian background. Attached to the lobby, the space is elegant while maintaining a warm atmosphere, boasting brasserie details — cafe curtains, Royer-inspired lighting, and outdoor seating — that invite guests to linger over morning coffee and celebratory dinners.

banquettes below vintage orange lighting in rosettes restaurant in Hotel Genevieve

Image credit: Nick Simonite

The rooftop lounge, Hotel Genevieve Bar, offers cocktails and light-fare inspired by French street food with Mediterranean influences set against sweeping views of the city and the Ohio River. The light-filled space with indoor and outdoor seating is loaded with toast-worthy accents like the grand chandelier over the bar and features an elevated and fun take on traditional, shareable bar food.

Mini Marché is the hotel’s mini market located off the lobby, which is part convenience store, part pop art installation, offering local Kentucky provisions and handmade goods by local artisans along with coffee and grab-and-go selections for breakfast and lunch. Mini Marché is also the entrance to the secretive pocket bar, Lucky Penny, which has a speakeasy vibe and is open for cocktails and bar snacks late into the night. The intimate space offers a moody contrast to the rest of the hotel with decadent details and ample sparkling accents, harkening to the lineage of the disco ball that lies in Louisville.

terracotta painted walls and ceiling with two double beds and patterned cushions in guestroom

Image credit: Nick Simonite

The hotel’s name is inspired by a regional type of limestone, Saint Genevieve, which is a key ingredient in bourbon production and is prevalent throughout Texas, providing a link to the origins of Bunkhouse as it embarks on this new chapter in Kentucky. Saint Genevieve is also the patron saint of Paris, celebrating
both the French origins of Louisville and the many women that worked to bring the hotel to life. This inspiration can be seen throughout the rooms, which offer a truly immersive experience with colours — such as shades of blue, terracotta and warm yellow — enveloping every surface including the ceiling.

saturated yellow guestroom in Hotel Genevieve with curved furniture and a view through to yellow bathroom

Image credit: Nick Simonite

Custom, curvaceous consoles from ROHE in an ivory high-gloss lacquer reflect the saturated hues and add another layer of luminescence to the room. The bathrooms are equally luxe, with a vanity that speaks to the feminine curves of the console, crafted from cultured marble that is a custom mix of marble dust leftover from the ‘60s.

bathroom in Hotel Genevieve with yellow walls and ceiling, curved marble console and kimonos

Image credit: Nick Simonite

Hotel Genevieve’s downtown location in the hip East Market district, also known as NuLu (standing for New Louisville), is a dining hub for everything from upscale eateries to local BBQ, alongside a diverse bar and distillery scene, art galleries, specialty stores and antique shops, and historic restoration projects. In line with Bunkhouse’s ethos of creating community-driven experiences, Hotel Genevieve will celebrate Louisville’s culture through programming with partners such as Black Soil Kentucky, Louisville Orchestra, and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Main image credit: Nick Simonite