Located on the historic Whiskey Row, Hotel Distil has officially opened its doors today, setting a new standard for Louisville hospitality. Part of Autograph Collection Hotels, a diverse and dynamic portfolio of more than 180 hotels around the world that are independent, one-of-a-kind and champion values of vision, design and craft, Hotel Distil is the brand’s first property in Kentucky. The 205-room boutique hotel celebrates the past, present and future of Louisville’s bourbon heritage.
Hotel Distil was developed by White Lodging, Poe Companies and REI Real Estate Services. White Lodging manages the hotel and restaurants alongside its other eight hotels in Louisville, including the new Moxy Louisville Downtown and Zombie Taco restaurant, which also opened today.
Hotel Distil incorporates an original 1860s era façade, which was saved following a fire in 2015, and was the original location and barrel house for J.T.S. Brown and Sons – whose name remains prominent above one of the entrances. From the moment guests walk in the door, the homage to bourbon culture is subtle, but clear, as many of the design cues are taken from bourbon barrels and the distilling process, including wood tones, staves, black metal accents and copper fixtures. Other cues are taken from Louisville’s glass blowing community, including pre-Prohibition style globe light fixtures and blown glass flask art pieces.
“Hotel Distil is a game-changer for Whiskey Row and juxtaposes the area’s storied past with modern, luxury experiences and is designed to be a social anchor for visitors and locals alike,” says Dana Orlando, Hotel Distil’s general manager. “The hotel offers an authentic Louisville experience and champions Autograph Collection Hotels’ Exactly Like Nothing Elsemantra.”
Fine comforts and gracious service extend to Hotel Distil’s stylish guest rooms, which offer scenic views of the historic Whiskey Row on Main Street. The hotel is comprised of 11 two-room Connoisseur Suites, in addition to 194 rooms with a king bed or two queen beds. The spacious guest rooms feature Nespresso coffee makers, plush robes and custom amenities designed for relaxation.
One of the unique experiences guests can participate in is a celebration of the repeal of Prohibition. Hotel Distil guests will be offered an invitation – via a ‘prescription card’ at check-in – to join in the hotel’s lobby for a nightly toast at 7:33 p.m., which is 19:33 Universal Time, the year Prohibition was repealed, where they will be treated to a celebratory whiskey cocktail and a tribute to the repeal of Prohibition. Guests of the Connoisseur Suites will also have access to an in-room private bourbon cart where a bourbon ambassador will craft one of 10 premium bourbons neat or one of four Old Fashioned cocktails made with Hotel Distil’s private single barrel picks.
More than 11,000 Square Feet of Refined Event Spaces
Hotel Distil offers a refined event space, including a 5,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom that boasts remarkable design and exquisite appointments. The event space can accommodate up to 500 people or be divided into three separate spaces for more intimate presentations, receptions or banquets. Hotel Distil’s three other meetings rooms range from 775 square feet to 1,000 square feet and are uniquely designed for breakout sessions and bold presentations alike. Complete with modern technology, attentive service and top-notch amenities, these spaces set the stage for any group. The 2,000-square-foot outdoor rooftop terrace is the only open-air, all-season terrace in Louisville. For every event, on-site catering provides locally sourced, Southern-inspired cuisine.
Elevated Cuisine and Cocktails
Aiming to enhance the already vibrant and booming Louisville dining scene, the property is also home to Whiskey Row’s only oak-fired steakhouse, Repeal. The 72-seat restaurant features selectively sourced American Wagyu steaks from Brush Creek Ranch alongside other prime cuts, a seafood raw bar, 100+ curated bourbons and classic cocktails. Together with the great food and drinks, diners can expect a perfectly curated experience accented by expertly crafted design elements embracing the area’s deep bourbon heritage and historical architecture. The restaurant’s oak-fired grill is stoked with used barrel staves from nearby distilleries throughout the day. A key feature of the restaurant’s design is a large skylight and structure allowing guests to look up and experience the historic façade. A 15-person private Barrel Room and separate bar is available for groups.
Adjacent to Repeal is the staircase entrance to Bitters End, Whiskey Row’s open-air rooftop bar, complete with a retractable glass roof. Guests can expect to be greeted with whiskey-inspired small plates, original craft cocktails and plenty of good old-fashioned bourbon – all served with a side of Whiskey Row views.
“Thanks to the deliberate efforts of Mayor Fischer and so many others, Louisville is a coveted worldwide destination for business, sports, meetings and events, and of course our longstanding bourbon heritage, says Steve Poe, chief executive officer of Poe Companies, one of the hotel’s developers. “Hotel Distil’s location on Whiskey Row and just steps away from the KFC! Yum Center and the city’s business hub is a perfect complement to the city’s great progress.”
Whiskey Row’s Storied Past
After the Civil War, Main Street became the hot spot for distilleries in Louisville. Whiskey Row itself refers to a block-long stretch from 101–133 W. Main Street that once served as home to the bourbon industry. The collection of Revivalist and Chicago School-style buildings with cast-iron storefronts were built between 1852 and 1905. In 1857, the buildings were built and used to store whiskey barrels that had been produced from the distilleries nearby. On a list of Louisville’s Most Endangered Historic Places, the buildings were slated for demolition in 2011, but an agreement between the city, local developers and preservationists saved Whiskey Row.