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First Bunkhouse Hotel opens in Louisville, Hotel Genevieve

Hotel Genevieve, a new boutique hotel project from Austin’s acclaimed hospitality group Bunkhouse in collaboration with real estateBunkhouse Hotel development firm, Mountain Shore Properties, has officially opened its doors in the heart of Louisville’s East Market District. The opening marks a series of firsts for the brand and city, including Bunkhouse group’s first hotel project in Kentucky and the first boutique hotel for the growing East Market district, also known as NuLu.
The property is Bunkhouse’s largest hotel to date featuring 122 rooms on six floors, a lobby art gallery that pays homage to Louisville, and retail shop, alongside four culinary spaces all concepted by James Beard-nominated Chef Ashleigh Shanti, including an all-day ground-floor restaurant, rooftop bar and lounge with expansive city views, and intimate secret bar, in addition to a vibrant mini market that is set to open in late May. The 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 to 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 working on the project.

“Louisville is such a great town. 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 neighborhood which has this incredible vibe and community which we are excited to be part of,” said Amar Lalvani, Executive Chairman of Standard Hotels and Bunkhouse Group. “Like all our hotels, we hope and believe that Hotel Genevieve will become an anchor of the neighborhood where locals and visitors mix seamlessly.”

Designed in collaboration by Bunkhouse and ROHE Creative, a female-owned and operated Philadelphia-based interior design firm, with architecture by Memphis-based LLW Architects, 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. Bunkhouse’s first urban core hotel, the design is inspired by the patron saint of Paris in celebration of the French origins of the city, and all things Louisville—think French modernism meets Old World charm Overall, the spaces are feminine and playful to juxtapose the masculinity often associated with bourbon and downtown, which can be seen throughout the rooms, offering a truly immersive experience with colors that reflect a modern take on a historical color palate of cool and natural combinations—such as shades of blue, terracotta and warm yellow—enveloping every surface including the ceiling to energize the space and bring the outdoors in. Custom, curvaceous consoles from ROHE in an ivory high-gloss lacquer reflect the saturated hues and add another layer of luminescence to the room. Kentucky’s quilt culture also became a muse, including modern quilting patterns in the corridor carpet and bedroom throws. This myriad of inspiration culminates in a design that is effortless, vibrant, and, in the best ways, a bit over the top.

Four distinct culinary concepts are found throughout the hotel, concepted by Culinary Director Ashleigh Shanti, who brings a distinct voice rooted in African American foodways 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 features unique, immersive takes on Southern classics with global flair.

Rosettes, the ground-floor all-day restaurant named for the ribbons won in horse races, offers a lively food experience driven by simple, local 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.

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The first rooftop for the Bunkhouse brand, 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. With French nods to the city’s namesake, King Louis XVI, the light-filled space with indoor and outdoor seating is loaded with toast-worthy accents, like a grand chandelier from Olde Good Things, and features an elevated and fun take on traditional, shareable bar food.

The hotel is also home to Lucky Penny, an intimate speakeasy open for cocktails and bar snacks late into the night, which is hidden inside Mini Marché, the soon-to-open neighborhood market with a bright yellow design offering local Kentucky provisions along with coffee and grab-and-go selections for breakfast and lunch including breakfast sandwiches, Chef Ashleigh’s famous banana bread, and fresh produce.

As Bunkhouse’s first hotel in Louisville, Genevieve plans to collaborate with local partners to offer community-driven experiences that the Bunkhouse brand is known for, celebrating Louisville’s culture through programming with partners such as Black Soil Kentucky, Louisville Orchestra, and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. This will include an art walk created in collaboration with a neighbor of the hotel, the acclaimed Rabbit Hole Distillery, highlighting local and US-based artists through rotating mural installations, which will enhance connectivity to the distillery. Rabbit Hole will also create a brand new, signature single barrel bourbon for the hotel, with curated artist-designed labels adorning the bottle. Additional collaborations, including the in-room zine with local creative studio Zimmer-Design and artwork sourced from Wheelhouse Gallery, illuminate the sensibilities and idiosyncrasies of the city.

Tags: First Bunkhouse Hotel, Hotel Genevieve, Louisville, opens

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