The Best Places to Stay in Bourbon Country : Boutique Hotels

The entryway at Hotel Covington.

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Hotel Covington | Covington, KY: Perched on the banks of the Ohio River, this seven-story, 114- room hotel is an adaptive reuse of the historic Coppin’s Department Store, the oldest skyscraper in Kentucky. In addition to posh decorations, dark walls, velvet-clad furniture, & sparkling light fixtures, the hotel greets each guest with a piece of Bourbon art you can’t miss: on a wall of Bourbon barrels reads a quote paying homage to the two states Covington helps bridge – “If these United States are to be considered a body, then Ohio would be its heart and Kentucky its soul.”

Covington is home to three of America’s Best Bourbon Bars; just a few blocks away you can find the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar AND Bourbon Haus 1841. You could then venture to Wiseguy Lounge for your nightcap and a slice of the best New York style pizza in Kentucky. New Riff Distilling is less than a ten minute drive from the hotel, or take a twenty minute ride to Boone County Distilling Co.

The stylish bar at Lockbox at 21c Museum Hotel Lexington.

21c Lexington | Lexington, KY: This Museum Hotel in downtown Lexington lives up to its name. The hotel lobby is filled with striking rotating exhibits from artists around the world, and each room has a unique set of paintings or displays. With Barrel picks like Old Scout, Four Roses, and more, the whiskey list is an exhibit of its own. Pair with the food by Chef Jonathan Searle at Lockbox, named for the historic bank vault it calls home, and continue your night with a five minute walk to Belle’s Cocktail House, where you’ll find a seasonal cocktail menu made with freshly-squeezed juices. Or make the drive out to the Hartfield & Co. Distillery, where they make craft Bourbon only half an hour from the city.

21c Louisville | Louisville, KY: Wake up to the red penguin outside your door before you head out to explore the city from this downtown hotel. First stop – the hotel itself, whose halls are full of interesting artwork and more. Their “Just add Bourbon” package offers flight tastings, credits towards 21c Selects Barrel Picks, Passports to the Urban Bourbon Trail, and more. A quick walk will take you to the all new Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, or click here to see our list of some of the best Bourbon bars in the world, seven of which are only a short cab away.

The 1857 Hotel | Paducah, KY: With vaulted ceilings and exposed brick and beams, the 1857 Hotel in Paducah dates its building back to the 1800’s. The modern reimagining features riverfront access, a fully stocked bar, and gas fireplaces. Take a short walk to The Moonshine Company, where you’ll find antique farm equipment and Paducah Distilled Spirits, or head a block over to Silent Brigade Distillery for drinks and dancing. With ten restaurants and even more bars, breweries, and distilleries within walking distance of the hotel, you’ll easily fill a whole weekend on foot.

The Kentucky Grand Hotel and Spa.

Kentucky Grand Hotel & Spa | Bowling Green, KY: A comfortable and modern hotel in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Kentucky Grand offers eight suites to choose from – and of course, we recommend the Bourbon Suite. With a private bedroom, a breakfast nook, and a marble floored bathroom with shower and separate jet tub, you may never need to leave. Once you’ve ventured out, head to Corsair Distillery or dine at 440 Main, where you can choose a Bourbon flight to match your meal. Or plan your trip in October for the Bourbon and Brew Fest, where distilleries and craft breweries pair up to party.

Old Talbott Tavern Inn | Bardstown, KY: Located in Bardstown Kentucky, the Bourbon Capitol of the World, the Old Talbott Inn is just minutes from some of the oldest distilleries and Bourbon bars in the state. Attached is the Old Talbott Tavern, an NRHP registered spot built in 1779. They could claim the title of the “Oldest AND Best Place” to stay in Bourbon Country, given that their doors have been open continuously since their opening 239 years ago. One thing is for certain; you’ll be among great company as a guest at the Inn. President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State Henry Clay, and General George S. Patton all stayed at the Inn while passing through Bourbon Country.

Located in the center of Bardstown, the Inn is nestled between many distilleries. Heaven Hill is a quick drive from the hotel – or make the slightly longer run to Maker’s Mark in Loretto to dip your own bottle. Dine at The Rickhouse Restaurant followed by a nightcap at The Bunghole after a long day of tours. My Old Kentucky Home State Park is nearby and features golf, camping & outdoor grilling facilities.

Trail Suites Inn | Lawrenceburg, KY: This bright blue boutique hotel welcomes you to the Bluegrass in style and sits atop Bluegrass Sabor, a southern and Bourbon inspired restaurant bar. Each room has historic touches like claw foot tubs, exposed brick, or bourbon barrel furniture. With only three suites or the option to rent this Lawrenceburg house in its entirety, the Trail Suites Inn makes it easy for Bourbon lovers to hit the Bourbon Trail. In a package they’ve designed with Stone Fences Tours, you’ll be picked up at the inn to tour Ripy Mansion, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and more.

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Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.