Kentucky Places: The Seelbach

Louisville's Seelbach Hotel is a throwback to more elegant days. With a storied past that includes bourbon with Scott Fitzgerald and poker with Al Capone, the Seelbach is a flashy time capsule amidst downtown Louisville's office buildings and tourist sites.
Built in the early 1900s by Bavarian brothers Otto and Louis Seelbach, the hotel became synonymous with luxury.  The early guest list included gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, as well as Presidents Taft and Harding. F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have been ejected from the Seelbach after a night of debauchery, and later included the hotel as the backdrop for Daisy and Tom Buchanan's wedding in The Great Gatsby.

The Seelbach has been renovated, rebranded, and reinvented many times since its 1905 opening, but retains the elegance and charm of its early years.  Most every Kentucky girl has a Seelbach story; we've attended frat formals and weddings  in the Rathskeller,  met colleagues for drinks in the lobby bar, and dined in the five-diamond Oak Room.  It's as much a Louisville tradition as baseball bats or horse racing.

I always recommend the Seelbach to anyone visiting Louisville for the first (or the fortieth) time.  The  gorgeous rooms, complete with four-poster mahogany beds, are the epitome of Southern hospitality. (Did I mention that my beloved labrador, Max, was treated like a king there?)  It's thrilling to imagine you're staying among the ghosts of Prohibition-era gangsters or Jazz Age belles.  The Starbucks (around the corner from my beau's old office) is the best in the city.  The lunch buffet at Otto's is a downtown tradition.  And the services at Z Salon are amazing. (I can't recommend the massages highly enough!)

Just try to keep yourself a little more restrained than Fitzgerald did...

Seelbach Hilton
500 Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40202