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Destination Hotel: Hotel Distil In Louisville

The city's first bourbon-focused hotel just opened in a former barrel house on Whiskey Row.

Where: Hotel Distil, 101 W. Main St., Louisville, 502-785-0185

Rate: $189 per night

We recommend: A special-occasion trip—you’ll want something to toast

The revolving doors transport you through the historic brick facade to a warm, golden-hued lobby. Bouncy jazz plays in the background as the bellhop points you toward the front desk. After the clerk checks you in, they write you an alcohol prescription. This nod to history serves as your invitation to toast to the repeal of Prohibition, a celebration which takes place in the lobby every night at 7:33 p.m., sharp (that’s  19:33 in universal time, a nod to the year Prohibition ended). Come a few minutes early to ensure your complimentary Old Fashioned is in-hand.

It is a bourbon-themed establishment, after all.

The newly opened Hotel Distil, a Marriott Autograph Series property, occupies prime real-estate in the heart of Louisville’s Whiskey Row and pays homage to the bourbon resurgence taking place in the area. With neighbors like Old Forester and Evan Williams in walking distance, you can successfully bar-hop without running up an Uber tab, and up your bourbon knowledge while you’re at it.

Appropriately, the rooms at Hotel Distil are masculine and handsome, accentuated with dark barn doors, leather-tufted headboards, and blue flannel benches. The sultry vibes continue into the hotel bar, where gorgeous gold and black leather bar stools beckon you to stay awhile. Corner booths offer reprieve to groups or couples craving conversation. “My pleasures” abound and the bourbon flows generously—Southern hospitality at its finest.

Follow the smell of oak-fired steak and flaky, buttery bread to the on-site steakhouse. Repeal, located in the former J.T.S. Brown and Son’s bottling factory, offers a classically elevated dining experience and plates an unforgettable meal. The wood-fired grill is stoked with pieces of reclaimed oak bourbon barrels. Afterward, if weather permits, you can head upstairs to the rooftop bar, Bitter’s End, for sweeping views of the city and caramelized pineapple mules for the perfect cap on that warm and hazy feeling that will have captivated you at this point.

All of this almost makes you forget who you are and where you are. No, it’s not the 1930s, but for a weekend, you can live large and enjoy celebrating like it is.

ACE THIS TRIP

See: Diana Ross will perform at The Louisville Palace on February 23. The tour doesn’t come to Indianapolis, so see the legend while you can.

Upgrade: The Connoisseur Suites offer two bedrooms, the best skyline views, and the perfect sitting room to sip an Old Fashioned as you pre-game the night. An in-room bourbon cart stocked with all the fixings for top-notch cocktails is available as an add-on.

Order: The hotel’s exclusive single-barrel pick from Old Forester. You can’t taste it anywhere else.

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