Bunkhouse Group opens boutique hotel in Louisville, Ky.

Hotel Genevieve, a new boutique hotel project from hospitality group Bunkhouse developed in collaboration with real estate development firm Mountain Shore Properties, has officially opened in Louisville’s (Ky.) 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 East Market district, also known as NuLu.

The property is Bunkhouse’s largest hotel to date with 122 rooms on six floors, a lobby art gallery that pays homage to Louisville and a retail shop. The property also has four culinary spaces all developed by James Beard-nominated Chef Ashleigh Shanti, including an all-day ground-floor restaurant, a rooftop bar and lounge and a secret bar in addition to a 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," Amar Lalvani, executive chairman of Standard Hotels and Bunkhouse Group, said in a statement. "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. 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 woman-owned and operated Philadelphia-based interior design firm—with architecture by Memphis-based LLW Architects, Bunkhouse’s first urban core hotel is designed to represent the nuances that make Louisville a destination, inspired by the patron saint of Paris in celebration of the city's French origins.

Custom, curvaceous consoles from ROHE in an ivory high-gloss lacquer reflect the saturated hues and add another layer of luminescence to the room. The design team also was inspired by Kentucky’s quilt culture, incorporating modern quilting patterns in the corridor carpet and bedroom throws. 

The property has four culinary concepts developed by Culinary Director Ashleigh Shanti, the 2019 Eater Young Gun and named a 2020 finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year. Each concept has immersive takes on Southern classics with global flair.

Rosettes is the ground-floor all-day restaurant named for the ribbons won in horse races. The first rooftop for the Bunkhouse brand, Hotel Genevieve Bar serves cocktails and light-fare inspired by French street food with Mediterranean influences. Lucky Penny, a speakeasy open for cocktails and bar snacks late into the night, is hidden inside Mini Marché, the soon-to-open neighborhood market with a bright yellow design serving local Kentucky provisions along with coffee and grab-and-go selections for breakfast and lunch.

As Bunkhouse’s first hotel in Louisville, Genevieve plans to collaborate with local partners to offer community-driven experiences, working with Black Soil Kentucky, the Louisville Orchestra and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. This will include an art walk created in collaboration with the Rabbit Hole Distillery (a neighbor of the hotel), highlighting local and U.S.-based artists through rotating mural installations. Rabbit Hole will also create a new, signature single barrel bourbon for the hotel with curated artist-designed labels on the bottle. Additional collaborations—including the in-room zine with local creative studio Zimmer-Design and artwork sourced from Wheelhouse Gallery—aim to illuminate the sensibilities and idiosyncrasies of the city.