I had never done a “staycation” of any kind until a couple months ago. But after completing my first month of a fairly long health protocol, I was looking for a fun way to treat myself that wasn’t based around food. After flipping through local hotels, I finally ended up at the Omni hotel in Louisville.
Please note: I am not affiliated with this hotel in any way and paid for my stay. There are a few affiliate links throughout the post from which I may earn a small commission for any qualifying bookings (which I greatly appreciate, and at no extra cost to you), but all opinions are, as always, completely my own. Learn more in my Disclosure Policy.
So I wanted to provide a detailed review of the Omni Louisville and share photos from my stay here. The Omni is one of the newer premium hotel entrants in Louisville, opening just a couple months after I moved here myself (spring 2018).
It was quite a change vs. other hotels in the area, which tend to be either smaller boutique hotels or standard chain fare. The Omni, instead, brought not only a quite large yet slightly higher-end hotel, but built out food options, a couple different interesting bars, a spa, a pool, and more.
Prices can range quite a lot depending on type of room and time of year, how busy they are, and whether you’re staying on a weekday or weekend. I’m usually seeing $150-250 per night (USD) for the lowest-cost rooms (Deluxe), while a mid-level room like what I had (the Premier Executive room) would typically be $350-450 and higher in peak seasons.
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My TL;dr review of the Omni Hotel Louisville
I’ve got a much more detailed review of the hotel below, including lots of photos, but if you’re in a hurry here’s my “short and sweet” version.
I also always recommend you check out the detailed reviews on both Booking.com and TripAdvisor as well, they’re super helpful! I booked through Booking. For context, while searching I’d narrowed it down to the Omni Louisville, Hotel Distil, 21C Louisville, and The Brown.
- The Omni is a good hotel overall, with beautiful main areas, spacious rooms, and LOTS to do.
- It’s good, not great…though the pickins’ in Louisville are kind of slim. I had no major complaints, but the value-for-money could be better (it’s nice but doesn’t quite live up to the cost in my opinion for upgraded rooms). If you go with the basic room, you’re probably getting about the best value for room in Louisville.
- The valet parking always feels like highway robbery (the parking options here are not good in general).
- The main areas of the hotel and overall décor are really lovely, and my room was comfy and nicely-decorated as well. I didn’t get a chance to try the spa.
- I love the bar area (The Library), and the speakeasy bowling alley is unique, while there are numerous food options (and a few cute shops) in the building.
- Downtown Louisville is just a few steps away, including some other great food options (I recommend Repeal for a fancy dinner!).
- And if you’re looking for a nice hotel with a pool in Louisville, this is pretty much your only choice, though I personally find the pool area to be claustrophobic and leave a lot to be desired.
Want to know (and see) more?? Read on…
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Arrival & check-in
Their check-in is 4:00pm but thankfully my room was ready when I arrived at 3:00. The ladies at the front desk were very welcoming and helpful. Because I was an Omni loyalty member (it’s free!), I got a couple bottles of water and a coupon for a free drink or coffee.
One of the things that tends to keep me away from the Omni in everyday life is the parking situation, which is an expensive anomaly in Louisville. The Omni offers valet for hotel guests that was $37 per day when I stayed there (and allows out-and-backs). I texted ahead to get my car from the valet when checking out, but it was a longer wait than I’d anticipated, so I would definitely text ahead of when you need it.
There aren’t many good street parking options around, but there is a garage on the back side of the hotel that’s not connected (you have to walk around the block), it’s like $15 a day so technically about $30 overnight, but without the out-and-back? I’m a little fuzzy on the details.
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The hotel main areas
The hotel is quite large and definitely beautiful. I love the Omni’s décor overall, and their whole lobby and downstairs main areas are glossy and luxe-feeling.
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Because I was treating myself, I wanted a slightly upgraded room experience. I ended up with a Premier Executive king room, which is definitely spacious, though at 2x the cost of the Deluxe rooms I’m not convinced it’s 2x better.
The bed was fine, and I liked having both the “comfy chair” seating option as well as a desk area. One tip—crank your air conditioning down right away! Mine took a little bit to cool down, but it did get there.
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While I liked the cozy chair and lamp area, I was let down by the view…of the top of a parking garage 🙂
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The bathroom was nice and I liked the shower. For those who want to sip some delicious bourbon, they have a “bourbon bar” in the room (though…pricey vs. ordering at a bar!), and there’s a Keurig if that’s your jam. I’m a coffee snob so I went in search of better coffee.
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The Library (bar)
I absolutely love The Library! This is their main bar area, and the look and feel is 100% up my alley, giving a premium and cozy experience that’s pretty chill. Besides this there’s a bar in the bowling alley (more on that in a sec) and out at the pool as well.
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The cocktail menu is (appropriately) printed on library index cards, and I chose what was effectively a Woodford Reserve “New York sour” (I can’t remember the actual name of the cocktail). It was delicious!
The drinks looked really good overall, and this was a lovely way to while away an hour after dinner.
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One of the big selling points of the Omni hotel in Louisville is that it has a pool—a rarity for Louisville hotels! So if this is a big decision factor for you, then the Omni is probably your pick.
The outdoor pool area is located a few floors up, along with a nice outdoor seating area and a bar. The pool itself is narrow and longer. The shape and how it’s laid out makes it feel small, crowded, and a little claustrophobic. To be fair, I was there on a Friday afternoon headed into 4th of July weekend, so it probably was a bit busier than usual.
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I didn’t spend any time out here, but the outdoor bar area by the pool is nice, and a good option for getting out of the sun for a bit. I love this up-close view of historic downtown Louisville as well!
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The…bowling alley speakeasy
LOL that’s a phrase you don’t hear every day. In addition to beautiful The Library bar, the Omni Louisville features a bowling alley speakeasy called Pin + Proof where you can go to have a few drinks and/or bowl a few frames (they also offer food).
It’s got a cool vibe, I’ve been here once or twice for team bonding events in the late afternoon. The folks at The Library told me that the speakeasy would have a DJ starting at 8:00pm that night (a Friday) and I was like NOOOO THANK YOU. But I’m 80 years old inside, and I know many people would find that a fun way to spend the evening.
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The restaurants & shopping
There’s a big area on the first floor of the Omni that features different types of food options and a few small shops. It’s open to anyone, not just hotel guests.
First you have Falls City Market, which is like a food court of sorts. I was on a really restrictive diet so couldn’t sample everything, but they have a Con Huevos, a nice-looking pastry place, sushi bar, a coffee shop, and Gilberto’s Gelato (which my friend raves about). There are a few other spots in there as well.
Before you hit Falls Street Market, there is also a really cute boutique shop full of cool local-themed gifts. Lots of bourbon- and horse-themed things, cute Kentucky souvenirs, and I got a beautiful hammered copper (like a mule cocktail glass) insulated mug that’s been on a few trips with me since. Highly recommend!
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In terms of the Omni Louisville’s official food offerings, you have a couple choices. On the more casual side you’ve got Neighborhood Services, serving up regular American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve only been here for breakfast a couple times (and that was a few years ago), but it was fine.
Their swankier option is Bob’s Steak & Chop House, which I wasn’t familiar with. However, from the reviews it didn’t look great, so I instead had booked dinner at the always-fabulous Repeal (more on that in a sec).
Overall the restaurant food options aren’t as great, and you can find better either in Falls City Market or in downtown Louisville.
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As I mentioned at the outset, even though the Omni Louisville isn’t set right in the midst of Whiskey Row, it’s an easy 10-15 minute walk (or a cheap Uber) to one end of the heart of historic downtown Louisville. And you’ve got a number of great choices in downtown for food, depending on what you’re looking for.
If you want a little less fancy, Merle’s Whiskey Bar and Doc Crow’s are two local institutions that I love. But for me this particular night, I had reservations at Repeal Oak Fired Steakhouse (in the Distil Hotel, which I’d considered as well).
This was my first semi-cheat meal of my restrictive diet, and I knew I wanted steak and cocktails. Their Signature Old Fashioned is great, as was the gin gimlet I had as a second drink. I got the tuna tartare with rice cakes, the filet medium-rare (though it came more like medium/medium-well), and a beet and goat cheese salad. All delicious.
Hopefully this helps give some much more detailed info if you’re looking to visit the Louisville area and were wanting an unbiased Omni Louisville review. It’s definitely a solid option in a city that has good-not-great hotel options overall!
Other city hotel explorations you’ll love: Where to stay in…
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- Bath, UK: The Charming “Henrietta House”
- Bergen, Norway: Thon Orion Hotel
- Istanbul: Hotel DeCamondo Review
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