The two grande dames of Louisville hotels are the Camberley Brown, Fourth Street and West Broadway (tel. 502/583-1234; www.thebrownhotel.com; $119-$149 double); and the Seelbach Hilton, 500 Fourth St. (tel. 502/585-3200; www.seelbachhilton.com; $119-$219 double). The Seelbach opened in 1905, the Camberley Brown in 1923; both are downtown (within boasting distance of each other). Both also have top-flight formal restaurants: The English Grill at the Camberley Brown and The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton.
Construction on downtown's newest full-service hotel, the Louisville Marriott Downtown, is expected to be finished in time for Derby season in the spring of 2005. The 610-room high-rise is at Second Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Along the riverfront, the gigantic Galt House, Fourth Street and River Road (tel. 800/626-1814 or 502/589-5200; www.galthouse.com; $134-$169 double), remains open during a $50-million renovation.
Holiday Inn (tel. 800/HOLIDAY; www.holiday-inn.com) alone has more than a dozen different properties in the Louisville area. Best Western can be found at 4805 Brownsboro Rd. (tel. 502/893-2551), and at 1301 Kentucky Mills Dr. (tel. 502/267-8100).
Everybody's favorite restaurant is Lilly's, 1147 Bardstown Rd., east of downtown (tel. 502/451-0447; http://lillyslapeche.com). Owner-chef Kathy Cary, a frequent guest chef at New York's James Beard House, combines local meats and homegrown organic vegetables to create an innovative cuisine that changes with the seasons.
Main courses run from $18 to 34. Lynn's Paradise Cafe, 984 Barrett Ave. (tel. 502/583-3447; www.lynnsparadisecafe.com), is considerably more downscale. Folks go here for the melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuits and the famed breakfast burrito. Lunch and dinner are served Tuesday through Sunday. An entree costs about $15.
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