Friday, August 8, 2008

Derby Style in August

My get outta here moment happens fairly quickly in this little story: I found a hip, cool hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Yah, that’s not a typo. I’m talking about Louisville, city on the other side of the Ohio River on I-65 where my goal is always to leave whether I’m heading north or south.

My husband had a death in his family this week, however, that forced us to spend the night. I glanced through the usual suspects: a Super 8, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, the Seelbach, the Galt House. I just wasn’t in the mood to click any of the buttons. None of them seemed like the proper reward for standing at a funeral home for six hours in high heels, making up conversations with people you don’t know and trying to muster up a grief you don't feel.

Then I remembered an interview I’d had this spring with the owner of this new place – some hotel with a beaded limo that’s in demand for the Derby. I raced back through my notes to find the name – even 21c Museum Hotel sounded funky. So what the heck? I gave them my credit card number.

We were blown away from the sidewalk. The hotel check-in clerk doubled as our concierge, calling over to the restaurant to make reservations for our dinner and giving us a tour of the place. There’s a live performer singing on one side, and interactive art everywhere you look. I’m talking about a projected image of two people sleeping in bed on the floor, complete with the guy turning over occasionally. The bathroom has a series of video screens tucked behind the mirror with various eyeballs staring at you while you wash your hands. Yah, it sounds creepy but it's still cool.

Our room was incredible – 42-inch HD television screen; thick, bouncy carpet, and a rubber duck in the tub. And free WiFi. I’m not making that up. We’re talking a 4-star hotel that’s giving away Internet connections. Un-freaking-believable. I can’t believe I didn’t bring a camera to capture my moments at this little haven. Not that you can photograph a good night’s sleep on amazing pillows, but I would have tried.

Louisville. Get outta here.

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