Photo of Kentucky

About Kentucky

The name conjures up the drama, wealth and high jinks of the Kentucky Derby and the bourbon which bears this state’s name, but there’s much more to Kentucky’s love of horses than just one race and some of Kentucky’s counties are dry, so all is definitely not what it seems. In a state this size it’s always going to be tough to refine recommendations for the best places to stay in Kentucky, but our Guru’s list includes both small B&Bs in sleepy, pine-laced hamlets, and grand Louisville dames.

What Not To Miss

  • Kentucky is breathtakingly beautiful. Especially if you’ve a thing for the wild west. The rolling limestone hills and lush pastures of Kentucky’s horse-breeding country are a sight right out of a frontier film.
  • As well as fields of bluegrass, Central Kentucky is also where you’ll find the 700,000 acres of dramatically rugged scenery of the Daniel Boone National Forest and the natural sandstone arches and sheer cliffs of the Red River Gorge and the Mammoth Cave National Park, which has the world’s largest underground cave system.
  • Central Kentucky also has Bardstown, the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World’, Hodgenville, where Abraham Lincoln grew up, Lexington and the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
  • Louisville is thought of as the gateway to ‘the South’, so there’s an air of old fashioned hospitality. It has long been a transport hub - first the river and then rail - and it’s a bit overlooked as a visitor destination outside of Derby time. But the Victorian architecture is impressive and there are numerous wonderful museums, some of them pleasingly niche, classy old neighbourhoods, hipster bars and farm-to-table restaurants popping up everywhere.
  • Then there’s Lexington, home to the University of Kentucky and the million-dollar thoroughbred industry, Fort Knox which, funny enough, the home of Fort Knox and Frankfort, the peaceful state capital.
  • For a slice of Kentucky Bluegrass country, you'll need to head to Berea. It has a vibrant arts and craft scene and is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Use our guide to the best places to stay in Kentucky to help to plan your trip, whatever your reason to visit.

The best places to stay in Kentucky

For a city break

  • The 21C Museum Hotel (Louisville) is also home to a popular contemporary art space and both the public spaces and the rooms benefit from an overspilling of art onto their walls as well. The 90 rooms are modern, lively and luxurious and you’re right in the centre of things. With a great restaurant, gym, spa and sauna.

For the Kentucky Derby

  • The Brown Hotel Louisville, is a grand old hotel with a Georgian Revival facade, wonderfully impressive public spaces and almost 300 comfortably modern bedrooms. Right in the heart of the action with doubles starting from around £120 per night.

For the views

  • 21c Museum Hotel, Lexington is an inspiring, contemporary art museum come boutique hotel in the historic Fayette National Bank Building. White on white rooms with contemporary furnishings, splashes of pop colours and original art on the walls. Restaurant championing local Bluegrass ingredients. Lively and super-artsy.

To Relax

  • The Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea is a charming, traditional hotel with a classical facade and nice features like handcrafted furniture and high ceilings. A perfect place to come for strolls around forests and pokes through artisan boutiques.

For an apartment or cabin

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option this holiday - don't hesitate to visit our online partner for a diverse range of properties to suit holidays of all types.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport located 20.5km (12.8 miles) from Cincinnati with a wide range of both domestic and International flights including to Europe and Canada. Otherwise lexington or Louisville.
  • Alternatively, catch a train to Kentucky with Amtrak rail routes linking Kentucky to other states.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the stunning Kentucky scenery - for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
  • Best time to visit - Springtime from March to May provides moderate temperatures which are ideal for enjoying the great outdoors and many sights.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Kentucky

Best Hotels in Kentucky

  • Boone Tavern Hotel Berea 63 rooms from £78

    Private Hot Tub  -  Executive Suite features a private hot tub tub
    Back to Nature
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.

    A traditional, charming hotel. Breathtaking traditional exterior features a classical facade. Smart, comfortable rooms contain handcrafted furniture, and high ceilings. A perfect base for admiring the surrounding forests and artisan boutiques. See More

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  • Origin Hotel Lexington 120 rooms from £101

    Local exploring  -  Fantastic location for exploring the racehorsing scene and enjoying the best bourbons
    Sights nearby  -  Horse Country Farm Tours

    A trendy hotel, well located in Lexington for exploring local sights. Comfortable and stylish rooms offer huge beds with luxury linens and spacious bathrooms. Enjoy delicious Southern comfort food, craft cocktails and curated bourbons lists at the restaurant. An exquisite stay! See More

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  • The Sire Hotel Lexington (Kentucky) 40 rooms from £108

    Local exploring  -  The hotel is in the historic neighbourhood of Gratz Park, making it perfect for exploring by foot
    Sights nearby  -  Mary Todd Lincoln House is less than a 10 minute walk away

    A chic historic hotel set in Gratz Park Historic District. Light and spacious rooms are designed in simple monochrome tone with luxurious linens and marble bathrooms. The restaurant offers a wide range of dining options and showcases that famous Southern hospitality. A smart Kentucky stay. See More

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  • 21c Museum Hotel, Lexington Lexington (KY) 88 rooms from £124

    Artworks  -  Original art work in rooms and interesting installations in the bar
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Full of character
    Quirky  -  An experience!

    An inspiring, contemporary art museum come boutique hotel in the historic Fayette National Bank Building. White on white rooms with contemporary furnishings, splashes of pop colours and original art on the walls. Restaurant championing local Bluegrass ingredients. Lively and super-artsy. See More

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  • The Brown Hotel Louisville 293 rooms from £132

    Sights nearby  -  Minutes from Brown Theatre, the Palace Theatre, Kentucky International Convention Center
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.

    A grand hotel with a striking Georgian Revival facade which embodies Old World elegance complemented by top notch modern conmforts. Classic decor in the rooms and OTT interiors in the public areas. Prime location in downtown Louisville. Enjoy southern hospitality in historic grandeur. See More

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  • Hotel Covington Covington 114 rooms from £148

    City Style  -  A glamorous addition to the south side of the Ohio River- chandeliers, velvet bedheads and contemporary art
    Sights nearby  -  Nearby is the Cathedral Basilica of The Assumption, styled on Notre Dame Cathedral and a real sight to behold
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A welcome addition to Covington, the less developed little sister of Cincinnati, on the Ohio-Kentucky river border. This historic skyscraper now houses a cool contemporary hotel worthy of any big city. The interiors are original and inspired and the restaurant and bar are worth checking out. See More

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  • Charred Oaks Inn Lexington 4 rooms from £179

    Local exploring  -  Great location for exploring the famed horse attractions of Lexington
    Views  -  Terrace and garden views
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Adult Only

    A small, charming Southern colonial-style B&B in Versailles, only minutes away from Keeneland racecourse. Large, spacious and floral rooms feature magnificent king four-poster beds and antique furnishings. Delicious and hearty breakfasts are served. A tranquil and homely base. See More

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  • 21C Museum Hotel, Louisville Louisville (Kentucky) 90 rooms from £180

    Sights nearby  -  Louisville Slugger Museum Factory and the Science Centre are short walking distance.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Full of character
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Home of a popular contemporary art space this hotel is modern, lively and luxurious in the heart of the city. Rooms have every comfort, and all spaces mirror the museum with works of art. Proof on Main brings sophisticated dining and is frequented by locals. Gym, Spa and Sauna-truly has it all! See More

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