Bunkhouse Beyond Texas

Hip Austin hotel group swings into the South with new boutique project

Hip Austin hotel group swings into the South with new boutique project

Hotel Genevieve
Bunkhouse is headed to Kentucky. Courtesy of ROHE

Austin-born Bunkhouse hospitality group is swinging into the South with a new project in Louisville, Kentucky. Set to open in spring 2023, Hotel Genevieve will be the brand’s first hotel in Kentucky and second domestic project outside of Texas.

Inspired by a regional type of limestone, Saint Genevieve — a key ingredient in bourbon production — the hotel’s name is a nod to several aspects of local Kentucky lore and culture. Beyond the bourbon tie, Saint Genevieve is also a female saint and the patron saint of Paris, thus connecting the hotel to Louisville’s namesake, King Louis XVI of France, and to the women involved in the project.

ROHE Creative, a female-owned and -operated design team based in Philadelphia, will lead interior design of the project, diving into the nuances of the city’s history, beyond bourbon, horses, and the iconic Louisville Slugger baseball bats, which have been produced in Louisville since at least 1894.

Bunkhouse’s signature bold colors, playful furniture, and vivacious art programs will lend themselves to Louisville’s legacy, especially in the lobby and restaurant. A Parisian-inspired rooftop restaurant and bar will feature the city’s vibrant local flora and include French nods to the city’s regal namesake. As the brand’s first rooftop restaurant and bar, the design is sure to become a magical enclave providing city views in an opulent garden setting. Interior design will also touch on broader state history with modern quilting patterns in the corridor carpet and bedroom throws, a reference to Kentucky’s quilt culture.

The six-floor hotel will feature 122 rooms in a new building from Memphis-based LLW Architects, located in the heart of the NuLu neighborhood. Bunkhouse will lean on the brand’s values and sense of community by collaborating with local vendors, sourcing furniture in town, and hiring Louisville-born staff.

One exciting collaboration already in the works is a partnership between neighboring Rabbit Hole Distillery, Bunkhouse, and Mountain Shore Properties, the Charleston-based developers of the project. The trio plan to create an art garden at the neighboring lot, which will help facilitate access from Market Street to Jefferson Street, as well as enhance connectivity to the distillery from Market Street.

Bunkhouse also hopes to provide the amenities that the NuLu neighborhood and community need, which will lead to a number of Bunkhouse firsts, including a mini-market offering curated grocery staples, fresh local produce, snacks, and beverages.

“Our commitment to the communities we enter is genuine, and we intend to celebrate the character of the NuLu neighborhood, which we love, across cultural programming, ingredient sourcing for the menu, and the selection of regional makers and products in the retail mix,” says Amar Lalvani, executive chairman of Standard Hotels and Bunkhouse Group, in a release. “We could not be more thrilled with the collaborative team we’ve created to introduce Bunkhouse to Louisville.”

Bunkhouse is known for designing and developing a celebrated portfolio of Texas projects, including Austin's Hotel San José, Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel Magdalena and Summer House on Music Lane restaurant, Carpenter Hotel and Carpenters Hall restaurant.