Picking 2012 Kentucky Derby Hotels
When you are getting ready for the Kentucky Derby, which hotel do you choose? From transportation strategies to exclusive amenities, selecting from over 100 Kentucky Derby hotels in the city of Louisville can be an overwhelming task. However, with the right tips in mind, you will be able to relax. After all, enjoying a taste of luxury is what a Kentucky Derby vacation is all about.
One decision that can make you miserable
If you do not live in the Louisville, Kentucky area, you may not be aware that there is a big river that comprises the Kentucky and Indiana border. Many Kentucky Derby hotels that are advertised are in Indiana. After all, it is only minutes away from Downtown Louisville across three different bridges. Sadly, you may want to ensure that you are not stuck in traffic.
Kentucky Derby hotels’ 2012 dilemma
In 2011, the I-64 Bridge that goes from Louisville to New Albany, Indiana was suddenly closed due to a crack in the foundation. This means that all of the I-64 traffic was re-directed to the nearby I-65 that takes you from Downtown Louisville and into Clarksville and Jeffersonville in Indiana.
Unfortunately, rush hour traffic can be extreme for these reasons. Currently, there is a deadline of work completion for the I-64 Bridge in 2012, but no one can guarantee that it will be ready in time for the Kentucky Derby. This means hotels cannot ensure guests will not be inconvenienced.
2012’s Kentucky Derby cyclist vacations
The possibility of a bridge closure during the Kentucky Derby can be a great opportunity if you know how to use it. For example, more vacationers are making cycling part of their adventure. Thankfully, Louisville is one of the most bike-friendly cities in America and they rival cities such as San Francisco in that regard. Although it has not been formally announced, you may be able to find better deals on Kentucky Derby hotels in Indiana during this continued 2012 bridge crisis.
Which Kentucky Derby hotel packages to choose
Above and beyond, the Kentucky Derby event causes every hotel to bring out their very best. For this reason, even corporate hotels that are focused on the business traveler will have Derby specials. For an outsider that is not from Louisville, Kentucky, it can be difficult to determine what exactly you need and which changes are important.
Mainly, the options you choose for lodging should highlight the plan you have for your transportation. For example, if you are not going to be driving, you will need to check and make sure that your hotel offers a shuttle to Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is being held.
In addition, we have here some great hotel recommendations of places where you can find top notch hotels and accommodation while you visit for the Kentucky Derby races.
Amenities you may never use
A popular option for many hotels is to offer a continental breakfast. If this is part of the pricing, consider doing without. Even if you have visited Louisville in the past, keep in mind that food opportunities will be found everywhere during the Kentucky Derby. In other words, why bother with a croissant and fruit option (that you have everyday) when you can experience luxury cuisine served especially for Kentucky Derby tourists?
In addition, some of the Kentucky Derby hotels offer a special breakfast during the festivities at their high-end hotel restaurants. Other priced amenities that you can possibly forgo (especially if you do not plan to drive) include valet parking.
Does my hotel need to be close to Churchill Downs?
When locals in Louisville, Kentucky arrange hotels for their relatives visiting the Kentucky Derby, most do not pay attention to how close the hotel is to Churchill Downs. The main reason for this is that your closest hotel is already about a mile away. In general, the area surrounding Churchill Downs is part of the University of Louisville or it is underdeveloped.
This might seem strange considering how close it is to Downtown, but this has always been the case during the history of the Kentucky Derby. Most seasoned Derby tourists will tell you that the hotels are very conscientious about the transportation issue – but some do not. For this reason, be sure to check on shuttles and taxi options before you make your Kentucky Derby hotel reservations.
The hotel says I can get a taxi
Most of the hotels within 5 miles of the Kentucky Derby offer a shuttle to and from Churchill Downs during the Derby. Despite this, they will still insist that you take money for a taxi just in case. Most hotel guests will be satisfied with traveling by shuttle, but others will want to go to Kentucky Derby parties around Louisville.
If this is the case, keep in mind that most events in Louisville will be within a 10-mile radius of each other. A small metro area, you have few chances of being stranded as long as you stay within 10 miles of Downtown Louisville. This excludes taxi service across the river in Southern Indiana.
One local rule during Derby that many tourists should keep in mind is that taxi drivers are revered in Louisville. If you are stranded, do not be surprised if a taxi driver spends 30 minutes driving without another fare to pick you up. For this reason, be sure to tip your taxi liberally for any favors they do for you. Unlike New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco, taxi prices in Louisville are reasonable even though they are increased for the Kentucky Derby.
Finally, keep in mind that, unlike metropolitan cities around the world, you will need to call one of the local cab companies for a taxi to come to your exact location as opposed to hailing one from the street.