When I got my credentials for Railbird Music Festival, I immediately started looking for a great hotel in Lexington.
Based on the photos alone, I knew it was where I wanted to stay – a beautiful white colonial-style, historic hotel, with hydrangea bushes and a bronze statue of a horse planted prominently by the entrance.
You can feel the luxury from the moment you walk into the lobby. A horseshoe chandelier hung lavishly from the ceiling, with a bar to the right, and fruit infused water and the front desk to the left. The staff was welcoming and polite, even helping me with all my bags (yes I said ALL – don’t judge) to my room.
The rooms are all appropriately equestrian-themed – I mean, we are in the horse capital of the world after all. Leather headboards and rustic decor, paired with pillow-top mattresses with absolutely heavenly pillows, and a 37-inch TV with more channels than I’ve ever seen for a hotel. A small part of me wanted to ditch the festival and just enjoy this cozy paradise for a few days. But here’s a tip: there are no mini-fridges in the rooms, so bring a cooler if you want to bring your own drinks!
The Campbell Houses was one of the closest hotels to Keeneland for Railbird Music Festival. I understand why they were sold out Railbird weekend, it truly was the best location we could have asked for. Only 5 miles from Keeneland, and 1.5 miles from downtown. The whole weekend, we never paid more than a few bucks for an Uber/Lyft.
They also offer a shuttle service which will take guests to and from the Blue Grass Airport (yep – real name). I wish they would have somehow utilized this for the festival, but I understand why they didn’t, especially in the festival’s first year.
One of the biggest benefits of the hotel, is one I didn’t even discover until a couple days out, and it was the on-site hair salon, Salon 828. Why is this a big deal you might ask? Because my hair is thick and curly, and every SINGLE music festival, I talk about how I wish my hair were in french braids – but I have absolutely NO talent in hair styling. So, I booked an appointment for Saturday morning (day one of Railbird) and got my hair shampooed and braided by someone who actually knew what they were doing. It turned out absolutely adorable, if I do say so myself, and I actually ended up wearing them all weekend with the help of some dry shampoo.
Some of my favorite amenities were:
• Complimentary WiFi which is always important to writers like myself.
• Free shuttle service. While I do wish they could have somehow incorporated it into the festival, it was such a nice perk either way.
• The on-site hair salon was one of the absolute highlights for me. Being able to conveniently get my hair done the morning of the festival – I felt so pampered.
• Free parking in a ground lot is something I wish more hotels had.
• A bourbon bar with over 250 bourbons – an impressive collection for ANY bar.
• The gorgeous terrace out front was the perfect place to get some writing done.
The Campbell House is currently under some pretty heavy construction, but nothing that interferes with guests stays too much. They are building out a second ballroom for weddings and events, and a grab-and-go cafe. After speaking with their marketing manager, she said that next up in the guest rooms…Now the first thought I had was the lack of counter space in the bathrooms, but I politely kept my opinionated lips shut. But the next words out of her mouth, I swear to God, were “the first thing I want to fix is the counter space in the bathrooms!” Hallelujah! The Campbell House clearly knows what their guests want and expect in a luxury hotel, and they are making sure they stay up to date.
The Campbell House was built in 1951 as a 99-room “Motor Inn”. Today, it is a 250-room luxury hotel, and a member of Historic Hotels of America.
They are currently on their fourth major construction since opening, in an effort to constantly improve themselves and the guest experiences. And this is just phase one. The Campbell House has a multi-phase renovation plan to make The Campbell House a destination hotel.
I also had to find out WHO the horse out front was. Well, I learned the horse statue out front was “Stevie Wonderboy”, a now-retired racehorse, bred in Kentucky, and owned by none other than…Merv Griffin. What a random place, I love it.
First of all, I absolutely cannot WAIT to go back once all the renovations are done.
I always look for a place that’s a little different when traveling. I don’t like cookie-cutter hotels, I want to see something unique. And The Campbell House was so uniquely Lexington.
A huge thank you to VisitLex for helping me plan my trip! I will definitely be back to Lexington, and I look forward to it.