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“Expected More” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Galt House Hotel

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Galt House Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   140 North Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40202   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 98 Hotels in Louisville
Herndon, Virginia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Expected More”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

Stayed at the Galt House on a three day business trip to Louisville. Was expecting much more for the price I paid. Room was nice and spacious, but had trouble with the hot water in the shower. AC/heating unit was LOUD all though out the night. Seemed the room needed a little upgrading. My biggest complaint though is the strong smell of stale cigarette smoke in many parts of the hotel. Including the hallway to my room. This is coming from a smoker. I assume they still have smoking rooms?

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,814 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Carmel, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

My husband, daughter, and I spent the weekend at the Galt because we were in town for a cheerleading competition. We found the hotel to be delightful, mainly due to the extremely friendly staff, the grandeur of the hotel, and the bustling energy of the Christmas activities throughout the hotel. The Galt is one of those historic grand hotels, and it retains that charm, even leaving the old shoeshine stations on display.

The friendliness of the staff is what impressed us the most. Even my teenage daughter asked me why everyone there was so incredibly friendly and nice. I assume it is that Southern hospitality at play!

We also enjoyed all of the holiday decorations both in the hotel and up and down 4th Street, which you could see from the hotel entrance. The hotel is the perfect location for walking to local restaurants (try the Bluegrass Brewery just around the corner for great food for the family at a good price) and for walking to 4th Street Live. The energy and excitement in the hotel really added to the fun of the weekend. It is not just a place where you have to go to your room because there is nothing to do. There is a fun and bustling area between the 2 hotel towers overlooking 4th street live with many tables for drinks or food and people watching.

Some have commented that long waits at elevators were a problem, but it wasn't that big a deal and I would say that the hotel was at capacity when we were there due to a big Beta Club youth convention and the huge cheerleading competition that brought hoards of families to the hotel to stay. Even with all those people, we never waited more than 5 minutes even on the 20th floor where our room was.

I also booked my trip in December during the summer and got a terrific AAA rate of only $112 for a 2 queen bed room. So, deals can be had here is you keep your eyes open. (There is a parking fee also, which is typical at all the downtown hotels.)

How was the noise while sleeping? Our window overlooked 4th Street. We heard the typical city noises, cars, ambulances, but we love that. I grew up going to Chicago frequently and staying at the finest hotels on Michigan Avenue, and always heard those sounds as I fell asleep. In fact, I'm disappointed when I stay at a hotel and don't get to hear the city sounds as I go to sleep. We were lucky in that we had a pretty quiet floor. While I had my own cheerleader with me, most of them were not on our floor as weren't the Beta youth group kids. Every now and then some people would start talking in the hallway at night, and yes those walls are thin. Luckily they moved on. If I had been on one of the floors with all the kids, I would have heard the sound seeping through the walls because groups of kids can be very loud. Regular hotel guests noises were not heard and not a bother.

The ONLY criticisms that I have about the Galt are these:
1. The hotel room (we stayed in the Rivue tower) were nice, but felt as if the carpet and walls could be updated a bit. It's certainly nicer than many places, but it didn't have that new feeling. It felt as if it had been updated maybe 10 years ago. It was all very clean, though; it just felt like it needed a bit of a facelift in the hallways and the rooms. The public areas did not leave that impression. They were fine.

2. My biggest complaint (and this is the reason that as much as I enjoyed the Galt, I WON'T return) is the beds. I have never slept on such a hard bed. I seriously thought my back felt broken after sleeping on that mattress that was as hard as a rock. I might as well have slept on the floor or in my car. The first night I literally stuffed pillows under my back to sleep because it was so uncomfortable.

So, why did I rate the hotel 4 stars given this criticism? Mainly because some people prefer very hard beds, and if that is the case, then the bed would be fine. The rest of the hotel is great, the restaurants are great, and they have a terrific breakfast buffet for a great price of only $14. So, it just comes down to your mattress preference (or bring your own air mattress to sleep on....) I am sad that I won't ever return to such a fun hotel because of the beds, but ultimately a hotel is for sleeping overnight and I have to have a bed that is not a rock to sleep on.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

This hotel is really big and gets a lot of nice things said about it because it has nice public facilities. I stayed there this past weekend and have stayed there several times before for overnight business meetings. It has some very large meeting rooms and a big bar that overlooks the Ohio river. There are some really negative things that an individual not attending a meeting or group event should consider so I will try to list a few of the good points and bad points.

Location stuff first. Its right on the river in downtown Louisville so you can watch the barges go by, really cool. The hotel is also right under the airport approach for one of the most active airports after 10:00 pm in the world, think about the UPS World Port facility in Louisville for a minute. UPS operates over 200 very large transport aircraft and every night a lot of them land in Louisville, get unloaded, get reloaded, and take off before dawn. Its great for the economy but it does not make a good nights sleep unless you are used to jets all night. Lying awake in bed at midnight counting jets going by the window is not 4 star.

Of course if you are on the river side of the hotel you may not hear the jets because Interstate 64, all six lanes, is literally less than 100 feet from the hotel. Of course if you sleep well to the sound of diesel trucks on the interstate you will love it, big wheels rolling moving on all night.

The last location issue is the downtown crime in general. The hotel is in the center of town and Louisville has some very nice areas and some not so nice areas just like all larger cities. The immediate area is average for city safety. Stay inside the hotel facilities and the more populated well lit areas and it will be ok. Make a mistake and walk away a few blocks west and it could really end bad. Google Louisville crime before you go and keep yourself near other people.

A facility note along this safety line. The west underground parking garage can leave you way out there from the hotel. The east underground garage is more compact under the hotel. Both are public use facilities, not just for hotel guests so you are competing with event attendees for a close spot and there is open pedestrian access from the city walkways to the garage without a security guard at each entrance. I am sure they have cameras, just not sure they are watching or what their response time is, I saw no security staff all weekend and I was looking. When seconds count the cops are minutes away. Kentucky is an open carry state though, just a thought.

Moving on to the large meeting room issues.

If you need a large meeting room with dining capability they have the space. The service is poor and the food is crap, but they have the space. This trip my meeting was sponsored by the US Military and it was a group of several hundred. As with all military events they will march in the colors and pay respects to the pow/mia memorial table. A lot of people who have never attended a military event do not realize that this is major serious business for them and all are expected to remain silent during this portion of the program. Most of these events I have been too the room is dead silent during this part, no talking, no whispering, no phone rings, its taken so serious out of respect its almost spooky.

The employees who were going to be serving the food that were on the other side of the curtain were told this in advance and were either too stupid or too disrespectful to shut up for the five minutes it took. Even though I saw two different uniformed officers go back to ask them to quiet down they either could not or would not shut up. I doubt seriously if this hotel will get another shot at this meeting for that reason alone, it was very bad form.

Then there is the food issue. Fixing food for several hundred in a group is not like standard restaurant service. You know the menu in advance, you get the food ready, plate it, and carry it to the table, in this case they were even told the quantity of each meal type to prepare for. Total failure, the food was poor quality, dry salad, unseasoned vegetables, rubber chicken. They couldn't even get it all out at the same time, of course there will be the first served table and the last served table as it moves across the room but a 30 minute difference between people at the same table receiving their entree is really awkward and shows poor management capability. The servers are front line folks and occasionally mess up but this total fail goes out to the banquet manager, you suck at your job and should loose it. If you are planning a big meeting for your group with food service in Louisville do your best to use the Hyatt they are consistently much better.

Large meeting capacity draws large groups, very large groups. If you are an individual traveler consider what this means to you. Do you really want to be staying in a convention facility with a thousand high school kids on a trip? How about a few thousand drunken basketball fans? If you are there for the party or special event its great, if you are not then its just a bunch of screaming kids in your way riding the elevator for fun and generally being in your way. I was a kid, we all were at one time. Kids are loud and have fun and if you want to be with them and relive that experience you will love it here because they are here most weekends for one convention or another. The elevator situation is a total joke when they are here though, 20 minutes wait to board one was not uncommon anytime I have stayed here.

Now for the rooms, in a word OLD.

To expand on that consider this hotel has two buildings 1973 & 1984, old. Sure they have redone them since but the infrastructure is still 30-40 years old. Our room this time had the security latch busted off of it, completely gone, the door plate on the balcony door frame was missing so you could not latch or lock it, a 4 inch section of trim was missing from the table edge, and there was a lot of filth splattered on the walls, not 4 star.

The walls are pretty thin too, you can hear every door close and every supersonic toilet flush within fifteen rooms of yours, all night. People walking down the hall or talking in the hall in a normal voice are heard very clearly through the walls. That's just the nature of old hotel walls and was a major reason the truck and jets were so loud.

The add on fees are pretty sad too, they will charge you for the gym, internet service, and parking, no free breakfast, no manager reception like some of the Hilton line.

This hotel is rated 4 star because of its scores facility size and available amenities like on property bars, restaurants, and meeting room size in general it didn't get the rating from its quality of stay, service, or cleanliness. I have traveled this world and stayed in 3,4 & 5 star places along with a lot of 1 & 2 star places, if rated only on the customer service and room quality it would make a 2 star on a good day.

The only real reason to stay here is to attend your meeting or group function. If you are the oneresponsible for group functions do your group a favor and try to go elsewhere there are better options out there. Also keep in mind that the Hyatt is connected the this hole with a covered, elevated walkway system so you can stay there and walk to the meeting at Galt.

If you are just visiting Louisville and need a place to stay unrelated to the downtown area think more East side of town for newer and better options.

Room Tip: Get a nicer room at they Hyatt, walk through the covered walkway down to the galt to see the river a...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

I really liked staying here. Got an unbelievable deal on the price and was amazed at how nice this place was. Huge place with multiple towers and a ton of rooms. My room was big, clean, and comfortable. There was a couple good restaurants and a nice bar inside the hotel. THeir one bar used to be on the urban bourbon trail, but didn't renew and rumor has it instead of 100+bourbons they are going to convert to a beer bar next year. Not sure how I feel about that, but my experience there was great. I loved the half price half glasses you could order in sets of 2 or more so you could try more different bourbon.
Parking was reasonably priced and found below the hotel.
Located right by the big bridge over the river in the center of town. You can pretty much walk to the downtown attractions. I'm not sure there could have been a much better location for my trip.

Room Tip: The high floor rooms, at least mine, had a terrible wifi signal so pick something lower if that'...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New Richmond, Ohio
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Christmas at the Galt house is an incredible experience. The Kalidescope is beautiful and the rest of the Christams activities are awesome. My kids were able to see Santa without waiting in line. Everyone at the hotel is so wonderful and happy and you can tell that the love their jobs. We have never stayed at the hotel but have never been made to feel anything but welcome. It is amazing the level of interaction from the staff when you are just walking around the hotel. Everyone smiles and greets you like you are a long lost family member. Even if you can't stay at the hotel I cannot recommend the Christmas experience high enough. Five stars is not enough!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cartersville, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Room as extremely large, hall way separated the living from the bedroom with the bath in the middle. Extra vanity space in the hall outside of bathroom.
Wonderful "bar" area with sink and fridge.
Room service is prompt.
House keeping is extremely helpful.
Penalty of mirrors in the room, helpful when several women are sharing.

Hotel it's self was well decorated for the Christmas season.

Concierge service is amazing. We had an extremely hard time with the parking deck as it was a very full and busy weekend in Louisville. Joel was very accommodating and quick to help us come to a conclusion.

Recommendation: Valet Park if there are lots of activities going on during your stay.

I would defiantly stay at this property again.

Stayed December 2013
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Lancaster, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We experienced exemplary customer service from this hotel on our recent stay. We had 50 customers staying here for the annual Christmas at the Galt House and the group coordinator, Melony, did a great job of communicating with us. The Galt House Hotel is beautiful, clean, and has a wonderful breakfast buffet. It was also conveniently located near Museum Row so our customers had plenty to experience during their afternoon of free time. Thanks for helping us provide such a great trip to our customers!! Also, Brittany from the concierge desk in the Rivue Tower went above and beyond for me on two occasions. She is a great asset to your company. Thank you.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Galt House Hotel

Address: 140 North Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Location: United States > Kentucky > Louisville
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Family Hotel in Louisville
#21 Business Hotel in Louisville
#22 Romantic Hotel in Louisville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Galt House Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Galt House Hotel, the Heart of Louisville, boasts 1,290 guest rooms and suites, 128,000 square-feet of convention space and more than 50 meeting rooms. Galt House Hotel features six full-service restaurants and lounges, including RIVUE, a 25th floor revolving restaurant with amazing cuisine, as well as the Rooftop Garden and Terrace, Club 360° Fitness Center and the three-story Conservatory that connects the two towers over 4th Street. It is connected to the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center, and within walking distance of Fourth Street Live! entertainment district, the Muhammad Ali Center, Kentucky Science Center, Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum and Frazier History Museum. It is also within walking distance of unique shops and restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Galt House Hotel Louisville
Galt Hotel Louisville
The Galt House Hotel
Galt House Hotel And Suites
Galt House Louisville Ky

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