My husband, 9 month old son and I just returned from a weekend-long stay at the Galt House Hotel & Suites in downtown Louisville. We chose the hotel as we were attending a wedding and the Galt House Waterford Room was hosting the reception and we wanted proximity / ease with our young son. I love detailed reviews, so here are our impressions after the stay.
Location: Excellent location - if I was rating on location, this would be a 5-star hotel. Great views of the Ohio River, and VERY close to downtown areas for entertainment and dining. Across the street from the Yum! Center, and just blocks (~5-6) from the Evan Williams Experience, the Science Center (for Children) and the Louisville Slugger Museum, there are many choices for entertainment / sightseeing within walking proximity (there is also a free Trolley that stops right at the corner of 4th St & Main at the hotel if you'd rather ride to these destinations). We also didn't have any trouble finding restaurants / bars also within great proximity (within 2-5 blocks).
Accommodations: We stayed in the Suites Tower in an Executive Suite and I did LOVE how much room was afforded, especially traveling with our little guy who loves to crawl around (and needs to do so in order to get enough exercise!) The suite had living room area with dining table and small "bar" complete with fridge which was separated from the bedroom by a small hall (leading to a bathroom) and doors for privacy. We set up our Pack n' Play (Note: hotel has some available for no charge if you request at the desk - we brought our own as we drove and had room / wanted familiarity for our son) in the median area near the bathroom and the two doors separating from the living room & the bedroom allowed for him to be minimally disturbed by both the hallway area and my husband and I for naps, etc. The negative: rooms are dated and the carpet wasn't very clean (I noted staining in several areas, confetti from prior guests and even what appeared to be a cinnamon toast crunch cereal piece on the floor in the corner - not from us on all accounts). The windows in the bedroom offered a limited view of the river, but looked like they hadn't been cleaned from prior occupants in the room either with big hand prints and what appeared to be a forehead print (again, not from us as I noticed these prints right away upon drawing back the curtains to show my son the view). To me, the details are important, especially for cleanliness so these "negatives" really gave me an "average" impression of the room. I think I would be more "okay" with some of these items if we weren't paying $139 / night (and that was the group rate). Plus, when you add on the $5 fee for the fitness center and the $15 / night for parking, I really felt let down by the quality of the stay for the price we paid to stay at this hotel.
Food: I did enjoy the Rivue restaurant for brunch (great meal - so many choices), but service was slow / lacking. We also had the pizza & sandwiches at the Conservatory level Thelma's restaurant (both were excellent!) but I did think it was a little pricey for a drink and a mini pizza at $10. However, it was convenient and really very good pizza. Dinner at the reception was excellent as well and service was fantastic at the reception; looks like a very well-run operation as a guest (I can't speak to the experience as working directly with the hotel on the reception).
Extras: The 3rd floor conservatory is a great place to relax / enjoy the view. There is a bar area that hosts a fish tank as the bar - my son loved looking at the fish through the glass. All the hotel staff that we talked to / encountered were very nice / helpful. The concierge desk has hotel partner "Discounts" so be sure to stop by if you are planning to go to the zoo or the Slugger Museum especially.
OVERALL: I would stay again at this hotel for the location if I'm ever in Louisville again. However, for the price, I was expecting a little bit "more" out of the stay and having to pay parking and for the gym on top of the room price seems silly to me. I think it leaves a negative impression on guests to have to pay for these "extras" that are usually included in the cost of the room. It also gives the guests the impression of "nickel & diming" if you charge only $5 for the gym; just include that cost in the room price and let guests have access to the gym like other hotels that are in your "caliber" level of moderate to luxury stay ranges.