Located between Frankfort, Kentucky’s historic downtown and the lush green of Kentucky Riverview Park, the Capital Plaza Hotel is a perfect spot from which to explore the state’s picturesque capital city. Within a few blocks are: bourbon tasting, coffee infused with bourbon, shops with Kentucky handcrafts, a pottery studio where you can take a turn at the wheel, an eatery book store where customers can take instruments off the wall for an impromptu jam session and odes to Frankfort’s famous folk who used to call this home. Johnny Depp is among them.
Head out one door of the hotel and you’ll end up downtown in a couple of blocks. Go out another and you’ll be heading to the park that edges the Kentucky River.
With it’s unique features, Capital Plaza Hotel is the type of hotel one hopes to find amid the sea of corporate hotel options. Family-owned and independent, the hotel has made a stand as a city landmark that rises above the landscape surrounded by the Appalachian foothills.
Although the outside of the hotel, doesn’t have particular features that draw notice except for its size, the waterfall wall feature of the lobby is an immediate wow. Water cascades in between wall length pieces of glass creating two separate lounge areas–each with their own mood. Real plants, along with the sofa, chair and side table groupings invite guests to sit awhile with enough space to give room for private conversations. Polished wood and marble add an aura of elegance to a homey feel.
At night, the Capital Plaza Lounge is the gathering place where drinks and are served with southern hospitality. Of course, there’s several bourbon options, but for the most interesting local flavor, try the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
When the weather is warm, head outside to the plaza area between the hotel and downtown where fountains and flowers are a nod to summer. In the morning, grab breakfast from the buffet and head outside to one of the tables near the fountain for a quiet time to read–or enjoy the bustle of the other guests in the breakfast dining room. The homemade sausage gravy and fluffy biscuits are a Kentucky favorite. I did miss crispy bacon. Although eggs, hash browns and pancakes are part of the offerings, a meat dish is not.
At the hotel’s Capital Plaza Grill, soups, sandwiches and salads are a specialty. For a Kentucky connection, order the Country Boys Ham Sammich, a tasteful combination of Bluegrass ham and homemade beer cheese spread.
For upscale fare, the Capital Plaza Lounge also serves dinner. Kentucky Hot Brown -an open faced sandwich of turkey, ham, bacon and Mornay sauce that’s baked until bubbling is the state’s signature dish. For dessert, head to the Derby Pie–a rich chocolate concoction topped with bourbon cream.
Guest rooms that range from double queen to king suites are tasteful and comfortable, and depending upon the location may have a view of downtown or the river. Some rooms have microwaves and small refrigerators. There are rooms that are slated for smokers, so keep this in mind when booking.
Other hotel amenities include an updated pool with expansive windows that create a sense of airiness and let in natural light and a small workout room with a few pieces of equipment. Because part of the hotel are condominiums, dogs are part of the scenery as they stroll through with their owners for a walk outside.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein
My stay was hosted by the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission but the opinions are my own.