Lexington, KY

An Authentic Kentucky Experience at Origin Hotel Lexington

Rebekah Barton

I grew up in a Kentucky Derby family. I have distinct memories of my grandpa giving me, my sister, and our cousins a betting pool of quarters – we picked our horses based on their names back then, statistics be darned – and I’ll never forget watching TV all day on the first Saturday in May just to gape at the Derby hats.

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Now, I’ve been lucky enough to attend Derby, cementing my love for horse racing culture and fashion (of course). I also learned how to read a race program somewhere along the line, which makes placing bets just a little bit more fun. 

I love a Trifecta box, in case you were chomping at the bit to know my favorite bet. 

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These days, to get us through until May at Churchill Downs arrives, my husband and I make an annual trip to the Keeneland Fall Meet, which never disappoints.

Keeneland is among the most stunning – if not the most stunning – horse racing tracks in the United States. As soon as you enter the grounds, it’s as if you’ve stepped into a bygone era when everything is a little more genteel – a respite, if you will, from the chaos of day-to-day life. 

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The track hosts both a Spring Meet and Fall Meet annually but also serves as the location of numerous stock sales. Furthermore, horses – including Triple Crown contenders – train at Keeneland year-round.

Plus, there’s a Moet and Chandon kiosk (as if you needed another reason to visit). 

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This year, we had the good fortune to connect with Origin Hotel Lexington ahead of our weekend trip, and I’m so glad we did.

We arrived at the hotel after a day in the always-fabulous Lexington/Kentucky Room, where we were immediately greeted by the sweetest staff members I think I’ve ever encountered – truly Southern hospitality is alive and well at Origin.

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Our room boasted the perfect combination of historical touches celebrating Lexington’s horse racing and bourbon trail history – check out the vintage map on the wall – and modern amenities like a massive walk-in shower. 

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After a quick change upstairs, we returned to the lobby area to visit 33 Staves.

This was definitely the highlight of our evening – you can’t beat prime time college football, good drinks, a Southern gourmet food menu, and a perfectly designed bar. 

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We spent several hours watching games and chatting with our bartender, Andrew, who was (and I do not exaggerate) the best bartender I have EVER had. I mean, just peep this mint julep. 

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At one point, after discussing my love of all things Prohibition era and learning he used to work in a speakeasy-themed establishment, we asked him to surprise us with our next round. He crafted a vintage daiquiri for my husband and the most delicious whiskey Negroni I’ve ever had for me – if you’re ever in the Bluegrass, do not skip a trip to 33 Staves in the evening! 

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Then, make sure you return for brunch the next morning. With a full menu, including customizable omelets and amazing avocado toast, you can’t go wrong. 

Overnight, the vibe of the space somehow magically shifts from a rustic-cool nightlife spot to a cheerful, sun-filled location to start the day – you really can’t go wrong.

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For families: Although we visited Origin Hotel without our daughters this trip, it’s a great place for families with little ones, too! The lobby offers a large table for board games and conversation (we saw several families playing games during our stay!) and there are hobby horses for kids to use, which I thought was an absolutely adorable detail. 

More About Origin Hotel Lexington

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Next time you find yourself in bourbon country, don’t miss out on Origin Hotel. Conveniently located near Draper James, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, and more at The Summit at Fritz Farm, you’ll get a true taste of the Bluegrass State with a dose of upscale charm.

As the hotel’s website says:

Here, you’ll find that we take things slow—but rarely in moderation, whether it’s our Southern hospitality, record-breaking racehorses, or world-class bourbon. With a locally-inspired hotel design, Origin Lexington, a Wyndham Hotel, brings you a truly authentic Kentucky experience.

Have you ever spent a Keeneland weekend in Lexington, KY?

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Rebekah is a long-time digital media professional who has branched out into creating lifestyle content of her own. From 5-star hotel reviews to everyday style, you'll find it here. Follow daily adventures at www.instagram.com/_rebekahbarton

Indianapolis, IN

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