Reed Travel Features
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It may be a flight of fancy, but the stately
Seelbach Hotel here has turned "brown-bagging it" into an Epicurean
delight for guests winging home on an otherwise empty stomach.
The hotel, which prides itself on its kitchen, offers patrons a
fillip it calls Flying Fare, which transforms lunch on the fly
into, well, lunch on the fly.
While the hungry Jack on the aisle has to make do with a bag of
salty peanuts, airborne guests of the Seelbach can dine on the
likes of marinated grilled chicken with black olive and garlic
tapinade served on herb and black olive foccacia or grilled
vegetable pesto pita with fresh daikon sprouts.
Here's how it works.
A guest can order a Flying Fare sandwich -- there were seven of
them at last count -- by calling Room Service at least one hour
before leaving the hotel, and a tidy bagged lunch will be waiting
at the front desk on checkout.
Each sandwich comes packed with chips, fresh fruit, a kosher
dill pickle and a cookie (the hotel says it includes an extra
cookie to share with the salivating passenger across the
No Flying Fare sandwich costs more than $7.95, and the top price
is $10.95 for a sliced tenderloin and sirloin with cheddar.
Of course, clients taking off on a morning flight can arrange to
pick up a continental breakfast instead.
For $5.95, early birds will get a bagel with apple cinnamon
cream cheese, a fresh baked muffin, a danish-style pastry and fresh
Anyone who knows the Seelbach is not surprised the hotel is
willing to go the extra mile (in this case air miles) when it comes
to fine dining.
The hotel's new executive chef, Jim Gerhardt, brought with him a
host of accolades, and it was under his stewardship that The
Oakroom, the Seelbach's landmark restaurant, was awarded the
coveted four-star rating by the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Gerhardt, who was honored as one of 20 chefs invited to
participate in the James Beard dinner in New York next May,
stresses regional ingredients and accents for his menus.
"Fine food brings out-of-towners as well as locals to a hotel
while at the same time attracting conventions and meetings," a
spokeswoman for the Seelbach said.
"Good restaurants enhance a hotel's salability."
In addition to gourmet dining in The Oakroom, the Seelbach
features the Cafe on the lobby level and the Old Seelbach Bar.
As for meeting accommodations, the Seelbach, which is located in
the heart of downtown Louisville at 500 Fourth Ave., offers 32,000
square feet of space, including the Medallion Ballroom, the
Mezzanine Ballroom and the Grand Ballroom as well as the unique
Rathskeller room in the lower lobby.
The Rathskeller, which was constructed in 1907, is noted for its
Rookwood pottery and hand-painted, leather ceiling.
Rates at the elegant 321-room property, where the amenities
include four-poster beds (in most rooms), marble baths, mahogany
furniture and two floors of concierge Club accommodations, are $180
for two persons in a superior room; $205, Concierge Club room; $310
one-bedroom suite, and $510, Presidential suite.
For additional information or reservations, call (800) 333-3399;
fax (502) 587-6564.