More than 15 million people are projected to visit Nashville in 2023. If they are searching for luxury accommodations, they have their pick of several properties.
Six new hotels have opened in the past few years, with gorgeous rooms and amenities suitable for the most discriminating. You can find the finest dining with James Beard Award-winning and Michelin-starred chefs, spectacular rooftop bars with sparkling swimming pools and views of downtown, and Wellness Rooms with Peloton bikes and Echelon Reflect Fitness Mirrors.
Enjoy afternoon tea, a tasting with martinis and caviar and a presidential suite with a fully restored 1920s Steinway piano.
And while we’re talking luxury, it’s also worth a mention that The Hermitage Hotel, built in 1910, completed a multi-year renovation in 2022. It included a restoration of the Beaux Arts lobby and a redesign of all 122 guestrooms to give them a more residential feel. The hotel added the restaurant Drusie & Darr, which is led by famed Michelin-star Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
What hasn’t changed is the award-winning men’s bathroom in the lobby. Yes, there are awards for such a thing and the art deco lime-green-and-black restroom with two shoeshine stations has been voted the best bathroom in America.
For an elegant afternoon, head to the afternoon tea served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday where recipes are inspired by “Whiskey in a Teacup,” a cookbook by Nashville native Reese Witherspoon.
And the hotels just keep comin’. The Ritz-Carlton is set to break ground on a 46-story hotel and condominium tower in the summer of 2023.
So what’s happening to attract this level of luxurious accommodations to Music City?
“Nashville’s Music City brand continues to solidify us as a global destination — for both the business and leisure traveler,” said Deana Ivey, President and incoming CEO of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “The city’s growing popularity, expansive culinary scene highlighted by award-winning chefs, and the addition of elevated experiences has led to unprecedented growth in hotel development, specifically luxury properties.”
Here are the six new hotels in Nashville where luxury meets southern hospitality.
It wasn’t the size of the lobby at 1 Hotel Nashville that impressed me. It was the feeling of walking into a terrarium. I was surrounded by plants and elements from nature, from the check-in created from boulders to the dried tobacco plants on the wall behind the desk, a tribute to the crop grown in Tennessee.
That wasn’t so shocking considering the exterior of this new luxury hotel is covered in over 56,000 ivy plants. After touring the property and seeing all the live greenery, it was no surprise to learn that the hotel has a full-time plant team.
The 250-room hotel include 37 suites and the Bamford Wellness Spa. My room was gorgeous, with spectacular views, filtered water tap and Bamford bath products. And I even had live plants in my room. Thankfully, I was not in charge of keeping them alive as that’s not my strong suit.
There’s also a gym, called Anatomy, where you can sign up for personal training sessions, and free yoga classes on the rooftop on Saturday morning.
In addition to Harriet’s Rooftop, with both indoor and outdoor seating, which serves light bites, dining options include 1 Kitchen with sustainably sourced farm-to-table cuisine, and Neighbors with picnic fare from local purveyors.
I was also delighted to see Neighbors had some gift items, including some from Able, a fabulous shop we toured that helping empower women by selling items made by women around the world.
While at six years old, Kimpton Aertson Hotel doesn’t qualify as new, it’s a beautiful property where I also spent a few nights. It’s a short walk to Vanderbilt and I strolled over there one beautiful day looking for my son’s fraternity house so I could send him a photo.
I am a fan of Kimpton hotels and especially love their wine hours and yoga mats provided in the rooms. Not that I did any yoga, but just like the thought of one being there.
It’s hard to find a better location in Nashville than the one the Four Seasons has, with views of the Cumberland River and Riverfront Park.
We had an amazing lunch here in a private room in Mimo Restaurant, which bills itself as an elevated Southern Italian restaurant. The name mimo means mockingbird in Italian, which is the state bird of Tennessee and is known for being sociable and staying up late. Pretty much a perfect name for a bar and restaurant.
I’m rarely a bread eater, finding most of it rather tasteless, but I chowed down on the delicious sourdough bread and devoured every bite of the pan-seared halibut. Michelin-starred Executive Chef Aniello Turco oversees the restaurant and bar.
After lunch we had a tour of the property, which just opened in late 2022. It has 235 rooms with 42 suites, half of which have views of the river and the other half have city views. The Riviera Rooftop with a pool, bar and terrace is opening soon. It’s “South of France meets southern hospitality,” we were told.
The spa has six treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a salon.
I recommend starting a stay in Nashville with sipping a glass of prosecco at Proof, the rooftop bar at W Nashville like I did. While it was too windy to spend much time outside the evening I was there, I dashed out to take in the view before retreating inside to the spacious bar area.
With views on three sides of the spacious outdoor area, you can get a good feel for downtown Nashville.
The hotel features 346 rooms and 60 suites, including what they all their Extreme Wow Suites, their version of a presidential suite with 1,800 square feet and an oversized balcony.
While there is no spa, there is a large, beautiful pool and a fitness center. One of the more stunning features is the Spanish Steps, a set of stairs that serves as a meeting space and venue with an amphitheater below.
Dining options include the Living Room bar, Carne Mare steakhouse and The Dutch, an American restaurant featuring the seasonal dishes of James Beard Award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini.
Opened in October 2020 in the Nashville Yards development, Grand Hyatt Nashville was named best new hotel in America by USA Today.
The property has 591 rooms with 55 suites, seven dining options and one of the highest rooftop bars in the city. lou/na, which has indoor and outdoor seating, entertainment and killer views of Nashville. The R + R Wellness Spa offers customized “wellness journeys.”
Acclaimed Chef Sean Brock opened The Continental, the hotels’ flagship restaurant, serving classic American cuisine inspired by American restaurants and hotels from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
For a truly elegant experience, try The Continental Vesper Club’s martini and caviar tasting offered Wednesday to Sunday from 5-10 p.m.
Located close to Vanderbilt and Music Row, this Hilton property opened in June 2022 with 234 rooms and 24 suites that have balconies, dressing rooms and soaking tubs. You can also select to stay in a Wellness Room where you’ll find a minibar with healthy treats, free weights, yoga mats, a Peloton bike and Echelon Reflect Fitness Mirror.
The average size of a room is 450 square feet, well above the average 325 square feet.
The rooftop bar has views of downtown and you can grab a cocktail and listen to live music at Thistle & Rye, a chic bar on the third floor. The hotels main restaurant is Blue Aster, which serves southern cuisine at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also enjoy afternoon tea at The Lounge at Blue Aster.
When the presidential suite has a fully restored 1920s Steinway piano, the front desk is covered with a single piece of hand-tooled piece of leather done by Lucchese and the knobs on the nightstands are like tuners on an amp, you know that no detail was overlooked in the décor of The Joseph Nashville.
Oh, and did I mention the James Beard Award-winning and Michelin-starred Chef Tony Mantuano who guides the culinary program?
From its stunning rooftop bar and pool to the turn tables in the room and the amazing food at the Italian restaurant, Yolan, I loved everything about our stay at The Joseph.
For our full review, please see our story, The Joseph Nashville: Music City’s New Luxury Hotel
For things to do in Nashville, go to Visit Music City.
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– @Jan Schroder, Editor-in-chief