A new story in Conde Nast Traveler offers high praise for Nashville, calling our city “a force to be reckoned with.” Sure, it’s not exactly a freak occurrence to see national publications shining a spotlight on Nashville — the chorus has been remarkably steady over the past few years. But the reason behind this one is interesting and new: our hotel scene.
As a tourism-friendly city, of course we’d be touted as a place with a strong hotel climate. But even if our lodgings were relatively ample, old Nashville wasn’t necessarily screaming with uniqueness on that front. Lately — as our tourism numbers have skyrocketed — developers have not only scrambled to keep pace with the need, but to make things more interesting, too.
Last month, Nashville Business Journal noted that there were around 4,000 hotel rooms already under construction in Davidson County. Over the next few years, we’ll see new Hiltons/Embassys and the like, plus boutique hotels and architecturally interesting projects that give visitors a place to stay that’s worth writing home about.
Below, 8 in-the-works hotel projects that we’re particularly intrigued to see (plus one that just opened).
Unique hotels set to open in Nashville
Kimpton Aertson Hotel
Coming to Midtown near Vanderbilt, the Kimpton Aertson Hotel at 2021 Broadway is shooting for a spring 2017 opening, with “open spaces and refined design touches” in a 17-story compound (which’ll also include retail, apartments and a restaurant/bar). Of interest if you’re focused on green-minded living: Kimpton adheres to strict LEED specifications, so you can expect a mind on sustainability.
21c Museum Hotel Nashville
Art lovers should definitely bookmark this one: A new 21c Museum Hotel is currently under construction in the historic Gray & Dudley Building at 221 Second Avenue North downtown. Like other 21c hotels, a public contemporary art museum and upscale restaurant and bar are part of the plan (former Cochon Butcher chef Levon Wallace is set to lead the kitchen), along with 124 rooms, private terraces, river and downtown views and high-style design. It’s expected to open in the spring of 2017.
We’re always glad to see historic structures renovated and reused, and that’s set to be the case with the in-the-works Dream Hotel in Printers Alley — a 169-room luxury, boutique space expected to open in mid-2018. It’ll take over the former historic Utopia Hotel, and judging by the brand’s other buildings (in New York, Miami and many other cities), we can expect bold design, nightlife-friendly vibes and big amenities.
More adaptive reuse downtown: The Wells Fargo Plaza building at 230 Fourth Ave. N. is due to be reimagined, with boutique hotel The Bobby joining the Nashville-lodging fray. It’s expected to be complete in early 2018, with 144 rooms over nine floors and easy access to dining/shopping, with street-level retail and multiple eateries onsite (including a rooftop bar and venue).
The Bobby has a fancy friend coming: The 21-story The Joseph is another hotel name in the works for SoBro downtown, with 297 rooms particularly geared toward high-end travelers — “This is a five-star luxury experience,” developer Joel Pizzuti told Nashville Business Journal. He expects work to begin in the first quarter of 2017.
If everything goes as planned, East Nashville will get its first boutique hotel with the arrival of Holiday Jones, a brand that’s already popular in Chicago. Those plans have been developing and changing, but last we heard (in August), developers are aiming for a 100-room project at 809, 811 and 813 Main St., with a potential retail component in the mix too. The aim for groundbreaking is late spring 2017, with 14 months of construction.
Nashville will never feel like a beach vacation, but if anybody could get it closer, it’s Jimmy Buffett. Back in June, reports came through that a Margaritaville hotel was in the planning for SoBro in downtown Nashville, with 238 rooms over 14 stories at 421 and 425 Fifth Ave. It’d join Buffett-themed hotels in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. As of November, construction was set to begin on the Nashville Margaritaville Hotel in May — and yes, according to the renderings, palm trees will be involved.
Anyone intrigued by architecture might want to take a look at Stanza Nashville, a new hotel in the works at 400 Lafayette St. The hotel’s small triangular lot necessitated a creative approach to its design: a 12-story “micro flat-iron building” that the Nashville Post says “might rank among the city’s five most distinctive buildings once finished.” The aim is for affordability in Nashville’s downtown core, so the rooms — mostly 183-square-foot micro rooms — are expected to be around $160 a night. Back in August, developers said they planned to break ground in the summer of 2017.
This one just opened last week (pictured at the top of the post), so no waiting. And unlike most of the other projects here, this one’s cozy and personal. With six guest suites (all named after U.S. presidents) in a reimagined historic Germantown home, you’re having a more intimate Nashville experience, and getting a look at some of the city’s history — the property was built around the mid-1800s, and it’s located in one of Nashville’s most historically significant neighborhoods. (It happens to be one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods now, too.)
If you’ve been thinking about coming to Nashville to visit in the next few years, hope this gives you some interesting options to consider for your lodging.
If you’re planning on staying in Nashville a little longer, and need helping finding your own piece of Music City, reach out and tell us about your house hunt — we’d love to help you track down the perfect fit.