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Printer's Alley, soon to be home to a Virgin, an Ace and... a Witherspoon?
Perhaps it was the ludicrously over the top travel experiences offered to the Oscars nominees in their party packages. Perhaps she wanted some luxury after the wilds of Wild. Whatever – rumor has it this week that Reese Witherspoon is to open a hotel in Nashville.
US Weekly claims that Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth have been down “a few times to look at properties”, and have already met an architect and decorator (before they buy? Dedication).
Construction on the 240-room hotel is supposed to happen this spring and when it's all finished, the property will boast not just a super futuristic look from Atlanta-based BLUR Workshop, (as opposed to the historic bank building look in Chicago) but also a rooftop pool, restaurants, shops, 15 for-sale penthouse residences and, wait for it...a recording studio.
That was to be expected given that the Virgin company started out as a record shop, and this hotel is opening at the start of Music Row. But still, kind of awesome.
Hotel Development / Nashville Hotels / Ace Hotels / Edition Hotels / 21c Museum Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Rumors / → All Tags
Exciting times are ahead for Nashville’s hotel scene. In particular, the city's boutique otel scene is really coming up. Already, there's a Virgin, Thompson and Kimpton in the works, but now we've learned there's an Ace and an Edition coming as well.
How do we know this? The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation has released a "cheat sheet" of new Downtown/Midtown hotels in the works, most of them opening in the city's coolest neighborhoods. But don’t pack your bags yet, as many of these hotels are years from completion, with some still under speculation. And we all know that anything can happen in hotel development, not the least of which is a flag change.
Still, it's hard for us not to want to grab a partner and do-so-do with excitement. Here's what has us skipping in our cowboy boots this morning:
The Thompson Nashville will have 224 rooms, a ground floor restaurant, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge when it opens in Summer 2016 in the Music City's The Gulch neighborhood. The building, which will start site work early next year, is being designed by Nashville-based Hastings Architecture Associates, LLC along with Atlanta-based design firm Reese Vanderbilt & Associates.
Parts and Labor Design, a NYC firm, will do the customized interiors to keep the look within the Thompson brand's signature look. So expect high-end design, interesting room layouts and custom furniture and lighting.
While we love the look of the building, we don't think Thompson will re-invent the wheel here as far as the interior design goes nor will they radically change up their amenities and services. But the location for Thompson is very cool, and may just be the ultimate selling point.
The Gulch is a revitalized urban area in downtown Nashville that's been steadily built up over the past 15 years, mixing in new buildings with renovated historic ones. Here's a bit more from The Gulch on their scene:
The Virgin Hotel in Nashville, which is set to open at One Music Row in 2016, has not even been built yet but is already suffering from some ED issues--Ex-Developer issues.
The Tennessean reports that developer David Chase, executive vice president of D.F. Chase Inc. and the lead developer behind the Virgin Hotel, was arrested last week for twice assaulting his girlfriend. In one day. Chase faces charges of aggravated assault by strangulation, vandalism and interference with a 911 call.
The investors behind the Virgin project are now trying to figure out how to get Chase to "step aside" but his ownership stake in the lot where the hotel will go up has complicated matters. Still, a Virgin spokesperson gave this statement to the Tennessean: "We are aware of the situation and while we cannot comment on a pending investigation, we have no tolerance for domestic violence."
Meanwhile, construction on the hotel was to start this summer but that could be delayed until a new developer is found.
[Photo: Nashville CVB]
It's not just high-flying Virgins that are headed to Nashville, but museum lovers too.
According to Tennessean, a landmark building in Downtown Nashville has been sold at auction to 21c Museum Hotels. It must have been meant to be, as it was reportedly the 21st bid (of $6.8 million) that won the luxury boutique hotel and restaurant group its new Nashville digs.
This will be the 5th hotel following Louisville, Cincinnati, Bentonville and Durham (due to open in early 2015.) The hotel group also plans to expand into Lexington; in an historic bank designed by McKim Mead and White; Oklahoma City, in a former Ford Model T plant, and Kansas City; in a redevelopment of the Savoy Hotel and Grill. Each of these future hotels sound so great we had to mention them.
The Nashville property, located at 222 Third Avenue North, dates to the 1890s and is a registered national landmark. It was most recently used as office space and will need some work to convert it to a luxury boutique hotel. But taking on an historic building and bringing out its character are what make the 21c Hotels so appealing. With the exception of Bentonville, which is a new build, each of the 21c hotels was uniquely developed as an adpative reuse.
Virgin Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Sir Richard Branson / Raul Leal / Nashville Hotels / → All Tags
You can probably thank Taylor Swift for the latest announcement from Virgin Hotels. The burgeoning hotel brand has just revealed they will open a new hotel in Nashville in 2016 in a pretty prime location--One Music Row.
Virgin Hotels Nashville will have 240 guest rooms, multiple "concept" suites, along with food and beverage outlets and perhaps most necessary of all, a cutting edge recording studio.
“Based on its nonstop cultural and live events, food and beverage scene, and its ability to inspire both talented artists and TV viewers, Nashville’s time is now – and we’d like to be part of that excitement,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hotels will be our first venture in Nashville, and we’ll look at other opportunities for our US and international customers to enjoy the southern hospitality that Nashville is known for.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Hotels Chicago is apparently just "months away from opening" according to Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. After that, Virgin has its eyes set on NYC, Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, San Fran, DC and London.
We don't think we need to say it again but it bears repeating, "Hurry up because we can't hardly wait."
[Photo: Nashville CVB]
While Hotel Indigo has been making great strides internationally--the just-opened Hotel Indigo Hong Kong and its dragon-wrapped exterior recently won an award for best hotel architecture--the brand is still growing here in the U.S., with a third Chicago hotel coming next year and at least another 20 hotels in the pipeline. Yet there are still so many existing Hotel Indigos to explore, like the Hotel Indigo Nashville which just finished an ultra-cool renovations.
Downtown Nashville's hip Hotel Indigo will be showing off it's little $5 million facelift soon. February 8th heralds the opening of new restaurant, The District Bar & Kitchen, with 33 brand new guestrooms debuting a week later (upping the total count to 130). The other 97 rooms have also received a design & furnishings freshen-up.
Fans of the hotel's weekly music nights featuring up and coming local artists (which have been taking place despite the construction) must wait til March to tour the new ground floor lobby & event space.
According to the Nashville Business Journal, the redesign hearkens to the building's Printer's Alley history, "using letter block murals, a piano key awning over the concierge desk, and a speakeasy-style bar to tell the story of the neighborhood as a printing district in the 1800s, watering hole during Prohibition, and, now, an entertainment district where music legends are discovered."
Rates from $171 per night.
[Photo: Hotel Indigo Nashville's Facebook]
[Photo: Hotel Indigo Nashville's Facebook]
While most of us equate Nashville with Justin Timberlake (what, you don’t?) and a ridiculous rib scene, after today, it’s now going to be associated as the city where Olympic gold medalist (and hey, budding actor!) Shaun White showed his behind.
According to a TMZ report, the athlete got drunk Sunday in a hotel, which has now been identified in the Tennessean as the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel and "trashed" it. However, reports are conflicting. The newspaper only says White broke a phone. Nonetheless, upon hearing the ruckus the ginger-haired snowboarder was causing, hotel staff confronted him. He then allegedly pulled fire alarms,tried to kick someone, and then split his head on a fence while trying to run away from the scene. Soooo, no one can confuse him with Usain Bolt, that's for sure.
White has been arrested for public intoxication and vandalism of $500 or less. He has received treatment in a Nashville hospital where he was just released. He's reportedly refused to sign a misdemeanor citation.
Of course, we'll be following this news, if only to find out the well-being of one fine hotel!
Summer Road Trip Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Nashville Hotels / Free WiFi / Starwood Preferred Guest / → All Tags
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a job in tech. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
After another 10 hours on the road filled with torrential downpours and hundreds of miles of Virginia and Tennessee farmland, we pulled into Nashville. We went directly to the Sheraton Downtown Hotel where we stayed for the night.
I had reserved the hotel weeks ago through my Starwood Preferred Guest account with the cash and points option, which set me back $45 and 2,800 Starwood points. The room regularly books for $179 ($208.80 total with tax).
While it seems that bibles in the nightstand are on their way out--or at least hotels are leaning towards more non-demoninational spiritual texts--one hotel in Nashville isn't giving up on Christianity entirely. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel offers guests keycards with advertisements for GodTube.com which is exactly what you think it is--a Christian video sharing site. Um...okaaaaay.....
Hotel ads on keycards are not new. Vegas hotels have advertised their shows on keycards for years. Hilton Hotels recently did a crosspromo on their keycards for that movie, Up in the Air and down in Mexico, the Intercontinental Guadalajara even advertised help for sexual dysfunction on their room keys. (Yes, way!)
But advertising for a religious site like GodTube.com might be a first. We wonder what the American Atheists would have to say about this.
What do you think about advertising for GodTube on the hotel keycards--praise the Lord or should we just stick with YouTube? Let us know your thoughts in comments below!