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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]
Most travelers who've been to Gatlinburg, TN would agree that it's not exactly a hot spot for luxury hotels...or for much at all now that the 1960s and '70s have passed. And isn't that a good thing? Judging from the sort of average roadside motels that used to host Smoky Mountain tourists in the area's heyday, it sure is.
We recently came across an old postcard from the era, of the Watson's Motel. Watson's was (or maybe still is) a one-story motel with 54 rooms, 21 with kitchenettes and fireplaces, and "some with Color TV."
Curious to see inside a room? Here ya go:
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Hotel owners, take note: when you're trying to build credibility for your brand, it might not be a good idea to let over eight years' worth of god awful customer reviews pile up on your TripAdvisor page without taking action. Kenneth Seaton, owner of Pigeon Forge Grand Resort Hotel in Tennessee, is suing TripAdvisor for $10 million for placing him smack at the top of their Dirtiest Hotels 2011 list, citing 87% percent of reviewers gave the place a thumbs down.
According to The Mountain Press, Seaton's lawyers are referencing "flawed" rating systems that "distort" the actual performance of the hotel—further, they accuse TripAdvisor of "contriving...to cause respected customers to lose confidence" in the hotel.
Um, right. We bet all of those "respected customers" were just clamoring to stay another night here after browsing through the pre-existing reviews and photos. Roaches in the door frame? No thanks.
Turndown Service / Tennessee Hotels / Delta Hotels / Memphis Hotels / HotelChatter Reviews / Free WiFi / → All Tags
All this week, Julia Buckley will be taking us down the Blues trail in the Mississippi Delta and giving us the lowdown on the hotel scene. So kick off your blue suede shoes and get comfy.
Chocolate, schmocolate. Turndown service usually leaves us slightly cold – or rather, it did until our stay at the River Inn of Harbor Town in Memphis two weeks ago. Because there, turndown not only means a gussied up bed. It not only means posh, round, Ferrero Rocher-like truffles rather than a tasteless slab of sugar on the pillow. No, at the River Inn, turndown also means a little carafe of port.
Why mention Memphis in HotelChatter's official Mississippi Delta Week? Because if you’re traveling to the Delta, it’s most likely that you’ll start off (and end up) in Memphis. Not only is it the closest major airport to the Delta, but it’s a fitting place to top and tail your trip, seeing as Memphis was the town all the blues musicians wanted to get to.
We’ve been to Memphis a couple times now, but never had much luck with hotels, the Benchmark being the low point, and the surprisingly snazzy Motel 6 in Horn Lake the high – but it’s a 20 minute drive from town. And though we’ve hung out and watched the duck parade at the Peabody, it’s always been out of our budget or fully booked.
But this time was third time lucky in Memphis, and not just because of the port.
Your first clue that this is a dirty hotel is that they use a bedspread like this. The second is of course, the rip.
What, is this opposite day here? We're just not used to this sort of news. Apparently, America's dirtiest hotel, as determined by TripAdvisor, The Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon
Poop Forge, Tenn. has vowed to overhaul the property and has even taken immediate steps to do so.
CBS News reports:
CEO and General Manager Nicky Darrell Chaney said he has already fired one manager, hired a new maintenance manager and new head of housekeeping, and is in the process of using a new sanitizer to clean the rooms.
That's certainly very encouraging to hear although it's gonna take a lot more than sanitizer to clean those rooms (and fix the broken furniture and ripped bedspreads.)
Meanwhile, The Hotel Carter in New York is on the list YET AGAIN, this time at #4. If only the owners or managers of the Carter had the same sense of shame as the Grand Resort.
Don't call the Loews Vanderbilt Nashville the "Heartbreak Hotel." At least, don't plan on it unless you're booking their "Elvis in the Music City" package in celebration of The King himself. Elvis Presley's 75th birthday falls on January 8th of next year, and in honor of the music icon, the Nashville hotel has cobbled together a over-the-top package that's all glitz, glam, and calls to mind images of gold lame jumpsuits. Expect plenty of royal extravagances to be included, with a price to match: $3,975 for accommodations and a host of Elvis-themed activities.
We're still "All Shook Up" after hearing the price, but if you're an Elvis-lover, this hotel news couldn't have come at a better time, or with more Elvis-centric perks. They're slightly ridiculous as you might expect, but remember, this is the same hotel that hosted a $1,599/night "Hound of Music" package for aspiring canine singers. The Elvis offerings are tame and relatively normal in comparison.
Check out the full list of what's included after the jump.
So we were determined to stay in one when we went on a little roadtrip last week. And having seen way too many movies in which motels mean certain death, we were after a nice one. And that’s exactly what we found at the Lynchburg Country Inn in Lynchburg, Tennessee (yes, we were visiting the Jack Daniel’s Distillery).
In the surest sign yet it's catching on that there may be more to Nashville than twang, three "corporate boutique" hotel brands are coming to town.
Construction crews have been at work for a while on West End Avenue in Nashville, where InterContinental's Hotel Indigo brand is scheduled to open up this summer. Yesterday it was announced that two Starwood attempts to be hip will join it. Aloft and Element will both arrive downtown as part of a new Nashville Sounds minor league ballpark.
We're not sure how excited to get about all these new brands since only a few Hotel Indigos have popped up and not one Aloft or Element is more than a bunch of SecondLife pixels. Of course that's kind of fitting in this case since it will be years before these announcements turn into real buildings. An InterContinental that was announced for Nashville several years back has only made it as far as a leveled lot and a big sign. A Westin that was to be built downtown may never happen because it will require ripping down historic buildings and changing the height allowances along Broadway.
We keep reading how there's a net migration of people and businesses from the largest U.S. cities to mid-sized ones with lower costs, so perhaps the corporate boutique hotels want to be there to take advantage of the trend: most of the Aloft announcements in particular have been for up-and-coming secondary markets like this.
Looks like it is high luxury Thursday here at HotelChatter. We reported recently on how the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville snagged a coveted Mobil 5-star rating--one of only 27 in the U.S. Tennessee has another hotel, however, that has shown up on best-of lists for years: Blackberry Farm in a little dot on the map called Walland.
It's not often that a rural hotel in the south can vault onto nearly every "best of" list and then stay there year after year, but Blackberry Farm has managed to pull it off. On an estate that once served as a getaway for the founder of Ruby Tuesday's restaurant chain, it has been expanded over the years to become a 4,200-acre estate in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It was first built with six guest rooms for friends and family and now contains 51 rooms, suites, and cottages.
This is not cutesy country B&B full of cross-stitched hearts, wooden ducks, and gingham, however. Expect sumptuous linens, tasteful furniture, and lots of little extra touches that make each room special. Rates start at $745, with a two-night minimum most times of year, and can climb to $4,800 for a three-bedroom cottage. This includes all three meals, however, which are spectacular enough to get the place written up in most every food magazine and to get it accepted into the Relais & Chateaux organization.
This is mainly a place to relax in style, but with this much room to roam, there are plenty of opportunities to hike, ride horses, or go fly fishing. It's safe to say you'll be taken care of here as well as any place for hundreds of miles around: Blackberry Farm has been rated #1 in the world for service in Travel & Leisure, #1 in Service in the U.S by Condé Nast Traveler (with a perfect 100 score), and #1 in the U.S. by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report.
[Photo: Magnolia Jazz]
· Blackberry Farm [TripAdvisor]
· Hotels in Tennessee [HotelChatter]