Take a peak at the doors below… do you recognize them as a popular and historic landmark here in Nashville?
If you guessed the Hermitage Hotel located in downtown Nashville, you were right! The Hermitage Hotel is the only remaining grand hotel in Nashville and the only commercial structure built in the Beaux Arts architectural style in the state of Tennessee. The location of the hotel adds to its historical significance as it is constructed on the former site of James K. Polk’s home, Polk Place, where Polk died on June 15, 1849.
Commissioned by 250 Nashvillians in 1908, The Hotel Hermitage (named after Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage estate) opened its doors on Saturday, Sept. 17, 1910. The new hotel, advertised its rooms as “fireproof, noise-proof, and dustproof, $2.00 and up.”
The Hermitage Hotel’s opening was significant as it acted as a symbol of Nashville’s emergence as a major Southern city. As Nashville’s first million-dollar hotel, it became the place to be seen if you were a socialite, entertainer or politician and throughout the 30s and 40s, remained a popular place to gather, meet, and greet with the city’s most prestigious citizens and visitors.
In the hotel’s lower level was a restaurant known as the Grille Room (today, The Capitol Grille), which was originally planned as a rathskeller. The room was built by German craftsmen and emerged as a private club for men only. Aside from the men-only areas, the hotel was also a national platform for both pro- and anti- suffrage forces.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, the hotel changed management several times before coming under the management of Historic Hotels of Nashville, LLC, in June 2000. The company renovated the guest rooms and public areas and reopened it to the public in February, on Valentine’s Day, 2003. During the renovation period, the average size of the guest rooms were increased to 500 square feet (the largest guest rooms in Nashville), the bathrooms were finished in marble and included extra deep soaking tubs, separate showers, dual vanities and enclosed bathrooms. The renovation cost around $20 million in total. It received the AAA Five-Diamond rating shortly after its grand re-opening in 2003 and currently is the only Tennessee hotel to hold the title the aforementioned prestigious rating.
Since the renovation, an additional $5 million has been invested in further upgrades. Room upgrades have included the addition of iPod docking stations and large flat screen televisions in both the bedroom and the bathroom.
Because of its historic ties to Nashville, unique architecture and location right in the heart of Nashville, the hotel has been the location of choice for the entertainment industry when working out of Nashville. Shoots including The Hannah Montana movie, Country Strong and many other music videos and photo shoots have taken place at The Hermitage.
For more information about The Hermitage Hotel, visit its website here.