Beyond the bright lights of Music City, Nashville, Tennessee, has a complex history, marked out by grand antebellum houses such as the Two Rivers Mansion. Whether you’re visiting the estate for an event or to discover more about slavery and plantation life, these places to stay will put you in a great location for the historic home.
With the honky-tonk tunes of the city’s bars still ringing in your ears, it’s time to stay somewhere out of town as you take in some of Nashville’s more sedate attractions. These include the Two Rivers Mansion, built in 1859 in Donelson, east of the city center. You’ll find ornate architecture and carefully restored interiors alongside the stories of the enslaved men, women and children who worked on the estate.
This Greek revival Mansion has been lovingly restored to its original 1832 glory. Expect chandeliers the size of upside-down wedding cakes hanging from 13ft (4m) ceilings, authentic period antiquities, real log fires and imposing rosewood doors. Take your time over breakfast in the dining room, or on the terrace overlooking acres of wooded grounds, knowing the Two Rivers Mansion is just a five-minute drive away.
If you want to hit town with friends, but would rather not share a bed, The Gallatin Nashville’s got your number. With a selection of practical bunk bed rooms, which are great for sharers, or private rooms (if one of your party is an obnoxious snorer, say) to pick from, you’re covered whatever the outcome. Our favourite part? You won’t have to line up for check-in as all you need is your personal passcode, received on booking (better write it down).
Caroline House has been restored to give guests an authentic slice of Southern hospitality, right down to its friendly house dog, Desti, who loves to socialize. Located on a quiet residential street in 12 South District, this tucked-away gem is all about making you feel part of the community. There’s even a breakfast tour, which takes you around the neighborhood eateries, meaning you’ll start every day of your stay slightly differently.
Every room at the Fairlane Hotel is furnished with a playful wink to the past – expect record players and kitsch ornaments that sit alongside mid-century furniture, with unexpected surprises such as (spoiler alert!) cup holders in the retro padded headboards. With hipster cool by the bucketful, it’s no wonder it pulls Nashville’s coolest crowds, who flock here for the happy hour cocktails and succulent New York strip steak at Ellington’s.
If you’re a fan of loft-style living, this converted warehouse hotel will be right up your street. The minimal design is a deliberate choice to give the limelight to the artwork – from photography and paintings to video installations – that fills its public spaces. Keep your eyes peeled for the house mascots – teal plastic penguin sculptures in Gray & Dudley restaurant. These little guys are placed by diners at random to initiate art-centric conversations.
Art is everywhere at the Noelle. Originally built in the 1930s, its art deco details have been lovingly restored and its interiors sensitively updated, with contemporary mid-century furniture, bold signage and thick, shoe-enveloping rugs that add softness to the hardwood floors. Its corridors serve as unofficial art exhibits, with frequently-rotating collections from local and up-and-coming artists. Like what you see? Pick up an arty memento of your stay from the Keep Shop gift shop.
As you may already have guessed, The Vandyke Bed and Beverage doesn’t do breakfast. What it does do is brilliant booze and eclectic, photogenic decor, starting with the retro neon “vacancy” sign above the entrance. Each of the eight boutique rooms is styled with a different drinks theme, with its Whiskey and Champagne suites accommodating between four and six guests, ideal for a big group get-together. Mingle with locals at the lobby bar, or keep things private at the guests-only roof terrace.
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