There’s no doubt that downtown Nashville is where the action is, especially the Lower Broad strip from Bridgestone Arena to the Cumberland River with its rollicking honky tonks and neon forest of rooftop bars and restaurants. But its popularity has pushed hotel rates through the roof and sometimes you just want a little respite from the delightful craziness at the end of an evening or Music City merriment.
So here are a few great options for lodging that are still a quick ride share to the heart of downtown and which might leave a little extra cash in your pocket to tip one of those fantastic bands playing in the honky tonks.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort is an attraction in and of itself, a sprawling complex of indoor gardens, multiple wings of upscale rooms, restaurants, bars and the exciting new indoor/outdoor water attraction, SoundWaves. You could spend the entire day just walking around the interior of the massive hotel admiring the cascading waterfalls and amazing horticulture or spend an afternoon in the luxurious spa. They’ve got all your dining options covered with restaurants specializing in steak, IOtalian and Mexican cuisine. Or indulge in a little retail therapy at Opry Mills, an entertaining mall just a short walk away across the parking lot. You can also purchase your packages for downtown attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame or the Wildhorse Saloon that include shuttle service between Gaylord Opryland and downtown.
On the north side of downtown near Metro Center is the Millenium Maxwell House, and yes the coffee brand is named after the original hotel where President Teddy Roosevelt famously proclaimed that it was “good to the last drop!” The modern day Maxwell House boasts 287 spacious guest rooms, a saltwater pool and easy access to the restaurants and bars of Germantown or downtown via the complimentary hotel shuttle or a quick rideshare.
Hotel Preston is very convenient to the airport, but still a short trip from downtown, so you can save some serious $$ while still enjoying the amenities at this hidden gem. The property underwent a total transformation a few years back converting a pretty standard airport lodging option into an attractive boutique hotel. The Nashville vibe flows through the entire property from the lobby decor to guest room amenities to the menu at their signature restaurant, Blackwood. There’s also plenty of parking, which is always a bonus! The front desk staff would be happy to help you arrange your activities for a great meal or an evening of fun in Nashville.
Nashville’s Midtown neighborhood is a smart bet if you want to stay a little ways from the heart of downtown but still have easy access by a quick Lyft, city bus trip or even a slightly long walk to help burn off some of the calories that can add up during a weekend of downtown debauchery. The Aloft West End has been around for years, offering convenient access to Music Row or the bars and clubs of Church Street nearby. The loft-style rooms are comfortable while still appropriately minimalist, because all you’re gonna do is sleep there, right?
A more plush option is the Hutton Hotel, a boutique property with a serious focus on the music of Music City from two in-house recording suites to the option to actually have guitars, basses or ukes placed in your room before check-in so you can write your own hit song. During a 2017 renovation, the Hutton converted part of their parking garage into the Analog night club, a fantastic music venue that features local and national acts in a vibrant atmosphere with terrific sound. Their Mane & Rye Dinerant serves upscale diner food all day long, and the attached bar has a formidable whiskey collection.
The Loews Vanderbilt has been a Midtown institution for decades, conveniently located near Vandy and within easy walking distance to all sorts of great dining and entertainment options. The hotel is also exceedingly pet-friendy, offering gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs that features food almost as good as what they serve in their Mason’s restaurant in the lobby. The Mason’s Bar across the hallway has one of the best happy hours in town and places a special emphasis on using local spirits in their cocktails and serving Nashville craft beers on tap. The focus on local products extends to their lobby coffee shop operated by local favorite Frothy Monkey.
The Kimpton Aertson is the showcase of a strip of restaurants, bars and lodging options located right across the street from Vanderbilt University in Midtown. In fact, it’s even named after a 17th century American immigrant from the Dutch village of Bild who went by Jan Aertson, making him Jan Van der Bild. (Get it?) The stylish Kimpton property is filled with dramatic artwork from local artists and features a dramatic rooftop pool with an expansive view of the neighborhood. The attached Henley restaurant and bar is one of the best spots in Midtown for a crafty cocktail and a delicious dinner.
For a more casual and affordable lodging option, consider the Hayes Street Hotel, a small boutique property in a converted apartment building located less than a mile from the lights of Lower Broad. The renovation created a property with modern guest rooms featuring queen or king beds, an on-site bar with live music, free wi-fi and a nice little fitness center to stay in shape during your stay. The bright and airy lobby is an ideal spot to wait for your Uber for the quick trip downtown, but you won’t have to wait long since it’s such a convenient location that there are almost always plenty of drivers nearby.