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Coolest Hotels Nashville for a Slice of That Music City Vibe

Music City is booming and these hot spots are among the hippest places to stay while in town.

I’m sitting in the living room at the Fontanel Estate, country superstar Barbara Mandrell’s former home turned music destination (think Nashville’s own Graceland) with a boutique inn attached. I notice one of the world’s most famous guitars hanging on the wall—Buck Owen’s red, white and blue custom-made Mosrite, seen and heard around the globe on hit recordings and TV shows like “Hee Haw.”

After gushing at the guitar, Mandrell’s daughter, Jaime, asks if I would like to play it. Well, duh. It needs some tuning after hanging on the wall as a museum piece, but I’m happy to oblige.

If you spend enough time in Nashville, things like this happen. You brush up against greatness. Nashville is a big city but it has a sense of community and hospitality about it that can make it feel like a small town.

You never know who you’re going to bump into in this place full of celebrities, musicians, singers, and songwriters. Here are a few of the cool and hip Nashville hotels worth checking into when you check out Music City.

A Trailblazing Lifestyle Hotel in Nashville With Great Music

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The Hutton Hotel is a trailblazer in the Nashville hotel scene. Opened in 2009 before all the construction cranes began showing up in town, the hotel, a refurbished office building in the West End area, underwent a major renovation and still sets the standard for upscale, non-chain lodging in Music City.

Hutton shows it takes music seriously with the recent addition of Analog, an intimate music venue featuring well-known and up-and-coming talent on its step-up stage in a refined and relaxed setting. Sit on the carpet up front or kick back in one of the plush sofas and listen to the finest established musicians and singer/songwriters in town belt out their tunes.

Because it’s located near Music Row, where the hits are produced, the Hutton takes its music concept further by offering the Writers Studios—comfortable, private spaces with recording facilities where songwriters can create future hits. Also onsite, Mane & Rye Dinerant draws hotel guests and locals with its inspired and fresh take on traditional diner fare and a bar with spiked milkshakes and a wide selection of rye whiskeys. In your room upstairs, kick back and relax on a bed with a cushioned headboard after taking a rainfall shower in the granite-lined bathroom.

Hutton Hotel

Top rated
Nashville, 0.2 miles to Amerigo
9.1 Excellent (3544 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.4 / 10
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A Historic Train Station Turned Into Landmark Hotel With its Own Whiskey

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Any hotel that the Jack Daniel Distillery of Lynchburg, Tennessee makes a specially branded bottle of whiskey for must be something special. Union Station Hotel on Broadway downtown is such a place. Carter’s, the on-site bar and restaurant dishing up sophisticated Southern fare, serves the one-of-a-kind Union Station Jack Daniel’s, a single-barrel Tennessee whiskey bottled especially for the hotel.

Housed in one of Nashville’s landmark buildings, the circa-1900 Union Station is an eye-catching Romanesque gem of heavy stone capped with turrets and towers. It used to bustle with passengers when it was the city’s train station, but today it’s an upscale hotel with yesteryear charm.

Elegant and grand, the classic elements of the building remain in place, including the soaring lobby with a 65-foot-high barrel-vaulted ceiling, luminous stained glass, detailed oak carvings and plenty of Italian marble. Given that the building wasn’t designed as a hotel, the rooms don’t all have the same floorplans, which only adds to the non-cookie-cutter allure.

Next door to the old train station is the old post office building, now home to the Frist Art Museum, one of the city’s major art institutions. Also nearby, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home to the Nashville Symphony, a building so acoustically perfect it doesn’t really need a speaker system.

Union Station Hotel Nashville, Autograph Collection

Nashville, 0.9 miles to Amerigo
8.3 Very good (823 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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Get a Dose of Nostalgia at This Hip Downtown Hotel

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One of the newer boutiques in town brings the retro vibe with its mid-century, modernist flourishes. Housed in a former office building in the business and arts district, the Fairlane Hotel feels like a throwback to the “Mad Men” era of the 1960s.

The company behind the project, Oliver Hospitality, specializes in re-birthing legendary buildings and turning them into modern destination hotels steeped in nostalgia. That’s exactly what the company has done with the Fairlane, bringing a modern touch to the property while retaining beloved vintage elements of the building.

On the fourth floor, Ellington’s Mid Way Bar and Grill serves a traditional American menu of steaks, seafood, and pasta, classic cocktails at the bar and features a wraparound outdoor terrace with a skyscraper-laden view. The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, marble showers, luxe bathrobes, beds with Euro-top mattresses, and furnishings and other small design details that harken back to the style of the mid-20th century while providing the ultimate in modern comfort.

When it’s time to venture out, you’re a short walk from world-class music venues like the Ryman Auditorium and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, as well as the more quiet pleasures of Riverfront Park on the banks of the Cumberland River.

Fairlane

Nashville, 1.4 miles to Amerigo
9.3 Excellent (288 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.4 / 10
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A New Nashville Hotel That Dazzles the Senses

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Conveniently located in Midtown close to Music Row, Vanderbilt University, and a short drive away from downtown, the Kimpton Aertson Hotel dazzles from top to bottom. The first thing you’ll encounter upon check-in is a front desk made out of painted rope. Then, there’s the eight-floor rooftop pool with cabanas and a poolside bar that overlooks the campus and is within view of the iconic Kirkland Hall clock tower.

Being across from the university means there are plenty of nightspots and restaurants nearby, but one of the best, The Henley, is at the hotel. It’s where modern American meets classic French cuisine and even the craft cocktail menu at the bar is seasonal. Also at the hotel is the gourmet market and cafe Caviar and Bananas where you can grab a quick bite or some supplies for your room.

When you settle into your room or suite you’ll be greeted by an industrial-chic design with touches of Carrara marble, concrete ceilings and original artwork from Hatch Show Print—the legendary local print shop that’s been making concert and event posters since 1879.

Once you’re ready to leave your room, treat yourself to some pampering at Woodhouse Spa, a full-service spa adjacent to the hotel. After that, grab a free bike at the front desk to explore the leafy neighborhood of Music Row and the university campus.

Kimpton Aertson Hotel

Top rated
Nashville, 0.2 miles to Amerigo
9.0 Excellent (452 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Feel at Home at This Cool Spot in a Happening Neighborhood Near Everything

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A different kind boutique experience awaits at the Stay Alfred Sobro (aka the Sobro Guest House). This funky, non-traditional property is for those who like all the comforts of home and don’t care to be bothered by obsequious hotel staff. In fact, there isn’t much staff at all in the normal sense. It’s a self-catering concept with a virtual check-in process. There’s no bar or restaurant. Every “suite” is actually more like an apartment with a full kitchen, washer, dryer, full furnishings and even a record player with a collection of albums for your listening pleasure.

In the morning, make yourself a fresh cup of joe with the French press coffee maker and locally roasted coffee provided, then head out to the communal patio space to meet your fellow guests before heading out to explore the city.

The hotel sits in an unbeatable location near the city center in the Sobro (South of Broad) neighborhood. It’s an easy walk to some of the best bars, restaurants, and attractions Nashville has to offer, including Pinewood Social, Husk, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Ascend Amphitheater on the bank of the Cumberland River.

Stay Alfred SoBro

Nashville, 1.5 miles to Amerigo
9.1 Excellent (575 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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This Luxurious Farmhouse Inn is Cosmopolitan Country

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Only seven miles from downtown, the Inn at Fontanel feels a world away. Rather than being surrounded by skyscrapers, this luxury boutique sits in a field surrounded by wooded hills.

You’re still within the city limits here but it’s decidedly a rural setting. This fancy farmhouse inn got its start in 2013 as Southern Living Magazine’s annual Idea House, a showcase home built each year by the magazine and its partners to give visitors inspiration in the latest design and architectural styles. After its stint as the Idea House, it was expanded and turned into an inn with six suites connected by a large deck and patio area surrounding a courtyard.

The suites are all finely appointed, have luxurious linens including Turkish bath towels, and afford plenty of privacy for such an intimate setting. Beyond the privacy of the suites, there’s a central gathering area for guests called the Great Room. The Great Room is also where a personal chef is on hand each morning to make you breakfast to order.

The inn is only one part of the Fontanel Estate that was once the home of Barbara Mandrell. Other attractions include concerts at the Woods Amphitheater, a restaurant, boutique shopping, a zip line course, a distillery, and hiking trails in the hills (as of this writing, the log mansion where Mandrell used to live isn’t open for tours, but you can see it from the trails). To help you enjoy all the estate has to offer, the inn provides guests with golf carts for getting around.

The Inn At Fontanel

9.4 Excellent (220 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.5 / 10
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Travel Like a Local at This Friendly, Unpretentious Indie Hotel in Music City

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Go off the tourist path with a stay at this independent boutique located on lesser-trafficked Hayes Street in the West End/Midtown area. The staff at Hayes Street Hotel are eager to help guests experience Nashville like locals with their expert suggestions of where to go and what to do.

The ambiance here is laid-back and casual. No pretentiousness, just low-key comfort. The rooms have a simple style without any clutter. The lobby and adjacent bar and patio are inviting, relaxing spaces to hang out and meet fellow travelers.

Unlike many properties that claim to be pet-friendly, Hayes Street welcomes pets and even allows them in the bar, where you can nosh on light bites and imbibe craft cocktails and beer without leaving your pup alone in the room.

The Hayes Street

Top rated
Nashville, 0.1 miles to Amerigo
8.6 Excellent (1328 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
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Artsy Types and Lovers of the Nightlife: This Downtown Spot is for You

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Art lovers and those wanting to be close to downtown’s vibrant nightlife will relish this sleek boutique in a re-purposed turn-of-the-20th-century red brick building. The rooms at the 21c Museum Hotel are surrounded by a contemporary art museum with over 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. All rooms have original artwork hanging on the walls and minimalist design touches making it feel like you’re staying in a modern gallery space, albeit one with luxurious bedding. Gray and Dudley, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, also serves as an art exhibition space.

If you book one of the rooftop suites, there will be much more than art to gaze at when you set foot on the outdoor terrace to take in the city skyline views. And when you’re ready to head out, it’s an easy walk from the front door of the hotel to legendary music venues like the Ryman Auditorium and the honky-tonk party atmosphere of the Wildhorse Saloon. Just around the corner from there, it’s a party at all hours along a section of Broadway known as “Lower Broad” filled with honky-tonks where live music can be heard all day and into the night.

21c Museum Hotel Nashville

Top rated
Nashville, 1.5 miles to Amerigo
9.1 Excellent (511 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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