The First Five Star Hotel in Tennessee

In the early 20th century, Nashville was a burgeoning city in need of fine lodging. Local Nashvillians, led by the Board of Trade, proudly led a civic campaign to raise $300,000 in financing through the sale of stock to fill that void. Their campaign was successful, and construction began on The Hermitage Hotel in 1908.


Downtown residents watched in awe as Nashville’s third skyscraper rose to a height of 10 stories, furthering the transformation of downtown’s antebellum neighborhood from residential to commercial properties. No expense was spared in developing what became known as Nashville’s first million-dollar hotel. Guest rooms were paneled in mahogany and offered running ice water, a telephone, and a private bath. The lobby and public areas were constructed in the timelessly elegant Beaux Arts style.

In the basement, a German-styled rathskeller served as the Grill Room with a vaulted ceiling supported by massive columns, with an adjacent taproom to serve as the Oak Bar. A men’s barber shop provided convenient service and a small exercise room existed with optional showers for guests. A grand lady’s entrance sat at lobby level on the Union Street side, with marble-clad hallways leading to the Loggia (known today as the Veranda) and main dining room (known today as the Grand Ballroom), or upstairs to reading and writing parlors on the mezzanine level overlooking the lobby. A newsstand and cigar store offered its specialties to gentlemen in the main lobby. The hotel offered every modern convenience!


On grand opening night—September 17, 1910—The Hermitage Hotel filled with the luminaries from throughout the Nashville community, who dined while enjoying music from an orchestra brought in from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. As one former manager put it, “There was an air there, something not so much seen as felt. Nothing was ever handed to a guest in the hotel unless it was on a silver tray.”


Since opening as Nashville’s original million-dollar hotel in 1910, our 5-star hotel in Nashville has long been known as the most luxurious hotel in downtown Nashville and one of the premier hotels in the country. Our tradition of excellence that began that day has remained vibrant and alive throughout the years, being named the first and only five-star hotel in the state. As such, we’ve received a compelling collection of accolades and honors, and have been ranked highly by the nation’s top travel publications.

To name a few…

  • Best Hotel In Nashville by
  • Preferred Hotels & Resorts: Legend Collection
  • United States National Historic Landmark Designation
  • United States National Register of Historic Places
  • 2020 Historic Hotel of the Year – Historic Hotels of America
  • Best City Center Historic Hotel – Historic Hotels of America
  • #1 Hotel in Tennessee –  U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 Hotels in the United States – U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 500 Hotels in the World – Travel + Leisure
  • Top 10 Historic Hotels in the U.S. – USA Today
  • Best Places to Stay in the South –  Southern Living