The much-anticipated W Nashville recently opened in the Gulch, and the result is an iconic brand infused with a serious dose of Music City. Local artwork is featured throughout the hotel, including a Jimi Hendrix mural by Bryan Deese on the outside of the building and embossed, hand-stitched leather panels in the elevators by Lockeland Leather. Another nod to Nashville is a collection of original prints of legendary musicians, including Johnny Cash, by famed photographer Jim Marshall.

David Cronin, general manager of W Nashville, explains that there was a time, as recently as 10 to 15 years ago, that travelers wanted a hotel chain that would ensure a predictable environment, regardless of the city, or even country, they were in. There was a comfort in knowing that the wallpaper in the hallways, the color scheme in the guest rooms and the items on the restaurant menus would be consistent from hotel to hotel. But consumer tastes change and evolve. “Now, customers are looking for that local vibe, that local feel,” David says.

In the lobby, in an ode to Music City, one wall is covered with large, colorful paintings of treble clef notes. Another significant piece of artwork in the hotel’s collection, located right behind the reception desk, is an original Jim Dine, titled “Atlantic Love Letter,” depicting a pair of hearts. The W has always been known for its attention to art and design. When it first opened in midtown Manhattan in 1998, it attracted a who’s who of creative types. Created by Starwood Hotels and particularly popular with millennials, the brand soon boasted properties all over the world. Marriott International acquired Starwood in 2016. These days, guests range from those in their 20s to their 70s.

“Our customer has grown up,” David says. “I think [our demographic] is people who kind of follow the beat of their own drum, versus ‘I’m going to follow the crowd.’ So, people who are interested in music, art, fashion.” The 14-story Nashville hotel offers 286 rooms and 60 suites and was designed by the New York City-based Rockwell Group and HKS Architecture out of Dallas.

The hotel’s seven food and beverage offerings include two restaurants from James Beard Award winner Andrew Carmellini: The Dutch, serving American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Carne Mare, an Italian chophouse that is open for dinner. For quick grab-and-go options, there’s a coffee bar by Nashville favorite Barista Parlor. All are designed to appeal to locals, as well as hotel guests.

Second to None

There is 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space — all on the second floor — featuring three ballrooms, which, when combined, can accommodate up to 500 guests seated. Other highlights include the WET Deck, with a large L-shaped pool, cabanas and a pool bar, and Proof, a rooftop bar to be enjoyed inside or out. Four sliding garage doors can be opened so guests may enjoy a glass of wine, a craft cocktail and a bite to eat while taking in the spectacular view.

The Wow Factor

The rooms have a clean, modern feel with wood floors and leather headboards. Commissioned artwork by Brooklyn-based studio FAILE adds interest and color to an otherwise neutral palette. The hotel’s higher-end suites are called either WOW or Extreme WOW. The latter is equivalent to a presidential suite. Suite guests have access to The Welcome Den, a cozy workspace in the main lobby, to relax, do a little work or just have a drink. Depending on the season, rooms range in price from $500 to $6,000 for an Extreme WOW suite.

Photographs by Michael Kleinberg Photography