NASHVILLE (July 18, 2022) – The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville’s celebrated gathering place for more than 110 years, today announced the completion of its hotel-wide restoration and redesign. The standard-bearer for luxury hospitality in Nashville since 1910, the Hermitage Hotel unveiled design updates to its 122 guest rooms and suites, its famous lobby and historic ballroom. These changes follow the opening of two new restaurants from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten earlier this year. The multi-year project touched every aspect of the guest experience and marks a new era for the storied hotel, a National Historic Landmark, and underscores the independently owned and operated property’s identity as Nashville’s most authentic expression of gracious, modern-day Southern hospitality.
“As stewards of The Hermitage Hotel, we are passionate about showcasing its history and the splendor of its architecture while also making a commitment to its next chapter,” said owners Robert and Molly Hardie. “Nashville is evolving in exciting ways, and it is important that we stay in step with the times and continue the hotel’s legacy of providing a true luxury experience for our guests. We’re thrilled to welcome visitors to our city and all of our Nashville neighbors to enjoy this beautiful space and The Hermitage Hotel’s warm hospitality.”
“We have been so pleased with guest and local support for the new hotel updates,” said Dee Patel, Managing Director, The Hermitage Hotel. “We hope that when people enjoy our new restaurants and redesigned spaces, they also learn a bit about the hotel’s historical significance of the property and why we felt that preserving certain aspects was so crucial. ‘Meet me at The Hermitage’ is a phrase that has echoed in Nashville through the decades, and we look forward to welcoming guests to our revitalized property for many more to come.”
Rejuvenating The Social Epicenter of Nashville
Considered one of Nashville’s architectural treasures, the soaring Beaux Arts lobby of The Hermitage Hotel, originally designed by Tennessee architect James E.R. Carpenter, has been artfully restored and revitalized to welcome guests with luxurious modern-day comforts. Original details, such as the hand-painted glass ceiling, ornamental plasterwork and Tennessee marble, have been meticulously restored, and the entire space has been brightened with a fresh color palette and new furnishings in textured shades of blue and silver. Interior design firm Forrest Perkins oversaw all design updates of the lobby, adjacent ballroom and all guest rooms and suites. The lobby features all-new seating, lighting and case goods, creating a warm and inviting setting that evolves throughout the day, as a spot for a morning coffee, a social gathering place in the afternoon or a convivial spot for a nightcap crafted at the new custom-designed lobby bar.
The Hermitage Hotel Ballroom, site of Nashville’s most important political and social events, also has been renewed and refreshed with a modern palette of finishes, including new carpeting and artwork, all selected to complement the room’s iconic Circassian walnut paneling and other historic architectural components. Featuring advanced room controls and updated lighting, the storied Ballroom is now poised to welcome Nashville’s next generation of unforgettable events.
Staff Style, Courtesy of Draper James
Alongside the hotel’s design refresh, The Hermitage Hotel’s staff showcases a spirited new wardrobe designed by Draper James, the lifestyle brand founded by Nashville native Reese Witherspoon. Created exclusively for The Hermitage Hotel, the apparel features fabrics and accessories in a signature print named “The Hermitage Hotel Ditsy Floral.” The staff wardrobe, inspired by the hotel’s Southern splendor and color palette, features yellow accents emblematic of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the hotel’s special role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The Hermitage Hotel-Draper James collaboration marries two brands beloved by the Nashville community and is celebrated with a special “Spillin’ Tea with Draper James” afternoon tea service each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A toast to gracious living, the menu features classic Southern delights inspired by Witherspoon’s cookbook, Whiskey in a Teacup and a tablescape dressed with Draper James linens. Guests can enjoy delicious tea sandwiches, tarts, scones and desserts, and even whiskey in a teacup – a nod to the hotel’s famous Prohibition-era tradition.
Residential Comfort in New Guest Rooms and Suites
The Hermitage Hotel’s oversized guest rooms – averaging 500 square feet and among the largest in Nashville – have been redesigned with a calming residential feel. Desks have been replaced with tables that can double as workspaces or be used for in-room dining, and new millwork conceals updated minibars and clever amenities that create a multi-functional space. New carpeting, drapes and upholstered furniture feature a subtle color palette and layers of texture to create a serene effect. All guest rooms and suites now feature ultra-premium DUXÒ beds from DuxianaÒ, the world’s foremost maker of technologically advanced luxury beds for nearly 100 years. Frette linens and an expanded selection of pillows in down, buckwheat and memory foam ensure tailored comfort and the ultimate in rest and relaxation.
The Presidential Suite has been reimagined as a home away from home. Guests are greeted by the first of many custom curated and commissioned art pieces that reference the history of the hotel and its significance in Nashville and beyond. A functional library was added, which doubles as a study with an oversized table that can convert to a dining room for eight. The overall flow of the suite was opened up to allow the use of space to be both intimate and grand. Guest privacy and service discretion were meticulously planned, and the en suite bathroom was completely renewed with a walk-in shower, grand soaking tub, double vanities, a make-up counter and bidet.
Throughout the guest rooms and suites, locally sourced artwork integrates moments from the hotel’s history and the natural elements of the region. A charming bird theme is woven throughout, inspired by a hand-painted bird discovered on the vaulted ceiling of the Veranda room. The hotel’s extensive archive of letters and postcards was referenced for the creation of new art installations on each floor, bringing guests on a journey as they experience the hotel. Such subtle storytelling elements inspire a sense of exploration and invite guests to discover more about the hotel’s history in a modern, approachable way.
Contemporary Dining and Design at Drusie & Darr by Jean-Georges
The Hermitage Hotel’s culinary program has completed a dramatic culinary update under the direction of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Admired for his acumen as a chef, tastemaker and restaurateur operating 40 acclaimed restaurants around the globe, including Marigold at the hotel’s sister property Keswick Hall in Charlottesville, Va., Jean-Georges selected The Hermitage Hotel for his first location in the South: Drusie & Darr. It’s a convivial, new-American restaurant and bar that showcases the artistry of Jean-Georges and the bounty of Tennessee’s regional produce. The menu, inspired by the seasons, welcomes hotel guests and neighbors alike for any occasion – from cocktails and a sophisticated evening out, to a glass of wine and pizza from the wood-fired oven, or a relaxed family dinner. The restaurant takes its name and lively spirit from brother-sister duo Drusie and Darr Hall, children of the hotel’s former General Manager, Dick Hall, who lived, played, and grew up at The Hermitage Hotel.
To create the perfect stage for Jean-George’s exquisite cuisine, award-winning designer Thomas Juul-Hansen transformed the former Capitol Grille restaurant and bar into a glamorous space that introduces new warmth and ambiance while honoring the room’s iconic architectural details. Juul-Hansen infused a contemporary sensibility using a palette of natural materials – metal, wood, leather and stone – and dramatic lighting from the world-renowned L’Observatoire International that uplifts the room’s famous arched ceilings. All furnishings, from the mother-of-pearl pendant lamps to the comfortable upholstered seating, tables and curved banquettes, were designed exclusively for Drusie & Darr. A new, dedicated restaurant entrance is directly accessible from Sixth Avenue, establishing the venue as a dining destination unto itself.
Café Chic at The Pink Hermit
Newly opened on the corner of Union and Sixth Avenue, The Pink Hermit is a chic pink café and take-away conceived by Jean-Georges and The Hermitage Hotel team and designed by Juul-Hansen. Its name is derived from the definition of hermitage as a “secluded retreat,” and this intimate space, clad in pale pink and gray marble, welcomes guests with cozy seating, both indoors and outdoors. With a concept that evolves throughout the day, The Pink Hermit serves as barista bar offering delectable pastries in the morning, a casual all-day spot for salads, sandwiches or take-away, and a cozy wine bar serving light dinner, handcrafted cocktails and champagne in the evening.
A Room for The Ladies
A show-stopping punctuation mark on the redesign of the two restaurants is a new ladies’ room, a counterpoint to the hotel’s famous 1930s-era Art Deco men’s room – for years one of Nashville’s most photographed spots. Taking its cue from the men’s room’s striped tilework in lime green and black, the new ladies’ room is lavishly decorated with striped walls and floors of variegated pink marble, arched doorways, rose gold-framed mirrors, pink fixtures and glamorous lighting throughout, making it a stunning surprise that is equally as photo-worthy.