WASHINGTON, DC (August 27, 2020) – Historic Hotels of America® is proud to announce that The Hermitage Hotel (1910) in Nashville, Tennessee, has been selected as the 2020 Historic Hotel of the Year. This illustrious award is given annually to a historic hotel whose owners, leadership and employees are careful overseers of historic preservation, by stewarding history, heritage and stories for generations of guests to come. The Hermitage Hotel is receiving the honor of Historic Hotel of the Year for its unparalleled celebration of suffrage history and for demonstrating a long tradition of exceptional customer hospitality and service.
“The Hermitage Hotel is deeply committed to historical preservation, so to be named the 2020 Historic Hotel of the Year is our pinnacle of success,” said Dee Patel, Managing Director of The Hermitage Hotel. “Stepping into our grand lobby is like stepping back in time, as stories deeply rooted in history emerge at every turn. On behalf of our owners and our full team, we are truly honored to receive this prestigious award in tandem with our National Historic Landmark designation, acknowledging the integral role the hotel played in the suffrage movement.”
Since opening its doors in 1910 just one block from the magnificent Tennessee State Capitol, The Hermitage Hotel has served as a hotbed for local politics, with its most significant contribution in the summer of 1920 as the backdrop for the women’s suffrage movement. In August 1920, Tennessee’s 33 senators and 99 representatives arrived in Nashville for a special session called by the governor. A hotly contested issue of national importance was at stake – women’s right to vote. From all across the United States, pro- and anti-suffrage leaders, special interest groups, lobbyists and journalists descended on The Hermitage Hotel and the eyes of the nation were on Nashville. A dramatic, decades-long legislative effort came down to Tennessee as the essential state to ratify, or nullify, the 19th Amendment.
For six weeks leading up to the final vote, The Hermitage Hotel’s guest rooms, grand lobby, meeting rooms and dining spaces were filled to the brim with pro- and anti-campaigners making their impassioned pleas to the men of capitol hill. The conflict came to be known as “The War of the Roses,” with anti-ratification forces sporting red roses squaring off against yellow-rose-wearing pro-suffragists. Heated debates progressed in the state capitol, and in the halls of The Hermitage Hotel, for eight long days. Ultimately, it was a single tie-breaking vote that tipped the scales – a shining example that one vote truly does make a difference! With that single vote, the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution was successfully passed by Tennessee on August 18, 1920 and signed into law on August 26, 1920 – one hundred years ago today –giving women the right to vote across the country.
“Congratulations to the ownership, leadership, and many associates at The Hermitage Hotel,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “We are delighted to recognize this magnificent historic hotel and its historic hoteliers for their dedication, enthusiasm, stewardship, and leadership in preserving this iconic treasure and its stories for future generations.”
With an illustrious 110-year history in the heart of downtown Nashville, The Hermitage Hotel is deeply committed to protecting and preserving its ties to the past and remaining a cherished historic landmark for the city. Known as Nashville’s original million-dollar property, The Hermitage is a timeless icon of Southern hospitality and the state’s most luxurious hotel. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior recently designated The Hermitage Hotel as a National Historic Landmark. To honor the 2020 Historic Hotel of the Year, The Hermitage Hotel is the featured hotel in the inside front cover of the 2020-21 Historic Hotels of America Directory.
To learn more about The Hermitage Hotel, or to book your next stay, visit TheHermitageHotel.com.