There’s a new stage rising in Music City. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, today announces the opening of W Nashville. Nestled in the vibrant and diverse Gulch neighborhood, the 14-story, mirrored tower offers unparalleled, voyeuristic views of the hotel’s social spaces, creating a destination within a destination where global guests will be immersed in a locally-charged cultural scene. Adding a new, remastered verse to the W brand’s luxury songbook, W Nashville was designed from the outside in, with six street-level entrances that offer unparalleled access to hotel guests and locals alike. In other words, W Nashville isn’t just in the neighborhood, it is part of it.
“The W experience has always been centered on a local, social scene but W Nashville takes it to the next level,” said Tom Jarrold, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “Today’s global traveler is not content staying at a hotel with superficial neighborhood references and locals are not embracing of hotels that ignore the social fabric of the community. W Nashville is different as it weaves itself into the Gulch seamlessly and authentically through the brand’s distinct lens.”
Thoughtful, elevated and anything-but-cliché, the concept, programming and design direction of W Nashville was led by hospitality veterans David Tessier and Anna Gomez of Hospitality Gaming Advisors along with local partner Mark Bloom, and developed by 12th Ave Realty Holding Company LLC. The public spaces and guestrooms were realized by the award-winning Rockwell Group, honoring both Nashville industry and artisanship through the use of historical, rugged local materials like iron, steel, wood, leather and polished and raw concrete. The spatial experience brought to life by HKS Architecture is awe-inspiring, beckoning passersby to look up, discover and explore, with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor flows that are an indelible part of Southern design. In fact, it includes over 26,000 square feet of outdoor space, an impressive amount for an urban hotel.
“Authenticity was at the heart of this project. Every decision and choice we made on design, materials, finishes, art and our collaborators took this into consideration. As a result, the hotel has a very tactile quality and at every turn there is something visually provocative. All of our amenities and offerings have a unique character and identity. We feel our guests will be engaged and inquisitive discovering places that evoke diverse emotions,” said David Tessier, President, Hospitality Gaming Advisors.
This discovery begins in the Welcome Den, a new W Hotels concept. Accessible only by room key, it is a space where hotel guests can relax, take a work call and enjoy a specially crafted beverage. W Nashville features 286 rooms and 60 suites – the most of any hotel in Nashville – including two Extreme WOW (Presidential) Suites. The distinct room design blends industrial polish with warm, soothing tones as well as a mix of raw materials including leather and exposed concrete. Furniture is subtly inspired by vintage stereo equipment and includes stud detailing like that found on a roadie case, while televisions are surrounded with speaker cloth. The brand’s signature Mix Bar is a focal point, illuminated in a gold, mirrored cage to encourage in-room entertaining. Guests receive a reusable water bottle upon arrival to use with the cocktail ice and filtered water stations on each floor. All WOW and Extreme WOW Suites have balconies as well as seductive overhead views of the WET Deck. Extreme WOW Suites also feature a discreet music booth, dining area, lounge and a pantry kitchen.
Art and Soul
Such a sophisticated and informed design calls for equally-inspired collaborations with some of the most creative and eclectic artisans and artists in the country. The result is a myriad of original prints, photographs and other works including a monumental, 96-inch Jim Dine double heart canvas ‘Atlantic Love Letter’- the first piece one sees when entering the hotel. A colorful and whimsical experiential, outdoor mural by the renowned Kelsey Montague features a suitcase guests can sit atop and acts as a metaphor for the playfulness that awaits inside. Perhaps the crown jewel of W Nashville’s collection is a series of original prints by the godfather of rock ‘n’ roll photography, Jim Marshall, a longtime fan and guest of W Hotels.
Every guestroom at W Nashville features an original, commissioned artwork by Brooklyn-based studio FAILE. The Pop Art-inspired piece celebrates the musical soul of the city and depicts a female figure who symbolizes the innocence of young talent who come to Nashville in search of making it big. Our heroine encounters a wolf, personifying the music industry as enticing yet difficult and uncertain.
As the creative capital of the South, there was no shortage of local artists when it came to the adornment of W Nashville. Examples include embossed, hand-stitched leather wall panels with roses and guitar pick details by leatherworker Joseph Verzilli of Lockeland Leather and Derrick Castle of Straw Castle, as well as a Jimi Hendrix mural by street artist Bryan Deese on the building’s facade. All art that speaks to the soul – and soundtrack – of Tennessee.
The Pulse of the Gulch
W Nashville is meant to be explored as a day-to-night location for locals looking for a place to drink coffee by day and sip cocktails by night. With a city-block feel and six street access venues including a neighborhood coffee shop, two destination restaurants and, coming soon, high-end retail and a live entertainment venue, W Nashville is a social nexus within the Gulch that’s more textured and assorted than what is normally found at a hotel. The laid-back, communal, neighborhood vibe begins with an unexpected use of outdoor space: The Spanish Steps, 42 flights of concrete stairs interlaced with warm wood seating platforms that act as a meeting place and amphitheater (a nod to the iconic meeting spot in Rome) with a live music stage below. Perched above and seemingly floating in the sky is the 10,000 square foot WET Deck, the largest hotel pool area in the city, featuring an impressive, 2,000 square foot, L-shaped pool with private cabanas as well as unobstructed views of the neighborhood. A short walk from the pool is the manicured yoga lawn which leads to FIT, W Nashville’s spacious fitness center, which, unlike many hotel gyms that are remote and tucked away, sits right in the heart of the action, making fitness a social activity.
In addition to the WET Deck bar, there are six other drinking and dining venues at W Nashville. It begins with Nashville-born coffee shop Barista Parlor, with a “Coffee Courier” to deliver right to guest rooms, as well as a Secret Garden for a quiet respite. Behind Barista Parlor’s copper wire draped curtain is the sophisticated and moody Living Room, which features subtle, respectful nods to music including a ceiling of pyramidal acoustic panels reminiscent of a recording studio and a two-way mirror box chandelier tipping a hat to the show lights at the music venues on Lower Broad. The backdrop of the Living Room Bar, with its chandelier adorned with shimmering tassels, is a striking, backlit scrim with a reinterpretation of a classical 1600s French-style painting of a Tennessee woodland. Adjacent to the bar and hidden behind a speaker wall is the Sound Room, a private, indoor/outdoor event space featuring a gold and ebony bar with warm, golden rotating spirits risers.
Rounding out the street level selection are two restaurants by Chef Andrew Carmellini: The Dutch, an all-day dining venue with a laid-back American comfort menu and a bar terrace overlooking the 25-foot Hendrix mural; and Carne Mare, an evening-only, fine dining, contemporary Italian chop house which draws from Carmellini’s experience working in some of the finest restaurants around the world.
Soaring high atop the 14th floor is Proof, W Nashville’s striking rooftop bar that takes inspiration from the Gulch’s expansive, historical rail yard. Here, the hotel’s impressive collection of original Jim Marshall prints is on display, including an iconic image of Jerry Garcia toasting with a glass of wine. Four sliding garage doors line the outdoor terraces, providing a jaw-dropping,
360-degree view of the city and, when open, access to outdoor seating and a hidden sunset catwalk. From exposed duct vents, steel beams, a steel-corner fireplace and polished concrete floors to backlit, split wood paneling made from reclaimed beams from a local 1800s tobacco warehouse, Proof provides an industrial juxtaposition to the natural beauty of a Nashville sunset.
Meet Up + Wind Down
W Nashville has over 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space which encourages a balance of work and play by connecting to the WET Deck, Spanish Steps and their own outdoor terraces. The Great Room, in tones of tan and gold, was inspired by the quilting techniques of Nashville artisans and includes a metal and glass framed façade that carries daylight across the floor. Pre-event spaces feature intimate seating nooks with felted walls and pastoral Tennessee landscapes adorning the alcoves, reflecting an adoration for Nashville’s natural beauty.
“From the sounds of live music filling the air on the Spanish Steps to FUEL fitness classes on the WET Deck, W Nashville is ready to add new buzz to this one-of-a-kind neighborhood,” said David Cronin, General Manager, W Nashville. “The unique beat of W Hotels is finally ready to play in this Southern capital and will soon become the most sought-after destination for both locals as well as out-of-town guests who wish to experience all this city has to offer.”