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Hitting All The Notes In Nashville

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Designed To Pay Tribute To City’s Musical Past

By Steve Pike | August 16, 2021

Nashville’s music history and legacy continues to evolve as Music City spins into one of the country’s more popular destinations for leisure and business travel.

The latest example is the three new luxury designer suites—Baritone, Belle and Creator—at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. Conceptualized by the Chicago-based interior design firm, the Simeone Deary Design Group, the luxury designer suites are highlights of the hotel’s multi-year renovation plan, which started with the launch of reimagined meeting and event spaces in early 2020. Each luxury designer suite is designed to pay tribute to Nashville’s legendary artists.

The Belle Suite’s soft colors and textures, for example, reflect the career and personality of Loretta Lynn.

“An elegant look that’s really been well received,” said Loews Vanderbilt Hotel general manager Hugh Anderson.

The Baritone’s darker colors reflect country music’s ultimate baritone—Johnny Cash—and is the largest of the suites at 1,600 square feet. It includes a private king bedroom, walk-in closet, full kitchen, two work stations, one full bathroom with a large soaking tub, washroom and a dining room.

The Creator suite’s mix of eclectic colors and textiles honors emerging Nashville talents. Each suite features a private entrance, views of Vanderbilt University and Peloton exercise bikes. Guests in each suite also have access to the hotel’s VIP concierge, as well as 24/7 room service, and the opportunity to work one-on-one with a dedicated chef and master mixologist.

“Nashville has been growing like crazy,” said Anderson. “There are a lot of new hotels and new demand. This market is becoming a really significant hospitality destination.”

The luxury designer suites, said Anderson, are the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel’s latest opportunity to set itself apart from that growing competition and add another touch of Nashville to the 339-guestroom property. The hotel is located adjacent to the Vanderbilt campus and only one mile from Broadway’s bustling live music scene.

“We thought we could do something different with the designer suites,” said Anderson. “We knew we wanted three unique experiences, and we are fortunate to have created those experiences. They are something different in the Nashville market and overall hospitality market. And with our location, we have the opportunity for a lot of artists and dignitaries to stay with us.

“While designing and envisioning these suites, we sought to offer a space that caters to the emerging traveler of today, ideal for those seeking a place to call their home away from home, whether here for business or on tour, looking to entertain or fit an entire entourage with plenty of room to spare,” he said.

There’s more Nashville in the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, however, than just the luxury designer suites. The hotel’s ballrooms are named after famous Nashville recording studios, such as Blackbird and Castle. Each meeting room, according to Anderson, has a story behind it pays homage to the respective studio.

“In the music industry, everyone knows the artists and some even know the songwriter,” said Anderson. “But the guys behind the scenes, like the sound engineer, often get forgotten.”

For some perspective, Blackbird is a landmark Nashville studio that has recorded such diverse artists as Hank Williams, Jr., and Johnny Mathis. Castle—which is actually in nearby Franklin, TN—has recorded the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Vince Gill and Waylon Jennings. It was built in the prohibition days by Chicago mobsters and bookie John. P. Welch as a hideout for gangsters who moved between Chicago and Florida. It became a recording studio in 1983.

“Those rooms are big parts of the DNA of our hotel,” said Anderson, who also has music—and music history—in his DNA.

For the past 25 years, Anderson—who came to the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel from InterContinental Hotels in New York nearly four years ago—has been collecting, buying and trading vintage guitars. An avid guitar player, Anderson’s collection includes two classic Martin acoustic guitars and a Gibson ES 335 guitar made famous by the likes of Chuck Berry, B.B. King and a young Eric Clapton. His prized guitar is an early Fender Stratocaster that would make any Nashville musician jealous.

“They can’t make them like that anymore,” said Anderson. “There is something about the original Fender design that just feels right.”

The same can be said of the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.


Steve Pike

Steve Pike is an award-winning golf writer and author who helped define golf business reporting in the early 1990s as the first Golf Business Editor for Golfweek magazine and later at Golf World and Golf Shop Operations magazines for Golf Digest. Pike further pioneered this genre at the PGA of America and Time Warner as the golf business writer and editor for PGA.com. He started in newspapers more than 25 years ago and has covered all sports including Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL, NBA, as well as beat writer for nationally ranked collegiate baseball and basketball teams. As a travel and golf writer, “Spike” has climbed volcanoes in the Canary Islands, ascended the Great Wall of China, teed off in the Austrian Alps, and shared single-malt scotch with Sir Michael Bonallack at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. A die-hard baseball fan, Pike named his son Zachary Seaver after his childhood hero, New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver. Pike lives with Zachary, daughter Keilly, and wife Brenda (an ovarian cancer survivor, trained journalist, master teacher, and an active member of the DAR) in the South Florida village of Wellington.

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