It’s only been one month since the 800-room Omni Nashville Hotel opened its doors in the buzzy SoBro (South of Broadway) district, but the impact it's made on downtown Nashville started percolating during construction. A 200,000-square-foot expansion to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum connects to the hotel on three levels, and Omni has embraced Music City with open arms. Across from the new Music City Center, this luxury hotel is a one-of-a-kind experience. — Photo courtesy of Omni Nashville Hotel
“Omni was chosen by the city to be the anchor for that cherished cherry spot because they are known for embracing local culture wherever they go,” says Ad Hudler, hotel concierge and author. “In almost every way you can imagine, you know you are in Nashville when you stay at the Nashville Omni. The art in our hotels is from Tennessee artists; the architecture in the lobby is patterned after an acoustic guitar. Our restaurant (Kitchen Notes) and our bars feature good old sippin’ Tennessee Whiskey and delicious Southern fare. And we also specialize in that whole ‘Nashville nice’ thing. It is a really friendly experience which I think reflects on Nashville’s character as well.”
The hotel's design uses natural materials, including regional limestone. — Photo courtesy of Omni Nashville HotelPart of a master planning effort on the city's part, the Omni took its distinctive design cues from downtown itself, incorporating native landscaping, strollable sidewalks, regional limestone and vintage lighting. The result is a structure that pays homage to downtown’s past while embracing and enhancing where it's headed. It wasn’t that long ago when people didn’t even live downtown, for the most part, but in the last decade or so, life along Broadway and beyond has boomed in every way. Omni adds to that with an exclamation point.
“The bar has really become big for downtown residents,” Hudler says of Barlines, which features live music seven nights a week. “I used to live downtown so I see a lot of people I know there. There is so much traffic coming in and out of that bar, that some of the infamous street musicians have even moved down from Honky Tonk Row to be near the hotel. The hotel is actually shifting activity.”
An internal pedestrian pathway provides a seamless connection from the hotel to the Country Music Hall of Fame, with Nashville-specific restaurants and retail spaces all along the way. One spot is Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, which relocated its headquarters from its longtime location on Broadway a few blocks away.
On the first floor is Five and TENN, a 3,000 square foot retail venue that offers more merchandise from state and local vendors like Col Littleton’s leather, Lucchese boots, Olive & Sinclair Chocolate and Goo Goo Clusters. The Mokara Spa is the only full-service hotel spa downtown, and has been used as much by locals as guests. A duet room accommodates couples massages while seven other treatment rooms are named after Tennessee flowers.There are 800 guest rooms and suites at the Omni Nashville Hotel. — Photo courtesy of Omni Nashville Hotel
“When you experience the Omni Nashville, you feel like you are walking into Music City,” says Kellie Keyes, marketing manager for Omni Nashville Hotel. “We have five unique dining experiences in our hotel, one being our restaurant Kitchen Notes that has its own biscuit bar, so you can have a hot, fresh biscuit all day long.”
In addition to Kitchen Notes and Barlines, Bob’s Steak & Chop House offers premium steakhouse fare in a classically elegant setting. Bongo Java, the locally-founded Nashville coffee house, opened its fourth location inside Omni, serving their organic brew bought directly from small-scale producers. "We wanted to keep it local instead of partnering with a large coffee chain,” Keyes says.
The Omni has 54 suites for guests who like to spread out a bit. And the fourth-floor amenity deck – atop the fourth story – allows a bird’s eye view of downtown Nashville, as well as the option of swimming in the only rooftop pool in a downtown hotel.
“It is really sweet,” says Hudler of the rooftop. “There's a fire pit surrounded by rocking chairs overlooking the skyline, so even if it's too cool to swim, there's a great place to hang out. Nashville was so ready for this and has embraced us with open arms.”
Nashville's best views are on display from many of the guest rooms. — Photo courtesy of Omni Nashville Hotel