Nashville's hotel scene is only starting to catch up to its big-city counterparts. The boutique concept arrived only a few years ago and is still in a cutesy-gimmicky phase. Midprice national chains sometimes lack the quality of amenities and finesse of hotels in similar cities. However, there are gems to be found, including the historic Hermitage and Union Station hotels in the downtown area, which are among the city's plushest accommodations.
Book downtown options well in advance during the fall football season (the Tennessee Titans stadium is just across the Cumberland River from downtown; Vanderbilt is about a mile down the road) or in early June, when the CMA festival attracts tens of thousands of country-music fans. If you're in town to pay homage to the city's music history, booking at the Gaylord Opryland, with its proximity to the Grand Ole Opry and shuttles to the Country Music Hall of Fame, is a no-brainer. Business travelers often choose midtown's Loews Vanderbilt for its proximity to commercial districts, including Music Row. Those who want a dose of Southern hospitality and charm from their Nashville hotel might go for a B&B in the surrounding countryside, such as Namaste Acres in Leipers Fork, where horse boarders are treated as well as human guests.