Billed as Nashville’s third skyscraper and the city’s first million-dollar hotel when it opened in 1910, The Hermitage has endured for more than a century in Tennessee’s changing capital.
And the grand hotel has recently undergone a transformation of its own. A multi-year restoration and redesign, complete with a makeover of The Hermitage’s striking lobby, ballroom and 122 guest rooms and suites, was just unveiled.
The stunning Beaux Arts lobby, originally designed by Tennessee architect James E. R. Carpenter, has a fresh new look from design studio ForrestPerkins.
“We needed to change people’s thinking about what a historic hotel looks like,” designer Toby Bishop told CNN Travel via email.
The previous rich red and gold color scheme represented a more traditional approach, Bishop said, while the new space is “clean and bright, with more modern furnishings within the glorious and grand architecture of the lobby.”
Delicate shades of blue and silver are used in the textured upholstery and area rugs, while the original ornate molding and plaster work has been refreshed with a brighter and cooler palette drawing inspiration from the original marble columns and pilasters.
“This resulted in a significant shift in the first impression of the space but also created a subtle balance to the historic finishes,” said Bishop, an associate principal at ForrestPerkins.
The firm also redesigned the hotel’s guest rooms and suites with a similar serene color palette.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2020, The Hermitage played a role in the 1920 battle to ratify the 19th Amendment recognizing women’s right to vote. Honoring past and present remains a priority.
“Nashville is evolving in exciting ways, and it is important that we stay in step with the times and continue the hotel’s legacy of providing a true luxury experience for our guests,” hotel owners Robert and Molly Hardie said in a statement.
Two new restaurants from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened in The Hermitage earlier this year. Thomas-Juul Hansen handled the design of those projects – new-American restaurant Drusie & Darr and and an all-day cafe called The Pink Hermit.
Thomas-Juul Hansen also designed a new ladies’ room featuring variegated pink marble and pink fixtures as a counterpoint to the hotel’s much-photographed Art Deco men’s room.
The starting summer rate at The Hermitage Hotel is $449.
The landmark hotel’s move to modernize is in keeping with another project in the city it calls home. A $1.4 billion improvement and expansion plan for Nashville International Airport was announced in June.