I have been to America’s famed “Music City” several times. There is no denying that Nashville, Tennessee is a special place oozing with history, hospitality, and of course, incredible music. For my previous trips down to Nashville, I opted to stay at large brand name hotels in the downtown vicinity – the Omni, the Westin, and the Hyatt. These were all great options for a standard business trip. While these hotels provide for convenience (walking distance to the honkeytonk bars and various attractions), they were standard hotels and to be quite frank, pretty loud at night.
For this particular trip down to Nashville, I wanted to avoid the standard high-rise hotel. I craved real southern comfort. I dreamed of a large porch overlooking open spaces. A place that I could gather my friends and family for some quality time. Why would I want to stay in a skyscraper downtown when I live in one here in New York City? In hopes of getting friends and family together for the holiday season, I envisioned staying at a southern-style accommodation with peaceful privacy that would allow us the opportunity to connect in communal areas. While space and charm were important factors in my hotel search, I still wanted to be somewhere that was close to all the action of downtown Nashville. When I discovered the Inn at Fontanel, it was as if I had struck GOLD – it had everything I was dreaming of when planning this particular trip. I could not be more thrilled to share with readers one of my favorite hotels visited of all time – this place is a true “hidden gem” and a must-stay for your next visit to Nashville.
The Inn at Fontanel
Welcome to the Inn at Fontanel, my friends. This luxury boutique hotel is located just a quick 15 minute ride from the bustling energy of downtown and offers an authentic “southern experience” as you indulge in the perks of a renovated farmhouse. Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor and “House of the Year” by Southern Living Magazine, this precious property will not disappoint. Enjoy hot breakfast served daily by the house chef, bike ride through pristine countryside, and sip heavy red wine by a blazing fireplace on a chilly night. And if you get bored with the peace and quiet this accommodation offers, take a quick ride downtown where you can access all the famous museums, restaurants and bars Nashville has to offer. Let’s just say – you get the best of both worlds at this luxury oasis. Here’s an insider recap of my personal experience and photographs below.
Warm Welcome by the Fireside
Being a busy New York lady, I ran straight from the office to catch my easy direct flight into the Nashville airport via American Airlines. It was about 1 hour and 45 minutes, getting me into town at about eight o’clock in the evening. An easy 20 minute car ride from the airport, I made my way down a long country road to discover the Inn at Fontanel. En route to the hotel, I called my friends who had already checked in at the hotel. I could hear their excitement and first impressions when one of them (the pregnant one) exclaimed, my suite had a plush warm robe and chocolates for me at turn-down, it’s perfect, Tara… I always know it’s going to be a great stay when a hotel goes above and beyond in the attention to detail through services.
Once we arrived, I made my way to the main farmhouse which acts as the lobby of this boutique hotel. Inside the main farmhouse there is a perfectly disguised “check-in” desk with at least one attendant on call at all hours of the day. The rest of the space is exquisitely decorated to make you feel like you are right at home. I gasped when I saw the vaulted ceilings, sparkling Christmas tree, and bottle of wine waiting for me beside a toasty fire. With only 6 suites, you can essentially “take over the hotel” by booking along with your friends and family – that is what I did. Can you imagine how perfect this location would be for a family reunion, upscale bachelorette trip, or just a couples weekend?
Encouraging friends + family to experience the Fontanel, we made ourselves comfortable in the grandiose living room of the farmhouse and chatted until the late hours of the night – all while enjoying the comfort of “home” for the weekend. When it was nearly two am, I made my way to the lower and upper suite where we had booked our rooms. With walls decorated by sheet music (nice touch, ladies) in a framed galley, I felt like I was inside one of Chip and Joanna’s “Fixer Upper” masterpieces. The rooms were perfect. My suite even had its own fireplace and large soaking tub which made the stay even more relaxing. The memorable details will never be forgotten (honey shampoo and lux bath salts, yes please). What more could a lady ask for?
After a relaxing sleep without any loud noise or distraction, I took advantage of the nearby hiking grounds and went for a long walk. Because the Fontanel is located on an expansive piece of property (186 acres), there is ample room to explore. If you are coming from a major city like me, this is the perfect place to run wild and free in wide open spaces.
Following a brisk morning walk, I made my way back to the main farmhouse where breakfast was served. Before you head to bed, the hotel staff takes your breakfast order, which can either be served directly to your suite or at the dining table among friends. Because we had a large group staying at the Inn, we all decided to congregate for breakfast and enjoy some of the chef’s specialties together – buttermilk pancakes, veggie packed omelettes, biscuits and raspberry jam, and homemade french toast to the backdrop of endless pours of hot coffee and freshly squeezed juices. Let’s just say I was not counting calories this particular weekend.
Rest + Relaxation
After a big breakfast, we enjoyed the property by simply relaxing, something most New Yorkers have a difficult time with (myself included). The large wrap-around covered porch has several cushioned couches, lounge chairs, and even a giant swinging bed-seat. Make yourself comfortable with a blanket and catch up with friends on the porch (it’s 2,700 square feet so there is room on the porch for everyone).
Aside from the charming porch, I couldn’t get enough of that sparkling tree with burlap bows. It was truly the most gorgeous “country” Christmas tree I have ever seen – major kudos to whoever decorated this masterpiece. Once we were all rested up, I put on my cowboy boots and enjoyed a super fun afternoon of bowling, bar hopping, and honkytonking downtown (just 15 minutes away). It could not have been a more perfect weekend. From some southern hospitality, to much needed rest + relaxation, topped off with dancing to wild music downtown, this was by far the most memorable trip to Nashville yet, all thanks to the Inn at Fontanel.
To my new fabulous friends at the Fontanel, thank you for taking such sweet care of my family and friends during our weekend stay. I look forward to returning back to my new “home” in Nashville again. For booking options, contact TheInn@FONTANELMANSION.COM. Tell them Ladyhattan sent you for the extra royal treatment, and be sure to book far in advance as this property currently has six beautiful suites in high demand. But there is great news on the horizon. The Fontanel recently announced that they are expanding the hotel with the addition of many new rooms. I am excited to see how this incredible project turns out and look forward to following the continued success of the Fontanel.