Nashville is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and it’s not hard to see what draws millions of visitors to Music City year after year. Between the amazing restaurants, historic sites, museums, festivals, and world-class live shows playing everywhere all the time, it’s honestly difficult to not have fun here.

Planning a trip to Nashville? Get excited. Here’s a guide to choosing the perfect hotel for you.

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center has an atrium with this gazebo fountain
You'll be in awe of the lush atrium at The Gaylord Opryland Resort © Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock

Best hotel in Nashville for families: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Of course you want to explore the city, but when you’re traveling with a big group with varied (and often conflicting) interests, having a bounty of activities on the property is a hotel perk that’s hard to beat. Gaylord Opryland Resort definitely delivers, with SoundWaves, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor waterpark, nine acres of indoor gardens (with waterfalls!), and more than 15 restaurants on the premises.

The Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills Mall are both within walking distance, and a shuttle can take you downtown (a 15-minute drive) to enjoy all the rest of the fun Nashville has to offer. Fair warning, though: you might not ever get around to leaving the hotel. There’s that much to do here.

Best Nashville option for budget travelers: Millennium Maxwell House

If you’ve done a search of accommodations in Nashville, you know it’s nearly impossible to find a room in the city for less than $200 a night. Millennium Maxwell House is one of the rare exceptions – many of this historic hotel’s 287 country music-themed rooms can still be had for around $200. Hang out at the property’s saltwater pool or catch the free shuttle downtown to hit up the honky tonks and museums with a little more money in your pocket. 

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Downtown Nashville cityscape
Downtown Nashville is a popular destination for vacations with friends © f11photo / Shutterstock

Traveling with friends to Music City? Check out Graduate Nashville

Nashville is a popular destination for friend vacations. How to choose where to stay when there are so many options? Opt for a place that’s perfectly located, ridiculously Instagrammable and surprisingly affordable: the Graduate Nashville. A midtown location offers easy access to downtown, Centennial Park, Hillsboro Village and the Gulch. You’ll find plenty of group photo opps in the bright, wildly decorated lobby and themed rooms, including colorful paintings of country stars and no shortage of velvet.

The best part, though? Behind a door disguised with floral wallpaper, you’ll find Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole, a karaoke bar where singers are backed by an animatronic band plucked out of a 90s kids’ party. It’s a fever dream that’s best experienced with a group of friends who are not afraid to laugh at themselves and lean into the silliness (and hit the high notes). 

Best for a pool party: Virgin Hotels Nashville

More than just a place to bed down for the night in Music City, Virgin Hotels Nashville comes through with rooftop pool party vibes. Think live music, cocktails, and endless views. Just as swanky, the downstairs bar/patio is an equally cool alternative to hang out and soak up the atmosphere of this popular boutique hotel (but without the swimsuits!).

Rooms are spacious, modern and stylish, and the hospitality is second to none — this is Nashville after all. 

On-site dining is available but beyond breakfast why stay and eat in one place all day and night? Get out into Nashville for the best food experiences. You can walk to the main hotspots of Nashville from here. And book ahead, if you can, for the best room rate deals.

Solo travelers in Nashville, head to Vandyke Bed and Beverage

If you’re traveling to Nashville on your own, do yourself a favor and stay in East Nashville. This lively section of the city offers a totally different vibe from downtown’s rowdy honky tonk crowd, with a wide selection of unique coffee shops, bars, restaurants and concert venues to explore.

The Vandyke Bed and Beverage is a new boutique hotel with a prime location in East Nashville. With a lively bar and patio just downstairs, all you need to do to make new friends is plop down on a barstool – perfect for solo travelers. You’ll be just a few minutes from downtown but can spend your time eating, drinking and shopping your way through the surrounding coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques in this quirky neighborhood. At the end of the day, treat yourself to a fun twist on a classic cocktail, like the Vandyke's "Trashmopolitan."

A blue velvet sofa sits at the far end of a white room full of mirrors and natural light with midcentury modern in a deep walnut tone
Close to Printer's Alley, Noelle is in a buzzy part of Nashville and has a rooftop bar © courtesy of Noelle / Lonely Planet

Best hotel in Nashville for romantic getaways: Noelle 

Every last detail of this stylish boutique hotel Noelle has been thoughtfully curated by tastemakers and experts, and the result is a luxurious, sexy, Mad Men-inspired experience, from the stunning art deco lobby to the artisan coffee shop and the speakeasy downstairs aptly titled Hidden Bar. 

A few blocks from Broadway, Noelle’s location makes it a great launchpad to experience all of downtown’s raucous entertainment knowing you can come back for a chill nightcap by the fireplace at Rare Bird, the hotel’s rooftop bar with gorgeous views of the city. Retire to your luxurious and stylish room, enjoy morning coffee delivery, then go back to bed. Heaven.  

Celebrities and luxury lovers book the Hermitage Hotel 

If your taste can be described as “only the best,” then you need to check into the Hermitage Hotel for your stay in Nashville. The preferred home base of visiting celebrities and touring pop stars, The Hermitage is a five-star hotel with a perfect mix of modern amenities and old school Nashville magic. The lobby’s ornately painted ceilings, fireplaces and luxe velvet armchairs set the opulent tone, while the spacious rooms boast custom-made, hand-tufted mattresses, Bose speakers and stunning views of the Tennessee Capitol.  

You may also like:
11 US hotels that make social distancing fresh and fun  
Explore Nashville’s musical (and non-musical) murals
Lonely Planet Q&A with United Street Tours owner, Chakita Patterson  

This article was first published Oct 5, 2020 and updated Mar 18, 2022.

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