Virgin Hotel Nashville is all about the old-meets-new, farmhouse chic with a touch of modern glass and red highlights. If that means nothing to you, think Dolly Parton as produced by British super-producer Brian Eno.
With its thriving food scene, historic music venues and some of the best hotels in the South, it’s no surprise that Virgin Records founder Richard Branson wanted in on the Nashville action. Virgin Hotel Nashville, one of the chain’s five locations, opened on Nashville’s Music Row in July 2020. It’s old-meets-new, farmhouse chic with a touch of modern glass and red highlights.
Years in the aviation industry helped the designers streamline and maximize the feel of personal space in the hotel. Every room has elements that can be moved to compartmentalize or customize to the guest’s needs. The hardest part about staying at the Virgin Hotel will be leaving the cushy poolside cabanas and comfortable barstools to go explore the rest of Nashville.
The crowd is a mix of traveling music-industry types, parents visiting their children at nearby Vanderbilt University and bachelorette parties. This makes for a festive atmosphere, especially in the bar and lounge area. During the day you’ll find a few locals mingling in the coffee shop, but the real action is by the pool.
Contactless checkin is the first of many luxuries that this hotel provides, and the property also features three restaurants, 262 rooms, a 24-hour gym and a rooftop pool in a part of town that’s close to (but still removed from) all the action.
The hotel anchors the end of Music Row, which is the center of the city’s entertainment industry
Situated southwest of downtown, Music Row is where the real work happens in Nashville. The hotel anchors the end of the row, which is considered the center of the city’s entertainment industry. It’s home to every record company in Nashville, including the historic RCA Studios.
With a location close to Vanderbilt University and overlooking the Demonbreun (pronounced deh-mun-bree-uhn) strip of bars, the immediate crowds outside the hotel tend to skew more collegiate in age and tastes. There are, however, some gems within a short walking distance: The Patterson House (cocktails), The Catbird Seat (chef’s counter) and DeSano Pizza (Neapolitan-style pizzeria). Nothing in the city is farther than 10 minutes by car from this centrally located hotel.
The “chambers” feature two distinct spaces in every room
The 262 rooms, referred to as “Chambers” by the hotel staff, range from $159 to $1,400 per night. As with other Virgin enterprises, there’s a lot of red in the design palette. Eschewing hard edges, the rooms feel futuristic, but still accessible and well laid out. It’s all curves and soft surfaces that are conducive to lounging.
Every room is designed to feature two distinct spaces that are separated by a sliding barn door. This airline-inspired feature comes in handy if a hotel-mate needs to squeeze in a little work or a workout while you nap.
The “Dressing Room” combines the hallway, bathroom and closet with a full vanity and makeup desk. The “Lounge” area features a patented lounge bed, a red SMEG refrigerator, TV, yoga mat, pedestal table, a smattering of charging ports and built-in window seating that provides views of the Nashville skyline and Music Row.
A focus on quality and convenience
Virgin is hard to beat when you’re considering ease of use and price point. Dedicated customer service is a throughline in all of Richard Branson’s communications about his companies, and his hotels prioritize quality and convenience.
The hotel’s app (dubbed Lucy) enables a “touch-free” guest experience featuring contactless checkin/out, mobile room keys, app-based room service and in-room lighting and thermostat control, among other offerings. The hotel is also all in on Virgin’s celebrated “No Nickel and Diming” policy. For guests, this means street-priced minibars, free WiFi and no resort, urban or amenity fees.
And the amenities are a step above standard. The hotel gym is open 24/7 and features free weights alongside state-of-the-art Technogym cardio machines. For business travelers, there are corporate meeting spaces of multiple sizes available. A make-or-break for some, the hotel is pet friendly.
Chef Ryan Lachaine, who has received national accolades for his work at the globally inspired bistro Riel in Houston, oversees the food program. He brings his Eastern European heritage and Gulf Coast experience to the hotel’s cuisine.
Food and beverage options include:
Serving ethically sourced coffee from actor Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee Co., the Funny Library is the perfect place to get quality coffee or a light bite. With a full breakfast menu, locally made snack options and even beer and wine, this coffee shop is more of a daytime lounge than a dedicated workspace.
The Virgin Hotel’s rooftop features a lounge and pool area with a dedicated bar and restaurant. In the summer, you can sip cocktails and try light snacks before enjoying a dip in the pool. In the winter, The Pool Club is transformed into a lodge experience with fire pits, heaters, cabanas and hot drinks.
The Commons Club is the main dining attraction at the Virgin Hotel and features three distinct areas: The Bar, The Kitchen and The Shag Room, a semi-private cocktail lounge.