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Standing elegantly and proudly at the corner of Church Street and the historic Printers Alley in Downtown Nashville, Noelle is oh-so-much more than just another place to stay in Nashville. It’s an adventure-prone, art and history appreciator’s playground. Each detail and concept within the hotel speaks to Nashville’s past, present, future or a perfect amalgamation of all three. From its secret basement cocktail bar to the curated goods for sale, Noelle pulls you deeper into Nashville-flavored revelry at every corner. While there are many new kids on the block (literally), Noelle remains a favorite for staycationers and weekend sojourners alike. It’s a culinary, shopping and lodging destination, and we’re thrilled to take you on a wild ride through Noelle.

noelle hotel

Let’s step into 200 4th Ave North.

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Constructed in 1930, Noelle came of age at a time when downtown Nashville was experiencing a boom of new hotels, department stores and local characters.

RELATED: 5 Nashville Downtown Hotels for Locals and Visitors (& More on the Way …)

Fuel Up

Take a few steps through the door of the hotel, and you’re standing at its nucleus (and directly on top of the subway-tiled word NOELLE) — a bank lobby-style Art Deco foyer in front, a shop and check-in counter to the left, and coffee to the right. We turned right. Noelle’s Drug Store Coffee greets you with a smile (two smiles, actually, on the giant comic-book characters hanging on the wall). The Barista Parlor espresso menu and old-school drug store counter vibe beckon groggy hotel guests and eager pedestrian passersby alike. We’re told to return in the morning for the $10 coffee-and-breakfast-sandwich morning deal.

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See what’s spinning on the record player and check out Drug Store’s trendy merch.

Learn Something New

After check-in and bag drop, I did a few 360-degree twirls in the striking main lobby. Original marble walls and terrazzo flooring rekindle the 1930s Nashville glamour, while modern, plush furniture and a robust bar menu create the perfect blend of old and new. I was magnetized to the bar, the Trade Room, but decided to open up my laptop at the nostalgic library-style desks and chat with the concierge instead. I was then led to the upstairs balcony and into the Archives Room, a relaxing, secret escape and mini-museum that paints a picture of the building’s past.

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Trade Room might be Nashville’s sleekest hotel lobby bar.

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Noelle’s art program tells Nashville story. There’s art at every corner and in every room, and lots of historical info to inhale.

Wet the Whistle

In Nashville’s populous sea of rooftop bars, Noelle’s Rare Bird gets it. The bartenders are friendly and know their stuff. You’d be remiss not to ask about the rotating frozen drinks du jour. My Watermelon Frozé hit the spot and was the perfect precursor to dinner downstairs. Snag a cozy seat on the porch or at the covered bar, order up a charcuterie plate, and plan to stay longer than anticipated. Beginning on August 22, Rare Bird will host free Thursday night concerts 13 floors up.

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The view to the right shoots directly over the Cumberland River and to Nissan Stadium. The bartender laughed and told me, “Depending on where you’re standing up here, you can hear three or four different bands … and one might be a really good show happening at Ascend [Amphitheater]!”

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The indoor-outdoor bar can be enjoyed throughout the seasons.

RELATED: 21 of the Best Rooftop Bars + Dining Spots in Nashville

Dine In

Makeready‘s lengthy craft beer menu and well-portioned Southern comfort fare have pushed it to the top of the list of downtown dinner spots. We went before a show on a Thursday, and the clientele was equal-parts traveling couples and chirping entertainment business folk. Work like a dog, drink like a fish is one of many snarky, tongue-in-cheek sayings printed across the hotel’s memorabilia, placards and menus. This might ring a little too true for a lot of Nashvillians. The deviled eggs, Caesar salad, burger, mac-n-cheese and generous pours of wine primed us for a long night ahead.

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Makeready offers a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with $3 beer, $4 well drinks, and select $5 wine and bites.

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Most of Makeready’s menu is ready for you to share. Image: Zoe Yarborough

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Makeready is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Retail Therapy

Forget everything that comes to mind when you think hotel gift shop. Keep Shop isn’t that. People show up in droves to this groundfloor boutique, which is curated in part by Nashville tastemaker Libby Callaway. You can even find vintage pieces from her own collection on the racks. Many well-known makers want in on Keep Shop’s retail real estate, and you’ll see one-of-a-kind pieces from Isle of Printing, Stetson, Salt Ceramics (who also supply many pieces in the restaurants and rooms), Emil Erwin and more. Smelling and touching my way through Keep Shop felt like being a kid in a candy store. You can even bottle up the hotel and take it with you if you’re lucky enough to snag their custom scent before it flies off the shelves.

On the horizon this month, don’t miss the Callaway-curated horoscope night happening on August 22, complete with tarot card readers and cleverly crafted cocktails. And as the hotel nears its two-year anniversary in December, we’re told that there will be a big celebration around the milestone, including a launch of a capsule collection of some of the Keep Shop’s previously pored-over items that aren’t still for sale.

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Art you can wear is all over Keep Shop. Image: Zoe Yarborough

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The shop can’t keep this custom Stetson— designed by Libby Callaway herself — in stock. The Noelle emblem is stamped inside the hat’s lining. Image: Zoe Yarborough

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This custom scent is another favorite token of both out-of-towners and locals. Image: Zoe Yarborough

RELATED: Keep Shop is Not Your Typical Hotel Gift Shop

Kick Off Your Boots

Caramel popcorn, Colt’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and a trove of local treats welcomed us to our tidy, minimalist room. What some rooms might lack in spaciousness, they make up for in thoughtful design and usefulness. Ours was a spacious suite overlooking the neon Printers Alley arch. Every nook and cranny of the space is intentional, and nothing felt crammed or ill-placed. If room service is more your speed, Makeready will come to you. Slip into one of the thick, slate grey robes, hunker down and switch on your latest binge-worthy show. The WiFi is as strong as the Drug Store coffee that’s delivered to your door in the morning, and both are included in your room rate.

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The ceiling details are as beautiful as the soft gold touches.

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Soft textures and muted colors against the slate navy walls in the “new” wing of the hotel

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This scene beckons us to write some good old-fashioned snail mail. You’ll find a few clever postcards in your room for just that, and the hotel will take care of postage.

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One amenity we loved: Each room comes with two refillable water bottles you’re welcome to take with you, and there’s a filling station on each floor with ambient, chilled and sparkling water options.

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Art Deco touches and custom ceramics adorn the rooms.

Time to Party

No stay at Noelle is complete without a nightcap. “If you know, you know” is the mindset of Noelle’s Hidden Bar underneath Makeready. Enter through an unassuming seafoam green door marked Storage Closet and you’ll walk into anything but. Strong, creative drinks and rotating themes with over-the-top decor can be found in this not-so-secret-anymore watering hole. People swarm to Miracle — the bar’s extraordinary Christmas experience — during the holidays, and all we can say is that there’s a reason.

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If the “Storage Closet” door doesn’t throw you off, the dripping light-up tentacles and mirrored walls in the entryway will … especially on your way out.

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Remainders of the French theme still hang from the ceiling as the Hidden Bar gears up for its next iteration. Image: Zoe Yarborough

Something for Everyone

Whether you’ve got a room key or not, you’re welcome at Noelle. Just the stay at the hotel is like a vacation, and it should be on the radars of Nashville locals and those looking for a reason (there are many) to visit. To stay abreast of all-things-Noelle, visit the website, sign up for emails, follow along on social media or — might we strongly suggest — go there. If not for a night or three, for a coffee, a drink or a history lesson. Step inside and into an Art Deco sea of old Nashville glamour and ask one of the friendly faces what’s up. They’ll tell you all about it.

All photos courtesy of Noelle unless otherwise noted.

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