The good ol’ Southern road trip is making a comeback, and our lodging options are widening, too. The South has an ever-growing number of new boutique hotels opening up in the usual suspect larger cities, but also in some of our up-and-coming smaller ones. We have three new (and very different) hotels to peek into — from a funky, charity-focused East Nashville space … to a chic and historic Kentucky building … to Huntsville, Alabama’s first boutique hotel.
3 New Southern Hotels
The Gallatin Hotel | Nashville, Tennessee
2510 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206 • (615) 861-1634
New to East Nashville and touting a worthy mission is the quirky Gallatin Hotel. Housed in a 1925-constructed building that was once a church, the hotel adds 25 guestrooms of various sizes and layouts to Nashville’s hospitality scene.
Everything from the bright hues to the clever signage to the ample congregating space is meant to unite and uplift. You just cannot help but smile as you walk around the property. A little different than a regular hotel, there’s no front desk for arrival and checkout. It’s all contact-free and meant to keep things easy, breezy, and affordable. Enjoy the lobby photo booth, a retro powder room, in-room snacks, and ample space to sun in the yard.
Anchor Investments calls this trio of Nashville properties — The Gallatin, The Russell, and 506 Flats — “Mission Hotels” because they’re on a mission to donate more than half of their proceeds. They’ve teamed up with non-profit partners like Nashville Rescue Mission, Room in the Inn, People Loving Nashville, and ShowerUp and plan to add more as bookings pick up. As of early this year, Mission Hotels has donated more than 100,000 meals, beds, showers, and supplies to people experiencing homelessness in Nashville.
Reservations are now open, and there’s a lot to get excited about around the property. The hotel’s next-door partners plan to open an event venue and a Fat Bottom Brewery outpost in July. Lucky for guests, craft beer and tasty snacks will be just a hallway away. Visit thegallatinhotel.com and follow along on Instagram.
The Grady Hotel | Louisville, Kentucky
601 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202 • (502) 434-3700
Nestled in the heart of Louisville’s downtown Market District in a 19th-century historic building is the darling hotel, The Grady. The 51-key luxury hotel just opened steps away from the Muhammad Ali Center, Frazier History Museum, Louisville Slugger Museum, Distillery Row, and a slew of Louisville’s buzziest eateries and bars.
A stay at The Grady is akin to a Louisville history lesson — beginning with the building’s backstory. Commissioned in 1883 by pharmacist J.B. Wilder, the original building housed an apothecary where Wilder concocted medicinal bourbon and a slew of other elixirs. Known for designing the first hats worn at the Kentucky Derby, Swann-Abram Hat Co. was another original resident of the building in the 1920s. Named after the late Grady Clay, beloved local journalist and champion of urban design, The Grady embraces the vibrant urban renaissance of Louisville while honoring its past.
Elegant through and through, the hotel celebrates Louisville’s story with an approach that honors tradition and redefines modern opulence. The hoteliers want guests to experience The Grady through the eyes of a child. Surprises and good luck charms are tucked away throughout, from a complimentary honor bar to Muhammad Ali-inspired silk robes, to horseshoes, shamrocks, butterflies, and bees hidden amidst the hotel’s decor and amenities. One of our favorite parts (and something you don’t see much of these days) is the free artisanal breakfast served daily.
Resonating with a sophisticated charm that is equally warm and contemporary, this hotel prides itself on details and discovery. Displays of patinated metals and smooth, dark textures tell the story of Louisville’s bourbon heritage, while hints of lush greens echo Louisville’s City of Parks title and the outdoors. After a day of exploring, pull up a chair at The Wild Swann, The Grady’s alcove of hand-crafted beverages and delectable small plates. Ask the barkeepers for their best-kept Louisville secrets while sipping meticulously crafted cocktails from gold-rimmed glasses.
The Grady is the perfect place to let the spirit of Louisville pass through you. There’s a nook for everyone to learn, sip, relax, or play. For more information, visit The Grady Hotel’s Instagram, Facebook, or website.
106 Jefferson | Huntsville, Alabama
Opening July 2021 • 106 Jefferson St. S, Huntsville, AL 35801 • 106Jefferson.com
As if we needed another reason to fall in love with Huntsville, here comes the bustling city’s first boutique hotel! 106 Jefferson, a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton, is a 115-room luxury hotel opening soon in Huntsville’s historic Twickenham district. With Southern hospitality considered in every detail, 106 Jefferson is expertly designed to tastefully reflect the area’s pioneer spirit that began in the space race and continues today. This hotel is so much more than just rooms …
The 106 Jefferson team has achieved a perfect balance of nodding to science and technology while staying true to the local charm of this small Southern city. Huntsville’s community leaders have some lofty aspirations for some tremendously important projects in the coming months … from tech to sports to music. To have a — please pardon the terrible joke — launching pad like 106 Jefferson will be so valuable to the city’s growing cast of visitors and locals.
After a day of work and play, book a table at Revivalist, the hotel’s parlor-style chef-driven restaurant and bar. Or head all the way up to Baker & Able, a swanky rooftop lounge that pays homage to the most famous astronauts in Huntsville history — a healthy portion of panoramic views included! For more information about 106 Jefferson, visit 106jefferson.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
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