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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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