When you're traveling to Nashville for fun, there's an opportunity — for some of us, a compulsion — to indulge in a little more whimsy than you might find at a standard-issue chain hotel. By staying in one of Nashville’s unique or unusual properties, you’ll surround yourself with cool and unexpected amenities in one of Music City’s personality-filled locations. With the hospitality industry booming, Nashville is flush with fun places to stay, from historic lofts to stylish tiny homes.
So, if you’re looking for a more engaging place to crash for your next Nashville trip, these options offer a lot more than a queen bed and a Keurig machine.
Cool and creative places to stay in Nashville
Urban Cowboy B&B
1603 Woodland St., East Nashville
The Urban Cowboy B&B started in style-forward Brooklyn, then branched out to style-forward East Nashville here in Music City (our launch neighborhood, where we still host twice-weekly food tours). The owners' meticulous focus on aesthetics means that every inch of the Nashville location — a completely renovated Victorian mansion — is intensely Instagrammable, from the creative tile treatments to the reclaimed wood wall installations and luxurious in-room clawfoot tubs. One better, their adjacent Public House offers excellent craft cocktails and bites, and an inviting patio in which to pass low-key Nashville evenings.
506 Church St., Downtown Nashville
A perch in Downtown Nashville proper doesn't necessarily have to be a hotel — 506 Lofts, for one, will put you right in the center of everything, but offer a little more of a live-like-a-local feel, with units touting kitchenettes for at-"home" dining, plus the big vibes that come with being built in a century-plus-year-old building. If you're interested in the local creative culture, 506 is a worthwhile place to peek, too: The spaces are full of the work of local artists and artisans, from furniture by HollerDesign to mural work by I Saw the Sign. Another plus: Your stay at the lofts helps Nashvillians suffering from homelessness, since five percent of the proceeds from every rental is earmarked for their Rooms for Rooms program, which contributes to the Nashville Rescue Mission and Room in the Inn.
1218 6th Ave. N., Germantown
Nashville's small Germantown neighborhood isn't brimming with hotels, but it's a fun, vibrant and immensely walkable hangout, and a convenient place to stay in Nashville, just north of Downtown. Particularly worthwhile lodging right there in the middle of Germantown: The Germantown Inn, a circa-1865 Federal-style home that's been reimagined as a 10-suite "luxury boutique inn," with a picturesque courtyard, private rooftop terrace and sweetly appointed suites that are classic and unassuming in design. If you gravitate toward historic architecture and tight-knit, neighborhood-y energy, it might be your ideal Nashville stay.
VanDyke Bed & Beverage
105 S. 11th St., East Nashville
Nashville visitors who are looking for something in a walkable area, but prefer to skip the nonstop din of downtown, would do well to check out the brand-new VanDyke Bed & Beverage in 5 Points, the central hub of creative and colorful East Nashville. Shopping and dining is steps away, and the property also has an onsite bar, plus a courtyard and rooftop patio for post-adventure hangs. The rooms are colorful, high-style and influenced by the different kinds of spirits for which they're named — "Rum" gives a tropical-oasis feel; "Wine" is imbued with a fair share of romance. And throughout the property, you'll get to check out local art, hand-picked by the VanDyke folks to reflect the creative community of which they've become a part.
Omni Nashville Hotel
250 Fifth Avenue South, Downtown Nashville
If you really feel more comfortable with the predictability of a standard hotel, Nashville has plenty of beautiful ones, many conveniently located right Downtown. You really won't go wrong with any of the high-end spots, but if we had to pick a Downtown hotel, we'd probably stay in the Omni — it's a beautiful building, right near the Music City Center, Bridgestone Arena, Lower Broadway and all the other major attractions. But the biggest pluses, in our book: It's attached to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a world-class repository of country music's treasures, with stunning artifacts that span from the earliest Appalachian folk singers up to today's commercial country hit-makers; and it's attached to Kitchen Notes, whose elevated spins on traditional Southern fare are among our favorite hotel bites in the city.
The Dive Motel
1414 Dickerson Pike, East Nashville
When we put this post up, this new "Dive Bar, Motel & Swim Club" — from the same folks behind the Urban Cowboy — was still a little ways from opening (it's expected to open in spring 2019). But the plans alone are enough to have us telling folks concocting Nashville visits to keep their eyes peeled. The Dive is a rebirth for the '50s-era Key Motel on the western front of East Nashville, and Dive driver Lyon Porter told the Nashville Business Journal that the intent is to pull in a mix of midcentury-to-'70s design vibes, with disco balls and bold colors, along with a freshly tricked-out pool out front. When it's finished, the motel should have 26 rooms, which Porter said will be significantly less expensive than his high-end B&B. Follow along at @TheDiveMotel to keep up grand-opening news.
4125 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville
For more of a luxury-country vibe, you might head a little north of Nashville to the Inn at Fontanel, and their six decked-out, farmhouse-style suites. Although it’s only about 10 miles from the center of things, you find a welcoming sense of seclusion there at the foot of the Fontanel mansion (which was originally built for country star Barbara Mandrell, and now anchors a “music and lifestyle destination” with a cafe, distillery, zipline forest, amphitheater and more). Perks include made-to-order breakfast from a personal chef, kitchenettes, spacious deck lounging and the best turn-down candy in the business, made by our downtown food tour partners at Goo Goo Cluster.
Looking for a way to explore the best food in Nashville? Walk Eat Nashville walking food tours make it easy — covering East Nashville, Midtown and SoBro/Downtown, each tour includes tastings at multiple restaurants/shops and behind-the-scenes interactions with chefs and owners. Learn more about Walk Eat Nashville food tours.