Historic Hermitage Hotel Reopens On Valentine's Day

Friday, February 14, 2003

Nashville, Tn. - The Hermitage Hotel, which was Nashville's first
million-dollar hotel when it opened in 1910, reopens today - Valentine's Day - after a $17 million, 10-month restoration project.

The goal is to become Tennessee's first AAA Five Diamond and Mobil
Five-Star hotel, and one of the world's finest small luxury hotels.

"The reopening at long last restores grand luxury to this historic
hotel, making it a world-class destination point for visitors and
residents alike," said Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, who held his
wedding reception at The Hermitage Hotel.

The hotel, which will hold its invitation-only grand opening
celebration on the evening of February 25, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only remaining commercial Beaux Arts structure in Tennessee. Located in downtown Nashville, directly
opposite the State Capitol, it has hosted six presidents, housed the
pro- and anti-suffrage forces in the 1920s, and held a place in the hearts of city residents since it was commissioned by 250 of them in 1908.

As well as 24-hour room and concierge service, the hotel now offers a
number of superior services unique to the Nashville area. They include: personalized storage trunks for frequent guests, DVD players
and complimentary high-speed internet access in every room, afternoon
tea in the lobby and butler service upon request.

"The Hermitage will be the hotel of choice for those who simply want
the best," says Prem Devadas, the hotel's managing partner. "Guests
will encounter a level of service and quality of materials never
before seen in Tennessee and the surrounding region."

The hotel's owner, Historic Hotels Nashville, LLC, has already
successfully renovated and transformed The Jefferson Hotel in
Richmond, VA. It elevated that hotel, built in 1895, from a AAA Three
Diamond property into one of the 23 hotels that carry both the AAA
Five Diamond and Mobil Five-Star ratings. In 2001, Forbes FYI
designated The Jefferson as the "Best Hotel in America." In March
2004, The Hermitage's other sister property - Kiawah Island Golf
Resort near Charleston, SC., will open The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island,
an ultra-luxury oceanfront hotel and spa, at a cost of $125 million.

The average size of a guestroom is now 475 square feet - large even
for a luxury hotel. The interior walls on the guest floors were
removed allowing the creation of completely new rooms. This was
essential, says Devadas, for the hotel to fulfill its mission of
offering a true luxury experience.

Prior to the renovation, the hotel had been an all-suite property.
Now, there are 112 oversized guestrooms, a 2,000-square-foot
presidential suite, three executive suites and seven junior suites.
Each room is decorated with fine furnishings and fabrics. Only linens
with fine thread counts and down-filled duvets have been used, while
every bathroom includes marble soaking tubs, double vanities, a
separate shower and enclosed water closet. In addition, each suite has
a Jacuzzi. Room rates will begin at $210 per night and rise to $1,500
per night for the presidential suite.

The façade of the hotel, including the original terra cotta, has been
cleaned and restored, while a climate-controlled porte-cochere was
added to reflect the design of a historic hotel. Inside the doors, a
foyer and gift shop have been created, while local artisans,
specializing in historic paint restoration, have repainted every
feature in the ceiling of the hotel's famous lobby. The renowned glass
ceiling has also been carefully restored. The Grand Ballroom's paneled walls, made from Circassian walnut imported from Russia, have been cleaned and restored to their original luster. A Capitol view fitness room has also been added on the mezzanine level, along with marble locker rooms and massage treatment rooms.

Below the lobby, the hotel's infamous art deco men's room has been upgraded, but the green and black glass décor has been retained. The
renowned Capitol Grille restaurant has also undergone a complete
facelift, including new furniture, chandeliers and a grand new entrance. The restaurant, which was home to the Francis Craig Orchestra and a national radio show for several years, also has a new menu and executive chef, Sean Brock - who moved from Lemaire, The Jefferson Hotel's AAA Five Diamond restaurant.

The new menu features creative interpretations of southern cuisine
with an emphasis on the freshest and best available local products. It
also includes a la carte components, with regionally and historically
matched side dishes.

The Hermitage Hotel is a member of both Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide and Historic Hotels of America. For more information or
reservations, call 1-888-888-9414 or visit online at:
http://www.thehermitagehotel.com.



Treasure Hunters Come Together To Find New Mexico Hidden Gold

Will cooperation lead to the gold? That’s the question the New Mexico Tourism Department is wondering as a weekend event, Fennboree, has been planned to bring together treasure seekers who are on the hunt for Forrest Fenn’s hidden prize. Five years ago, Santa Fe resident Forrest Fenn, hid the chest somewhere in New Mexico after stocking it with coins, diamonds, sapphires, rubies ... (click for more)

Rock City Tunes Summer Music Weekends With Added Entertainment And Cool Summer Sounds

Memorial Day Weekend at Rock City starts the summer off with brand new entertainment, activities and southern food to indulge in at the enhanced premiere event, Summer Music Weekends. Hear sweet sounds of summer Fridays-Sundays,  8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.  through Labor Day with toe-tapping old-time, bluegrass and country music from Tarryn Aimee Smith, the Highbeams, Taylor ... (click for more)

Cleveland Councilman Banks Critical Of City Manager Casteel, But Several Council Members Come To Her Defense

Cleveland City Councilman Richard Banks on Tuesday afternoon was critical of City Manager Janice Casteel, but several other council members came to her defense.   The council, at the end of the discussion, voted to establish an evaluation process for city employees.   Ben Moore, a retired pharmacist and life-long resident of Cleveland told the council ... (click for more)

City Council Looking Into Need For City Court

City Council Chair Carol Berz on Tuesday brought up the issue of whether, under its charter, the city is required to have a City Court. She also asked Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett to look into the issue of whether the city is required to have two divisions of City Court. Attorney Noblett said he also will look into the ramifications of the Municipal Court Reform Act ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two More Kick Out UAW

Woody Hayes, the great Ohio State football coach, used to teach his players to “paralyze resistance with persistence” but, my word, the likable theory has taken quite a beating in the past two years at the NTN-Bower ball-bearing plant in Hamilton, Ala. The workers there voted to decertify from the United Auto Workers union two years ago but getting the UAW out the door has turned ... (click for more)