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.



Tennessee Tourism Tops 100 Million Visitors

For the first time in history, Tennessee travel has exceeded 100 million domestic person stays; it was announced by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on Tuesday. Tourism results for 2014 reported by D.K. Shifflet & Associates confirm a record-breaking year for Tennessee tourism. D.K. Shifflett & Associates is a national syndicated and custom travel research ... (click for more)

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Dinner On The Diner A Mother's Day Must Do

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is expanding the number of dinner train dates it will be running in 2015.   "Our dinner trains are one of the most requested excursions we provide during the year and people can't get enough of the experience", said Steve Freer, spokesperson for TVRM.  "The quality of the food, combined with the unique atmosphere of dining in ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke To Give State Of The City Address Monday Night

Citizens across the community are invited to attend Mayor Andy Berke’s second annual State of the City address, which will be held Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Chattanoogan Hotel. The event is free and open to the public. “The State of the City is an important time to celebrate our accomplishments, discuss our challenges and chart a new course together,” said Mayor ... (click for more)

Anonymous Facebook Posters Pose Possibility Of Signal Schools Separating From Hamilton County School System

"Should Signal Mountain Schools separate from the Hamilton County School System?"   That’s the question posted on a Facebook page titled, simply, Signal Mountain Independent School District.   The creators of the page do not identify themselves. “(W)e certainly don’t want our kids dragged into the issue or targeted for special treatment by any ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)