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Middle Age Miles

Hotel Review – Hilton Nashville Downtown

The lobby of the Hilton Nashville Downtown, from above

This article is part of our Trip Report – Adventures with Edventure in Nashville.

Summary

Middle Age Miles and Edventure stayed at the Hilton Nashville Downtown for all three nights of our long weekend in Nashville. The Hilton Nashville is an updated all-suites hotel with 11 floors and 330 rooms, smack in the middle of the action in downtown Nashville. It’s beautiful and spacious, having a massive interior atrium with catwalk halls ringing each floor and most of the rooms facing outside – kind of like a super-large highest-end Embassy Suites.

I can nit-pick the Hilton Nashville a little bit, for sure. And it was expensive, although pricing was in the same range as other comparable downtown Nashville hotels for a busy Columbus Day holiday weekend. But that’s why we have points and miles, right? 70,000 Hilton Honors points and two Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificates earned through co-branded credit cards meant that we didn’t pay a dime out of pocket for our room.

Going into this trip, I didn’t really understand how downtown Nashville was laid out or where the action would be. But the Hilton’s location was spot-on perfect. Plus, the room and lobby were quite nice and the people were friendly and helpful. Bottom line, I think we picked the perfect place for our weekend in Nashville, and I would highly recommend the Hilton.

Booking and Rate

I already covered this topic thoroughly in our “How We Got Great Value” article, so I won’t repeat the details here. Broad strokes, Philly and I used 70,000 Hilton Honors (HH) points for Thursday night and Free Weekend Night Certificates for Friday & Saturday nights. Even using points/certificates, we were actually able to book into a room one tier above the base level room – a deluxe suite park view, rather than a standard suite. Note that 70,000 HH points is the standard redemption level for the Hilton Nashville Downtown.

The paid rate was high, but we saved Edventure some money with a couple of tricks – using a corporate rate that was available to me, and booking each of his three nights separately. These techniques saved Edventure at least $400 compared to just booking the three-night block at a standard Hilton Honors rate.

One nuance and minor inconvenience to booking the three Edventure nights separately was that they had to stop by the front desk each day to get new keys. We also had to do this on Friday, between our Thursday night reservation and our Friday/Saturday night reservation. Importantly, we were each able to stay in our same rooms for all three nights, it’s just that for some reason, the Hilton system requires re-keying for each separate reservation. This is consistently true at Hilton properties when I have back-to-back separate reservations, in my recent experience. Strange, but not too much trouble.

I made all of our bookings direct with Hilton, through hilton.com.

Location

As I mentioned above, the location of the Hilton Nashville was absolutely perfect. The main action is on Broadway, which is just 1 block away to the north. The Country Music Hall of Fame is a block away to the south. Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators and site of many concerts (including Bruno Mars on the night after we left), is across the street to the west. And there were several good restaurants within a few blocks, primarily to our east and southeast.

Here’s a map showing the location of the Hilton Nashville Downtown with respect to other popular places and some restaurants that I’ve mentioned in earlier articles in this Trip Report:

Arrival, Check-In and Service

We arrived at the Hilton Nashville Downtown at the main entrance, by Uber. A bellman was available to help us with bags, although we didn’t need assistance.

You enter the Hilton through large automatic revolving doors, into the huge main atrium area. It makes for an impressive entry. The front desk is to the right. We checked in using the dedicated line for Hilton Honors elite guests. We did have a short wait, but after that, everything went smoothly. I guided the desk clerk through the fact that we had 2 separate reservations, one for Thursday night and another for Friday/Saturday nights. There was no problem in linking the reservations and keeping us in the same room for all 3 nights (although as I mentioned earlier, we would need to visit the front desk sometime on Friday to get re-keyed).

Hilton Nashville Downtown – looking from the main entrance toward the right to see the front desk for check-in

Edventure had checked in before us. There was potential confusion, as I’d booked the Edventure room under my name, with Ed as the additional guest. Plus, his 3 nights were each under separate reservations. Despite the complexity, he was able to check in fine as well, including that the hotel was able to change the room over to his name and Hilton Honors (HH) number so that he could get his HH points for the stay.

Service was friendly throughout the hotel during our entire stay. We’d give a special shout-out to Flo at the concierge desk. She was helpful in making suggestions and giving us contact information for the golf-cart tour that we wanted to take, and she also provided us with some useful maps and coupons (that of course we promptly forgot to use!).

Room

We were assigned to Room 325, a 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view, just as we’d booked. The hotel was completely full for at least one night during the weekend and otherwise near-capacity, so I wasn’t really expecting an upgrade despite our Diamond elite guest status. This was convenient in that it was very close to Edventure’s room, but it was a long walk around from the elevator lobby to our room.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – location of room 325 (lower left; note that the elevators are in the upper right)

Once we entered the room, it was very nice and spacious. You enter directly into the “parlor”/living area. Immediately to the left is the restroom, with a tv and cabinets just past the restroom entry, and then an open doorway to the bedroom. Immediately to the right of the entry is the decent-sized work desk with chair and lamp. And the main living area contains a large couch/lounger, a chair, coffee table, and floor lamp. It’s a nice, sleek, comfortable, modern room.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – looking into the restroom from the entry/parlor

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – living room tv with cabinets

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – work desk, chair and lamp

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – looking into the living room from the entry (see Bridgestone Arena across the street in the background)

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – looking the other direction, from the window back into the living room

The cabinets around the living room tv contained an ice bucket and glasses, a Cuisinart coffee maker and set-up, a nice-sized mini-fridge that worked well, and a small safe.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – ice bucket and glasses

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – coffee maker and set-up

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – mini-fridge

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – safe

The living room also had a modern thermostat, which actually worked, although we had to set it at a lower temp than you’d expect. For example, if we wanted the room to be 69 at night, we’d need to set the thermostat to 65.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – modern, working thermostat

The bathroom had 2 doors, so it could be accessed directly from either the living room or the bedroom. It had a single sink but nice counter space and some handy storage cubbies underneath. The mirror had one of those lighted frames that I love so much because it makes my eyes pop (haha!). A lighted magnifying mirror is also provided.

The bathroom had a stand-up shower with a nice shower head with plenty of hot water and good water pressure, the only problem being that it was impossible to turn on the water without getting pretty wet. Toiletries were by Crabtree & Evelyn.

[I suppose that this is the appropriate place to express my sadness that Hilton seems to no longer stock my very favorite toiletry, the orange-scented body wash from Peter Thomas Roth. I really miss it. Please, Hilton, can we please have it back???]

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – bathroom sink and mirror

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – stand-up shower

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries

The separate bedroom had a king-sized bed. The bed faced another large tv, built into a cabinet that also contained several drawers. Each side of the bed had its own nightstand with lamp, and behind each lamp built into the wall was a power port with electrical plugs and USB ports. The bedroom also contained a sliding-door closet with a few hangers and a decent amount of space.

We found the bed to be plenty comfortable and had no complaints.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – bedroom

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – bedroom tv and drawers

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – left nightstand with phone (electrical plug and USB port are behind the lamp)

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – right nightstand with lamp and clock (electrical plug and USB port are behind the lamp)

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – bedroom closet

The view from the room looked out over a small park, with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on the other side of the park and the Omni Hotel just past the Hall of Fame. Bridgestone Arena was also across the street to the right.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – view of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Omni Hotel, from room 325

Hilton Nashville Downtown – 1-bedroom deluxe suite park view – view of Bridgestone Arena from room 325

Lobby

The design of the Hilton Nashville Downtown gives it a large, dramatic atrium lobby with a ceiling 11 floors up. Immediately in front when you enter are a bar and a sweeping double staircase up to the 2nd floor. To the left are the hotel’s Market Street restaurant where breakfast is served, along with an entrance to the Trattoria Il Mulino Italian restaurant. There’s also a grand piano to the left.  To the right are some sitting areas, the bellman’s desk, a small area with computer stations, and the front desk.

The lobby area is very nice and quite impressive. If I had to nit-pick, I’d say that the bar area is not terribly inviting – we never had a drink there – and the bellman has to rope off one of the seating areas in the front to store luggage, which is a bit of an eyesore. All in all, these are small complaints about a very nice space.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – overhead view of most of the lobby area

Hilton Nashville Downtown lobby – looking directly from the main entrance into the bar and main staircases

Hilton Nashville Downtown lobby – looking from the main entrance to the left, toward the Market Street restaurant and the grand piano

Hilton Nashville Downtown lobby – Market Street restaurant

Hilton Nashville Downtown lobby – entrance to Trattoria Il Mulino Italian restaurant

Hilton Nashville Downtown – lobby bar (Symphony Lounge)

Hilton Nashville Downtown lobby – looking up toward the atrium ceiling at night

Fitness Center

The fitness center at the Hilton Nashville Downtown was small and rather basic. It’s located on the first floor, past the front desk and down a short hallway. Unfortunately, the fitness center has no views. It contains 4 nice new LifeFitness treadmills and 3 LifeFitness elliptical machines. There are also a few dumbells, a bench, and a weight training machine. Finally, there’s a towel station and water cooler. It’s fine but nothing fancy.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – fitness center treadmills

Hilton Nashville Downtown – fitness center LifeFitness treadmill screen and controls

Hilton Nashville Downtown – fitness center elliptical machines

Hilton Nashville Downtown – fitness center dumbells and weight machine

Hilton Nashville Downtown – fitness center towel station and water cooler

Lounge

Another place where I’d nit-pick about the Hilton Nashville Downtown is the club lounge. The lounge is located on the first floor, down a short hallway past the check-in desk (the entrance is near the fitness center).

Physically, the lounge is nice, consistent with the rest of the hotel. It has some comfortable sitting areas and a cool enclosed fireplace that makes for a good-looking and cozy space. But the food selection for breakfast was uninspiring. When I visited, there wasn’t a lot of food, and the area wasn’t kept quite as tidy as I would have liked. You could have eaten breakfast there, but it wouldn’t have been a hearty one.

Another downside to the lounge is that, after breakfast on Friday and Saturday, it was closed for the rest of the day. I had hoped that it would be open to grab some water or soda and perhaps even relax in the nice seating area. But alas, no. I found this to be quite disappointing.

Hilton Nashville Downtown – club lounge nice sitting area with enclosed fireplace

Hilton Nashville Downtown – club lounge breakfast

Hilton Nashville Downtown – club lounge coffee machine and cooler with water bottles

Hilton Nashville Downtown – breakfast cereal and juice stations

One Other Note

I had one other note that I think is worth mentioning, although it doens’t really fit neatly into any of the other sections at this review. During our stay, Philly needed to purchase something she’d forgotten at home, so we went down to the hotel gift shop. We were expecting the price to be high, but even at that, it was double what we were expecting – and about 4-5 times what we would have expected to pay at a normal pharmacy or grocery store. That seemed a bit excessive, even for the convenience of purchasing right at the hotel. It’s just one more nit-pick of an overall great stay, but I certainly wanted to share the experience with Middle Age Miles readers.

Conclusion

As we said at the top, we believe we picked the perfect hotel for our Nashville Adventure with Edventure. The hotel was very nice, and the location couldn’t be beat. Paid rates were high – and in some spot-checks today, that seems to be the case generally; Nashville is popular and this hotel in particular is in very high demand! But we beat the system by using Hilton Honors points and Free Weekend Night Certificates to stay at this very nice hotel without paying a dollar out of pocket.

Have you stayed at the Hilton Nashville Downtown? What did you think? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


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