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“Great find in Knoxville” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Oliver Hotel

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The Oliver Hotel
407 Union Avenue, (corner of Market Square), Knoxville, TN 37902 (Formerly The Hotel St. Oliver)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 89 Hotels in Knoxville
Charleston, SC
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Great find in Knoxville”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I, along with my in-laws, all stayed at The Oliver Hotel over Thanksgiving while visiting family who live in Knoxville. We all enjoyed our stay at The Oliver Hotel and would definitely stay here again. Without repeating some of the reviews below, I will offer the following information:

THE GOOD
Check-in on Thanksgiving day was wonderful and friendly and the front desk even put our Thanksgiving items in the large refrig in the bar for saving. We loved the complimentary upgrades for a Tweet program and my husband and I were placed in a King Suite, Room 215. This room overlooks Market Square in the bedroom, which was a lovely view. However, the other rooms had absolutely no view whatsoever and were very dim with next to no natural light. I loved the magnifying mirror in the bathroom for putting on my makeup. We also utilized the free self-parking in the nearby garage, Market Square Garage. I didn't have a problem with the very brief walk from the garage to the hotel. The televisions in the room are very nice and wall mounted. The furniture is also very current. Free-wifi, ipod docking station, Frette linens, in-room coffee, fridge, and laptop safe were all great amenities. Obviously, the location cannot be beat.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
Make no bones about it, the rooms above Market Square are loud. My husband and I are in our early 30s so were up late anyway, but if you have children or go to bed early you might not appreciate the noise. Of course, we were there during Thanksgiving when they had just opened the ice-skating rink and were having all kinds of Holiday celebrations in the square (which I loved) so there was ample music and goings on. The windows are not soundproof glass. Also the plantation shutters on the windows are not the same as black out drapes and the room is pretty bright in the morning. I also heard the lady in the room next to us sneeze. Just something to be aware of.

In all 3 rooms our group were in, we all complained about the lack of overhead lighting in each of the rooms. Other reviews have also commented on the dim lighting. Virtually everything is lamplight with no overheads. I believe this is due to the historic nature of the building and inability to run wiring overhead. Nevertheless, the rooms are pretty dark. Also, I am not personally a fan of the shampoo/conditioner dispensers in the shower that are refilled by housekeeping. Personally, I like my own mini size shampoos and conditioners that are presealed. That way, I know the product is not being watered down or exchanged out for a cheaper/alternative product. I am not suggesting that that is what The Oliver does, but there is just something about having a sealed mini shampoo of my own that I like. I just didn't like the concept and the dispensers were difficult to operate.

We all collectively complained about the lack of water pressure and colder water temperature of the showers. Again, not something that much can be done about but don't expect a piping hot steam shower. Also, I like a hot bath and none of the rooms have a tub. Just something to be aware of. I also would have enjoyed a newspaper sitting at my doorstep each day. I am a nitpicker though.

All in all, the hotel choices in this region of Tennessee (heck, the entire state of Tennessee for that matter) are not your top of the line options. However, The Oliver is a great current hotel that has awesome historic roots. Many of the items I addressed are due to the historic nature of the property and no fault of management. Trust me, there is not a better option for lodging in Knoxville or anywhere in the near vicinity unless you want to stay at a Hampton Inn (which I do not). The Oliver is doing so much right and I would definitely stay here again if I am back in the Knoxville area.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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279 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I stayed for 4 nights during a conference and had some minor problems with the room electronics, but the staff was on it and shared information so all were aware and even gave us a discount upon checkout. They were friendly and professional and I would absolutely recommend them to my friends and family. The rooms were clean and comfortable but a little dim. The downstairs bar is unique with excellent customer service and unique drinks you can not get anywhere else in town. Finally, you are one block away from all the shops, no need for a rental to get around.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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san francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Great, small boutique hotel, just off Market Square in downtown Knoxville. Friendly and helpful front desk staff. King size room was very comfortable and well appointed and the bathroom was good sized. We were able to walk everywhere that we wanted to go and several restaurants and bars are within steps. The best kept secret is the "speakeasy" that is part of The Oliver. If we ever go to Knoxville again, we will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

My family and I had to come to town unexpectedly for a funeral and were concerned that The Oliver may not be able to accommodate us because of the late notice, considering it was UT Homecoming weekend....NOT SO! As always, this staff MAKES THINGS HAPPEN! AJ, Michelle (good luck in NY) and Samuel made everything seamless for us. We were also able to meet the BEST BARTENDER in K-Town, Amanda! I can’t thank The Oliver staff enough for ALWAYS putting the customer first in everything they do and for always making us feel right at home!

Room Tip: They are all amazing rooms, but if it's your first visit, shoot to get room 312!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sevierville
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Overall, the experience was fantastic. Only complaint would be that I was so looking forward to a wonderful shower in their beautifully appointed bathroom... There was very little water pressure and luke warm at best.... otherwise, a wonderful time. Will definitely stay again, preferably market square side next visit.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hollywood, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

We loved the Oliver because the location is perfect. Located right on the market, we waked to everything, including the old city, down to the Tennessee river got lunch, out to dinner Etc. the staff was very friendly and helpful. The valet for the car did cost $15 for the one night, but it is cheaper than self park garage. The bathroom was large and they supply you with everything you could need. We even got a free upgrade to a large 2 Room king suite. The hotel bar, tucked away behind a sliding library wall door had such character, you have to have one drink in there. Glass of wine for $7 was fair. The popular restaurant "tupelo honey" just opened in same building of the hotel and is the hotel's room service. While staying herd in Knoxville we enjoyed: "Boyd's jig and reel " & "crown & goose" pub for a drink in old city area (a lil more our style since market area Is younger college kids). We ate sushi at "Nama", lunch on Tennessee river at "calhoun's" and visited the Knoxville fire department (they were very hospitable and let us tour their trucks & they have historic items on display ). Really enjoyed Knoxville & the Oliver is a must if you want to stay downtown.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012 via mobile

Thanks for an excellent experience in Knoxville. Very helpful staff. Tidy minimalist rooms with stylish decorations. Any time we are back in Knoxvillw we will only stay here. A new kind of hotel experience.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Oliver Hotel

Address: 407 Union Avenue, (corner of Market Square), Knoxville, TN 37902 (Formerly The Hotel St. Oliver)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Tennessee > Knoxville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Knoxville
#4 Romantic Hotel in Knoxville
#9 Family Hotel in Knoxville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the heart of Knoxville just steps away from the hustle and bustle of Market Square, The Oliver Hotel is an original expression of the city. Originally built in 1876 as the Peter Kern Bakery, the building had hosted everything from the Kern's candy counter and soda fountain to a drugstore, and dancing hall. In 2011, the property was renovated into what is now Knoxville's only boutique hotel with a style that plays tribute to the buildings history, while offering guests rooms with charm, sophistication, and modern amenities. The property is also well known for its Peter Kern Library Bar and the award winning Tupelo Honey Cafe Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel St Oliver

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