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:
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.
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.
- 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