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“Hit or Miss”
Review of Hermitage Hotel

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Hermitage Hotel
Ranked #3 of 154 Hotels in Nashville
Certificate of Excellence
Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Hit or Miss”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I've been to the Hermitage four times, and amazingly, have very different stories to tell from each visit. This has to do mainly with the range in the quality of the staff.

When I first stayed at the Hermitage with my wife, we agreed that it certainly earned its 5 star rating because of the hotel's elegance and outstanding service. Unfortunately, visit #4 registered as an incredible disappointment, and nothing more than a 2 star experience...and because this is the most recent visit and reflects my opinion of the current staff, I've gone with the 2 star ranking above. (Although I rated certain individual criteria at 4 stars, I consider "service", "value", and "sleep quality" the most important criteria which further explains the overall ranking.) Such a bold statement of incompetency for a local landmark deserves explanation - which follows below.

I've recently embarked on a long road trip determined to see the best in a variety of cities across 14 states, including Nashville, Boulder, Fort Worth, etc., a journey to be highlighted in a blog with 1,000+ friends and acquaintances. I arrived at the Hermitage after a 500+ mile drive, excited to return to the hotel, hungry for a bite to eat. When I stopped at the Oak Room Bar, I was told that I could only order from the (very) limited bar menu. When I asked if exceptions could be made, the bartender refused to even check with the kitchen and I was told that I had to wait another hour, even though there were fewer than 10 people there. Because the main restaurant wasn't open either, that meant it was bar food or nothing.

Fast forward a few hours, and after enjoying some local music, I decided to come back to the Hermitage to give the Oak Room Bar another chance, hopeful that I would get more cheerful staff, willing to provide 5 star service, which (in my book) means occasionally going above and beyond. When I went back downstairs, I noticed that the Oak Room Bar was still mostly empty, with only 8 people at the bar and no one at the tables. When a server finally approached me, I emphatically greeted her (because I really wanted the Hermitage to "wow" me and wanted to get off to a good start) to which she responded coldly, "Can I help you?"

After getting seated and waiting 5 minutes or so, she finally came by and asked for my order. I didn't want one of the sides and simply asked if I could substitute one side for another. She proceeded to take the menu from my hand and stare at the options for what seemed like a minute. After a few seconds, I would've simply accepted a "yes" or "no" because this became incredibly awkward. Finally, she responded that she "thought" it could be done, as if some huge favor was just done. But now with people looking back from the bar, I was ready to head out. You would think some flexibility would be available at a bar where it cost $40 for an entree!

(To put 5 star service in perspective and to frame my expectations of "greatness", shortly after arriving in Fort Worth, Texas, (later in my trip), I hit Lonesome Dove. This would be the restaurant run by Tim Love, winner of the Iron Chef. When I walked in and greeted the staff similarly to the Oak Room Bar staff, speaking of my long journey, they offered me samples of their incredible cucumber soup, the Elk sausage sliders (even more incredible!), and a whiskey/ginger beer libation. In Boulder at Bitter Bar (adjacent to St Julien's Hotel & Spa), I met the bar manager who promptly introduced me to the staff and offered me a sample of their best concoctions. At St. Julien's, they expanded the happy hour menu to include IPA drinks as a favor to their guests. There were no hard and fast pretentious rules, even with these institutions that are best in class.)

Back to this story...

Starving, I headed to the front desk, where they promptly asked how I was enjoying my visit. I wasn't quite sure how to say it but just started venting my frustrations. I explained about both attempts to get served and how they were unrewarding. Then, came a shockingly unprofessional response.

Without witnessing what transpired, the girl at the front desk felt compelled to defend the workers in the Oak Room Bar. When I asked where I should eat, she continued by saying "SOMEONE DRESSED LIKE YOURSELF..." before making her recommendation.

That's right, "SOMEONE DRESSED LIKE YOURSELF".

1) I can't imagine saying something so unprofessional. It's not for anyone to judge attire, especially not someone in the service industry. She could have simply suggested restaurants and noted whether they were casual, business casual, or professional. However, after deciding that she needed to pick sides, she felt compelled to take her shots. If you don't truly care about the experiences of your guests, please don't ask.

2) The funny part is that I was wearing a collared green shirt, khakis and dark shoes. I don't feel the need to defend my attire or appearance, but for anyone reading this, I felt the need to paint an accurate mental picture. It's not as if I was wandering around the hotel covered in a towel with dirty toes poking out from flip-flops!

Needless to say, I didn't eat one meal in the Hermitage, instead dining at Puckett's which turned out to be a very pleasant surprise with solid food and a courteous staff.

The next day was somewhat better thanks to the one diamond in the rough - the concierge - who helped to book a massage at the Spa even when I was originally told there wasn't availability. Unfortunately, it was difficult to sleep either night because of the noise made by the air conditioning unit. This wasn't an issue during any of my earlier visits, but was a factor during visit #4.

The most disappointing part of all of this is that I'm currently planning the annual business trip for my staff and business clients and I had my eye on the Hermitage and Nashville. In fact, I was so set on hitting the Hermitage that I made it sound like heading to Nashville later this year was a done deal. Now, people are curious why there's been such an abrupt change in plans, but I don't have the heart to share all the details with them, because it's just that embarrassing.

The bottom line is that I could never risk a colleague getting turned away from a meal of their choice in a luxury hotel or being spoken the phrase "SOMEONE DRESSED LIKE YOURSELF".

(On a side note, I've protected the names of the staff that I found to provide subpar service because I don't see the value of slamming people on-line. However, if the Hermitage sees it fit to actually follow-up on this message, I'm more than happy to provide specific names and examples of good & bad service in a one-on-one discussion. Hopefully, other hotel visitors enjoy better experiences going-forward.)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank ACE44444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janet K, Public Relations Manager at Hermitage Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you so much for taking your time to share your experience with us.

We apologize that we did not meet your expectations during your stay and would, as you suggested, certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you further about your visit. Our goal is to always go above and beyond for our guests to create a luxurious experience for them and we take it very seriously when we fail. We would appreciate your comments and feedback on how we can better improve our guest services. We are happy to reach out to you, or, so that you may call at your leisure, I can be reached directly at 615-345-7120 or jkurtz@thehermitagehotel.com. Secondly, our Assistant General Manager, Dee Patel, may be reached directly at 615-345-7127 or dpatel@thehermitagehotel.com.

Again, thank you for taking your time to share your experiences with us. We look forward to speaking with you future.

Warm Regards,
Janet
Janet Kurtz
Director of Sales & Marketing
The Hermitage Hotel | Capitol Grille | Oak Bar | Rachel’s Boutique | Double H Farms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

After staying in four different hotels in Nashville, ranging from Sheraton to Hyatt, I could say with strong confidence that The Hermitage is in a different class than other hotels in Nashville.

The room is relaxing and spacious, the room service is prompt and attentive, and the lobby elegant. But the best thing about this property is their bath room!! They have a separate shower and bath tub as many 5-star properties do, but the pressure of the shower is like a mini massage. I really enjoy getting the shower twice a day and soak in the bath tub nightly to take all the stress away. =)

The only minor problem for this property is that their loyalty program is not very good, according to my colleague who has stayed here regularly year-round.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Duke W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Wow ! What a great place to stay. The staff was extremely nice and accommodating. The rooms were beautiful. We had a great time and would highly recommend this hotel. The Capital Grille had a delicious breakfast at a very reasonable price. The dinner's are a little pricey but definitely worth it. They have their own farm and raise their cattle and grow their vegetables. What a nice treat. Fitness center was great ! Say hello to Deb at the Oak Bar for us. Just mention 56/57 and she will make sure you are smiling. Great place !

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rox494
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

This was an EXCELLENT place to stay - the service is absolutely impeccable! I don't know who trains their people but it is remarkable. The building is very historic and stunningly beautiful. The room was perfect in every way. It is not cheap but worth it if you are splurging a bit. Also don't miss the in house restaurant - Capital Grill - which is not part of the chain. This is farm to table dining and again impeccable in every way! Great location to all the sights!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kelly b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aledo, TX
Level Contributor
274 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

We spent four nights of our vacation at The Hermitage, and did not want to leave. We were treated with gracious hospitality! It is a fantastic location with a fabulous staff, and the perfect location!!!

This is a gem.....Four Seasons type property with an even more personal touch!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank aledo99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

My stay at Hermitage was PERFECT. From the moment we arrived the service, attention to detail, friendliness of staff, room cleanliness, and overall comfort was absolutely perfect. I look forward to staying here again.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mmargolis60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We visited this hotel for a one night stay in Nashville. The wonderful service started the minute we pulled up. There was a valet ready to talk our car and a doorman who opened the door. We also had a bellhop who took our bags right away. We did have a snafu at check-in (booked a king room, but was given a 2 queen bedroom), but the desk clerk talked to her manager and it got straightened out very quickly. We loved the room. The decor was very posh and classy. There was instrumental music playing in the room when we got in. The king sized bed was so comfortable. The bathtub was AMAZING!! I wanted to bring it home with me. The toiletries were wonderful and smelled nice. There were bathrobes and slippers in the room that were so cozy. The concierge was helpful when we wanted to make reservations at a local restaurant. In the morning we went down for breakfast and we were very happy with our server Corey. He was extremely pleasant and made this pregnant woman very happy by getting me a waffle, even though it wasn't on the menu. The food was very tasty and filling. We also appreciated that the staff stored our bags and let us keep our car in valet parking when we went to a museum after checkout. Overall this stay was delightful!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Christy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hermitage Hotel

Property: Hermitage Hotel
Address: 231 Sixth Ave North, Nashville, TN 37219-1903
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Tennessee > Davidson County > Nashville > Downtown Nashville
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 154 Hotels in Nashville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hermitage Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in 1910, The Hermitage Hotel is Tennessee's only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Hotel. At Nashville's oldest and original hotel, come experience true southern hospitality and charm. ... more   less 
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