Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day at The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville

The men took mom and I to brunch at The Hermitage Hotel this morning. It is always a joy to visit The Hermitage Hotel for any occasion.

Commissioned by 250 Nashvillians in 1908, The Hotel Hermitage (named after Andrew Jackson's Hermitage estate) opened its doors on Saturday, Sept. 17, 1910. The new hotel, which would change its name in the 1940s, advertised its rooms as "fireproof, noiseproof, and dustproof, $2.00 and up."

Only the finest materials were used: Italian sienna marble in the entrance; wall panels of Russian walnut; a cut, stained glass ceiling in the vaulted lobby; Persian rugs; and massive, overstuffed furniture.

Downstairs, adjoining the Oak Bar, was the Grille Room (now The Capitol Grille), which was originally planned as a rathskeller. The room was built by craftsmen imported from Germany and emerged as a private club for men only.

The old bathroom is still there, in all its Art Deco splendor. And I do mean ART DECO. The kid went in and took some pics for me this time. I have been in there before, though. When my sister-in-law MJ was here, we asked some workmen to look in and see if it was empty so we could take a peek (not a pee!). We snuck in and took all kinds of fun pictures of everyone sitting on the shoe-shine chairs, talking on the old phone, using the beautiful chartreuse/sea-foamy green sinks, etc. (Didn't play with the green toilets, we are ladies, ya know.) But, we do have fun, don't we? It is one of the funnest rooms I have been in. (Is that even right?) Maybe because I adore Art Deco and appreciate the colors and the brashness of it all. Isn't it wonderful? All this in a bath. I didn't know about the men's-only club down by the bathroom, but that explains it, doesn't it.

We had brunch in the Grand Ballroom. I tried to take some pics, but they didn't come out too well. I kept the flash off so I wouldn't bother other patrons. I did find a couple online so you can see the detail a little better that what I got today. (You'll know right away which ones are mine--dark and blurred from movement--sorry!) The family always cringes when I start in with the camera. Hey, I come from a family of photographers, what do they expect? Before the remodel about five years ago, this room was all painted black. It is amazing what they did to restore it back to its original beauty. The detail is remarkable, all done in gold leaf. It is simply breathtaking.

One of my favorite areas of the hotel (besides the men's bath, of course) is the veranda. The ceilings are painted with beautiful, tranquil clouds. I have always wanted to have my bedroom ceiling done like this. I wasn't able to go up there today, because it was being used for the brunch. Didn't want to be rude and lean over someone to take some pics of the ceiling--"oh, excuse me!" I would love to have some type of reception in this room. Weddings down the line perhaps? hehe. I wish you could see the colors up close. Tranquil is how I describe it.

The lobby is so pretty. I can just imagine all the people coming and going out of here over the years. It's places like this that make me wish I could go back in time--just to observe. Oh I'd love it!

The sconces are angels holding the lights. They are so exquisite, I'd love to have a couple of these--like they'd fit anywhere in my house!

And then there are the old photos hanging about. My favorite is of Gene Autry, America's favorite singing cowboy (of Back in the Saddle Again) fame. That's his horse next to him, El Morrocco, checking into the hotel many years ago. And look at this one of a banquet. Now that's what I call a banquet baby!
This was a pretty little nook by the women's bath (of no comparison to the men's). I loved the mix-matched chairs. The stained glass here is even lovelier than the ceiling. (It wasn't as yellow as this. The tungsten lighting yellows it. Can you tell the last two shots were in the same area?)

Well, that's all I have on the hotel. I've never stayed there, but I have had a tour of the rooms. They are very nice, needless to say. Perhaps one day, before we leave Nashville, we'll have to stay a night or two.

The hub cleaned our closet out for Mother's Day. The best present ever! I swear, I am the worst at closets. I always told the prehub to never look in my closet when we were dating--that a monster lived in there. So, now when we finally break down and clean ours, it's known as "slaying the monster." The monster has been slayed, and now all I have to do is go through all my junk! Hey, I don't expect him to completely do my side. I'll hang all my stuff up, thank you very much.

Happy Mother's Day!! There's clothes to be found! (Can't wait to see what I say "Oh yea, I forgot about that piece, too bad it doesn't fit me anymore" to.) I'm actually a little afraid of what I might find he did! hehe.


suanne said...

Hi Rosy: I read your entry TWICE looking for the picture of the food and the price of the brunch ... it's not there. So? :-)

Rosa said...

Suanne: I always forget to take pictures of my plate and the ones of the hot trays didn't come out. Sorry everyone!

Linda said...

It looks like you had an incredible mother's day. One of my favorite periods ever for architecture is Art Deco. The clean lines appeal to me.
Closets-sigh. Mine are always horrible, and my kitchen drawers as well. I can't stand clutter on the counters so I just shove it all into drawers-drives my husband nuts.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Woaw, how lucky! That sounded very interesting; I'm sure you had a very good day.

I love Art Deco and I was very interested by this beautiful and unique place! I was blown away by the sheer beauty of this hotel; those pictures made my day...

paris parfait said...

I lived in Nashville briefly, but before they had remodeled the Hermitage. Thanks for these great photos and the history lesson - as well as the funny fit about your closet!

Bud said...

I was in this hotel in l960, it still looks like a beautiful place.

Connie and Rob said...

This looks so incredible. Wish I could have tagged along. What a special place.

So glad you got to celebrate in such elegance.

Take care,

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