Hotel Group: Kimpton Hotels (InterContinental Hotels Group)
Hotel Category: 60,000 IHG points
Hotel Status: Platinum
Booking Type: IHG credit card free night
Room Type: Skyline King
Date of Stay: February 2018
The Kimpton Aertson hotel opened its doors on June 14, 2017 at the Aertson mix-development complex at the corner of 21st Avenue and Broadway in the midtown neighborhood. The name Aertson pays tribute to Dutch immigrant Jan Aertson whose great-great grandson and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt donated one million dollars to help establish Vanderbilt University. In almost half the rooms at the Aertson hotel, you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the University.
The hotel offers twelve different room types and consists of 180 rooms, including 12 suites. The amenities include an 8th floor outdoor pool, fitness center with complementary PUBLIC cruiser bikes, a free wine hour from 5pm-6pm, An American brassiere named Henley, and direct access to the Woodhouse Spa. Overnight valet parking is $35 a night and like all Kimpton hotels they are pet friendly when it comes to your four-legged friends.
I used my free IHG credit card anniversary night to reserve my room. Up until a few days ago, you could use this free night at any IHG hotel that had availability for a base room. Sadly, IHG has now limited this to hotels that are 40,000 points and below. If you’d like to use points for this hotel, it will cost you 60,000 IHG points. The room rate during my stay was $370.15.
Note; I had to call and book this over the phone as it kept showing no availability using points on the IHG app.
I was immediately greeted by a valet who gave me a warm welcome but didn’t ask if I needed assistance with my bags, not that I needed it, but they should have asked. The receptionist was friendly and informed me I had been upgraded to a Skyline King. A view is something I value very much so I was happy for the upgrade. She handled formalities quickly and after a few questions about where the pool and fitness center were located, I was off to the room. Here is a photo of the reception desk as well as some information about it.
The lobby or as they call it, the Living Room, is a luxury meets functional space with herringbone tiled floors, a double-sided fireplace with a curtain of river stones, and reclaimed wood ceilings. The furniture is comfortable as well as fashionable. The fireplace is the first thing to greet you when you walk in, and it really sets the tone for what the hotel offers. It’s one of the more visually stunning lobbies I’ve seen at a hotel in a while.
The Skyline King clocks in at 315 sq ft with a seating area featuring a chaise lounge, a 50in TV, mini bar, Carrara marble bathroom, and original art from Hatch Show Print. One thing to take note of is there is no coffee machine in the rooms, but if you insist on having one, they are more than happy to bring a Keurig up to the room. I don’t drink coffee but having a coffee machine in the room is essential for most people. I’m glad they are willing to accommodate guest who need their coffee first thing in the morning. For those who can wait, they offer coffee and tea in the living room from 6am-10am.
The bed was soft with plush pillows, and both nightstands had easy access to outlets. The closet is located in the entryway. It housed several things, including one of the best bathrobes I’ve seen in a hotel. It was thick, comfortable and had a HOOD! I love bathrobes with hoods. I felt like a boxer walking around in the robe.
The mini bar and safe are located near the door and closet. There was a wide array of snacks, candy, drinks, and alcoholic beverages to choose from. The prices were somewhat reasonable. Sodas were $4, which is a bit high but most places try to get away with $5. That extra dollar drives me crazy. I was disappointed there were no free waters in the room but being a Platinum member with IHG, I was given a $10 drink voucher to be used in the hotel bar or for mini bar drinks. I chose to use mine at the bar.
The in-room WiFi was solid with good speed during my entire stay.
Last but not least, the views. I requested before my arrival for a room with a good view. I was pleased with the city views especially at night.
The marble bathroom was beautifully designed and spacious. The large stand up shower had a small bench inside it which I’m sure is a hit with everyone. The towels were thick and plush. The one thing I was disappointed with was the hairdryer. It was the one hairdryer I see the most in hotels the Andis ceramic ionic 1875 with no concentration attachments. With everything this hotel does well, they should really think about upgrading to a better hairdryer or at least get concentration attachments for it.
The toiletries were Atelier Bloem, I’d much prefer individual bottles instead of in-shower dispensers, but I get it. It’s a cost-saving measure, and it really does cut down on plastic waste. I stay in hotels quite frequently and enjoy taking the toiletries I like with me, but like I said it makes sense to do it this way. I just hope they are well cleaned after every guest.
The seasonal outdoor pool is located on the 8th floor and is open from April 2 through October. The pool has great views overlooking Vanderbilt University. It was closed during my stay, but as you can see it seemed to be up and running. I asked the receptionist about this, and she told me she thought it was still open to residents who live in the Aertson mix-development complex, which the hotel is connected to. I never got official word on this, so I can’t be certain. Nevertheless, along with the pool are cabanas, lounge chairs, and a covered bar area. My only complaint is it’s just 3ft deep.
The fitness center is located on the 2nd floor. I loved the murals of local running trails, and the cardio and weight machines were top-notch. The fitness area was spotless.
Henley is located on the lobby floor. It’s a modern American brassiere with a focus on using local ingredients to make small plates and entrees using French techniques. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even has a late-night menu until 12:30am.
I had a couple of small plates at the bar for dinner, along with some cocktails. They run a happy hour from 4pm-6pm everyday featuring eight different Manhattans for $8. As a Manhattan lover, I figured I’d better have a few, so I started with the chocolate Manhattan. I was kind of talked into it by the bartender. I had a feeling, I wouldn’t like it much, but I went against my judgment and ordered one. It was a really well made cocktail, but it wasn’t for me. Second one I ordered was a perfect Manhattan. This one was more my speed and was quite enjoyable. The first small plate I ordered was the scallop carpaccio with a spicy buttermilk, blood orange, Ga olive oil finished with fennel. As much as I wanted to love it, I didn’t. I think the buttermilk and blood orange over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. After that, I ordered an old favorite, beef tartare. The beef was from Bear Creek and featured sunchoke, quail egg and black garlic with brioche. It was one of my favorite beef tartare’s I’ve had in some time. The combinations of the beef and black garlic were spot on. I highly recommend it. Even though I didn’t love everything I ordered I still had an enjoyable time, and service was fantastic. I would have no problem recommending Henley to anyone.
Like all Kimpton hotels, they have a wine hour from 5pm-6pm. It’s located at the end of the living room. I was expecting a white wine and red wine choice, but when I arrived, they had hors d’oeuvres, beer on tap and wine. The hushpuppies were excellent and the beer they had on draft was a citrus wheat beer, I assume the beer rotates every week or so. It was a lively spot when I showed up at 5:30pm, about all the seats in the living room were taken. It’s a great spot to mingle and meet other guests.
Room service menu is on the TV menu list. Here is a sample of the items offered.
I’ll give service an 8/10. I wish I could have given them a better score for service as the general manager Mark Hayes did a great job communicating with me prior to my arrival. However, a few things were missed. First off, The valet/bellhop not offering to help with luggage is not a big deal, but it shouldn’t happen. Secondly, I was skipped on turn down service. I went to the front desk late that night to ask if they did offer turndown service and they said yes, but couldn’t communicate on what they actually do during turndown service. There was not a single thing that had changed in my room when I arrived back late that evening. Like before, not a big deal, but there was no reason for me to be missed. Lastly, when I checked out I was assured my final bill would be emailed to me. After two days of not receiving it, I had to call and have them send it over. Last thing I want to do is have to call a hotel to get my bill, total waste of my time. All these things are minor and didn’t really affect my stay too much, but this property, as good as it is, should get these things correct.
With that said about service, I still had a fantastic stay at the Kimpton Aertson. I loved my room and the facilities. The pool area, come warm months, has to be a top stop in Nashville, without a doubt. Even though I didn’t get to meet the General Manager, Mark Hayes, I was a big fan of his. His quick communications to me about my needs prior to arrival were fantastic. I usually get information on GM’s when I travel to nice hotels, just to see where they’ve worked and general info. In one interview he gave, he said one of my favorite quotes about hotels. “A hotel can be either a bed between two walls, or it can be a full-blown experience.” I would have no problem recommending this property if you are looking for a nice place to stay in Nashville.
Have you stayed here, what is your favorite hotel in Nashville?