The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville’s celebrated gathering place for more than 110 years, today shared details of its upcoming restaurant launch and hotel-wide redesign. The standard-bearer for luxury in Nashville, the 122-room Hermitage will unveil two new dining outlets, a top-to-bottom design refresh of guest rooms and public spaces, and other signature touches, beginning in late October. Charting the way forward for the hotel’s next 100 years, the new enhancements will underscore The Hermitage Hotel’s identity as Nashville’s premier independent luxury hotel and offer the city’s most authentic expression of gracious, modern-day Southern hospitality.
“As stewards of The Hermitage Hotel, we are pleased to help usher in a new era for this Nashville treasure,” said owners Robert and Molly Hardie. “It is rare to see a hotel that is woven so closely into the history and culture of a city. Yet, it’s important to stay in step with the times. We are delighted to unveil a new, world-class dining destination at The Hermitage this fall and welcome guests to a refreshed and revitalized hotel. We could not be more excited for the future of this landmark property.”
Prepare to Meet Drusie & Darr
The centerpiece of The Hermitage Hotel’s multi-year project is Drusie & Darr, a new restaurant and bar from internationally celebrated chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who will oversee the direction of all culinary aspects of the hotel. Admired for his acumen as a chef, tastemaker and businessman operating 40 acclaimed restaurants around the globe, including recently opened Marigold at The Hermitage Hotel’s sister property, Keswick Hall, in Charlottesville, Va., Jean-Georges selected The Hermitage Hotel for his first location in the South. With Drusie & Darr, he has envisioned a convivial, contemporary restaurant and bar that will showcase the abundance of Tennessee’s regional produce, some of which will be sourced from The Hermitage Hotel’s Garden at Glen Leven. The menu, inspired by the seasons and Tennessee’s culinary heritage, will welcome hotel guests and neighbors alike for any occasion – from cocktails and a sophisticated evening out, to a glass of wine and pizza from the wood-fired oven, or a relaxed family dinner.
Opening in late October, the restaurant is named after brother and sister Drusie and Darr Hall, the children of the hotel’s former General Manager, Dick Hall. With a childhood seemingly plucked from a storybook, the duo lived, played and grew up in the hotel during the 1950s and ‘60s, winning over the hearts of staff and guests and having adventures large and small, such as helping the banquet team plate dishes during events and helping the elevator operator run the elevators up and down.
Setting the perfect stage for Drusie & Darr’s spirited cuisine, The Hermitage Hotel’s former Capitol Grille dining room and bar are undergoing a modern update from award-winning interior designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. The mastermind behind the interiors of all Jean-Georges’ restaurants has conceived a glamorous space that will introduce new warmth and ambiance while honoring the room’s iconic architectural details. Juul-Hansen is drawing on a simple palette of natural materials – metal, wood, leather and stone – complemented by dramatic lighting from the world-renowned L’Observatoire International that will uplift the restaurant’s famous arched ceilings. All furnishings, from the mother-of-pearl pendant lamps to the seating, tables and curved banquettes, will be entirely bespoke to Drusie & Darr. A new, dedicated restaurant entrance will be directly accessible from Sixth Avenue, establishing the venue as a dining destination unto itself.
“As one of the world’s premier chefs and restaurateurs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has his pick of cities from which to choose when opening a new location, and I am delighted that he chose The Hermitage Hotel and Nashville for his first restaurant in the South,” said Dee Patel, Managing Director, The Hermitage Hotel. “Many times throughout its history, The Hermitage Hotel has set the tone for dining in Nashville. Drusie & Darr will not only elevate the restaurant scene in Nashville, but it will also put our city on the world culinary stage. We are excited to welcome guests and neighbors to Drusie & Darr this fall.”
For Pastries, Light Bites and Pre-Theater Champagne, Think Pink
Opening in late fall on the corner of Union and Sixth Avenue, The Pink Hermit will be a chic café and take-away conceived by Jean-Georges and The Hermitage Hotel team and designed by Juul-Hansen. Its name is derived from the definition of hermitage as a “secluded retreat,” and this intimate space, clad in pale pink and gray marble, will welcome guests with cozy seating, both indoors and outdoors. The café’s concept will evolve throughout the day – from a coffee bar serving delectable pastries in the morning, to a casual take-away for lunch, and later, a wine bar serving small bites, Champagne and craft cocktails in the evening, perfect for pre- and post-theater gatherings.
A Room for The Ladies
A whimsical punctuation mark to the modern updates of the ground-floor and lower-level restaurants will be a new, 21stcentury answer to The Hermitage Hotel’s famous 1930s-era Art Deco men’s room (Nashville’s original “photo moment”). Debuting this fall will be a glamorous new ladies’ room in a design that will be equally photo-worthy. Taking its cue from the men’s room’s horizontal tilework in stripes of lime green and black, the new ladies’ room will be lavishly decorated with striped walls of variegated pink marble, inlaid marble flooring, arched doorways, rose gold-framed mirrors and glamorous lighting throughout.
Rejuvenating The Social Epicenter of Nashville
Considered one of Nashville’s architectural treasures, the soaring Beaux Arts lobby of The Hermitage Hotel has been lovingly restored and updated to welcome guests with luxurious modern-day comforts. The original 1910 painted glass ceiling, ornamental plaster details and Tennessee marble, all designed by Tennessee architect James E.R. Carpenter, have been meticulously preserved, while the entire space has been brightened with an updated color palette and new furnishings in textured shades of blue and silver. Nearly completed, the lobby refresh features all-new seating, lighting and case goods, creating a warm and inviting setting for an evening drink. Interior design firm Forrest Perkins is overseeing all design updates of the lobby, adjacent ballroom and all guest rooms and suites. The Hermitage Hotel Ballroom, site of many of Nashville’s most important political and social events, will be refreshed with new carpeting, updated lighting and artwork, all selected to complement the room’s striking Circassian walnut paneling.
Guest Room Redesign
The Hermitage Hotel’s oversized guest rooms – averaging 450 to 500 square feet and some of the largest in Nashville – are all undergoing a décor update that will infuse the interiors with a more modern aesthetic and introduce an elevated residential feel. Desks will be replaced with tables that can double as workspaces or be used for in-room dining, and new millwork will conceal updated minibars and other amenities. Deep jewel tones will be replaced with a new neutral color palette, and layers of texture will replace patterns, creating a serene effect. Artwork is being sourced locally and will take inspiration from the history of the hotel and nature-inspired elements from the region. All guest rooms and suites will feature ultra-premium DUXâ beds from Duxianaâ, the world’s foremost makers of technologically advanced luxury beds for nearly 100 years. Redesigned guest rooms will be available by late 2021. The hotel’s three Executive Suites and the Presidential Suite will complete design updates in early 2022.
Known as Nashville’s original million-dollar property, The Hermitage Hotel is a timeless icon of best-in-class, five-star service. The property is recognized as a national historic landmark and has been honored by the Historic Hotels of America for its continued excellence. To learn more about The Hermitage Hotel, please visit TheHermitageHotel.com or follow the hotel on Instagram and Facebook.