Home Art 8 of the best places to stay in Tennessee

8 of the best places to stay in Tennessee

8 of the best places to stay in Tennessee

From the expanse of the Mississippi River to the heights of the Great Smoky Mountains, here are the Tennessee boutique hotels, camping compounds, and storied resorts we suggest for exploring Memphis, Nashville, and beyond.

The Memphian, Memphis Best for: Art lovers

The lone hotel in Overton Square, The Memphian offers a one-of-a-kind lodging experience, blending modern comfort with nods to the city’s heritage. “I did not want it to feel like it could be anywhere. I wanted it to feel like it could only be Memphis,” says Mary Seay Loeb, the artist who led the hotel design team. The lobby’s centerpiece, a massive chandelier crafted from fishing bobbins, nods to the city’s location along the Mississippi River and the city’s love for fishing. Another piece—“All Drama Must Remain on Stage”—highlights the surrounding theater district.

Good to know: Tiger and Peacock, the hotel’s rooftop bar, is a hotspot for locals thanks to its groovy decor and views of Midtown.

The “Poker Room” at ARRIVE was inspired by Elvis Presley’s Graceland billiards room and can accommodate up to eight guests.

Photograph courtesy of ARRIVE by Palisociety

ARRIVE Memphis , Memphis  Best for: City-dwellers

Nestled in the bustling South Main neighborhood, Arrive Memphis provides a good home base for exploring the city. Guests can visit the renowned National Civil Rights Museum, within walking distance of the hotel, to gain insight into the city’s pivotal role. Other nearby attractions include the I Am a Man Plaza and the iconic Earnestine & Hazel’s bar. Don’t skip a breakfast pastry or hand pie at Hustle & Dough in the hotel lobby.

Good to know: The pet-friendly hotel has an ample-sized elevator and hallways, making it easy to maneuver with furry friends and luggage simultaneously.

( Here are the hotels we love for 2024 .)

The Wayback Hotel, Pigeon Forge Best for: Quirky style

Housed within a restored motor lodge, this upscale establishment, opened in December 2023, blends modern luxury with the quirky charm of its surroundings. Each room, from the “Groovy Getaway” and “Retro Rocket Room” to the “Mod Mansion,” is adorned with funky retro decor from the 1960s. But what truly sets The Wayback apart is its “adults-forward” vibe—a departure from the typically family-friendly atmosphere of Pigeon Forge. 

Good to know: The year-round heated outdoor pool is reserved for adults-only parties from 5–10 p.m. daily.

( Here’s why it’s important to save historic hotels .)

The Wayback’s pool and Swim Club is open exclusively to adults from 5 p.m. until closing.

Photograph courtesy of The Wayback

RT Lodge, Maryville Best for: Rejuvenation 

Situated in the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this private home turned idyllic inn and restaurant balances cozy furnishings with modern amenities. Guests can walk through the colorful gardens, initially planted by the property’s first owner, Susan Wiley Cooper Walker. At night, sit around the firepit to roast marshmallows for s’mores against the quiet soundtrack of Maryville College Woods. 

Good to know: Free-to-use bicycles make it easy to explore the adjacent Maryville College campus and the small town of Maryville.

The Hotel Chalet, Chattanooga Best for: History and train buffs

In 2023, the remodeled Hotel Chalet opened inside the once bustling Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Station, a central hub for train travel in the southeastern United States. Plush pet-friendly guest rooms offer easy access to the city’s attractions, including the Tennessee Aquarium and the Riverfront. Travelers can also stay in a restored railcar for a cozier night’s accommodations. Lounge by the pool with a view of the terminal, or dine at Elsie’s Daughter, the on-site restaurant serving Appalachian and French food.

Good to know: Trendy boutiques, restaurants, bars, and music venues are easy to find in the surrounding neighborhood.

( Discover the history of Tennessee’s forgotten music empire .)

The geodesic domes at Bolt Farm Treehouse provide guests with secluded mountaintop views.

Photograph by Chris Funk

Bolt Farm Treehouse, Whitwell Best for: Adult glampers

Exterior mirrors frame the cabins at the Bolt Farm Treehouse, making the modern structures almost invisible. Cabins feature heated floors, air-conditioning and heating, plush slippers, and floor-to-ceiling windows to gaze out on the surrounding landscape (or admire the pizza oven and hot tub available for your use). Guests can also book treehouses and geodesic domes for a nature-saturated alternative to traditional hotel rooms. In-room splurges are available, including massages and sessions with private chefs and yoga teachers.

Good to know: The property is owned and operated by Tori and Seth Bolt; Seth is the bass guitarist for the rock band NEEDTOBREATHE.

1 Hotel Nashville, Nashville Best for: The eco-conscious 

Nashville has seen an explosion of boutique hotels in the past few years, including the 1 Hotel Nashville, located across the street from the convention center and a short walk from Lower Broadway’s honky-tonks. Thanks to a commitment to sustainability and biophilic design, the hotel’s interior provides a green respite from Nashville’s boot-scootin’ charms. More than 3,500 plants grow in the hotel, many in guest rooms. The hotel works to reduce paper and plastic consumption. Rooms have chalkboards, not pads of paper; refillable bottles and taps for drinking water; recycled hangers; and a paper-free alternative to a do-not-disturb door tag. Want to conserve more? An hourglass in the shower gently encourages you to consider your water consumption.

Good to know: An expansive display of fresh produce is available for a daily snack in the lobby.

The Russell , Nashville Best for: Community connection

When this early 20th-century brick church in East Nashville was transformed into a hotel, designers left the stained-glass windows intact to shimmer and reflect color throughout the high-ceilinged lobby.  Other nods to the building’s former life are apparent, such as pews that now function as headboards. Guests who want to share the sights and sounds of their travels in Nashville can collect memories in the hotel lobby’s photo booth and podcast room.

Good to know: A portion of each hotel stay is donated to area organizations that work with the unhoused population.

( For more tips on what to do in Tennessee, see our Explorer’s Guide .)

Margaret Littman is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, who has written several Moon guidebooks on Nashville and Tennessee. Follow her on Instagram.

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