Renaissance Nashville Hotel

Renaissance Nashville Hotel went from being a standard hotel for convention center guests to a hip, hangout in Nashville, Tennessee with posh design and careful details by Gresham Smith.

  • area / size 43,000 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Type Hotel,
  • Located in the heart of Music City just steps from lower Broadway’s honky-tonks, Renaissance Nashville Hotel has long been known as a convention hotel thanks to its direct connection to the Nashville Convention Center, now being repurposed into Fifth + Broadway—a high-quality, mixed use development set to enhance Nashville’s urban core. When the 600+ room hotel sought major upgrades to their common areas and meeting spaces to remain competitive with newer hotels in the downtown area they turned to Gresham Smith. Our inspired design helps reposition Renaissance Nashville as a leading convention hotel while capturing a boutique vibe that pays homage to Nashville’s country music scene.

    A New Sense of Arrival
    Our modern makeover brings the mid-1980s public spaces into the present. Construction was carried out in six phases to ensure the hotel remained fully operational throughout the project. A major challenge involved removing an existing escalator and replacing it with a communicating stair that wraps the Five Chords Mercantile market and café, completely changing the sense of arrival.

    With a new front desk, a Johnny Cash-themed lounge/studio, bar and restaurant and other distinctive spaces, our design narrative captures a spirit of wanderlust. Unexpected details include a handmade, knotted rope chandelier, custom retro microphone sconces, a “Make Your Mark” rotating wood-block art installation, and a quirky Johnny Cash mural in the studio.

    The new floor plan creates a more open and inviting feel while still providing intimate, discoverable moments throughout. In a limited amount of square footage, we managed to make bold statements that allow the hotel continue to stand out in Nashville’s competitive tourism market.

    Little Fib
    Located on the first floor of the hotel, “Little Fib” was designed to feel more like a local hangout than your typical hotel lounge/restaurant. The atmosphere, food and drinks create an experience on par with the city’s elite dining spots. The restaurant’s name was taken from the well-known “Three chords and the truth” quote coined by legendary Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard, which concluded with the line: “Five chords and a little fib.”

    Design: Gresham Smith
    Photography: Lauren Rubinstein