Hotel Review: Nashville’s Quirky The Graduate Hotel

February 14, 2024
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Nashville is as packed with hotels as it is screaming bachelorette parties and honky tonk bars, but few are as unique as The Graduate Hotel.

A Detailed Review of The Graduate Hotel Nashville, TN | Nashville is packed with hotels, but few are as unique as The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel). But is it the perfect spot for your visit? Here's my detailed review of the hotel's vibe, rooms, amenities, & more to help you decide! #nashville #girlstrip #bachelorette #hotelreview

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If you’re planning a trip to Nashville—which you should—the real question is whether The Graduate is the best hotel for YOU.  It’s certainly quirky.  And very popular.  If you’re looking for a hotel in Nashville that brings lots of personality, a celebration of country music icons (DOLLY!), and quite a few amenities, then it may be a winner.

My review of The Graduate Nashville

You can see more reviews, availability, and book at Booking.com (and more reviews on TripAdvisor), and then I’ve done a deep-dive below.

In case you need the TLDR version:

  • Rooms are spacious and comfortable, including a comfy chair and a desk to work at.  They’re also soundproof, which I appreciate in a hard-partying town like Nashville.
  • The overall vibe and decor are a huge selling point for most people—an offbeat combination of celebrating retro country icons like Dolly Parton and colorful art installations.  It’s truly unique, a bit like 21C but without the psychotic fever dream qualities.
  • The hotel has quite a few amenities, including a coffee shop, swanky rooftop patio and bar, fitness center, karaoke club, bike rentals, and more.  It does technically have a rooftop pool but it’s small and requires a reservation (and costs).
  • Location-wise, it’s a bit away from the insanity of Broadway, over near the Vanderbilt campus.  For me that’s a selling point as it’s just more pleasant.  And it’s a bit more moderately-priced (note, the parking and drinks are NOT) so you’re getting a pretty good deal for the experience delivered.

For me I definitely appreciate The Graduate’s funkiness, thought it’s a bit of sensory overload, not terribly subtle, and so not necessarily my particular aesthetic if I were going to pick a hotel entirely myself (I stayed here a few times for work trips).  If I were choosing completely for myself, I would likely end up something a bit more simple and modern, like 1 Hotel, the Conrad, the Fairlane, or The Joseph.

So let’s dive into the hotel a bit further…

A Detailed Review of The Graduate Hotel Nashville, TN | Nashville is packed with hotels, but few are as unique as The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel). But is it the perfect spot for your visit? Here's my detailed review of the hotel's vibe, rooms, amenities, & more to help you decide!

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Disclaimer:  I did not receive anything from the resort, & fully paid for my stay.  All opinions are, as always, completely my own.  This post does contain affiliate links…I may earn a small commission from any qualifying purchases through clicks on these links (which I greatly appreciate, and at no extra cost to you). Learn more in my Disclosure Policy.

The welcome & lobby area

A giant yarn portrait of (I think) Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl greets you as you walk into the lobby, and it really sets the tone.  You’ve got an ode to Music City, retro elements, and cheeky, quirky art.

They’ll give you your room key (made to mimic the I.D. card of a country star such as Eric Church) and send you on your way!

A yarn portrait of Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl greets guests at The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel)

The Graduate Nashville has an eclectic decor, with neon pops of color, celebrations of female country music icons, retro touches, & funky art pieces

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The rooms

The rooms are quite the eclectic affair, with candy-stripe wallpaper, floral drapes, and eye-popping carpet.  I appreciate the size of the room and found the beds to be pretty comfy.

I loved having a real chair to sit in and work or read…something hotel rooms too often forget.

A Detailed Review of The Graduate Hotel Nashville, TN | Nashville is packed with hotels, but few are as unique as The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel).

pink velvet armchair in the rooms at The Graduate Nashville

eclectic decor at Nashville's The Graduate Hotel

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There’s a reason many people will call this “the Dolly Parton hotel”.  Each bed at The Graduate is crowned by a portrait of a (female, as far as I know) country music icon…Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, and definitely Dolly Parton.

Female country music icons crown each bed at The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel).

ashville is packed with hotels, but few are as unique as The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel). But is it the perfect spot for your visit?

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And the bathroom is pretty nice too!

the bathroom in my room at The Graduate Nashville

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Poindexter Coffee

No question, this is the amenity at The Graduate I’ve used the most.  Each time I’ve stayed here has involved a work trip with a laaaaate night.  It’s really beautiful and has a whole different vibe in daytime (which I completely forgot to photograph…I’m now realizing that most of my pics from the hotel are nighttime).  There’s a large seating area as well.

My only complaint is WOW is it expensive?!  I realize that’s not unique to this coffee shop…sheesh my latte at Starbucks costs at least $5…but if you want a couple coffees over the morning it’ll add up.

Poindexter Coffee in the lobby of The Graduate Hotel Nashville

Poindexter Coffee in the lobby of The Graduate Hotel Nashville

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Between the lobby and the coffee shop is this unique tiered couch seating area and long tables.  Why??  Honestly not sure.  But it’s comfy.

seating area in the lobby of The Graduate Hotel Nashville

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White Limozeen, the rooftop bar

If you take the elevator to the roof you can enjoy their rooftop patio.  I haven’t been up there during the day, but it feels like it has split personalities…the outside is zany pink parasol umbrellas, and the inside is more of a sleek modern bar feel.

I remember my drink being great, once I got it…it was a Thursday night but getting service at the bar was pretty tough.  Though honestly I also may just be an old person and waiting 10 minutes just to have an order taken is totally normal?

Reservations are needed for tables and pool access.

the entrance to White Limozeen rooftop bar at The Graduate Hotel Nashville

enjoying a drink at White Limozeen rooftop bar at The Graduate Hotel Nashville

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Karaoke the night away at Cross-Eyed Critters

On certain nights of the week you can find the barely-marked door by the elevators that will take you to Cross-Eyed Critters, the karaoke bar.  From the stage you can belt out your favorite tunes with their animatronic band backing you up (or marvel at the giant pink chicken-wire bust of Dolly Parton).

I won’t pretend we haven’t closed this bad by down in the wee hours of the morning…

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the graduate nashville,graduate hotel nashville,dolly parton hotel nashville

the graduate nashville,graduate hotel nashville,dolly parton hotel nashville

Hopefully I’ve given you a great picture of The Graduate Nashville’s funky personality and many charms, enough to help you decide if it’s right for you on your visit to Nash-Vegas!

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A Detailed Review of The Graduate Hotel Nashville, TN | Nashville is packed with hotels, but few are as unique as The Graduate Nashville (a.k.a. the Dolly Parton hotel). But is it the perfect spot for your visit? Here's my detailed review of the hotel's vibe, rooms, amenities, & more to help you decide! #nashville #girlstrip #bachelorette #hotelreview

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