Category Archives: Greg Sligh, Managing Director

Looking Back on Hermitage Hotel Day

Isn’t it amazing how time flies?  I cannot believe it has been almost a month since we held our two-year centennial celebration kick-off event, a day declared “Hermitage Hotel Day” by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen.  I wanted to take a moment to reflect on that event with all of you who helped to make it so special.

Even though the rain was steady and the day was unseasonably chilly, business folks from all sides of downtown made the trip to Sixth Avenue North to share an ice cream treat.   We learned that Nashvillians’ ice cream treat of choice is the Nutty Buddy ice cream cone!  It was highly preferred over (my favorite) orange sherbet.

As the ragtime band played old-time standbys like the Star Spangled Banner and everyone stood under the tents to eat their ice cream, I thought about how amazing it is that our not-so-little town can come together, rain or shine, to enjoy a fleeting moment of summer together.

Mayor Karl Dean, actor David Keith and 100 other business and civic leaders were present at the VIP reception immediately following the public ice cream social.  Virtually everyone who has made his or her mark on The Hermitage Hotel over the years attended.

I wanted to take this opportunity as I look back on Hermitage Hotel Day and say, “Thank you.”  If you are a Nashvillian or one of the thousands of guests we’ve had the honor of hosting over the past 100 years, thank you for being a part of the hotel’s success.

Now let’s go out there and start building 100 new years of memories!

Pictures from the event can be found on our Facebook page: become a fan!  http://tinyurl.com/ncw2w6.

Greg Sligh, Managing Director

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What It Takes To Earn Five Diamonds

Bathroom - 1It was less than nine months after the completion of our $17 million renovation that the Hermitage Hotel received the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating. Since 2003, The Hermitage has been among the very few hotels – just .27 percent of the 60,000 AAA-rated lodgings in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean – to proudly bear the highest honor a hotel in North America can achieve.

From time to time, guests ask me what it takes for a hotel to earn the five-diamond rating. The short answer is this, “It takes a hotel experience like none other.” But since you have a moment, I’ll give you the longer answer.

After a hotel meets AAA requirements for comfort, cleanliness and hospitality, it is rated on a scale of one to five diamonds, describing the level of complexity in service, décor and amenities — from simple to luxurious. Lodgings receive their annual ratings from one of AAA’s 65 full-time, highly trained evaluators. All evaluations are unannounced to ensure that AAA professionals experience a hotel just as a consumer would.

AAA’s evaluation criteria are rigorous to say the least. The main categories of inspection are the hotel’s exterior, public areas (including breakfast area, restaurant and dining facilities, recreational facilities, shops and lobby), guestrooms, guestroom amenities and bathrooms. Within each category are many sub-categories of inspection with corresponding requirements for each diamond rating.

I’ll spare your time by not listing the strict requirements of each sub-category that a hotel must meet to receive the five-diamond rating. (However, if you would like to know the specifics, CLICK HERE.) But I can sum up the five-diamond level by saying it requires going beyond the highly elite, narrowly defined requirements of the four-diamond rating to a level that can often only be defined as stunning, of unique design or of outstanding elegance.

While AAA describes its five-diamond rating as, “North America’s most coveted symbol of excellence in the hospitality industry,” it is our norm that we strive to deliver and exceed for our guests day after day.

Since the best is our standard, we need a new challenge. If only there was a six-diamond rating…

Greg Sligh, Managing Director of The Hermitage Hotel

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Luxury Begins With Attention to Details

lobby-detail2

The Hermitage Hotel is known for being the most luxurious hotel in Nashville. I want to let you in on our secret: It’s all in the details. From the way we interact with our guests to the way we fold the towels, we focus on the small things that separate an unforgettable stay from a satisfactory one.

A great example of this is our furniture. Keeping our reputation in mind, it may not surprise you that every piece of furniture in The Hermitage Hotel is custom designed and built. Take the two sofas in our lobby. They get a lot of use from guests enjoying afternoon tea, visiting with friends after a wedding or just relaxing. You might not have thought about it, but sofas in a five-star hotel must be replaced regularly – long before wear and tear starts to show. And when we need new sofas, we start a six-month process that is well worth the time and effort.

It all starts with our talented interior design partners at Forrest Perkins LLC, who work in Dallas and Washington, D.C. They search through hundreds of samples to find the right fabrics, trim items, borders and fringes, which may come from different makers. The designers also choose the body-style of the sofa, the firmness and type of fill for the cushions, trim materials, pillows and material selections.

After the right combination is decided, the different components are ordered and shipped to the furniture maker, who puts it all together. After many long hours, the furniture maker finishes his art and two custom sofas are shipped to The Hermitage Hotel.

So why do we go to all this trouble over our furniture? Because everything in the hotel represents our brand. And the Hermitage Hotel is famous for taking guests’ high expectations and exceeding them in order to create a truly unique hotel experience. We could simply buy furniture off-the-shelf at a retail store, but we much rather create a hotel environment like none other.

Remember, it’s all in the details.

Greg Sligh, Managing Director of The Hermitage Hotel

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