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The Hermitage Hotel and Land Trust for Tennessee Team Up to Grow Farm Fresh Produce for Hotel’s 4-Star Capitol Grille

 
 
 
 

Tyler, Cole and I picked these and photographed them before sending them to the Capitol Grille

Dear Friends of The Hermitage Hotel and Capitol Grille,

Today we had an amazing press event to announce a new venture for The Hermitage Hotel and Capitol Grille.  We will be talking about this a lot this week but I wanted to give you the basics first.  Of course, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at jkurtz@thehermitagehotel.com.  Enjoy!

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 23, 2010 The Hermitage Hotel announced today a unique relationship with the Land Trust for Tennessee that will preserve historic farmland in Nashville’s urban district and provide diners in the hotel’s 4-star Capitol Grille with fresh heirloom vegetables during the growing season.

 In April, the hotel  planted heirloom vegetables on one-acre of the historic farm at Glen Leven.  The property is located on Franklin Road near Father Ryan High School.  Since Glen Leven is only five miles from the hotel’s front door, diners can be assured that the heirloom vegetables they enjoy with their meal were picked the same day they were served. 

 “As a historic landmark now celebrating our 100th year, The Hermitage Hotel has a particular interest in protecting and preserving what is irreplaceable in our state,” said Janet Kurtz, director of sales and marketing for the hotel. “It was natural for us to work with The Land Trust for Tennessee to fund efforts to protect Tennessee’s beauty.”

 Guests of The Hermitage Hotel – who are given the opportunity to donate $2 per night of their stay – have donated over $100,000.00 to the Land Trust for Tennessee since the hotel established the fund-raising program in July 2008. Thanks to guests’ generosity, The Land Trust has been able to preserve, forever, 1,000 acres of scenic and historic land in Tennessee – an area larger than New York City’s Central Park which is 843 acres.

 The hotel is committed to gardening naturally and promoting sustainability.  “We believe in the use of natural cultivation techniques such as the use of homeopathic pest control remedies verses the over-use of chemical treatments and pesticides,” Kurtz said.  “The extra care and time these methods take are worth it because they will both enhance the land’s natural production and ensure its health as well as the health of our patrons at the Capitol Grille.” 

 In addition to more organic growing methods, the crops grown at Glen Leven will be as historic as the site itself. Chef Tyler Brown of the Capitol Grille has researched seed records to identify and plant heirloom vegetables from the 19th Century.   Such crops include: butterstick zucchini, zephyr squash, French breakfast radishes, and Cherokee purple tomatoes.  Chef Brown will then create menus specific to the crops that he will harvest each day.

 Glen Leven is no stranger to the hospitality industry.  For years, the farm at Glen Leven provided the produce to the historic Maxwell House Hotel which was located in downtown Nashville before it burned on Christmas night in 1961. 

 “The Hermitage Hotel has provided outstanding support to us in our effort to preserve what we cannot replace – land,” said Jeanne Nelson, president and executive director of The Land Trust of Tennessee. “The hotel’s plans to nurture and use the land at Glen Leven to produce four-star fare are exceptional, and we look forward to witnessing its progress.”

 The Glen Leven Estate is comprised of 66 acres that include the Glen Leven mansion, a smokehouse, carriage house, springhouse and farm office.  Susan M. West bequeathed the property to The Land Trust for Tennessee in 2006. The mansion on the property was built in 1857 and its old brick walls show chips made by bullets fired on the home during the Battle of Nashville.  During battle, the home was used as a hospital by Federal troops. 

 About The Hermitage Hotel

 Opened in 1910, The Hermitage Hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2000, it was purchased by its current owner, Historic Hotels Nashville Inc., which invested $20 million in restoring the property. When the restored hotel was re-opened on Valentine’s Day 2003, its grand public spaces had been completely restored, 122 luxurious guest rooms and suites had been created and many luxury guest services and amenities new to Nashville were introduced. Today, The Hermitage Hotel is the only Forbes (formerly Mobil) Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel in Tennessee and five contiguous states – Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri and Arkansas. The Hermitage Hotel is also a member of Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotel Group. More information is available online at http://www.thehermitagehotel.com.

 The Hermitage Hotel is also home to the historic Capitol Grille and Oak Bar, Nashville’s only Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. The Hermitage Hotel’s sister properties include The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va., The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Charleston, S.C., and Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

 About the Land Trust for Tennessee

 The Land Trust for Tennessee is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 1999.  Its mission is to preserve the unique character of Tennessee’s natural and historic landscapes for future generations. The Land Trust works with willing landowners to find ways to preserve forever the historic, scenic and natural values of their land. The organization is supported primarily by financial contributions from individuals. The Land Trust has offices in Nashville, Sewanee/Monteagle, Hickman County and Chattanooga. More information is available at www.landtrusttn.org.

For photos of this amazing spot, visit our Facebook pages at:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/hermitagehotelnashville?ref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Nashville-TN/Capitol-Grille/163871721916?ref=ts&ajaxpipe=1&__a=12

Or go directly to the album on our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=186867&id=56132912580&l=8c58fbc243

For more information please don’t hesitate to email me at jkurtz@thehermitagehotel.com

Warm Regards,

Janet Kurtz

Director of Sales & Marketing

The Hermitage Hotel

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Hermitage Hotel Named Among AAA’s Top Historic Hotels

AAA has ranked The Hermitage Hotel, the only Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel in Tennessee, among its top 10 historic hotels in North America. The list, which was created by polling AAA’s lodging inspectors for their favorites, includes a total of 41 hotels. The Hermitage is the only AAA Five-Diamond hotel to make the top 10.

“AAA inspectors rate more than 31,000 hotels a year, which means that a hotel has to really make a great impression to be remembered in a survey such as this one,” said Greg Sligh, general manager of The Hermitage Hotel. “It is an honor to be included among AAA’s top 10 historic hotels. We are very proud of this accomplishment.”

AAA’s top ten historical hotels include:
• The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tenn., AAA Five-Diamond
• Boston Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, Mass., AAA Three-Diamond
• Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Denver, Colo., AAA Four-Diamond
• Casa Marina Resort, The Waldorf Astoria Collection, Key West, Fla., AAA Four-Diamond
• The Dearborn Inn, A Marriott Hotel, Dearborn, Mich., AAA Four-Diamond
• Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich., AAA Four-Diamond
• The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park, Hawley, Pa., AAA Four-Diamond
• Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco, Calif., AAA Three-Diamond
• West Baden Springs Hotel, West Baden Springs, Ind., AAA Four-Diamond
• The Wort Hotel, Jackson, Wyo., AAA Four-Diamond

For more details about these hotels and to view the full 41-hotel list, visit CLICK HERE.

AAA’s 65 full-time, professionally-trained inspectors visit and rate more than 31,000 lodgings in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean per year. In order to be classified as historic, a property is typically more than 75 years of age and exhibits features of a historic nature with respect to architecture, design, furnishings, public record or acclaim. For more information, visit http://www.aaa.com.AAA

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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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