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The Noelle Hotel is an SPG property geared towards trendy millennials. Pros: chic decor, plenty of outlets, free coffee and comfortable beds. Cons: no in-room iron, inconsistent concierge and housekeeping and misleading room type categories.
When TPG‘s director of compliance, Kate O’Brien, tied the knot late this summer in Nashville, Tennessee, several team members headed down to Music City to attend the big event. We decided to stay as a group at the Noelle Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. Dubbed an “experiential” hotel and as a “creative gathering space,” I knew before I even stepped foot inside the hotel that this was obviously going to be a property geared toward millennials. Would it pass the test for our different team members, who range from true millennials, to on the cusp (like me), to Gen Xers?
We were able to use a group rate for our stay, as the bride and groom had organized a special rate for guests. I paid $236 per night for a classic room, which was a solid deal, as rooms typically go for around $300-$350 per night. I paid for the three-night stay with my Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, and earned a total of 22,133 (14,755 base and 7,378 in the form of an elite bonus) points. Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet received my Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, otherwise I would have paid with that card. If you would like to use points for a stay at this Category 6 property, you could expect to pay anywhere from 40,000 Marriott Rewards points for a night in the off-peak season to 60,000 for a night in the peak season.
TPG, as the officiant of the wedding, was obviously also with the group. He booked the penthouse suite for us all to hang out in prior to and after the big celebration Saturday evening. The suite had a large living and dining area, city views and two separate bedrooms with king beds. The suite was booked with a special group rate of $1,176 per night.
The location of the hotel was ideal, as you could walk to Broadway, where all the action was, in five minutes. TPG‘s director of marketing and communications Becca Denenberg especially loved the close proximity to Acme Feed & Seed, a restaurant and bar with live music.
The hotel was also near the famous Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Instead of waiting for over two hours, Becca ordered takeout and ate it across the street, while I had it delivered via UberEats. Our whole team loved the location of the Noelle, but the only negative was the construction in front of the property, making it challenging to get an Uber.
The lobby was large and had plenty of seating spread across multiple levels.
A coffee shop and gift shop were part of lobby, and a fresh, floral scent from the signature Noelle candles wafted through the space. I wanted to buy some of the candles, but they were sold out. Guess I’ll have to stick with my candles from the Ritz!
Check-in officially wasn’t until 4pm, but when I arrived at 2:30 I was pleasantly surprised because not only was our room ready, but we’d also been upgraded, thanks to my Marriott Platinum status. But, when we headed up to the fifth floor, our excitement hit a brick wall — literally. The very first thing we noticed upon entering the room was its “view” of a red brick wall, and, even worse, the inside of our neighbor’s room.
All rooms were listed on the app as having a city or park view, and mine had neither.
I called downstairs to inquire about changing rooms and, after a few minutes, we were instructed to come to the front desk. When I asked what about the room was an upgrade, the desk attendant told me it was 10 square feet larger than the regular. I said I’d prefer to have a room with a view, as well as one with privacy, even if it meant a downgrade. They told me I’d have to wait until 4pm but that I would be given a superior room, the next category up.
When I finally gained access to our final room (also on the fifth floor, Room 514), I was relieved to see it had a true city view and felt spacious. On the app, classic rooms were listed at 290 square feet and superior rooms between 295 and 375 square feet, but the room must have been closer to 375, as it felt very large.
My welcome gift was a bar of dark chocolate and water.
The bed was really comfortable and, combined with the blackout shades, gave us a restful night of slumber. The room also came with an armchair, flat-screen TV and a closet with minibar.
The electric shades had two modes: privacy and blackout.
I was happy to see there were enough outlets beside the bed — if a millennial hotel should get anything right, it’s having plenty of outlets to keep those electronics charged.
The wood floors were a nice touch — so much more hygienic and aesthetically pleasing than carpet. Maybe I’m more of a millennial than I thought…
The spacious bathroom was covered in marble, with the large shower passing the TPG shower test with flying colors.
However, since the countertops were large enough, I wish there had been double sinks — after all, two people getting ready for a wedding in a hotel room is no easy feat.
The Red Flower bath amenities smelled fine, but the housekeeping was inconsistent.
While some of our rooms came with conditioner, TPG’s suite didn’t. Even Instagram influencer and model millennial @girlwithnojob commented on #ConditionerGate, mentioning that when she’d stayed at the hotel a few weeks prior, her room was also lacking conditioner, so she did what any good millennial would do and ordered a bottle through Postmates.
There was another housekeeping issue, too. When they came to clean Becca’s room around 2pm, she was getting ready for the wedding and asked if they could return after 4pm. But they never came back, and she arrived back after the wedding to an unserviced room.
I did appreciate that the hotel safe was big enough to fit my MacBook Pro 13 with room to spare.
I also was happy to see that, with Nashville’s heat and humidity, the A/C was strong and sufficiently cool. I was thrilled to set the room temperature at 71 degrees during the day and 66 degrees at night.
The rooms and suites all came with a steamer (another nod to millennials), but no irons, which was frustrating when prepping for a wedding. Sometimes steamers just don’t cut it.
TPG’s suite was gorgeous and certainly big enough for the team to hang out in, but it wasn’t perfect.
As I mentioned before, his bathroom wasn’t stocked with conditioner, and there was a huge problem with the shades in the bedroom. As soon as he checked into the room, the electronic system that controlled the lighting and shades in the master bedroom crashed. He contacted the front desk to arrange a fix. Staff came right away, but they were unable to fix the problem, which meant the bedroom was essentially a dungeon for the duration of his stay.
Also, he discovered that the minibar in the living room wasn’t stocked properly. That required an additional call to fix.
Despite these (somewhat minor) issues, the space was beautiful and luminous, save for the master bedroom, of course. We all really enjoyed hanging out all together in the suite.
Another millennial touch in the suite that didn’t quite work was the music system — there was a record player, which had the cool factor in spades, that’s for sure, but we all left our records back in the 1970s. We were told that there was also a system for streaming music via your phone through the TV, but not one of us could figure it out. Seriously, how many millennials does it take to figure out how to stream music from an iPhone?! I’m sure guests of all generations would appreciate a system that was more intuitive — especially in a space that was perfect for entertaining, like this one was. In the end, we resorted to playing music through a laptop, which worked fine in a pinch.
Food and Beverage
In general, the concierge was hit or miss. While Becca had a perfectly fine experience with the concierge booking her a blowout for the wedding, mine wasn’t as good. When I asked one staff member where to go at night, we were given a detailed list of where to go and what time. When I asked another concierge where we could find a tailor to hem pants, I was instructed to Google it. I guess if I were a millennial, I would have just done that in the first place, but you’d expect a hotel concierge to know this kind of info.
The hotel had ice machines in the room hallways, which could be convenient if you wanted ice right away, but I was glad not to have a room right across from it, because it definitely got noisy. It almost looked like a whole miniature kitchen, with chilled, room-temperature and sparkling water on tap. Plastic cups and straws were available there, too. Do millennials even use plastic straws anymore?
The rooms didn’t come with any tea or coffeemakers, but they did have an interesting alternative: You could call room service for complimentary coffee at any time of day or night, and it was delivered quickly, though the rest of the room service wasn’t as great.
When Becca ordered late-night room service, she found the menu to be limited. When the order came, it was completely wrong, without salad dressing or the dip the chips were supposed to come with.
Throughout our stay, there seemed to be a lack of attention to detail when it came to certain things like missing conditioner and irons in some rooms, room service mishaps and housekeeping issues. Plus, I was really disappointed by the fact that I’d booked a city-view room, but had to stare at a boring brick wall in my first room, never mind the fact that I was completely exposed to my neighbor’s room. Despite these problems, this stay was far from subpar. There was plenty to like about this property, including the ability to order free coffee at any time of the day, an abundance of outlets, fantastic air conditioning, a very cool design, a great location and, last but not least, an outstanding breakfast. On my next trip to Nashville, I think I’d like to try out another Marriott hotel such as the JW Marriott, to see how it stacks up.
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