Complete Review of The Tennessean Hotel, Knoxville, Tennessee (southern charm meets luxury)

Drinking champagne at The Tennessean Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee

Early in January we found ourselves with a bit of the winter blues and decided to hop up to The Tennessean Hotel in nearby Knoxville, Tennessee for a quick getaway for a bit of rest and relaxation. Having been born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I'm ashamed to say I knew very little about this city only an hour and a half from my own hometown. Since we were pressed for time and wanted a simple trip that needed little to no planning, we opted to give Knoxville a try since it would allow us to explore somewhere new without going too far from home.

This trip was primarily for a bit of rest so picking the right hotel was a must. While we love camping, we do love giving high-end hotels a try and The Tennessean Hotel instantly caught our eye while doing a bit of research on the Knoxville area. Oh, and we we knew we would be bringing our dog, Kramer, along with us so somewhere dog friendly was a must.

As Knoxville's only four diamond hotel, The Tennessean Hotel was a wonderful place to kick up our feet, lounge in bed and wakeup slowly, indulge in some delicious southern comfort food, and toast the new year with a bottle of Prosecco in our room (even if it was already a few days into 2024, we'll never turn down an excuse to toast with something sparkly!).

Alright, enough about us and our time at The Tennessean, let's get right down to what the experience was like and what you can look forward to during your own getaway to Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Front entrance of The Tennessean Hotel
Front entrance of The Tennessean Hotel
Check-in desk at The Tennessean
Check-in desk at The Tennessean

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View of the Knoxville Sunsphere from our room
View of the Knoxville Sunsphere from our room

Where is Knoxville, Tennessee?

Nestled in the heart of the southeastern United States, Knoxville is a vibrant city located in the state of Tennessee. Known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, it's a destination that beautifully blends urban charm with the tranquility of the great outdoors. Whether you're a history buff, foodie, or an outdoor adventurer, Knoxville never fails to enthrall its visitors with its warm southern hospitality and a plethora of attractions.

Chattanooga, TN to Knoxville, TN: 111 mi | 1 hr 45 min | Google Maps

Nashville, TN to Knoxville, TN: 180 mi | 2 hr 40 min | Google Maps

Atlanta, GA to Knoxville, TN: 213 mi | 3 hr | Google Maps

Asheville, NC to Knoxville, TN: 116 mi | 1 hr 50 min | Google Maps

Chris enjoying the view in the sitting area of our room
Chris enjoying the view in the sitting area of our room

What is The Tennessean Hotel?

The Tennessean Hotel is more than just a place to rest your head - it's an experience. Nestled comfortably in the heart of Knoxville, this luxury hotel offers a unique blend of modern elegance and classic southern charm. As soon as you walk in, you're enveloped in an atmosphere of warmth and sophistication. From the friendly staff to the beautifully appointed rooms, every aspect of The Tennessean Hotel is meticulously designed to make your stay a memorable one. A stay here isn't just a box to tick off on your travel itinerary; it's a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and live like a true Tennessean, even if just for a little while. So, whether you're a business traveler seeking comfort, a couple looking for a romantic getaway, or a family in need of some quality bonding time, The Tennessean Hotel is your perfect home away from home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The street out front of The Tennessean Hotel in downtown Knoxville, TN
The street out front of The Tennessean Hotel in downtown Knoxville, TN
The Knoxville Convention Center is located directly across the street from the hotel
The Knoxville Convention Center is located directly across the street from the hotel

Location of The Tennessean Hotel

The Tennessean Hotel is strategically situated at 531 Henley St, right in the heart of downtown Knoxville across from the Knoxville Convention Center and the famous Sunsphere at Worlds Fair Park. This prime location means you're just a stone's throw away from the city's vibrant arts scene, bustling shopping streets, and mouth-watering local eateries. Need to stretch your legs? Knoxville's lush parks and greenways are just around the corner. And for the history buffs among you, the city's rich past is waiting to be explored in the numerous nearby museums and historic sites. With The Tennessean Hotel as your base, the best of Knoxville, Tennessee is literally on your doorstep.

Address: 531 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902 | Google Maps

Quick info about The Tennessean Hotel

Check-in/check-out: 3:00 PM check-in, 12:00 PM check-out

Breakfast: Paid breakfast available

Restaurant: Yes

Bar: Yes

Pool: Yes, outdoors

Spa: No

Handicap accessible: Yes

Dog friendly: Yes

Smoking: No

Room service: No

Fitness center: Yes

Business center: Yes

Free wifi: Yes

Parking: Valet parking only

Chris and Kramer hanging out in our hotel room
Chris and Kramer hanging out in our hotel room
Chessboard in the lobby of the hotel
Chessboard in the lobby of the hotel

First impressions of The Tennessean Hotel

As you approach The Tennessean Hotel, the first thing you'll notice is its striking facade that tastefully blends modern design with a European flair. Stepping inside, you'll be greeted by the warm smiles of the staff, instantly making you feel welcomed, like you're not just a guest, but a friend. The lobby exudes a stylish yet homey vibe, with its artwork inspired by locals and created by local artists, comfy seating, and a peaceful ambiance that immediately sets you at ease. It's like stepping into a well-loved storybook where every detail is perfectly curated to make you feel part of the story. And the story here is all about the charm and easy-going elegance of Tennessee living.

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Lobby of The Tennessean Hotel
Lobby of the hotel

Check-in experience

The check-in experience at The Tennessean Hotel is nothing short of delightful. As soon as you arrive, the exceptionally friendly staff is right there, ready to assist and ensure your check-in process is as smooth as a Tennessee whiskey. The front desk is manned around the clock - so no matter what time you roll in, there'll be a friendly face to greet you. They're not just about efficiency, though - they're full of local knowledge, too. Fancy a local brew? Need directions to the nearest BBQ joint? Want to know where the locals hang out? They've got all the answers. So, in no time at all, you can get the keys to your room and start your Knoxville adventure.

Our king room at The Tennessean Hotel
Our king room at The Tennessean Hotel

What are the rooms like at The Tennessean Hotel?

Let's dive into the heart of your stay at The Tennessean Hotel - the rooms. This is where the magic happens, where you kick off your shoes after a day exploring Knoxville, and where you wake up to a fresh Tennessee morning. Whether it's the luxe linens, the sweeping city views, or the modern amenities, let's find out what makes these rooms so darn special. So, grab your room key, let's explore!

The room layout

When it comes to room layouts at The Tennessean Hotel, you can expect a blend of comfort and style that makes every guest feel right at home. The layout is open and inviting, with a comfortable seating area, a spacious desk for those who need to keep up with work, and generously-sized beds that you'll be tempted to sink into the moment you walk in. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in a flood of natural light and offer views of the Knoxville skyline and the Sunsphere.

Large walk-in shower in our room at The Tennessean Hotel
Large walk-in shower in our room at The Tennessean Hotel
Bathroom amenities at The Tennessean
Bathroom amenities at The Tennessean

The bathroom

The bathrooms at The Tennessean Hotel are generously sized, featuring a combination of sleek design and modern amenities. The highlight is undoubtedly the spacious walk-in shower, equipped with high-quality fixtures and a rain shower head that's like having your own personal waterfall. The vanity area is large, offering plenty of space to spread out your toiletries, a brightly illuminated mirror and high-end bath products that ensure every bath time is a treat. Plush towels, soft bathrobes, and a quiet ambience come together to create a soothing space where you can unwind and refresh after a day of exploring Knoxville.

Sara and Kramer lounging on the bed at The Tennessean
Sara and Kramer lounging on the bed at The Tennessean

The bed and linens

The linens at The Tennessee Hotel are one of the highlights thanks to the owner's vision for the hotel. Having traveled Europe extensively, the owner handpicked the finest linens from France to bring back to make his hotel a piece of Europe right in the heart of Tennessee. The Tennessean Hotel offers beds decked out with plush pillows and premium bedding that'll have you sinking into a world of comfort. The linens are soft, fresh and inviting - it's like sleeping on a cloud! Whether you're turning in early or sleeping in late, once you're wrapped up in these linens, you're set for a perfect night's sleep, ensuring you're well-rested when you wake.

Desk work area and TV in our hotel room
Desk work area and TV in our hotel room

In room amenities and features

Every room at The Tennessean Hotel is thoughtfully equipped with a range of amenities that blend comfort, convenience, and a touch of luxury. The rooms feature a large flat-screen TV complete with a comprehensive selection of cable channels to keep you entertained. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi ensures you stay connected, whether you're posting your Knoxville adventures online or catching up on some work (which is hugely important to us as digital nomads!). The rooms also include a safe, an iron, and a hairdryer. And let's not forget turndown service which ensures your room is ready and comfy when you arrive back after dinner or an evening out on the town.

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Hotel facilities

Now, let's switch gears and talk about the facilities that The Tennessean Hotel offers. It's not just about a comfortable room; it's about creating a stay that's memorable, fun, and as unique as Knoxville itself. So, let's take a closer look at what's on offer outside of your guest room.

Restaurants and bars at The Tennessean Hotel

Sara drinking an espresso martini in The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Hotel
Sara drinking an espresso martini in The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Hotel
The Drawing Room bar at The Tennessean
The Drawing Room bar at The Tennessean
Chris cheersing with his cocktail in The Drawing Room
Chris cheersing with his cocktail in The Drawing Room
The Drawing Room's cocktail menu
The Drawing Room's cocktail menu

The Drawing Room

The moment you step into The Drawing Room at Tennessean Hotel you're greeted by a cozy ambiance that effortlessly blends elegance and comfort. Plush leather seating, soft lighting, and an inviting bar offering an array of handcrafted cocktails featuring local spirits. And, let's not forget the food menu that highlights southern classics in an a unique way. The Drawing Room is opening for breakfast everyday as well as dinner and cocktails in the evening.

We had the chance to grab a pre-dinner cocktail in the The Drawing Room as well as breakfast on a Saturday morning, both of which were wonderful! The service was topnotch and the food and drinks were wonderful. We'd highly recommend picking a cocktail with whiskey (because that's what Tennessee is famous for after all!), and really anything on the breakfast menu will satisfy your cravings and needs for a full day of exploring.

So whether you're in the mood for a pre-dinner cocktail, a relaxed dinner, or just a quiet evening with a glass of fine wine, The Drawing Room is the perfect spot to kick back and soak in the charm of Tennessee living. You can view the full menu for The Drawing Room here.

Breakfast hours: Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM, Saturday & Sunday 7:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Evening hours: Monday - Saturday 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM, Sunday 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Tea pouring into cup at The Tennessean Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee
Tea service at The Tennessean Hotel
Sara drinking tea during tea service
Our three tiered tea service display of sandwiches and other treats
Our three tiered tea service display of sandwiches and other treats
Personalized menu for our tea service at The Tennessean
Personalized menu for our tea service at The Tennessean

Tea Service at The Tennessean Hotel

Fancy a spot of tea? The Tennessean Hotel has you covered with its unique Afternoon Tea service. The tradition of Afternoon Tea is a classic one, and The Tennessean has brought it to Knoxville with a Southern twist. Served in the charming ambiance of the Drawing Room, guests can indulge in a selection of finely brewed teas accompanied by a variety of finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones. It's a beautiful way to take a pause during your Knoxville adventures, and to soak in the relaxed, elegant Southern charm that The Tennessean is known for. Whether you're a tea connoisseur or a casual sipper, Afternoon Tea at The Tennessean is an experience you'll want to make time for.

Tea Service is available for a variety of themed teas throughout the year as well as a private Tea Service upon special request for an additional fee.

Chris and Kramer walking up the stairs of Maker Exchange in Knoxville
Chris and Kramer walking up the stairs of Maker Exchange in Knoxville
Cozy fireplace and seating in Maker Exchange
Cozy fireplace and seating in Maker Exchange
Art on display and for sale at Maker Exchange
Art on display and for sale at Maker Exchange

Marker Exchange

The Marker Exchange is another gem you'll find nestled in the same building as The Tennessean Hotel. The Tennessean Hotel and Marriott are connected to one another by Maker Exchange which is a unique space where you can enjoy local art (many items are available for purchase), a beautiful sitting area with a giant fireplace as the centerpiece, a coffee shop, and a restaurant. This space is shared by both hotels but feels as if it's an extension of the The Tennessean hotel.

Dinner and drinks at The Tavern at Marker Exchange
Dinner and drinks at The Tavern at Marker Exchange
Our dinner at The Tavern at Maker Exchange
Our dinner at The Tavern at Maker Exchange

The Tavern

The Tavern is the on-site restaurant at Makers Exchange which serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and daily drinks at their full service bar. We had the opportunity to grab a drink and inner in this space and enjoyed the casual feel it offered while still feeling special. It was a fun setting with a few TVs showing various sporting events, a pool table and shuffle board, and plenty of seating for groups or individuals. While there is a full service bar, the entire restaurant is very family friendly.

Breakfast hours: Monday - Friday 6:30 - 10:30 AM

Brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 6:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Lunch hours: Monday - Friday 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Dinner hours: Full service dinner is available everyday 5:00 - 10:00 PM, small plates available Monday -Saturday 3:00 - 5:00 PM + 10:00 - 11:00 PM, and Sunday 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Perk Up, the coffee shop in Maker Exchange which is connected to The Tennessean Hotel
Perk Up, the coffee shop in Maker Exchange which is connected to The Tennessean Hotel

Perk Up

The Maker Exchange also has an onsite coffee shop called Perk Up that is just a few feet from the doors of The Tennessean Hotel. While the coffee shop looked really cute and has wonderful reviews on Google, unfortunately it wasn't open when we tried to go. Generally it's open the same hours everyday, but it wasn't open during its regular hours when we stopped by on a Saturday morning and there was no note on the door. We asked the front desk staff at The Tennessean Hotel and they seemed very confused as to why it wasn't open yet either. This in no way reflected poorly on the hotel because it's not their coffee shop, it just meant we went to breakfast in The Drawing Room a few minutes earlier since we were in need of a coffee pick me up.

Onsite gym at The Tennessean Hotel

For those who believe in keeping their fitness routine intact even while traveling, The Tennessean Hotel has got you covered with its onsite gym located on the second floor. Open 24/7, the gym is equipped with up to date cardio machines and weights to keep you training and chasing your fitness goals even while traveling.

The largest suite at The Tennessean Hotel includes a living room, dining room, and mini grand piano
The largest suite at The Tennessean Hotel includes a living room, dining room, and mini grand piano

Parking available at hotel

The Tennessean Hotel offers valet parking services for $35 day which included in and out privileges. For guests who would prefer to self park, various garages are available across the downtown Knoxville area with varying rates. Due to The Tennessean Hotel's urban setting, we'd recommend the valet option.

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Is The Tennessean Hotel ADA accessible?

Yes, The Tennessean Hotel has four Classic King fully ADA accessible guest rooms, keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of all guests. These rooms are specially designed for guests with disabilities, equipped with wider doorways, roll-in showers, and handrails. In addition, all public areas in the hotel, including the restaurants, bar, and fitness center are wheelchair accessible. This ensures that everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free stay at The Tennessean.

Kramer's own selection of sweet treats found in our room upon arrival
Kramer's own selection of sweet treats found in our room upon arrival
The Tennessean Hotel even personalized the food and water bowls for Kramer
The Tennessean Hotel even personalized the food and water bowls for Kramer

Is The Tennessean Hotel dog friendly?

Yes, The Tennessean Hotel is absolutely dog-friendly! They understand that your four-legged friends are part of the family, which is why they warmly welcome dogs in their hotel. So, if you're planning a trip to Knoxville and can't bear the thought of leaving your furry friend behind, don't fret. The Tennessean has got you covered, with pet-friendly rooms and amenities that ensure your pup will have as relaxing and enjoyable a stay as you will.

The Tennessean was hands down the most dog friendly hotel we've stayed at thus far! Upon arrival we had a covered plate with decorated doggy treats waiting for our dog, Kramer, a plush dog bed, and a water and food bowl with Kramer's name on it ready and waiting for him. On top of all of this, the hotel also brought Kramer a hot dinner of chicken, peas, carrots, and rice which he devoured. The Tennessean even wrote Kramer a little note welcoming him to the hotel, too! The hotel also ensured that we had the inside scoop on where to take Kramer in the city by including a pamphlet dog friendly travel guide to Knoxville.

Note: Only dogs up to 50 pounds are allowed and there is a $100 per stay non-refundable deposit. If you plan on bringing your dog with you to The Tennessean Hotel, you should call to make your reservation to ensure your four legged friend is added to your reservation.

Special note that came with Kramer's hot dinner brought to our room at the time of our choosing
Special note that came with Kramer's hot dinner brought to our room at the time of our choosing

What makes The Tennessean Hotel unique

What truly sets The Tennessean Hotel apart is its unmatched commitment to providing an authentic Southern hospitality experience combined with the luxury and class found at many of the finest hotels in Europe. This isn't your run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter hotel; The Tennessean has a personality all its own, deeply rooted in the rich culture and history of Knoxville, Tennessee and blended with the traditions and elegance of European hospitality. The elegant décor is inspired by the local surroundings, reflecting a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity. The staff members are more than just employees – they're storytellers, local guides, and your go-to experts for everything Knoxville. They're always ready with a warm smile and an insider tip to make your stay extra special.

From the finest handpicked imported linens from France to the custom artwork influenced by various places in Tennessee, every detail in the hotel tells a story and immerses guests in a world of relaxation and comfort.

Prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries were a part of the The Tennessean Hotel's February package for couples
A glass of Prosecco upon arrival in our room
A glass of Prosecco upon arrival in our room
Cheersing to a fun weekend
Cheersing to a fun weekend

What we didn't like about The Tennessean Hotel

Truthfully, our stay at The Tennessean Hotel was lovely and there was very little that we didn't like about the experience. But, we do believe in fully transparency when reviewing accommodations so we're going to share with you a few of the small we didn't love.

  • The gym was relatively small and didn't offer much variety for being a four diamond hotel. In addition to very little variety and space, the floor to ceiling windows on the second floor overlook the front entrance of the hotel and made me feel as if I was on display while sweating profusely. I would understand the large windows if there was a view, but there really wasn't much of one to speak of.
  • The shower pressure was pretty weak in our room. That might be nit-picky but for having such a large walk-in shower, but I would have expected better water pressure and maybe even multiple shower heads for this type of hotel.
  • While I understand that what sets The Tennessean Hotel apart from other "luxury" accommodations is their top notch service and attention to detail, for being a four diamond hotel I would have preferred to see at least a few more basic amenities that I believe to be standard in most higher end hotels. For example, the only room service available was to order from The Drawing Room, and the only lunch option when we were there was tea service.
Morning cup of coffee with cream in The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Hotel
Morning cup of coffee with cream in The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Hotel
Chris enjoying his morning coffee at breakfast
Chris enjoying his morning coffee at breakfast
Our breakfast in The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Hotel
Our breakfast in The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Hotel

The overall value of The Tennessean Hotel

When it comes to overall value for the price, The Tennessean Hotel delivers. Its prime location in downtown Knoxville offers easy access to all that is happening in the city, while the hotel's own features, such as the stylish Marker Exchange, the on-site gym, and the dog-friendly amenities, offer a wealth of convenience and pleasure. The beautiful rooms, featuring local art and offering stunning city views, ensure a comfortable and luxurious stay. The Tennessean Hotel's commitment to customer service shines through in every detail, from the personalized pet amenities to the ADA accessible rooms. Despite its upscale offerings, the hotel's rates are competitive given its location and the quality of services offered, making it a great value choice for your stay in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Knoxville, Tennessee skyline
Knoxville, Tennessee skyline

Nearby attractions

A trip to the Tennessean Hotel wouldn't be complete without exploring some of the attractions Knoxville has to offer right outside the hotel door.

  1. Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Did you know the most visited national park in the USA is just a short drive from Knoxville? Whether you're looking to hit the trail for a hike or would rather opt for a scenic drive around the famous Cades Cove Loop, this park has something to offer everyone.
  2. Visit the Knoxville Museum of Art: A short stroll from The Tennessean Hotel, the museum showcases a range of contemporary and traditional art pieces that will capture your imagination.
  3. Explore the Market Square: This bustling public space is home to a myriad of shops, eateries, and seasonal events, perfect for soaking up Knoxville's vibrant atmosphere.
  4. Stroll through the Knoxville Botanical Gardens: Immerse yourself in natural beauty with a visit to these stunning gardens, just a short drive from the Tennessean Hotel.
  5. Tour the East Tennessee History Center: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for local history with this museum's extensive exhibits.
  6. Check out the Sunsphere: Built for the 1982 World's Fair, the Sunsphere offers panoramic views of Knoxville that you won't want to miss.
  7. Take a walk along the Tennessee River: The Volunteer Landing Park, just a stone's throw from The Tennessean Hotel, offers serene riverside paths and picnic areas.
  8. Attend a show at the Tennessee Theatre: Catch a live performance or movie at this beautifully restored historic theatre, located in the heart of downtown Knoxville.
  9. Visit the Knoxville Zoo: If you're traveling with kids, this well-maintained zoo will be a hit. It's a great way to spend an afternoon, seeing animals from all around the world.
  10. Explore the University of Tennessee campus: Visit the local campus, enjoy the green spaces, or catch a game at the Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Vols.
  11. Indulge in local cuisine: There are numerous restaurants and bistros near The Tennessean Hotel that serve a variety of local and international dishes. Be sure to try out some Tennessee BBQ!
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In room robes at The Tennessean Hotel
In room robes at The Tennessean Hotel
Sara and Kramer walking from The Tennessean Hotel to Maker Exchange
Sara and Kramer walking from The Tennessean Hotel to Maker Exchange

Final thoughts

In conclusion, The Tennessean Hotel offers more than just a place to rest your head. With its blend of Southern charm and European elegance, it provides a uniquely immersive experience of Knoxville. From the thoughtful design details to the insider tips from friendly staff, every aspect of your stay is tailored to give you a true taste of Tennessee. The overall value, prime location, and attention to detail make it an excellent choice for visitors to Knoxville, Tennessee. Whether you're here for the vibrant city life or the natural beauty of Tennessee, The Tennessean Hotel is a welcoming home base for your Knoxville adventures.

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The Tennessean Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee

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Hi! We're Chris and Sara a husband and wife video making, storytelling, travel loving duo with a passion for sharing travel tips, tricks, and inspiration with others.
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