Nashville, TN

Nashville Makes the Coolness Cut With the #1 New Hotel Franchise in the Country

Melinda Crow

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Photo courtesy of Hilton Hotels.

There are fewer than 200 Tru by Hilton hotels in operation, so Nashville was lucky to snag one. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 list, as well as taking the number one slot on the list of top new franchises, Tru is proving it's got what it takes to be cool.

We dug into the brand and what Entrepreneur had to say about the franchise to bring you the facts. Here's what we know.

The design is for the coolest of the cool

The Tru in Nashville matches other properties scattered around all the other cool cities. All have lobbies that allow you to work or play in comfort. Rooms in a Tru hotel are what you could call "comfortably small," measuring only around 228 square feet. For reference, that's larger than an average cruise ship cabin, but not by much.

The company says its target market is "the young at heart." The vibe is energetic, with Eat & Sip markets selling beer, wine, and snacks 24/7. Hilton launched the brand in 2016, opening the first hotel in Oklahoma City in 2016, continuing to grow, even through the economic and travel downturn of 2020.

What Entrepreneur says

It's that kind of growth that earned it the top spot on Entrepreneur's new franchise list (where new is defined as within the last six years.) They estimate the startup costs for a new Tru by Hilton between $8.3 million and $13.5 million. All of the properties are franchise operations, as opposed to company-owned.

Nashville's Tru

The location is Downtown, within walking distance from Music City Center, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Bridgestone Arena. The hotel features an outdoor terrace pool with outdoor cooking facilities for those wishing to grill their own dinner (but why would you do that with Martin's Barbecue Joint just a 2-minute walk away.) There's also a game room, laundry facilities, and free WiFi.

What guests say

We turned to Trip Advisor to see what people who have actually stayed in the Tru in xx have to say. Here's what we found

April reviewers had this to say along with their 5-star rating:

We loved the room and had the best weekend together! Everything was clean and the staff was very welcoming. The hotel was within walking distance to Broadway. We will definitely be back to stay again soon!

And a January guest who also gave a 5-star rating said this:

The hubs and I took a quick post-Christmas trip here with our two daughters - aged 14 and 18. The hotel was very nice. Super clean. Staff was exceptionally friendly. We are Diamond members and the staff was sure to acknowledge that (even though we don’t really look for it/push that fact). Because of everything going on downtown we even spent a night or two in the hotel shooting pool and used DoorDash for delivery. We had a great time. Had a few beers. Enjoyed the space. Everything we wanted to do was within walking distance. The building was very, very secure. I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Kudos to you!!

Overall, the hotel has a 4.0 rating on Trip Advisor, with 108 reviews since the opening in July 2019. It ranks 103 among 206 Nashville hotels.

For those traveling during COVID, beware, the fun and active lobby attracts quite a crowd on weekend evenings, as this reviewer points out:

I'm going to start this review by stating that we are traveling during Covid. This was our choice. Certain expectations were made in that the hotel, restaurants, bars, and fellow humans would all be following the same rules. Everyone is anxious for life to get back to normal, but safety is a #1 priority and we do believe that travel and fun can be had in a safe way. We arrive on a Thursday, the hotel lobby was nice, check-in was great. It appeared that all covid protocols were being followed, although there were a few people walking out that did not have on a mask and staff did not remind them to do so. The room itself is beautiful and spacious. The four of us were amazed at the amount of space, we definitely do not feel like we are on top of each other while hanging out in the room. I do wish there were a little more space to put away clothes and think that if a room is going to accommodate four people there should be four hooks in the bathroom for towels. The proximity to downtown/Broadway is fantastic. 10-minute walk. You can not beat it. We were so happy to save some $ by walking to/from each day! Friday morning breakfast was grab n go, hot sandwiches pre-made and individually wrapped. Make your own waffle station was up and running as were the oatmeal station and cereal station. It felt safe/covid protocols being taken, the fruit was individually wrapped and everyone had on their masks. Friday night we arrive back at the hotel at 10:30 pm and it was absolute chaos! 50+ people were hanging out in the lobby, playing pool, drinking, and being unbelievably loud. It was like we walked into a bar but in our hotel lobby. No one had on a mask, everyone was crowding around each other. The elevators were packed. It was a very uncomfortable experience and extremely unexpected. Saturday night was the same exact thing, only more people. We were and still are so confused as to why this is #1 allowed during covid but also allowed at all! These were not all people staying at the hotel, you can just walk in off the street, buy a beer and play pool. We find it to be extremely unsafe for hotel guests. The blatant disregard for covid safety by the people partying and the hotel staff is unacceptable. Unfortunately, even though first impressions were amazing and we love the location, we would never come back here.

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