Arrival/Check-in: After an eight-hour drive, we arrived ready for dinner and a quiet evening. We were swiftly checked in while notes from Somewhere over the Rainbow drifted from a piano in the adjacent bar. I asked where we could go for dinner, and the woman at the desk suggested Americo’s and handed me a map. The porter took our keys and led us to our fifth-floor suite. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: The huge room had a raised king-size bed, a sleeper sofa, a large flat-screen TV, a small desk with Internet (fee charged), a safe, mini-bar and CD player featuring the music of a selection of Nashville performers. The spacious bathroom had granite countertops, a swivel make-up mirror and ample fluffy towels. The shower, however, needed attention. The bracket that was supposed to hold the showerhead was missing a screw and sprung out from the wall, and the inexpensive plastic hand-held head offered only one setting. (23/30)
Services/Amenities: Pouring rain and lightning ch anged our dinner plans, so we opted for room service and a movie. Our meal was delivered in about 30 minutes, but as I took my first bite, the telephone rang. The front desk advised us that Nashville was under a tornado warning, and because I use a wheelchair, they suggested I come down to the first floor — immediately. I grabbed my purse and headed for the elevator. On the first floor, hotel security officers were passing out walkie-talkies to the staff. When we heard loud tornado sirens blasting from outside, the piano was silenced and an announcement asking all guests to come down to the first-floor restaurant blared over the PA system.
More than 100 people filled every seat in the restaurant — German businessmen, two women in robes, a dog on a leash, a mother cradling her son, a jovial group carrying cocktails. In less than 20 minutes, another announcement advised that it was safe to return to our rooms. The next morning, we saw the devastation in the surrounding counties on the national news. (40/40)
The Experience: The staff did a superb job of remaining calm during a crisis. I was especially grateful that they contacted me as soon as they knew there was a potential emergency. Everyone we met at the hotel was professional and friendly — many of them are students who attend nearby Vanderbilt University.
Total Score: (93/100)
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203
tel 615 320 1700
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