Enjoy Nashville and Save Lives at The Russell Hotel

The Russell is a beautiful boutique hotel housed in a 115 year old church that nourishes the bodies and souls of those less fortunate in East Nashville. The slogan of The Russell is, “Stay Here, Save Lives.” By working with local charities, a portion of each stay at this unique hotel provides clean beds, showers, and meals at a local homeless shelter.

Red brick church transformed into The Russell Hotel, NashvilleThe Russell exterior © Scott Kendall

Upon arriving at The Russell, the first thing that grabbed my attention were the beautiful stained glass windows on the front and sides of the historic church. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood in East Nashville, just a few minutes from downtown, the church sits on the corner of Russell and 9th Street.

This simple but classy hotel has 23 rooms, all comfortably appointed, each with a character of its own. You will quickly see why The Russell is the number 1 rated specialty hotel out of 52 in Nashville. Top designers paid attention to every detail to make your stay at The Russell comfortable and memorable. So, while you are helping the less fortunate during your stay, you are also enjoying the comforts of a top hotel.

The Russell hotel stained-glass window view from interior
The Russell window from interior © Scott Randall

Light streams in from the stained glass windows into the comfortable lobby of The Russell. The reds, greens, and yellows of the stained glass dance with a kaleidoscope of colors, and you can almost hear the sermons that used to be preached here in past years. Modern touches add to the timeless features of the historic church, and offer a unique experience at The Russell that you will not find at other hotels.

There is also plentiful seating at the large bar, and the coffee station offers a variety of coffees and teas. There is no front desk or attendant waiting to check you in. All arrangements are made through email to prepare for your stay. We found The Russell online staff effective and efficient. They provided us with detailed information on the hotel and check in procedures, giving us a code to enter the main building and another code to our room. Staff was available via phone and email (and in person if needed) for any questions or issues we had.

The Russell Hotel blue & white charity contribution sign
The Russell contributes a portion of every stay to charity © Scott Kendall

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Russell. For a different type of stay in a unique environment, The Russell was the perfect place for us as we visited East Nashville and downtown Nashville during our three day visit. Also, knowing we were helping others was an added benefit.

Eating Near The Russell

There are numerous restaurants close to The Russell. Two of our favorites were The Nashville Biscuit House and the Lockeland Table Restaurant.

Just a few minutes from The Russell, we were happy to see The Nashville Biscuit House was open. Voted “Best Breakfast in Nashville,” this family owned restaurant known for its good country style cooking serves a great breakfast. For the complete “country” experience, try the biscuits with gravy along with the southern style grits. Friendly servers in a homey dining room filled with country sayings and patriotic flags and photos make you feel right at home at The Nashville Biscuit House.

Nashville Biscuit country breakfast with biscuits and gravy and grits
Nashville Biscuit Country Breakfast with biscuits and gravy and grits © Scott Kendall

At Lockeland Table Restaurant, we sat at the bar enjoying Happy Hour cocktails and wine in this cool renovated historic building in East Nashville. We ordered the Pizza of the Night, a very flavorful wood-fired pizza with garlic, onion, sausage, and a delicious alfredo sauce. Other dishes on the menu that caught our eye were the WSG Vegan Farm Plate, the rendered Tasty Duck Breast, and the SN Dry-Aged NY Strip. The atmosphere is fun and the food is fantastic. Make sure to make reservations to guarantee a seat at this popular neighborhood restaurant.

Music in Nashville

You can’t visit Nashville without checking out some of the great museums and live venues that pay homage to the moniker of Music City USA. No matter what your taste in music, you will find something to tickle your fancy. Although best known for country western music, Nashville is also a hotbed of blues, rock and roll, gospel, jazz, and other genres of popular music.

Music poster with images of Dan + Shay and Morgan Wallen
Country Music HOF with Songs by Dan + Shay, and Morgan Wallen © Scott Kendall

For those who do love country, the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is a must see. From early bluegrass, rockabilly, and all the way to current times, the museum chronicles the evolution of country music, featuring some of its biggest stars. Likewise, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum commemorates the contributions of musicians in every genre of music.

Musicians Hall of Fame exterior facade in Nashville, TN
Musicians Hall of Fame © Scott Kendall

For the energy and vibrancy of live music, we headed over to Broadway Street. Dozens of venues feature live bands, from country to rock to blues and more. Check out Tootsie’s Orchid Room just across the alley from the Ryman, where many musicians with gigs at the Ryman would run to before or after (and sometimes, during) performances to grab a drink and hang out. Other popular places include Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk Central, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen and Rooftop Bar, Legends Corner, and The Listening Room Café. With over 30 bars, this is only a small sampling. You really can’t go wrong – so, pick one, grab a brew, and listen to some of the best live music anywhere.


The Old Town Trolley

The Old Town Trolley gives a great tour of some of the highlights of Nashville. This Hop On, Hop Off tour is about 90 minutes long, and ticket holders can stay for one continuous circuit or get off at any of the stops and hop back on at their convenience throughout the day. Live commentary throughout the ride helps entertain and inform you about this intriguing city. Get tickets online or go to stop number one at 2nd and Broadway.

Nashville Old Town Trolley - orange & green busNashville Old Town Trolley © Scott Kendall

At Centennial Park, check out the life-sized replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Explore the famous sights on Broadway and throughout downtown. Browse the huge Farmers Market, roam through museums, see the Ryman Auditorium, the Capitol on Legislative Hill, Marathon Motor Works, The Belmont Mansion and so much more. Leave the driving to Old Town Trolley while you relax and enjoy the top Nashville attractions!

Parthenon in Nashville Parthenon in Nashville © Scott Kendall

Always a Good Time in Nashville - Music City, USA

Plan your trip to Nashville today, but go when you feel it’s safe for you. While the city’s bars, restaurants, and attractions have all made efforts to be safe during the pandemic, make your plans based on what you are comfortable with. Check out Nashville websites to find out the latest situation during the pandemic before you visit.

Whenever you can travel safely, you can be sure Nashville will deliver loads of fun, food, and music!

About Scott Kendall, Editor and Travel Writer

Scott Kendal avatarScott Kendall is Editor of PlayStayEat.com as well as a freelance travel writer, photographer, and videographer based in The Woodlands, Texas. He has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe, including several trips to Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, England, and France. In addition to writing for PlayStayEat, Scott has written for EuropeUpClose, Epicurean Traveler, Food Wine Travel Magazine, International Living, Miles Geek, Touring Bird, Airguides, Travel and Talk, and other publications. His published work and videos can be seen at PlayStayEat.com and ScottKendallTravels.com, and he can be reached at [email protected]. Scott is a member of IFWTWA and SATW. 

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