Travel is multisensory by definition, and after months at home living in a two-dimensional world of screens, a visit to the Joseph in downtown Nashville is a welcome jolt. The new luxury hotel in the city’s SoBro neighborhood (that’s “south of Broadway”) is a treat for the eyes from the moment you pull into the porte cochere, which is lined with a living wall of plants and a floor-to-ceiling video installation featuring a trio of galloping Spanish horses. Prominently parked in front is a Burberry-trimmed black London cab ready to take guests anywhere within a three-mile radius—though once you step inside the modern twenty-one-story glass building, chances are you won’t want to leave.
The hotel’s owner, Joel Pizzuti, and his family made their fortune developing real estate around the country for the last five decades, and they are world-class art collectors. (The hotel’s namesake is Pizzuti’s grandfather, Joseph.) The property showcases more than 1,000 pieces from their private collection, including a Tennessee Portfolio dedicated to local artists. The South’s maker culture is well represented too: Smart uniforms were created by Alabama-based designer Billy Reid, the reception desk features hand-tooled leather paneling by Texas boot manufacturer Lucchese, and in-room minibars are stocked with Nashville-made treats like Olive & Sinclair chocolates and beer from Bearded Iris Brewing.
The food here also awakens the senses. The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Yolan, is led by James Beard Award winner and Michelin-starred chef Tony Mantuano (you might also know him from Bravo’s Top Chef Masters) and turns out exquisite Italian dishes like saffron risotto topped with lobster, or delicate handmade pasta stuffed with North Georgia candy roaster squash. Each plate is a colorful masterpiece in its own right.
For a different type of visual treat, claim a Technogym or Peloton station in the twenty-first-floor gym and prepare to be dazzled by the Nashville skyline. The top floor is also home to Rose, the elegant full-service spa, and Denim, the rooftop lounge and pool deck serving Mediterranean-influenced fare and craft cocktails (the Branching Out, featuring brown-butter bourbon, packs a punch).
The 297-room property marries large-hotel standards with small-property perks, creating a best-of-both-worlds experience. Crisp Frette linens and in-room iPads for booking reservations and requesting amenities are paired with charming elements that make the Joseph feel like a boutique hotel. Suites might come outfitted with an Audio-Technica turntable and vintage records, a plush sofa with cowhide pillows, and espresso cups emblazoned with a line drawing of Lou, the hotelier’s beloved French bulldog. From the stunning decor to the gracious staff (many of whom recognize guests—even behind their masks—and address them by name), this Music City property is a sensational escape.
401 Korean Veterans Boulevard, Nashville, Tennessee • (615) 248-1990 • thejosephnashville.com
While You’re There
Pay a visit to Hatch Show Print, one of America’s oldest letterpress print shops, housed in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum—just a three-minute walk from the hotel. Started in 1879 by brothers Charles and Herbert Hatch, the brand has created iconic posters for stars like Duke Ellington, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, and Etta James. Take a behind-the-scenes tour or score a signature poster to take home.
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Southbound.