This Retro Motel Might Just Be the Coolest Place to Stay in Nashville

Dive Motel Penthouse
Photo: Ben Fitchett

It’s undeniable: Nashville is booming. And each day, it seems a new glittery, glass high-rise pops up to tower over the city. These buildings, which look over popular neighborhoods like the Gulch and Downtown, are also home to beautiful and grand hotels. In fact, Nashville is currently poised to get a five-star Four Seasons Hotel, really putting the city on the map as a luxury hotel destination.

But once you look past the glitz of the “new” Nashville, you’ll find a humble city with time-tested restaurants, rootsy music blaring in smokey honky-tonks, and a new motel — yes, motel — that seems to transport you back to the very best of where Music City came from.

Mushroom Suite
Ben Fitchett

Located just five minutes from Downtown, The Dive Motel & Swim Club is a 23-room motel perfect for people who wish time machines existed — or just want to grab the perfect Instagram picture. Described as “a mixture of Classic Motel Americana meets Pantone inspired Romantic Nostalgia,” this chic, '70s-themed hotel was originally a rundown motor inn from the 1950s.

Today, it’s a hip place to sleep, but an even better place to party. Each room is equipped with a “Party Switch” that activates a spinning disco ball and a stocked minibar curated by Rainbow Caviar. Even better, different themed rooms really bring the motel to life.

Dive Motel Penthouse
Ben Fitchett

The Honeymoon Suite feels like an episode of Soul Train busted out of the television set with its yellow fur bedding, pink shag carpet, and double soaker tubs.

Scenic Room Dive Motel
Ben Fitchett

Another room can only be described as the love child of Wes Anderson and the U.S. National Parks Service.

Leopard Room
Ben Fitchett

Mick Jagger would be happy in the Leopard Suite, where half-wood paneled walls mix with deep red accents and, obviously, leopard on leopard on leopard.

Rumors Suite
Ben Fitchett

And in the Rumors Suite, don’t forget: What happens in Nashville... will probably become a hit song.

Dive Motel Bar
Ben Fitchett

Then, of course, the cheeky Dive Bar & Lounge is open seven days a week serving “hot food, cold drinks, and good times.” The wood paneled walls, vintage tile floors, and old school portraits (I personally love the eagle) make it feel like an old school boys club, but here, everyone is welcome to come sip on an old fashioned and dance the night away under a solid gold disco ball.

Dive Motel Pool
Ben Fitchett

And in the summer months, grab a day pass or sign up for a membership at the Swim Club to beat that sweet, sweet Nashville summer heat.

The thing about Nashville is that there’s room for everyone to be whatever they want to be, and that translates into hotels, bars, restaurants, and stores. It gave us Dolly Parton for crying out loud. Yes, The Dive Motel & Swim Club is kitsch, it’s loud, and it’s the best sort of gritty. But that’s the point: It’s authentically Nashville, and we’re obsessed.

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