Prevue November-December 2017 - 55
Getting down to business comes with a few fun surprises
[ON LOCATION] AINE MCATEER
nown to most as the country music capital of world,
Nashville is also becoming a contender as a leading food
and entertainment destination. And while cowboy boots,
guitar-toting musicians and blue jeans still reign supreme
as the heart and soul of the city, an influx of millennial professionals
are changing the meetings landscape. We experience all of this
firsthand during a visit to the newly renovated 482-room Sheraton
Grand Nashville Downtown, at the fringe of the city's Arts District,
which offers some of the tastiest dishes (and bourbon) in town and
some of the most versatile meeting spaces.
Red restaurant and oyster bar in Germantown reveals another side
of Nashville's culinary personality. The food is all locally sourced
and wrapped in a chic and contemporary atmosphere, including
private outdoor dining for 60 in a secluded green urban garden.
The chic and rustic ambiance of the Barn at Loveless is perfect
for corporate events and retreats for up to 350; a perk is on-site
catering. And as far as classic Southern fare goes, it's well worth
the 20-minute drive along picturesque Highway 100 to Loveless
Cafe, where groups can enjoy all-you-can-eat country ham, fried
chicken, biscuits and gravy, fried green tomatoes and delicious
Our culinary adventure begins with cocktails and nibbles at the
hotel's rooftop Skye venue to celebrate the property's recent
"Grand" designation. Events for up to 1,000 take place here amid
an aquatic tank of 150 jellyfish and spectacular panoramic views
of downtown Nashville. We're then escorted to the conference
center, on this night transformed into a "Moulin Rouge" fantasyland,
with bubble girls drifting across the room, Cirque du Soleil-esque
performers and world-class tapas and cocktails on tap all night.
The evening tops off with a performance from the iconic band
Earth, Wind & Fire. All in all, more than 30,000 sf of meeting space
is available to planners, and as we learned, there are no limits on
how these spaces can be transformed.
The folks at the hotel are also eager to show off the local
chops, and we venture off-site to Martin's BBQ where we're
served a soulful feast of Southern comfort food. The new Henrietta
FINDING THE GROOVE
Jennye Williams, senior sales manager for the hotel, says
Nashville's musical heritage has made way for the most popular
group experience to date: songwriting team building.
"Together with Grammy award-winning songwriters and
singers, attendees write, record and perform an original song,
followed by an awards ceremony."
To really get a feel for the soul of the city, groups should not
leave Nashville without an evening of honky tonk at Wildhorse
Saloon. Here, our group dances the night away (in boots that we
chose during an earlier VIP gift and fitting session arranged by the
hotel with French's Shoes & Boots) to the sounds of a country
rock band as the brave among us test their bull riding skills.
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