NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - For a while now, there's been a growing demand for more hotels throughout Nashville. But lately, it's not just tourists that frequent them. More and more locals are turning to hotels as an alternative to downtown bars and honky tonks.

The Graduate is one of Nashville's newest hotels, opening in December 2019. Located just blocks from Vanderbilt's campus in the popular West End area, this new hotel provides 205 new rooms to help offset the growing need for more places to stay in Davidson County.

"There's been an incredible buzz and the feedback's been incredible," said Greg Bradley, General Manager of The Graduate. "We are located in university-anchored towns and with so many schools that we have here in Nashville, it made total sense to come into this market."

With its alma mater theme in every college town, you can see why this hotel has become not just a place for tourists to lay their head after a night on Broadway, but also for locals to kick back or plan a staycation.

With bright decor and an ode to classic country music, every corner of the Graduate presents a brand new "Instagram moment." You'll see iconic touches of Music City everywhere you look. From Minnie Pearl's portrait at the check-in desk to touches of Vanderbilt's black and gold in the lobby lounge.

At the Graduate, there's something for everyone. Relax with a cup of coffee in the lounge or grab a beer and hop on stage in Nashville's first-ever animatronic karaoke bar.  What sets this music venue apart from others around town are singing and dancing characters modeled after modern day country stars like Eric Church. These "critters" are the main focus of the Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole.

"There's nothing else like it," said Marc Rose, Food and Beverage Operator of The Graduate. "There are a lot of options out there, especially in this city, it's growing so fast. There's so many things for people to choose from. What makes this unique is obviously the critters, but I'd also like to think our food, our drink offerings, and of course, our vintage Dolly Parton pinball machine."

The Graduate is also getting a rooftop restaurant and bar called Miss Bessie's that is set to open by this spring. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Meteorologist / Reporter

Melanie Layden is the weekend morning meteorologist at WSMV. She also has a segment during the week called "Growing Nashville" where she covers the growth of Music City. Melanie has been Working 4 You since 2014.

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