Given the Vandyke’s moniker as a “bed and beverage” and its curated aesthetic throughout, it follows that the property’s bar menu has equal attention to detail. Of the dozen house cocktails on offer at the 21-and-up hotel, almost all are twists on a classic—some that raise an eyebrow, but risk reaps reward. Take the mint chocolate chip negroni: It may sound like a place that ice cream flavors don’t belong, but barely discernable hints of cacao and menthe make for a refreshing riff. And in fairness, most have never looked at a cocktail in a copper mug and thought, “You know what this needs? Wine.” But the Kalimoxto Mule, which brings a spicy ginger kick to the Basque red wine-cola combo, might be the next big thing. (It’s best paired with the chile-lime chicharrones.)
When it’s time to explore the area, nearby Margot Café & Bar should be top of mind. Chef-owner Margot McCormack churns out hyper-seasonal, European-inflected Southern fare from the teeny-tiny restaurant’s open kitchen. Reservations are a must, as is dessert. For a casual afternoon, there’s Vandyke neighbor Bongo East and its shared-space counterpart Game Point Café, for a seasonal latte or craft beer; pick from the wall of more than three hundred board games and post up with your squad.
A short jaunt over the river from downtown, East Nashville is a lively hipster paradise with equal parts dive bars and cocktail lounges. But after an evening of revelry, you’ll be grateful for the white noise machine and complimentary earplugs stocked in each room.
Everywhere you look at the Vandyke is an Instagram photo-op, from the bar’s murals and Monstera plants to the courtyard with edison bulbs and a vintage truck. There’s no shortage of finishing touches, down to the hand-stamped blocks of ice—which echo the bar’s neon “no vacancy” sign.
Each of the hotel’s eight rooms is decorated with a particular sipper in mind: In the wine room, for instance, a cork headboard stands out amid mid-century touches, while the tequila suite sports cacti and rattan accents. Beer doesn’t mean the aftermath of a college party; the king room overlooking the courtyard takes cues from ’70s athletic clubs, complete with a suspended leather punching bag and racquets as wall art.