Hotel & Restaurant Spotlight: Carnegie Hotel and Spa, Johnson City, TN

Kristin Luna
| February 15, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
Aerial view of the brick Carnegie Hotel at sunset. A parking lot full of cars is in the foreground. Bryan Breeden

Like many 19th-century buildings in Tennessee, the Carnegie Hotel and Spa (above) in Johnson City has lived many lives. The AAA Four Diamond property first opened as a three-story hotel with 125 rooms in 1891, but just a few short years later, a depression—which also halted work on the city’s new and much-needed railroad—would put it back in the possession of a bank, which converted it into an apartment complex. By 1910, only a single tenant remained, and one night, he returned home to find the building engulfed by flames. Nearly a century would pass until the property would host guests again.

In 2000, the latest iteration of the Carnegie opened to the public; today, it’s the finest hotel in Johnson City and the crown jewel of the downtown. The hotel’s 127 guest rooms and 10 luxury suites now span six stories and have ornate furniture that reflects the era in which the building was originally constructed, as well as modern features like walk-in showers and soaking tubs. The Carnegie Hotel is also pet-friendly, so your dog can accompany you on your Johnson City adventures.

An outdoor pool in the shade of a hotel. Chairs surround the pool. Bryan Breeden

In addition to its opulent rooms, the Carnegie Hotel has a 24-hour fitness center, a business center, an outdoor heated pool (above) that’s open in summer months and a full-service luxury spa, Austin Springs Spa & Salon (below), which provides an array of salon services and body and skin treatments. The on-site Three Diamond restaurant, Wellington’s, serves breakfast and dinner seven days a week. Try the Deconstructed Wellington—filet mignon with foie gras puff pastry, smash potatoes and cabernet demi-glace—one of the restaurant's signature dishes, and the bananas Foster made table-side.

A person receiving a hot stone massage on their back. Bryan Breeden

Ask the hotel staff about the property’s many antiques. Among the more notable pieces are an 1800s clock hand-crafted in Milan, Italy, and a revolving door from New York City’s Park Avenue.

AAA Inspector Notes:

“Restored to its former turn-of-the-century grandeur, Carnegie Hotel guests enjoy the elegance of a bygone era but with all of the attention and amenities expected of a great hotel today. The elegance continues into the spacious rooms, where you'll enjoy large carved mahogany beds with custom mattresses.”

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