When taking a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee and looking for a place to stay, you probably expect to find something more country and western than fresh and funky. Still, the latter is exactly what you’ll find at this 23-room adults-only retro motel complete with a pool, pool club, and dive bar.

The Motel That Was Key

The Dive Motel was actually built in 1956 and was originally known as the Key Motel — “Your Key For Comfort.” Each room at the Key came with all the amenities you’d expect to find at a mid-century modern motel of the time — electric heat, air conditioning, a combination tub and shower, and a pool out back. It had a good location, too, along Dickerson Pike, a popular part of old-school Nashville where musicians used to stay when they were in town. (Rumor is, even Hank Williams stayed at the Key.)

A postcard of the Key Motel from back in the day.
Image courtesy The Jim Seelen Motel Images Collection/Society for Commercial Architecture.

Nonetheless, like many hotels that popped up along state highways back in the early days of roadtripping, the Key Motel fell victim to the new interstate highway system and the big-name cookie-cutter accommodations that came along with them. Dickerson Pike and all of the business that sat along it went from being the place to be to being just plain seedy.

That all changed a few years ago, however, when Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks bought the Key Motel, refurbished it, and opened the Dive Motel and Swim Club in August 2019. Don’t get us wrong — it still sits on Dickerson Pike surrounded by seedy motels and even seedier used car lots and the like. And strangely enough, if the sign out front is any indication, it still fits in with its seedy surroundings. (The sign is the same old, rusty, beat-up looking Key Motel sign, just with the motel’s new name painted on in a way that makes it looks like it’s been there since the 1950s, too.)

The World Famous Dive Bar.
Image: Stuckey’s Corp./ Stephanie Stuckey

Now the Place is a Real Dive

You’ll get to your room after checking in at the front office and walking through the World Famous Dive Bar. The bar keeps the retro theme going and features old soda-shop-style booths, bar stools, and all sorts of knick-knacks that give it an old school cool. (Keep in mind that the whole place is 21+).

The kitschy, retro-themed Dive Motel and Swim Club has three penthouses, three double rooms, three cabins and 14 king rooms. Each room also has its own retro theme — think fuzzy pink bedspreads, shag carpet and leopard-print walls. However, each room also has something that’s the same as every other room — mirrored disco balls (actually two in each of the penthouses) and a party switch with four channels from “Dive Radio” to get your groove on: Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Sleep.

Our CEO, Stephanie Stuckey, stayed in the Red Elvis room.
Image: Stuckey’s Corp./Stephanie Stuckey

Each room also comes with its own private bath; penthouses have soaker tubs, a minibar filled with snacks, adult beverages, and other adult items to wrap up the night. You won’t find a television in any of the rooms, but you’ll get good wifi so you can Netflix and chill. There are also plenty of outlets to plug in whatever needs charging.

No Diving at the Dive’s Pool

Finally, there’s the 60-foot pool and hot tub out back that’s surrounded by loungers, umbrellas, and red tables that are also coolers to keep your beer cold. However, if you prefer something a little more shaken or stirred, there’s also poolside cocktail service available.

What there isn’t at the pool is diving. In fact, the wall mural reads “NO DIVING,” and also seems to make a great Instagram selfie spot.

The pool at the Dive Motel and Swim Club.
Image: Stuckey’s Corp/Stephanie Stuckey

If this dive seems like the kind of joint you’d like to spend the night at, then contact the Dive Motel and Swim Club at their website or by calling  +1 615-650-9103 for more information or to make reservations.

Stuckey’s – We’re making Road Trips Fun Again.

www.stuckeys.com