I grew up in the greater Knoxville area and this hotel will always be the 'fancy' to me. A friend of mine was married here, went to awards banquets, teen board, prom at this hotel. It is a rather unique building built for the Knoxville 1982 World's Fair and the building reflects a very odd it is 1982 and we are building this for what we think architecture will look in the 2000s. Around the 9th floor the town side of the hotel has completely sloped away leaving only the river side left for the top floors. My young daughter enjoyed the Willy Wonka-esqu elevator that punches through the ceiling for the last few floors.
The hotel is located just across the freeway from downtown, which can be reached with a rather short walk or by riding the free KAT bus that stops by the hotel on Hill Ave. It is close to UT which seems to be a selling point to visiting collegiate teams as I've often seen numerous SEC team buses parked outside. The closeness to downtown has always been a plus for me which gives a nice amount of night life in easy access.
The hotel has an open interior concept. The hotel has a nightly bar that is usually busy with business travelers and a the Hill St Cafe that serves breakfast and I think lunch maybe early dinner.
The rooms are a bit dated. This hotel is nearing 40 years and is showing that age. I perhaps cut it some breaks for nostalgia but really think overall it is still nice.
The downside is that the hotel has recently changed ownership after a bankruptcy and has downgraded from Marriott flagship status to Delta. Many of the perks of Marriott are now missing, hot breakfast in the concierge lounge is gone, as is evening service except for once a week on Wednesday. Internet is now free but that is almost a downside if you have Gold+ Status as you would have qualified for a higher tier.
Overall it is still a nice place to stay in a good location. For me though it is an old friend fallen on hard times that is starting to make me feel a little sad when I see the old girl.