I’ve been a guest in a great many theme park hotels. So many, in fact, that I don’t even take the collectible shampoos anymore. So when I first discovered Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, I was a little skeptical about its ability to measure up to some of my favorites. Now? I’m a big believer. Dollywood’s resort has become one of my favorite places to stay in a very short span of time. Service, comfort, a little luxury – they’re all here. But at this resort, the difference is in the details.
Striking the balance between making guests feel they’re at home and making guests feel special is a difficult thing for resorts to get right. Dollywood’s DreamMore is at the top of my A-list for acing this particular balancing act. The lobby is grand but cozy, the building and property are expertly maintained, and the rooms are posh without being fussy. Staff members (hosts, as they call them) always have a friendly greeting, but aren’t pushy or hurried. It’s as natural to relax on a cushy lobby sofa as it is to set up shop in a wingback to answer those e-mails. I regularly do both.
You’ll find everything you need in the hotel shop and eateries, and while Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville are a stone’s throw away from the resort, I guarantee you won’t miss them if you become a hotel homebody.
Resort Rooms: Made for Families
Theme park hotels are big on calling rooms “family-friendly”, but most miss the mark on the follow-through. Dollywood has several different categories of rooms labeled “friendly-friendly” that actually are. From really comfy built-in bunk beds, to sinks and mini fridges in family rooms and suites, to that few extra feet of floor space that accommodate the 4 p.m. sillies, Dollywood’s hotel rooms go the extra mile to house your bunch comfortably. There are plenty of outlets for charging devices, the bunk linens are made for comfort and for staying on the mattress and the kids, and family suites even have an extra television for the kiddos by the bunks.
Eating and Playing at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort
You only get the “resort” title in my mind if I can walk through your doors for a weekend and eat, shop, and play without having to leave property. While this resort is a smaller property (300 rooms on 20 acres) compared to some theme park resorts, I never run out of things to do. I’m a huge fan of the hotel’s market — DM Pantry — a cute little shop that packs a lot of mealtime punch. You can get Starbucks coffee, fantastic pizza, some really amazing baked goods, hand-scooped ice cream, and sandwiches and salads that are tasty and fresh. Don’t forget to pick up a refillable mug (kid and adult sizes available) that gets you discounted refills whenever you use it at DM Pantry.
When you’re done snacking, make use of the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools, excellent fitness facilities, rocker-adorned porches overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains, Kids’ Camp activities, poolside fire pits, and full-service spa. I like to fill my day at Dollywood’s resort with a pedicure, a resort-sponsored activity like crafting or cookie decorating, a fantastic cocktail and a DIY S’more before turning in for the night.
Check the resort activity guide in your room packet or ask a friendly staff member for details on the events and activities at the resort. Or, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, curl up in a book nook on the first floor and take in the special touches there.
Guests of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort who also have Dollywood tickets receive a fantastic set of perks including an exclusive resort-to-theme-park shuttle with special Dollywood park entrance, complimentary TimeSaver passes for each guest on the resort reservation, Early Saturday Entry, and complimentary in-room package delivery of merchandise purchased in the park. And if you’re not planning a park visit, you’ll still receive free Wi-Fi, complimentary parking, and so much more.
There are so many more wonderful details at Dollywood’s DreamMore that make each of our visits special. But we won’t spoil them for you here. Instead, I’ll let you discover them on your own. Say hello if you pass me by on your visit. I hope to see you soon!