Most of us who are familiar with Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa are aware it is a fun place to take children. With Camp DW, swimming pools, play areas and Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country nearby, a family trip to this great destination is a “no-brainer.”
But what about some time at this resort without children? Whether for you empty nesters (like my husband and me) or single or married people who just want a nice getaway without children – is this resort really a fun and viable option?
My husband and I recently enjoyed a stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa during a great time – after the holidays while Dollywood was closed for the winter. It was very peaceful and we even got to enjoy the Christmas decorations before they took them down. It was a wonderful respite after our busy few weeks around Christmas when we had lots of family time. It was so nice that I’m hoping my husband will be amenable to making this an annual tradition! A bonus was the great room rates this time of year.
So, what did we do? Well, a lot of resting and relaxing! The peaceful surroundings and quietness of the winter season really contributed to that. We stopped at an outlet mall on the way into town and literally had one entire store to ourselves. Plus, many of the stores were having after-Christmas sales—a win-win for us!
We had a smooth and friendly check-in at the resort, then were handed a delicious cup of hot apple cider on the way to the elevators – setting that hospitable tone for which Dollywood is famous. Our room had a gorgeous view of the pool area and the hills beyond.
For us, even though we live right down the road in Knoxville and are empty nesters (so we often have time at home alone), there is just something about “getting away” for some time together. I wasn’t jumping up to put laundry in to wash, or putting Christmas decorations away, or cooking or washing dishes, or any other of the zillions of things that always need to be done around our home. We had hours just to talk, catch up and even talk about our hopes and plans for the coming year. It was relaxing and restful just having that change of scenery Dollywood’s resort provides. And isn’t it always therapeutic to be near the mountains?! It is for me!
We enjoyed ambling down to the fire pit for a little something sweet after dinner by making our own (complimentary!) s’mores. Quite a treat on what was an unseasonably warm night. We walked around the hotel grounds behind the pool afterwards and noted several other fire pit areas where groups of people were sitting around in chairs, visiting and enjoying the ambiance. Very romantic!
We walked back in through the lounge area, where you can sit and enjoy a drink and small bites. Several couples were there enjoying the quiet with a few friends watching a basketball game and talking with the bartender (they are open until 11 p.m. on the weekend and until 10 p.m. during the week.)
We stopped for a few minutes to listen to the live music on the lower-lobby level at the bottom of the stairs. The music group varies each night, but the night we were there was Midnight Run, a fantastic quartet that drew quite a crowd. We then turned in early (a treat in itself!) enjoying the comfortable bed and sparkling-clean room.
In the morning, we enjoyed a late breakfast at the buffet at the resort’s flagship eatery: Song & Hearth Restaurant. They are open for breakfast from 7 – 11 a.m., allowing you to luxuriously sleep in and still get downstairs in time to eat. They also have a special Sunday Brunch from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. We had eaten the dinner buffet during an earlier visit, but had never had breakfast. There was a wide variety to suit any taste – from custom made-to-order omelets (which my husband had and thoroughly enjoyed! He even went back to thank the chefs on the way out), fruit, eggs, thick-sliced bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, yummy steel-cut oats with all the toppings, and any kind of pastry you can imagine! Included is the famous doughnut wall, which we also had enjoyed when we previously enjoyed dinner there.
I enjoyed a pit stop at Pokeberry Lane, the gift shop on the lobby level, and picked up a couple of gifts I needed to get. They have items for every occasion – for babies and children on up to adults – plus some clothing items, Dolly souvenirs, Christmas ornaments and more.
Other things we didn’t have time to enjoy, but would certainly be fun and appropriate for kid-free time: The Spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, which has couple’s treatments (how fun would that be?) as well as a range of treatments for almost anything that pampers you; swimming (only the indoor pool was open when we were there and it was a popular place!); soaking in the hot tub; working out in the fitness room; or, challenging your partner to a game in the game room. One unique offering in the lobby was an artist doing portraits of people – call for his hours and prices, but we saw him at work the evening we were there.
There are lots of places to sit and relax both inside and out – tables with checkers in the lobby area and rocking chairs on the porches. Be sure and pick up a Weekly Activity Schedule when you check in to see what is going on during your stay.
The best thing for me was just getting away from the everyday duties and enjoying the peaceful, elegant and soothing atmosphere at this lovely resort. What special occasion do you have coming up that would be a fun adult-only getaway? An anniversary, birthday, or – as in our case- just a desire for a break from the daily routine to truly connect, rest and relax?