What do the Declaration of Independence, the Statue of Liberty and Dolly Parton all have in frequent? Properly, they’re all nationwide treasures. However solely considered one of them has a brand new resort open on the foot of the Smoky Mountains, and TPG was there in November when Dolly formally opened Dollywood’s Heartsong Lodge & Spa.
For those who’re confused about why the singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist has a resort, then you definately may not learn about her unimaginable Smoky Mountain theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is considered one of my favourite theme parks on this planet, together with its authentic resort, Dollywood’s Dreammore Resort & Spa.
With increasingly more people flocking to Pigeon Forge to spend just a few days using over-the-top coasters, munching on mouthwatering cinnamon bread and perhaps even spending just a few nights on Dolly’s retired tour bus, Dollywood wanted extra space and extra rooms to deal with all the enjoyable.
So whether or not you’ve got been to Dollywood dozens of occasions like me, otherwise you’re planning your very first journey to Dolly’s “Tennessee Mountain Residence,” here is what you might want to learn about staying at Dolly’s modern new lodge, Heartsong.
What’s Dollywood’s Heartsong Lodge & Resort
Heartsong is the second of two official resorts related to Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood. Whereas the unique, Dreammore, leans right into a form of Chip and Joanna Gaines-like upscale southern design, 302-room Heartsong absolutely embraces the mountain lodge aesthetic. It characteristic stone fireplaces, woodland creature motifs, enormous vaulted ceilings within the foyer and every lodge flooring representing the colours and scenes of a unique season within the Smokies.
Associated: 11 greatest inns close to Dollywood
A real family-friendly resort, there’s an indoor and out of doors pool, youngsters actions all through the day, rooms designed for households with bunk beds, a restaurant and bar, plus particular perks for friends at Dollywood, however extra on all of that later.
Find out how to e-book Dollywood’s Heartsong Lodge & Resort
Sadly, Heartsong just isn’t related to any main loyalty program, and getting any elitelike perks right here is unlikely — particularly as so many alternative room configurations are tailor-made to sure sorts of friends, like suites with bunkbeds.
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That mentioned, Heartsong could be a nice worth, relying on the time of yr you go to. Entry-level king rooms with a sleeper couch begin round $199 per night time, whereas the identical room with the balcony begins at $249 per night time. A household suite with bunk beds begins round $274 per night time, and a junior suite with a balcony, a king-size mattress, sleeper couch and bunk beds begins round $374 per night time.
Simply be aware that in peak season, like in the summertime and through busy vacation weekends, these charges can fluctuate.
For those who’re a frequent Dollywood customer, one solution to save on rooms is by buying a Dollywood Seasons move to obtain 10% off on Dollywood resort bookings.
The rooms are trendy and cozy
Having stayed at and obsessed over Dolly’s authentic resort, Dreammore, I used to be excited to see how Heartsong would differentiate itself from its lovely sister property. Let me inform you, the oldsters behind Heartsong discovered a solution to broaden on the spirit of Dolly that permeates Dreammore whereas creating a wholly new idea with rooms that really feel like a contemporary and trendy mountain lodge.
In my room, a king with a balcony and Murphy mattress, I used to be really impressed from the second I walked in. Measuring a minimal of 350 sq. ft, the room instantly felt giant, contemporary and, most likely most necessary, homey and stress-free. The sage and forest inexperienced colour palette, mixed with comfortable leather-based and wooden accents, instantly made me really feel like I used to be within the mountains. Trendy touches, each refined and really current, additionally made it clear the room was nicely in contact with the twenty first century.
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Strolling in, a big mirror with leather-based straps was hanging on the wall, adopted by an uncovered closet with coat hangers, just a few cabinets, an unstocked minifridge (there is a fuel station throughout from the resort space entrance to top off on snacks and drinks, plus a market off the foyer), a protected, an ice bucket, and an iron and ironing board.
In the primary bed room space, I used to be impressed by the stylish and easy wooden and leather-based headboard with extra leather-based straps (a theme all through the room). Above the mattress was a cute mural with a sundown view of the Smoky Mountains (paying homage to the quilt of Dolly’s “Blue Smoke” album) behind a mama and child bear and flowers internet hosting Dolly’s signature image, butterflies. The mattress itself was completely comfy, and I slept wonderful throughout my three-night keep.
On one nightstand, there have been built-in energy shops, and on the opposite nightstand, an alarm clock with wi-fi charging capabilities.
Throughout from the mattress was a protracted picket console with a padded bench that I am positive would’ve been an amazing place to take my footwear off (although I used it as a spot to dump my backpack), plus storage and a 42-inch TV with streaming capabilities.
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There was additionally a desk with a chair excellent for getting some work completed, together with a small however environment friendly single-cup espresso maker. One factor I particularly cherished was a little bit sound machine the place you may combine completely different nature sounds to essentially make it really feel such as you had been on previous Rocky High.
Reverse the desk, a small sofa sat towards a picket cupboard that contained a pre-made Murphy mattress. The sofa magically collapsed down when the Murphy mattress was open, making it simple to transform the area.
There was additionally a balcony overlooking the doorway to the resort with two chairs and a picket desk.
The toilet was a two-room affair with a single-sink vainness and plenty of additional floor area. There was an enormous mirror with these picket straps, however with the added impact of an in-mirror mild to glow as vivid as Dolly (plus etched lightning bugs, in any other case often known as fireflies). After all there have been additionally additional towels, a hair dryer and a few small lavatory facilities.
There was additionally a black cosmetics washrag, which I discovered humorous contemplating Dolly has mentioned publicly she by no means takes off her face at night time.
The bathroom and bathe had been separated by a sliding barn door, so two individuals may, in concept, use the area on the identical time, however do not count on it to work as a lot of a sound barrier. The bathe had a glass sliding door, white bathe tiles and Heartsong-branded lavatory facilities that smelled fairly good.
Get your fill with elevated Southern meals
Belief me after I say you will not go hungry at Heartsong, as there are a handful of locations to eat or moist your whistle.
Begin your day with Starbucks espresso and grab-and-go from the Songbird Market within the morning. There, you’ll be able to load up on snacks for the day, order a sandwich or a pizza, seize ready-made meals to take with you or get Dollywood’s world-famous cinnamon bread for a sugary jolt. It is open all through the day, so don’t be concerned if you might want to get your afternoon caffeine repair on, too.
The principle restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner, is Ember & Elm: Tastes Rooted In The Smokies. Located in a wonderful, trendy eating room, friends can have a continental breakfast ($19) or order dishes like hen and waffles (go for the Nashville scorching hen, $19), cinnamon bread french toast casserole ($14) or more healthy choices like avocado toast ($18).
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For dinner, make a reservation and cargo your desk up with Southern consolation classics and good-for-the-soul favorites. Biscuits (my favourite meals) got here to the desk with out ordering (a dream). I actually loved every little thing I ate, together with deviled eggs 3 ways (crispy pimento cheese, hen caesar and scorching honey shrimp, $14), a mouthwatering heirloom tomato and burrata salad with grilled peaches ($15) and an airline pan-seared hen breast with brussels sprouts and root vegetable puree ($32).
On the restaurant’s informal bar, the place you may as well order meals, I loved a tremendous wedge salad with grilled hen and plenty of nice toppings, like crispy bacon, tomatoes and bleu cheese ($16). I additionally ordered a caramel apple Previous-Original with a sticky, caramel-glazed rim ($16). The bar known as Excessive Be aware is open later, and I discovered it stuffed with drained dad and mom on a Saturday night time go to after Dollywood closed.
Lastly, you’ll be able to order meals and drinks to the pool with poolside service. Or, when you really feel like staying put in your room, an in-room menu with highlights from all of the aforementioned eating shops is obtainable from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
There are two swimming pools for friends to get pleasure from
Although I visited Heartsong in early November, I have been to the sister property Dreammore a number of occasions throughout hotter months. I can inform you the swimming pools there have been always busy and full of oldsters lounging in chairs, youngsters laughing and splashing round and an total joyous ambiance that comes with a theme park trip.
Because it warms up, I do know the identical might be mentioned of the massive out of doors pool at Heartsong. It has a form of funky U-shape design with a zero-entry space on one aspect and a peninsula-like area within the center; I may simply think about my niece utilizing it as an Olympic-like leaping platform. There’s additionally a waterfall that is positive to be a success with anybody seeking to settle down throughout a sticky Tennessee summer season day. For much more enjoyable, there is a splash pad for youths.
There’s additionally a scorching tub exterior that stays open because the temperatures drop, and each youngsters and adults had been flocking to it.
Even when the out of doors pool is closed, a big indoor pool is open day by day till 10 p.m., giving the little ones a great way to burn what power is left after a protracted day working round.
Household-friendly actions abound
Although you may probably spend most of your time whizzing round on rides like Massive Bear Mountain at Dollywood, if in case you have kiddos, make sure to save a little bit time to get pleasure from one of many many on-property experiences like Camp DW.
With that program, youngsters (and children at coronary heart) will pay between $10 and $20 to take part in several crafts, like making magnets or Christmas tree ornaments. I joined a bunch to make my very own stuffed fox, even making a want on the center earlier than placing it in; I used to be completely happy to have a particular souvenir to convey residence.
Different actions embody each day studying time within the library stuffed with books from Dolly’s Creativeness Library, a charity she began that has donated greater than 2 million books to youngsters world wide.
And at night time, be a part of the Camp DW crew for “Roasties,” the place all friends can seize a connoisseur marshmallow (we’re speaking those filled with much more candy goodies), get a spot across the campfire and make s’mores whereas lightning bugs dance round. Some nights, there’s even a reside sing-along.
And if merely sitting by the hearth is your ultimate solution to move the time, there is a centerpiece firepit exterior with dozens of chairs surrounding it, plus smaller pits your group or household can declare. Inside, chairs and couches are centered round a large double-sided stone hearth; practically each time I walked by I noticed somebody cuddled up with a e-book in hand.
Resort friends get nice perks at Dollywood
Making Heartsong a Homebase for a go to to Dollywood is a superb thought as a result of lodge friends get the VIP therapy.
For starters, ticketed friends get precedence entry to Dolly and Dollywood’s Splash Nation water park and early entry on Saturday to get pleasure from a choose experience (although there are some restrictions). You will additionally get complimentary TimeSaver Passes that let you skip the road on sure rides 5 occasions in a day and make reservations for sure reveals. You will additionally get free trolley service to and from the parks and the choice to have in-park purchases delivered to the entrance desk of the resort.
For those who want extra assist planning your excellent day, we now have a useful information with every little thing you might want to know earlier than visiting Dollywood.
I’ve mentioned it earlier than, and I will say it once more: Dollywood is likely one of the greatest theme parks within the nation. For those who even have an inkling of need to go to, here is your signal to go.
Now, it is solely getting higher with the addition of a contemporary new resort that is an amazing place to spend a day. At Dollywood, you’ll be able to sleep in a wonderful lodge, eat at a really great restaurant, get pleasure from rides for the entire household after which spend the subsequent day exploring considered one of our most lovely nationwide parks.
Some would possibly say that Dolly Parton had no thought what she was doing when she transformed a drained previous theme park into Dollywood again in 1986. However I do know in my coronary heart she knew precisely what she was doing — and precisely what it might turn out to be: a world-class expertise with not only one however two unimaginable resorts for the entire household to get pleasure from.
Greatest bank cards for reserving inns close to Dollywood
There are over a dozen glorious journey rewards bank cards on the market for lodge stays. The fitting one(s) for you’ll depend upon when you’re loyal to a selected program or chain, whether or not you need premium perks, and when you worth advantages like annual free nights, automated elite standing and profitable incomes charges.
Listed here are three nice bank cards to make use of for reserving stays throughout a wide range of lodge chains and impartial properties whereas nonetheless having fun with money-saving options and high-end advantages.
The Platinum Card® from American Specific
Incomes charges: This card earns 5 factors per greenback on airfare bought instantly with the airways or via the Amex Journey portal (on as much as $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar yr). Plus, you may earn 5 factors per greenback on pay as you go inns booked with Amex Journey. All different purchases earn 1 level per greenback. Bear in mind, Amex factors switch to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio, to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio and to Selection Privileges at a 1:1 ratio, and there are generally switch bonuses.
Advantages: This card is completely full of perks, however among the many travel-related ones you may wish to maximize, together with some hotel-specific advantages, are:
- As much as a $200 annual lodge credit score, within the type of a press release credit score, on pay as you go Amex Superb Resorts + Resorts or The Resort Assortment bookings with Amex Journey if you pay together with your Amex Platinum (Resort Assortment stays require a two-night minimal)*
- Entry to Amex Superb Resorts + Resorts and The Resort Assortment
- Complimentary Gold standing with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy*
- As much as $200 in assertion credit yearly for incidental charges charged by one airline you choose*
- As much as $200 yearly in Uber Money, legitimate on Uber rides and Uber Eats orders within the U.S. (cut up into month-to-month $15 credit plus a $20 bonus in December)*
- As much as $189 in assertion credit to cowl your Clear Plus annual membership*
- A $100 assertion credit score for International Entry each 4 years or an up-to-$85 price credit score for TSA PreCheck each 4 1/2 years (relying on which utility price is charged to your card first)
- Entry to the American Specific International Lounge Assortment, together with Centurion lounges, Precedence Cross lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges, Plaza Premium lounges and Delta Sky Golf equipment (when touring on same-day Delta flights, restricted to 6 annual visits from Feb. 1, 2025)*
*Enrollment is required for choose advantages.
Annual price: $695 (see charges and costs).
Learn our overview of the Amex Platinum card.
Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card
Incomes charges: Earn a vast 10 miles per greenback on inns and rental vehicles booked via Capital One Journey, 5 miles per greenback on flights booked via Capital One Journey and a vast 2 miles per greenback on all different purchases.
Advantages: Cardholders get $300 in credit yearly for bookings made via Capital One Journey, plus 10,000 bonus miles each account anniversary, beginning in your first anniversary (value $100 towards journey). By means of the Capital One Premier Assortment, cardmembers can get pleasure from free breakfast, on-property credit and room upgrades (if out there) on stays at collaborating properties booked via Capital One Journey. In addition they obtain as much as $100 in assertion credit for both TSA PreCheck or International Entry.
Annual price: $395 (see charges and costs)
Learn our overview of the Capital One Enterprise X.
Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card
Incomes charges: This card accrues 5 factors per greenback on journey booked via the Chase journey portal, on Lyft purchases (via March 2025) and on Peloton tools and accent purchases of $150 or extra (via March 2025, with a restrict of 25,000 bonus factors). It additionally racks up 3 factors per greenback on eating, choose streaming companies and on-line grocery retailer purchases (excluding Goal, Walmart and wholesale golf equipment); 2 factors per greenback on all journey not booked via the Chase journey portal; and 1 level per greenback on every little thing else.
Advantages: Cardholders obtain a $50 assertion credit score on lodge stays bought via the Chase Final Rewards journey portal upon opening the cardboard and every following cardmember anniversary. In addition they obtain a ten% bonus primarily based on their complete spending in the course of the account anniversary yr at a charge of 1 level for every $10 spent. This card additionally has a few of the greatest journey protections within the trade, together with journey cancellation insurance coverage, journey delay insurance coverage and first rental automobile protection, amongst different insurance policies.
Annual price: $95
Learn our overview of the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked.
For charges and costs of the Amex Platinum, click on right here.