This Nashville institution is half hotel and half spectacular indoor garden. A Marriott property, this four-star business and leisure hotel is in fact the largest non-casino hotel in the world. Despite the immense space, the service is friendly and it is difficult to get lost.
There are a whopping 2882 guest rooms, including 71 suites and five themed presidential suites. 776 of the rooms are garden atrium rooms, with a balcony overlooking the waterfall-filled gardens. My room was one of these and I loved the sound of the waterfall coming through the French doors of my balcony and the view over the greenery.
Rooms are equipped with an extremely comfortable bed, desk area, easy chair, mini-fridge, coffee maker and flat screen TV. Showers have a curved curtain bar, ensuring you have lots of elbow room and no risk of a clammy curtain touching you. The rooms have two sinks, the second one in a well-lit area near the closet, so there’s no need for jostling. Turndown service includes some delicious milk chocolates.
The gardens are where the Gaylord Opryland really stands out. The garden area is nine acres and has dancing fountains, roaring waterfalls, meandering streams, koi ponds and 50,000 tropical plants. You can walk along paths at two levels, as well as dine and drink in several garden restaurants.
There’s a huge spa (the largest in Tennessee), big outdoor and indoor pools with hot tubs, a fitness centre, shopping, activities for kids, and 15 cafes, lounges and restaurants. You can even take a Delta riverboat cruise in the Delta Atrium. Should you want to explore further, the hotel has a free shuttle to the Grand Ole Opry House and its highly entertaining shows (regardless of whether you’re a big country music fan), to the Gaylord Springs Golf Links, and to the nearby shopping centre.
Christmas is a special time at the Opryland Gaylord as the hotel and gardens are lit up with 2.3 million holiday lights, 15 000 poinsettias, a 48-foot-tall Christmas tree, and even 1.5 million pounds of real snow on a specially-built tubing hill. Christmas 2016 will also feature a How The Grinch Stole Christmas musical show and will welcome 40 master artisans from Harbin, China who will carve ice sculptures with a Rudolph theme.
See www.VisitMusicCity.com for tons of info on what see and do in Nashville.