Dolly Parton isn’t just ruling the charts but also conquering the hotel scene in Tennessee with Dollywood’s latest addition; the HeartSong Lodge and Resort.
If there’s a celebrity that has done things right, it’s Dolly Parton. With her fame debut happening back in 1967 in the form of a phone call from the syndicated television series The Porter Wagoner Show, more than 56 years later, her name remains recognizable across all generations. What might be less recognisable but is slowly building itself a brand, however, is the Dollywood Parks & Resorts empire, the country singer’s very own theme-park-turned-hotel-resort.
Dollywood, co-owned by Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment opened its doors in 1961 under the name of Rebel Railroad. It then became Goldrush Junction in 1970 and Silver Dollar city in 1976 before being purchased and re-branded as Dollywood by Parton herself in 1986. Now boasting of a visitor list of around 3 million guests during a typical season, Dollywood is Parton’s nostalgic return to her roots, nestled in the very region where the iconic singer spent her formative years.
HeartSong Lodge and Resort
Dollywood may not be a new venture but HeartSong Lodge & Resort certainly is. Positioned as a glitzy addition to the resort in the Great Smoky Mountain of Tennessee, HeartSong intertwines with the beauty of the landscape in captivating ways. At the core of the lodge’s 302 rooms, a magnificent four-story stone fireplace, crafted from locally sourced stones, some still adorned with hints of moss, stands as the focal point within a spacious atrium. This area boasts expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking views.
Throughout the common spaces, the region’s wildlife and flora make a prominent appearance. Colorful trusses, shaped like monarch butterflies, adorn the ceiling beams, while inside the elevators, backlit photographs showcase the diverse seasons of the Smokies.
The guest rooms take inspiration from the Great Smoky Mountains, incorporating elements like fireflies around illuminated bathroom mirrors and murals depicting bears, owls, and other woodland creatures adorning the bedroom walls. Additionally, custom sound machines create an ambiance with soothing sounds, from crackling campfires to melodious bird songs. Many rooms feature balconies that overlook the outdoor pool complex and the serene wooded hills.
While HeartSong harmonizes with the spirit of the Smokies, it also pays tribute to Parton herself. Guests encounter nods to the iconic figure, such as a grand portrait of Parton adorning the entryway and a collection of her guitars, handwritten songs, and personal treasures displayed within the Acoustic Lobby, a private dining room on the resort’s first floor.