Gaylord Opryland Was Great But Then There’s That.

Over the winter break, we spent some time at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. It was an even better option than I thought when we booked it, because it was bitterly cold those days and it was a perfect time to just stay in the hotel.

We’ve stayed here many times and know a lot of the ins-and-outs: most of the restaurants here aren’t especially interesting or delicious so make some alternate plans, staying in an atrium room (balcony) is the only way to justify the expense and really enjoy the hotel, and make time to walk through the entire hotel (there are nine acres of gardens) as there is so much to see.

The day we checked in, we somehow managed to get there at exactly 4p, but our room wasn’t yet ready, and we had to wait until almost 4:45p to receive our room card. There are almost 3000 rooms here, so in many respects, no wonder about the wait.

In the Delta area of the hotel, where our room was located, a little ‘riverboat’ carries people around to get a different view of the surroundings.

Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

WSM’s studio is in the hotel

Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We had a fabulous time in the indoor pool (though it doesn’t seem to be heated), and Av noticed that there were a few people who were leaving the pool area to go to the hot tub outside.

It was 32* outside. We had the idea to do what some of the other people were doing and get in — wow! It was soooo nice! There was something so funny about being so completely comfortable, in our swimsuits, in 32* weather. We only stayed a few minutes as the boys are 8 and 9 and can’t yet stay in as long as adults, but it was nevertheless a fun little thrill.
Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We had a regular, atrium room in the Delta area — the standard rooms, even with the balcony, are just very vanilla.
Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

One evening, we decided to stay in. Since none of the hotel restaurants sounded particularly good (and we’ve been to many of them as we’ve stayed here several times previously) we decided to just keep it easy and order in room service — hamburger, salad, and pizza for the boys to share.What to say? It wasn’t particularly interesting room service food. It was what it was — Sysco, or Sysco-esque. And they didn’t even include the customary glasses of water.
Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

They did have some interesting add-ons, like Goo Goos and RC for $15, and for some reason, Moon Pies and RC for $25.

So we ate, we put everything back together for someone to get the cart, I accidentally brushed by the tablecloth and…what? Ohmygosh please, please if anything has anything to do with food, food service, whatever and no one is bothered by the level of filth on this cart, there are serious problems:

Filthy Room Service Cart Brought to Our Room at Gaylord Opryland, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Curiously, I told the hotel about it and their simple response was that they would audit their equipment. How about “we are terrified that we are putting people at risk with this kind of filthiness, will check our systems so there is responsibility for cleanliness, and will see to it that this never happens again”? Neverrrrrrr will we do room service here again.

Another evening, we brought in Peg Leg Porker, which was pretty good. Many people staying here seem to do so with the intention of staying under the hotel’s roof the great majority of their stay, as on luggage carts, there are a great deal of large coolers and grocery bags. I can see why this is: the gardens are beautiful, there are plenty of amenities to keep guests busy, and especially if one books an atrium room as we did, eating on the balcony with this kind of view is hard to beat.

And now we know room service is a mistake.

This was our view at night

and during the day
Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN


My favorite hotel in Nashville is The Hermitage, the only Forbes 5-star, AAA 5-diamond hotel in the city as it’s pretty and most especially, they are incredibly attuned to the guest (unlike the Gaylord Opryland which is more or less like staying at one of the mid-level Disney hotels where you’re just one of thousands).

This spring, the new 21c Museum Hotel will be opening, and I’d love to make that one my 4th 21c to stay at. Sure to be fabulous.

The new Thompson looks great too, and includes the new John Besh restaurants.

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