Gaylord Opry Hotel, more formally known as the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, opened in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1977 next to the Grand Ole Opry and the then-existing Opryland theme park. Today the hotel is part of a mega-entertainment complex that includes 2,881 rooms and suites, extensive convention facilities, a luxury spa, several restaurants and bars, a nightclub, a river-plying paddleboat and a golf course.
Accommodations and Amenities
Gaylord Opryland offers standard rooms and suites, some of which have balconies that overlook the lush atrium gardens. Two of the suites were decorated by contestants from "Design Star" on HGTV. The most lavish suites are the Presidential Suites, designed to include a dining room for formal dinners, a catering kitchen, and for ambiance, a grand piano. All rooms and public areas are non-smoking. The hotel provides a shuttle to and from the airport and for transport to various concert and tourist venues. It also houses a Hertz Car Rental outlet. A total of 600,000 square feet of meeting space makes this hotel an ideal place for large conventions. Weddings can also be booked here.
Annual and Seasonal Events
Gaylord Opryland holds yearly and seasonal events, with Christmas being the most lavish. "A Country Christmas" encompasses a snow area for making snowmen and snow angles, a large exhibit of ice-sculptures, Louise Mandrell in a dinner and show called "The Gift" and a special holiday program starring the Radio City Rockettes. Other events include your choice between three New Year's Eve events: a blowout in Fuse Nightclub, a Black and White Boogie Night party or a Southern gospel festival. Special events are planned around the appearance of country music celebrities including Sandi Patti and The Oak Ridge Boys. Special activities are held for Easter, Mother's Day and St. Patrick's Day as well.
Italian and seafood restaurants, an Irish pub and a burger bar provide a few of the dining and lounge options available. The Water's Edge Marketplace Buffet offers samples of a variety of international foods. Try the Jack Daniel's Saloon for live music and socializing. The Conservatory Cafe is the place for pastries, juices and other beverages. If you like sushi, head for Cascades Seafood Restaurant where you will also find crab soup, pasta and chicken dishes. The menu at Ristorante Volare includes chicken fettucini, veal marsala and tiramisu.
Ease down the Cumberland River on the General Jackson paddle boat and take in a live show. Enjoy a two-hour lunch cruise or a three-hour dinner cruise. Kick up your heels at the Wildhorse Saloon while gnawing on barbecue ribs. Home to live music, dancing and a television studio, this venue is famous for its fried pickles. Visit the original Grand Ole Opry site, the Ryman Auditorium. This is where the icons of country music sang their songs before the Opry moved to its present location next to the Gaylord Opry Hotel. Take a tour or enjoy a concert. If you are a fan of country music, don't miss the Country Music Hall of Fame, a museum that preserves the history and culture of country music through exhibits and live performances.
Flooding and Reconstruction
In the spring of 2010, severe flooding caused water from the Cumberland River to invade the resort, causing damage significant enough to result in the resort's closure. The water reached the 8-foot mark in some areas of the resort. A massive reconstruction and renovation began, and a reopen date was set for November 15, 2010, just in time for the busy Christmas season. The Cascade lobby was completely redone, with the check-in area doubled. Damaged rooms were rebuilt from the metal studs up. In addition, 600 brand new rooms were constructed.