Stay calm? At the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center? Is that not an oxymoronic question in itself? With 2,711 guest rooms and 171 suites on six floors, you would think it an impossibity to indulge in rest and relaxation. Especially when an event such as the conference I attended last week — Learning Forward 2014 — brought together 3,600 educators in 600,000 square feet of meeting space.
But yes, you can stay calm. And relaxed. And enthralled. You just have to know where to go in this magical, multi-space resort where gardens flow harmoniously into well-appointed living spaces.
First, ask for a balcony room in the Delta wing of the hotel so you have a view of the Garden Conservatory, an architecturally beautiful space with a glass ceiling open to the sky.
Swing open the door to your balcony and enjoy the lush greenery that awaits you — palm trees, ferns, manicured shrubs and, at this time of year, massive plantings of pink and white and red poinsettias.
Watch as people take pictures of family members near the light-bedecked gazebo . . .
or climb into one of the boats meandering the waters and listen while a guide selects other features of this indoor paradise to share with you.
Indulge in the sights of balconies aglow from ceiling-hung strands of twinkly lights . . .
or stand in front of the all-red poinsettia tree and take a selfie for your Christmas card!
Second, just sit a spell on your own balcony and notice how others are enjoying the privacy even in this full-to-capacity resort. You might want to pamper yourself with a massage right on your balcony or just share early-morning coffee with your roommate.
But if you choose to roam, you can still remain calm. Bring your walking shoes and “hike” the walkways above the gardens.
Look down at the restaurants yet to open . . .
or the shopping areas where people gather but you hardly hear them.
You may opt for sipping coffee in front of the waterfalls just as my roommate Terry Frost of Knoxville did and plan your day. Will it be shopping? picture-taking? attending a conference? or simply “staying put” in one of America’s premier resorts?
Whatever you choose to do at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, rest assured that you can be hurried and active or calm and relaxed. The choice is up to you!
For more information:
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
If you go:
- Book early. Space fills up quickly, especially if there is a convention at the hotel.
- Ask for a balcony room, if it fits within your budget. It’s worth it!
- Check out the restaurants and early-morning coffee places. Lines get long as walkers roam the hotel early and then stop for a pastry and coffee.
- If you go at Christmas, check out the over 2 million lights and the lovely nativity in the Magnolia entryway. Carriage rides are available. (Access blog post here.)