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Jun
24

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville – Great for Families

Ever been to Las Vegas? Step into the massive Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., and you might find yourself asking, “Which way to the casino?” With 2,881 guest rooms, this hotel is grand— you could indeed get lost in there, just like the huge hotels in Vegas.

Don’t spend too much time looking for that casino, however. The hotel is the largest non-gaming facility in the continental United States, and wonderfully family friendly.

The last time my family visited Nashville to visit relatives, we had merely poked our heads into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. This time, though, we decided to get a room, er, suite. We had a great corner room that opened up to a living room and kitchenette, with a sleeper sofa and extra cot for my two boys. What can I say? We like our sleep and my kids snore.

Pool Perks for Everyone

When we travel as a family we like to spend ample time at the pool. Gaylord Opryland has three pools, which were a huge hit with the kids.

The centrally located Magnolia outdoor pool area is surrounded by a gorgeous fountain and small waterfall with a brook winding toward the pool and a wading pool. There’s a bar and outdoor eating area located poolside, ensuring that the little ones and grown ups always have something to munch on.

The Relache indoor pool is adjacent to the full-service Relache Spa. It’s a beautiful pool that has a designated lap lane—which help to keep frolicking kids well separated from adults working out. On the deck you’ll find plush, padded chaise lounges throughout—perfect for cat naps. A large, heated whirlpool and outdoor sunning area are just outside the pool area.

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Enjoying the Relache Indoor Pool – Creative Commons – Kevin Fliess 2009

Hints of Disneyland

With the hotel’s four-story waterfall, a boat ride through the property’s interior moat, more than 10,000 tropical plants in the atrium and fountains, we thought it was the Disneyland of the Bible Belt. Well, almost. But, we never felt the need to leave (though I think my parents may have been miffed if we didn’t visit them).

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A morning stroll by the Cascades waterfall – Creative Commons – Kevin Fliess 2009

Walking through the Cascades section of the hotel, I was transported to Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Some walkways and footbridges tricked me into thinking I was inside Vegas’ New York New York Hotel and Casino; there was a hint of Paris, with Opryland’s lofty glass ceiling adorned with lights mimicking the night sky. Great restaurants and shops on property made it worth every penny for the suite. Despite the lack of slot machines, we’d hit the jackpot!

Kevin & Sue Fliess

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