This place is HUGE it had a very New Orleans feel about the inside. It was in atrium form with a lot of plants, waterfalls, and even a river. The parking for the hotel was expensive but you do have the option to park at the mall and walk. We paid extra for the riverboat tour. It was a lot of fun. Our guide was knowledgeable about the hotel and the history behind it. There were a lot of shops and restaurants to check out. Divine (The woman on stilts) was there and she was amazing! A beautiful place and the highlight of our trip.
I write this tip not in hotels tips for the prices for this hotel are outrageous and unless your company or somebody else pays for your stay, I don't see a strong argument that would make me to stay in this hotel. That is why many people just come here for self-guided tour.
Simply looking from outside that spreads itself on several acres of land, hotel's inside is a year-round climate controlled atriums with numerous palm trees, exotic plants, waterfalls, creek, and birds. It is a small town within walls with a year-round summer not very humid and not very cold with its restaurants, bars, meeting rooms and exhibition spaces. The hotel is aways filled with people, as a rule, as I can judge, with those that came for some type of meeting or conference.
The Hotel's greenary gives a wide opportunities for photographers of flowers and plants to get good shots. The glass ceiling allows the natural light fill in the atriums and the variety of plants allows to pick the plant of your choice.
I like Cascade for waterfalls, a passage under them that continues into bridge on the top of the hall from where you can see all hall. Also there are small pond, where last time we saw the perfomance of music band and I assume they are often event there.
On the way from Convention Center there is a stairway that leads to the second floor leading to Magnolia lobby that is outstanding with a glass window and beautiful view to outside. However, my tip is about the meeting room on this floor on the left. This is the only room on this side so you won't miss it. I like to have a glance inside and enjoy the reflection from marble floors of the floor and walls, the crystal glitering of chandeliers, and also ceiling painted as a sky with white clouds. The room is small and is only the lobby to the next larger one, but if you want to feel the taste of luxury, I think this is a place to have a glance into.
One of my favorite things in Opryland Hotel are wall paintings in Convention Center all over to the back - some in the hall, and another on the stairs. They depict Tennessee's and Nashville's scenes with cultural color. Don't be lazy and walk to Convention Center.
I found very lovely musical fountains in Delta atrium. Several jets shoot from the cement floor to the ceiling in tone of playing music. Sometimes on evening some events happen at this area, like acrobats, or singers. For this reason there are a couple rows of amphitheatre seats. For shows you may find nice chairs there.
You can take gondola ride in Delta atrium. It costs $8 per person. You will ride with a guide. Unfortunately I cannot tell you more about gondola ride, because I think the price for a short ride is to high and I never took it. While you ride you may see ducks and huge gold fish in the creek that you can see, actually, even without gondola ride.
One of the way to maintain a climate in atriums is the glass ceiling supported with metal bars. It is like you are under open sky just wind doesn't blow at you.
The waterfalls are falling from rocks, I assume natural.
The structure of the hotel is quite complicated so you will need to use the maps that you can find on near the entrances to halls of the guest rooms. So far, hotels numerous halls have own names and it is how you can find them on the map marked with different colors. For now the Hotel has Magnolia, Garden Conservatory, Cascades, Delta and Convention Center halls or parts. Each of them are separated from one another with separate gorgeous entances, but you may find paths through guests rooms corridors, but better not, because it is easy get lost.
Here you can find Hotel's Map to download.
The property, given a general theme toward "Southern hospitality", opened as Opryland Hotel in 1977 adjacent to the Opryland USA theme park and the Grand Ole Opry house, from which the hotel took its name. The hotel originally featured 600 guest rooms, but the number of hotel rooms is expanded constantly. From rumors of a lady who cleans rooms in the hotel, we know that new rooms are on their way in addition to 2,881 rooms for June 2007. Not all rooms have the view to the artrium. Naturally rooms facing inside gardens are more expensive, starting at $220.
If you don't have enough money to stay at the Opryland Hotel, that doesn't mean you cannot enter and have a look around. Inside the Opryland Hotel, there are a variety of shops surrounded by a large moat/river. If you want, you can actually take a boatride on the river! The hotel staff is very nice about visitors who want to marvel at the hotel without staying there.