February 02, 2024
One of the world’s foremost publications, National Geographic, has named Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort as one of the top 22 hotels across the globe for 2024. Nat Geo staff also named Dolly one of their nine “Travelers of the Year,” calling her the “Hospitality Queen.”
HeartSong Lodge was named to the “Best Hotels” list, part of National Geographic Best of the World’s new “Worth a Trip” category featuring the top establishments recommended for the year ahead. Best of the World 2024 was created, researched, reported and written in collaboration with National Geographic’s international editorial teams, which serve millions of readers through their magazines and websites around the world. Full lists can be found at NatGeo.com/BestOfTheWorld.
This year’s travel guide celebrates not only must-see destinations but expands the franchise to include a complete and authoritative guide of must-do, must-stay and must-consume recommendations for travelers to engage with these destinations more deeply and meaningfully. For the first time ever, Best of the World recommendations include a selection of top wellness retreats, hotels, cultural gems and restaurants that National Geographic’s experts say are “worth building a trip around.”
“We just opened HeartSong Lodge in October, so I’m honored to know that it is already receiving such an outstanding recognition as this one,” Dolly said. “Like I always say, though, we don’t do what we do to win awards. As we’ve continued to grow and expand our parks and resorts, we’ve taken a lot of great care in making sure our guests feel like a member of our family and that they are making precious memories they’re always going to remember. But that’s just one part of it. We’re also blessed to be right here in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. After all my traveling around the world, I still feel like the Smokies are one of the most beautiful places God created.”
Dollywood Parks & Resorts President Eugene Naughton said the new designation further showcases the company’s commitment to growth, part of a plan that was first announced in 2021.
“In June 2021, Dolly and I announced HeartSong Lodge & Resort as part of a half-billion-dollar investment strategy that will sustain our growth for a 10-year period. To continue the momentum from the success of DreamMore Resort and Spa—as well as the rave reviews we’ve already received from guests staying at HeartSong Lodge & Resort—our plan calls for a total of five resorts and an outdoor resort to be constructed here in the heart of the Smokies. The various properties will provide different lodging options for families to select an experience that truly caters to their specific needs.”
Dolly, called the “Hospitality Queen” in the Travelers of the Year category, was recognized as one of “nine game changers making a difference.” The article says, “our nine Travelers of the Year inspire us to experience the best of the world and, once we’re out the door, help make our journeys more meaningful. They are explorers, boundary breakers, and changemakers who know a thing or two about where and how to travel right now.”
We are so excited that our beautiful new lodge has been recognized and is in included with such incredible hotels and resorts from around the world. We can’t wait to see what the first full year of operation for HeartSong Lodge has in store!
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