Dolly Parton and Dollywood’s Heartsong Lodge and Resort Land on National Geographic’s “Best of the World” List

Image Credit: Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.

National Geographic recently released its “Best of the World” list for 2024. Dolly Parton and Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort both made the list. The iconic singer-songwriter, recently bestowed with the moniker “Hospitality Queen,” was named one of nine “Travelers of the Year.” This honor is bestowed upon individuals who inspire us to travel and experience new and meaningful adventures.

HeartSong Lodge and Resort Receives National Geographic Honor

HeartSong Lodge and Resort at Dollywood.
Image Credit: The Dollywood Company.

As if that accolade wasn't enough, Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge and Resort also received a spot on National Geographic's “Worth the Trip” list. The lodge was one of only four hotels in North America to make the list and one of the top 22 hotels in the world for 2024. Fellow North American winners include Kona Village on the Island of Hawai'i, Under Canvas North Yellowstone in Montana, and Hacienda at Armendaris in New Mexico. 

What Does Dolly Have To Say About the Recognition?

Dolly Parton in Christmas on the Square (2020)
Image Credit: Netflix.

Dolly says that “she's honored.” The Hospitality Queen wants all of her guests to feel like a member of the family and make long-lasting memories in a warm, beautiful, and friendly environment. Dolly also credits the stunning scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains, stating, “After all my traveling around the world, I still feel like the Smokies are one of the most beautiful places God created.”

What To Expect at Dollywood and the Heartsong Lodge and Resort in 2024

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Image Credit: The Dollywood Company.

Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge and Resort offers a 4,000-square-foot lobby with a fireplace and lantern-inspired windows. There are indoor and outdoor pools, plenty of dining options, and complimentary transportation to Dollywood parks for hotel guests. National Geographic's “Worth the Trip” winner invites their vacationers to find their own “heartsong” moments in Dollywood, which also includes the 165-acre Dollywood theme park, the 35-acre Dollywood's Splash Country, and the DreamMore Resort and Spa.

HeartSong Lodge and Resort bedroom.
Image Credit: The Dollywood Company.

The National Geographic honor wasn't Dollywood's first accolade. Over the years, Dollywood has racked up many awards, including the Golden Ticket Award for the Best Park in the World in 2023 and TripAdvisor's #1 theme park in the country in 2022 just to name a few! Moving forward, Dollywood is likely to rack up more accolades as the HeartSong Lodge and Resort is part of a half-billion-dollar investment strategy with plans to grow over ten years. In total, Dollywood hopes for five resorts with various lodging accommodations to suit all families and their specific needs. 

When Does Dollywood's 2024 Season Open?

Dollywood Theme Park
Image Credit: Joseph Hendrickson /

It won't be long now! Dollywood's 2024 season opens on March 9th. This season, guests can expect the highly anticipated opening of the Dolly Parton Experience, which allows fans a behind-the-scenes peek at Dolly and her incredible life story. 

Author: Nicole Findlay


Nicole is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. As a former professional athlete, she gravitates toward active vacations, but also loves a great luxury hotel (The Palace Hotel in San Francisco is her favorite). In addition to travel writing, Nicole has published pieces about sports, parenting, entertainment, art, technology, and law. When she's not writing, she can be found reading a good book, hiking around the Bay Area with her son, trying to train their 70 lb. puppy, or watching reruns of I Love Lucy.