Dolly Parton just turned her glittery tour bus into the ultimate Tennessee hotel suite

Jun 25, 2022

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For about 15 years, Dolly Parton — the Queen of Country Music and probably the closest thing we have to a living angel — lived much of her life on a Prevost tour bus crisscrossing the country.

It was on that bus, between 2008 and 2022, that Dolly wrote the “Backwoods Barbie” album and “9 to 5 The Musical,” and traveled to more than 60 cities on the “Pure & Simple” tour. (This included a stop in New York City where I sang my heart out with other adoring fans.)

Preferring the comforts of home on her highly customized bus over flying, Dolly had the entire space decked out to include a bathtub and a wig cabinet (for the most precious of her cargo). She even had a full-size refrigerator installed — which required removing the bus’s front windshield to fit it in — just so she could cook for her crew while on the road.

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shelf with glittery hats and Dolly Parton's blonde wigs
(Photo courtesy of The Dollywood Company)

“I have homes all over the United States,” Dolly once said. “But my favorite place is the bus because that way I can just feel those wheels rolling.”

tour bus with dolly parton's signature in pink on side
(Photo courtesy of The Dollywood Company)

Now that bus is a getting a new life as a luxury hotel suite. It’s now available to book at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

During a stay on the bus — which has been coined the Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience — guests can see firsthand what it was like for Dolly living on the road. The bus is parked in a special, dedicated spot behind the hotel. It sleeps two people, and those lucky enough to spend a night on the bus get to relax while surrounded by hand-painted murals representing “wayfaring wanderers, wagons and crystal balls.” The bus is complete with jewel-toned fabrics and decor that only Dolly could pull off.

pink bedding on tour bus bed with glass case of Dolly Parton's blonde wigs
(Photo courtesy of The Dollywood Company)

Beyond the wigs and rhinestoned Dolly paraphernalia, including towering high-heeled shoes and a ribbon-adorned tambourine, guests also have access to a dedicated concierge team for the entire stay. Plus, they’ll receive one-of-a-kind food offerings and a collection of customized keepsakes to keep as souvenirs, such as a bottle of her perfume, “Scent from Above.” (It smells great, I preordered the sample when it was announced last year.)

Although the bus itself only has room to sleep two, each booking comes with a room at DreamMore Resort that can sleep an additional four guests, so nobody has to miss out on the fun.

Dolly famously said, “It costs a lot to look this cheap,” and it also costs a lot to stay on the tour bus. Stays require a two-night minimum and start at $10,000. However, in true Dolly fashion, portions of the proceeds will go to The Dollywood Foundation — her organization that funds Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that gives free books to children from birth to the age of 5.

pink bedding on tour bus bed with glass case of Dolly Parton's blonde wigs
(Photo courtesy of The Dollywood Company)

For folks looking to spend less on a pilgrimage to Dolly’s “Tennessee Mountain Home,” there are still plenty of ways to get a taste of her legendary history. Inside Dollywood, guests can explore a tour bus from another era of her decadeslong career or step inside a replica of her childhood home.

Next fall, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort will finally open its doors after much anticipation. With 302 rooms and suites plus a 4,000-square-foot, four-story atrium lobby, this long-awaited resort — part of the park’s half-billion-dollar investment in its future — will be just another reason to head to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Featured photo courtesy of The Dollywood Company.

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