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