The Best Nashville Stay-Cations are at the Opryland Hotel!

My family and I are enjoying the gorgeous gardens inside the hotel.

I absolutely love to frequent the Opryland Hotel with my family. It’s close, exquisitely beautiful, and has so many amenities to enjoy. Every season brings something new to the hotel and we look forward to it!

Sound Waves At Opryland Hotel

Having a Splash at Sound Waves with My Kids

We really love the Sound Waves water park inside the hotel. It is open no matter the weather because the indoor section is huge with so much to do! In the winter time, the sun shines through the dome and with the fresh plants inside and the heated air, you’d think you were on vacation at a resort!

My son is obsessed with the buckets that spill out water. They have this both indoor and outdoor!
My hubby and I love coming here!
Our kids love this area of the park.

The outside area is amazing when it is open also! The cleanliness, the staff, the guests, the amenities, and the food…..everything is top notch. I mean it should be, because to go there you either have to rent a party room or book a hotel stay plus pay for the water park tickets. It’s very expensive to go there, and they have strict attendance numbers, which is why there aren’t big lines with big crowds.

Enjoying the kids’ section with my son which is never crowded

We go there about 4 times a year and found a way to make it cheaper for our family of four. Oh, and we live off of one income of a public school teacher.

How do we afford it??????

First, we earn points using their Marriott Credit Card. Here is the link and you will have to copy and paste it for it to work. As of this post it will give you 3 free nights! Just in time for your winter escape just 30 minutes away from home.

Earn 3 Free Night Awards with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card or 30,000 Bonus Points with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card. You can be rewarded too if you apply here and are approved for a card.

When you open a card, you get free nights and points immediately. We use this card for everything. Doctor bills, grocery bills, gas, amazon shopping, etc. These points add up quickly!

Once you get your points, you can book easily online or with the Bonvoy app. Here is how you can book your free night with Sound Waves tickets:

  1. Book the hotel room online. Free rooms do not have the balconies but read on to learn more about how to get one. It won’t allow you to book Sound Waves with your free night-but don’t worry.
  2. Wait until the week of your stay to give them a call to book your Sound Waves tickets. You need to call them for that part. They will then give you a special link to use to book your Sound Waves tickets. If you have enough points, then those tickets will immediately show up with a discount.
  3. If you want a room with a balcony you need to wait until check in for that. Read on for why.

The first time we went to stay and play at Sound Waves, at check in, they offered us a room upgrade for about $50- and we took it! The rooms you get with your points do not have the balconies that look over the gardens or waterfalls. We absolutely love to gaze out at the beauty of these lovely sights from our balcony so we like taking the upgrades when offered, however, we would rather save the $100 or so to not have the balcony to just have the room. It just depends on your budget.

The last time we went, which was just yesterday, at check in, they offered us a FREE balcony room upgrade, had gifts inside our room, plus the discounted Sound Waves tickets (about $100 off the Sound Waves tickets alone). We still have many nights to use before this year is over and will be using several free nights at another Marriott resort to visit DollyWood next month.

It’s a better value to spend the night and here is why: you can go 2 days for the price of one. Your passes expire the second day at checkout, so go on in there and just plan to spend the day. The food is actually very tasty there, for fair prices, and we make the most out of our second day before using the human dryer to get perfectly dry, the bathrooms to get changed, and then we head out.

The Food At SoundWaves

Here is the menu inside Decibels which is the main restaurant.

The food is good, but is mostly the same food you can get at the Delta Marketplace for double the price. I will say if you get the chicken tenders, the sauce that comes with it tastes like the Zaxby’s sauce and is delicious.

Even if price isn’t an issue for you, the line is very very long. And really, the food isn’t that healthy.

One of my tips is that I bring in my own food. No one has ever checked my bag. I bring simple foods like fruit and cheese cubes, PB&J for the kids, yogurt, chips, hummus, protein shakes etc. I even bring in desserts I buy from the Delta Marketplace because they don’t sell dessert there.

As of this post I saw a family bring a HUGE spread and set a table for a dozen people with their own food without any of the employees bothering them about it, so I’m not sure about how strict they are. When we have our own room we take our food immediately there to be refrigerated and bring whatever snacks we choose to bring in a small lunchbag inside our pool bag. This saves us time, money, and tummy aches from too much fried food.

At the bar they will give you plastic cups for water so we just drink water and mix it with our amino acid drink or energy drink powders during the day (check out my need more energy post for those links). If you do buy a soda they are refillable so you only need to buy one and then refill it so everyone can enjoy soda.

Rent a Private Cabana

Sound Waves have these awesome cabanas for around $250 per day. An attendant will bring your food/drinks and there’s a huge TV in there. They have them located around the water park both inside and outside. This cabana is located by the kids’ area.

Enjoying the Hotel besides the Waterpark

The decor inside is breath taking. On our first day there, we take breaks and go use our room to take a rest and we also will walk around the hotel in the evenings to look at all the decor that they change up every single season.

There is always something special to do at Opryland whenever we go. Just this September, there was a virtual animal collector game where you use your phone to follow a map and find these animals. It was free and a fun way for us to do something different between all the waterpark activities.

There is also a food court where you can get amazing food for very affordable prices. We like to get pizza and dessert there and watch the fountain laser shows in the evenings for a fun dinner.

Christmas at Opryland

This is such a magical place to come during the holiday season!!! There’s always a special experience to be had on top of the usual ice skating, ice tubing, train rides, teacups, etc. This past season there was the Elf experience and we loved it! Here are some photos from our stay.


I never pay to park at Opryland. Never. It’s $50 to vallet and when you pay to park you still have to walk quite a ways. They still charge you if you stay there so save your money. Park across the street at the mall. There is a pedestrian walkway you cannot miss, so just park over there. You then walk over to the hotel, (bring a stroller for your little ones and all your things), and you will enter where the inside boat ride takes place. You can then walk to the Sound Waves entrance. I will take photos the next time I go to show you step by step so you can feel confidant about your trip. But until then there are maps when you walk in so you can see how to get there by using your map. During the coronavirus pandemic, the doors are closed and are room key only from my usual entrance, however, if there are alot of people, and/or convention, the door will be open from all the people using it. The last time we went in September, I just dropped my family with our luggage off at the Cascades entrance (where you have to check in anyways), then drove to the mall parking lot and met them inside so only I would have to do the longer walk.

Here is a video we took of Sound Waves in May 2021

This video includes footage of the party room with some tips if you plan to go there for the day without renting a room.

Here are more videos of the rides from our stay in September 2021

This is my favorite outdoor slide! The Racers is fun and not too intense.

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