Over at The Inn…

It really is the most wonderful time of the year for the Inn at Christmas Place!

Red and green are the colors of the season for us, and just take a look at how beautifully they invite you to come and warm your hands and hearts around our fireplaces.  We’ll start out on the corner first, though, with a choir leading off with Christmas tunes .. don’t they make you want to sing along?

The cloudy day has not dampened their enthusiasm!  Round the corner, and flanking rows of green candy canes, twinkling with lights and brightened with red-and-green bows, lead the way from the parking lot.

Richly-garlanded in red and green, our front doors are guarded by toy soldiers in sentry boxes.

Come in, take a seat by the fire, warm your hands and feet on a chilly afternoon!

Our lobby tree is dripping in more reds and greens – a magnificent sight!

Take a closer look at some of the ribbons and ornaments.

And of course, there must be sparkling presents around, calling the curious to wonder what treasures wait to be unwrapped on Christmas morning…

When you’re ready to venture down to the lower lobby, Santa will be waiting for you, high in the tree, reviewing letters from boys and girls around the world!

If you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll be visiting one night when we’re blanketed with snow.

We’ll keep the lights glowing and the cookies warm for you!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Saddle Up! Time in Pigeon Forge

Have you discovered Saddle Up! yet?  It’s a Winterfest Event in its 13th year, a long weekend of cowboy fun, food, and entertainment.  Events range from musical performances and storytelling, private concerts and free food tastings, to a Saturday Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground and evening Cowboy Dance, wrapping up with a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church at Stages West on Sunday morning.

Guests at The Inn at Christmas Place will have exclusive access to a private evening of food and entertainment on Wednesday, February 20th, when Kent Rollins and T. Scot Wilburn team up to offer a sampling of chuck wagon cooking, storytelling, and music in our own parking lot!

T. Scot Wilburn was born with western music in his blood.  The Montana native’s father and uncle, Harold and Vernon Wilburn, were members of the legendary Snake River Outlaws, one of the hottest cowboy bands in the Northwest during the late ‘40s and early ‘50s.  Scot, a talented musician who can play anything with strings, toured more than a decade with Wylie & the Wild West.  He produces Saddle Up’s “Stories & Strings” concert and this year performs with his own band, the Shut Up -N- Playboys.  Follow this link to an interview and performance during “Stories & Strings” at Saddle Up! 2012.

T Scot Wilburn plays fiddle

T. Scot Wilburn

Kent Rollins is the epitome of what a cowboy should be; he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk each and every day.  And he’s a darned good cook.  Just ask the folks at The Food Network, where Kent recently appeared on “Throwdown! With Bobby Flay” and “Chopped: Grill Masters.”  Kent, his 1876 Studebaker chuck wagon, stove “Bertha” and wife Shannon travel across the country to cook and entertain and make new friends.  He’s been cooking and telling stories at Saddle Up for years and has helped grow the event during its 13 seasons.  (He also comes with a supply of his own killer mix called Red River Ranch Seasonings – I’ve used this on everything from scrambled eggs and green salad to steak, and it makes anything taste better!)  Learn more about Kent here.

Kent Rollins with his chuck wagon at Saddle Up Pigeon Forge

Kent Rollins

There’s still time to reserve your nights at The Inn before the cowboys hit the trail again ~ just be sure to pack your boots!  (Check out the selection at Stages West if you need a new pair.)

Not all the events require tickets, but for those that do, you can purchase them online at www.mypigeonfore.com/saddleup, or on-site during the event.  Saturday’s Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground in Wear’s Valley (no admission charge) offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family, including branding and roping demonstrations, pony rides, and a chuck wagon cook-off between seven wagons.  It’s a truly a great way to bust out some plaid and spend a day with the family!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  We’ve got to get in on the fun here at the store, too ~ we’ll be offering 15% off all our Western ornaments and decor here at Christmas Place throughout Saddle Up!

P.P.S.  NO NO NO, I categorically refuse to try the mechanical bull.  So don’t even try to change my mind about it.  Now, how are my hair and lipstick??

We are a 2013 TripAdvisor Top 25 Hotel!

We are so proud to announce that we have once again been chosen as a Top 25 Hotel by TripAdvisor® in the 2013 Travelers’ Choice® awards.

The Inn at Christmas Place

Now in its eleventh year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels.  The awards are earned from those who know them best – real travelers.  Unlike any other hotel awards programs in the world, TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® winners are based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on tripadvisor.com and content from across the web.  The Inn at Christmas Place is ranked 25th in the Top 25 Hotels in the United States.

We send out a great big “Thank you!” to our guests, who have recently complemented us with comments such as “Enchanting,” “Our new favorite,” “I do believe this is the happiest place on earth,” “We visit again and again,” and “Paradise.”  We’re still working our way up the list – and we believe #1 is definitely an achievable goal.

Since we opened in 2007, our owners, the Biggs, Barnes, and Rodriguez families, and our General Manager Ray Ogle have always made hospitality, service, and luxurious comfort the priorities at The Inn, and our guests definitely notice the difference – and thank us for it with many return visits.

Have you tried our Sleep in Heavenly Peace bedding?  Do you have a favorite Christmas room or suite?  (I choose room 525 – with the big balcony overlooking the mountains.)  Do you come especially for a Santa concert, or for our Christmas in July and December concerts and activities exclusively for guests?  And, really, who else is going to make sure there are Hershey’s KISSES® in your room every night?

Sweet Treats!

“TripAdvisor is once again thrilled to recognize the world’s most outstanding hotels with the help of more than 75 million reviews and opinions from travelers around the globe,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business.  “From the best bargain hotels to top luxury properties, outstanding service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travelers’ Choice winners.”

Take a look at our reviews for yourself .

And take at look at the complete 2013 Travelers’ Choice list.

Sadly, I don’t think we’ll be able to move the hotel from Pigeon Forge to Hawaii anytime soon …

Thanks again to all our wonderful guests, who keep coming back and who tell others about the terrific time you’ve had when you’ve stayed with us.  We really love y’all, too!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Have you booked your Valentine’s Getaway yet?  We may still have a sweet room just for you.  Check out our Romance & Valentines specials.

December is fast approaching!

Are you looking for a special place to help bring on the spirit of Christmas in December?  Here’s what our guests will be getting up to all month long at The Inn at Christmas Place.

There’s something for everyone – and remember, if you just want a relaxing night in, you can pick up a family-friendly movie at the front desk to watch in your room.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  We’ll even make a reservation for Christmas dinner for you at The Partridge & Pear Restaurant!

(Click twice on the poster and you’ll be able to read all the details.)

Classic Chevrolets

When I was a kid, my dad always called the impalas we saw grazing and racing across the African plains “Chevys” by mistake, and we had to correct him (and always enjoyed the joke).  Well, you won’t find a Chevy Impala over at The Inn at Christmas Place today – it’s the weekend of the Chevy Classic Car Show – but only for 1955, 1956, and 1957 models – and are they ever gorgeous.   Take a look at a few of these beauties.

The show begins in earnest tomorrow, when the entire parking lot will be a staging ground for the meticulously-maintained show cars.  The show is free and open to the public for viewing and some serious car talk. 

There is also a large concessions area behind the car show, with booths for everything from classic Chevy auto parts and accessories to food and general interest items.

I can never decide just which is my favorite – but the convertibles are hard to beat.  We couldn’t ask for better weather – so if you’re in the neighborhood, come by and take a look.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. While you’re here, take a tour of our hotel’s public areas and check out the Christmas in July calendar in the lobby – we have a terrific lineup for the month.  It’s also a great time to book your family for our new Pigeon Forge Family Fun package!

Around Christmas Place

It’s technically still “winter” for us around here, as we’ve got lots of construction and remodeling projects underway to get ready for summer – and your next visit to our little corner of paradise here at Traffic Light 2A on the Parkway!  Here are some images that caught my camera last week.

 

Raising the roof – every building is being reroofed!

Remember those walls we put up a few weeks ago?  All is now revealed!  We’ve opened up the spaces between the front entrance, the old toy store, and right into the Personalizing gallery.

When the walls come tumbling down ..

New spaces are revealed!

We’re excited to find out what our design team has in mind for the newly-painted area that previously housed our toy store.

Cool waters for a hot spring day.

Our Parkway Oasis!

No fishing, please.

The Big Kahuna in the Little Pond.

Have you toasted marshmallows with us around our fire pit?

Beautiful blooms at The Partridge & Pear Restaurant.

A beautiful thing I found – an egg, hand-painted with a Nativity scene.  I think it is an ostrich egg, as it is quite large; we are keeping it under a glass dome.

Brilliant Vera Bradley summer-pattern bags – just luscious!  Making me want to plan a vacation somewhere sunny just so I’ll need one of these colorful bags for the trip…. 

MAD LOVE for these Home Grown veggie critters!

 Okay, time to get back to work.  But I will leave you with one more image – a photo of a new threat now looming over the city…

Giant Ape Attacks Pigeon Forge!

Thanks for joining me for a stroll around our place.  What’s happening in your neighborhood?

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Early forecast for Christmas in July – fantastic daily fun for guests at The Inn at Christmas Place – check out the full month’s calendar over at facebook.com/InnAtChristmasPlace!

“Mr. Dickens is Coming!”

For one day only! – Monday, September 24th, two performances – Mr. Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, will be performing Mr. Dickens is Coming!, “a light-hearted and varied look at the life and character of Charles Dickens, at The Inn at Christmas Place.  Gerald uses scenes from the great author’s works, diary extracts and observations from those who knew and worked with him. With its fresh and modern perspective, Mr Dickens is Coming has always proved a popular show.”

Gerald has worked as an actor, director and producer for many years.  In 1993 he created his first one-man show, a theatrical performance of A Christmas Carol inspired by Charles’ own energetic readings of the 1860s.  Our audiences (including me!) have been thrilled by his performances at the hotel in the past two years.  (He’ll be back November 11th & 12th to perform it for us again this year.)  He has an amazing way of bringing each character to life through facial expression, vocal inflexion, and physical mannerisms, all while wearing the same costume.

A fascination with the life and works of his subject led Gerald to write and direct further one-man shows including Mr. Dickens is Coming!, Nicholas Nickleby and Sketches by Boz. He regularly performs in major theatres and arts centers as well as at hotels and stately homes. He has appeared at several arts and literary festivals in the UK and has been entertaining cruise ship passengers worldwide since 2007.

Gerald enjoys introducing the works of Charles Dickens to children and young adults, and has taken workshops and performances into schools, colleges and universities both in the UK and the USA.  We have been thrilled to have him at our hotel!

We invited him for an extra visit this year as the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.  We have put together a special package for hotel guests that includes a 1- or 2-night stay, dinner at The Partridge & Pear Restaurant, and tickets to the show.  Click here to book your stay and show time (performances at 3 pm and 8 pm, with a brief time of greeting guests after each show).

We’re very excited to be bringing this second show to our guests, and know you will not be disappointed.  I was really blown away by his skill and style when I first saw him perform, and you will be, too!

~ Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Sorry about the slang, there, but I really can’t think of a better way to say it than “blown away!”  He was awesome!

Do you drive electric? Then you should stay with us!

Several months ago, we installed something pretty cool here at the hotel – two charging stations for electric vehicles!

We’re always looking for opportunities to be a “greener” property.  If you see something green that you think might work for our guests, please drop me a line about it.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

On the 200th Birthday of Charles Dickens

Charles Huffam Dickens was born on February 7th, 1812.  Many of you have had the opportunity to meet Gerald Charles Dickens, his great-great-grandson, at The Inn at Christmas Place.  In the past two years, he has performed his one-man enactment of one of Charles’ most famous tales, “A Christmas Carol,”  at our hotel each November.  We’re really hoping he’ll fit us into his performance schedule again in this momentous year!

Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens

Gerald has been honored with two very special invitations to kick off the celebrations.  This Tuesday, he’ll participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Charles Dickens’ burial site in Westminster Abbey, followed by a grand banquet at Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Then, on February 14th, he’s been invited to a reception in honor of his great-great-grandfather at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh – a singular honor.

We join fans everywhere in congratulating Gerald on these honors, and wishing him a grand year of celebrating his family member’s history and legacy!

Stay tuned for information about a 2012 appearance with us at The Inn.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Happy 101st!

We get to celebrate some pretty special times at The Inn with our guests – and last weekend it was the 101st birthday of Ms. Bill from North Carolina.  She was here last year for her hundredth, and we expect she’ll be back next year, too.

We didn’t get a picture of her, but here’s a celebratory candle in her honor.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Bill!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place