5:32 AM / Friday December 3, 2021

19 Nov 2021

Smooth Traveler: The Gaylord Holiday Experience

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November 19, 2021 Category: Travel Posted by:

By Renée S. Gordon

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center anchors the 300-acre National Harbor near Washington, DC. The resort recently underwent a $64 million renovation that features state-of-the-art designs complimented by chic furnishings in a specially selected color palette.

There are 2,000 accommodations, each featuring a menu of amenities, including designer linens and bath products, as well as turndown service, complimentary wireless, cable and concierge services.  A full-service, 20,000-sq. ft. Relache Spa, health club and indoor pool are located on the property. 


The 19-story atrium is the star of the show and is the hub of the resort’s activities. It offers stunning Potomac River and sunset views, nightly laser light and fountain shows, as well as movies and disco dance parties. Shops are located on the lower levels, as well as in the Harbor Marketplace.

Meals at the marketplace are “grab n’ go” or can be delivered to your room. Belvedere Lobby Bar offers signature cocktails as well as drinks of your choice, complete with great views.

Gaylord suite view atrium (Photo: Renée S. Gordon)

My favorite atrium activity is the Wildlife Safari. Guests download the Wildlife Rescue app and set out to explore and locate animals including snow leopards and black rhinos.

This is an augmented reality experience, and the animals are life-sized, animated and are photographable. Stand beside a rhino for a photo op. (@GaylordNational)

Gaylord’s signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse, features premium beef, locally sourced ingredients, fine wines and artisanal cheeses in an elegant setting. 

The service is exceptional and dining is an experience.

The 80’s Replay Pop Up at Pose Rooftop Lounge is a retro adventure showcasing 80’s music, neon, arcade games and specialty drinks that are both creative and tasty. You can literally party like it’s 1999.

Special winter holiday attractions are on view at the Gaylord National fromNovember 26 – December 31, 2021.

The offerings are numerous and employ the latest technology to present traditional holiday themes. Every inch of the resort is decorated with twinkling lights enhanced with music.

I Love Movies tour (Photo: Renée S. Gordon)

Three times each evening, laser lights wow the guests with a seasonal light show. “The Greatest Story” stage show provides complimentary seating to a multicultural retelling of the Nativity story by six international storytellers. 

Additional family-oriented activities include ice bumper cars, gingerbread house decorating corner, ice skating and snow tubing. “I Love Christmas Movies” is arguably the highlight of Gaylord National’s holiday immersive activities. Guests walk through life-sized scenes from five classic holiday movies, and photo ops are plentiful.

Gaylord Snow Leopard Barry (Photo: Renée S. Gordon)

The Gaylord Holiday Experience creates memories for a lifetime. Couples, families and individuals will discover that they can spend their entire vacation without ever leaving the property.

Should you decide to explore further afield, only steps away guests can board the free Harbor Circulator Bus, and take a water taxi with stops in DC, Maryland and Virginia or purchase tickets for a narrated D.C. Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley tour of Washington’s main sites.

The Circulator also stops at Tanger Outlet Mall, where you can holiday shop in any or all of 85 upscale stores. 

Gaylord National Resort and Spa is a complete family holiday destination. The resort adheres to all COVID protocols and guests have the option to participate in activities at their personal comfort level. Enhance your holiday with a Gaylord National adventure. (#GaylordNational)

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