Happy Friday friends! Today I have a fun post for you, after sharing that we recently stayed at Mountain Lake Lodge a few people messaged or commented that they would love to hear more about it. I thought it would be fun today to tell you a little more about this quaint mountain top hotel where they filmed the 80’s movie Dirty Dancing.
(this post is not sponsored, I just wanted to share our experience!)
If you have seen the movie then this picture above should look familiar (and if you haven’t then you need to!) While they have the “Kellerman’s” sign up (the hotel name from the movie) for posterity, the hotel is called Mountain Lake Lodge. This is a great place to visit especially during the fall and also if you are looking for off the beaten path type places to go right now. They are being very careful with social distancing, I felt very comfortable there.
This is the second time we’ve stayed here, we first came last spring when we were touring colleges with our oldest son. It’s about 10 minutes from where he is now attending college at Virginia Tech and it is also close to Radford University for those of you with college bound kids. Being in the southwest corner of Virginia it is also close to parts of North Carolina and Tennessee too, though this time we met a couple from Austin, Texas so people do come from near and far.
We booked our stay here early last spring anticipating his drop off well before the world shut down. We were lucky that despite the restrictions on his move in he was able to get a time slot the same day and we could keep our original reservation. As you can imagine, dropping your oldest child off at college is a pretty emotional experience so escaping back here for a relaxing evening was just what I needed, along of course with a few glasses of rosé!
What I like about this hotel is that it feels like walking back in time. It is literally at the top of a mountain, fair warning the drive up is a bit harrowing but well worth it once you arrive! While the hotel has modern conveniences like marble-tiled bathrooms, much of the old-fashioned mountain lodge/summer camp feeling still exists. The Dirty Dancing component is definitely there, but also won’t overwhelm you if that isn’t your thing.
This time we stayed in the main lodge unlike last time we had all our kids and so we stayed in one of the “cottages” with larger rooms (though not a stand alone cottage like the one from Dirty Dancing below, and yes you can reserve the one that Baby and her family stayed in!). I will say that the main lodge room we had this time was much nicer, and has likely been updated much more recently.
They also just built this pool complex and have all sorts of outdoor activities on site, and there are also tons of hiking trails in the area and it’s an easy day trip to the Bedford, Virginia D Day Memorial.
The service has been excellent both times we’ve stayed and the food has been outstanding too. The only thing that I’ll warn you of is that they don’t have air conditioning in the main lodge (not sure about other buildings?) but even in late August we were comfortable, again it is very much at the top of mountain so the air is cooler.
They have plaques throughout the property denoting where important movie scenes were filmed, so it’s fun to walk around and read those. One other interesting thing is that the lake is unique in that it drains and fills up periodically. So the large lake in the movie currently is much smaller but that means you can see the cinder blocks that Patrick Swayze stood on to lift Jennifer Grey when they filmed that famous scene. If you look hard you can see them in the center of this image below! In several years this should be under water again thanks to some geological phenomenon.
I thought this was something fun to share with you all, definitely put this on your list of places to visit sometime especially if you loved this movie. Both times we’ve been there I have noticed groups of women on what seemed to be “girls weekends”, so grab your girlfriends and plan a Dirty Dancing weekend, you’ll love it!