The Real Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing

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Mountain Lake Hotel flickr image by carl_r_grantI was 13 years old when the movie “Dirty Dancing” starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey was released. My friends and I dreamed of being Baby and dancing a bit dirty with the hotness of Patrick Swayze’s dance instructor character, Johnny Castle. I bought the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack with my allowance and in fact, I STILL have that cassette tape today.

I would play that soundtrack over and over, singing in my room dancing around to Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby” and “I’ve Had the Time of my Life” sung by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. But one question I’ve always had: is Kellerman’s a real place and can I go visit and take dance lessons?

Anyone that knows me will agree that I’m spastic as a dancer, until I’ve had a drink. Then, I’m the best dancer in the entire world (or at least I think I am at that moment). The good news is, Kellerman’s was filmed at a real resort and they even offer Dirty Dancing Weekends. Sign me up!

Kellerman’s is really Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia. Visitors can stay in a hotel room, or splurge for a cottage like Baby’s family rented. Rates start at $195 per night and go up to as much as $920. Sounds a bit steep, but breakfast, dinner, and activities are included in the price. Day visitors are welcome on the property for a $3.00 trail donation and lunch reservations are encouraged.

The next scheduled Dirty Dancing Weekend is November 6-8, 2009 and includes meals, dance lessons, tours, and many activities so that visitors will have the time of their lives. I’ve yet to visit this property, so I can’t recommend it, but I sure will be adding this iconic property to my list of places to experience.

I checked out the comments of visitors on, and people either loved it or hated it. I always take the negative comments on there with a grain of salt because I’ve found that people will go out of their way to complain, a few make the effort to commend a business, but 90% of visitors never leave a comment at all. It looks to appeal to the outdoor lovers or those searching for a rustic step back to nature, but if you are on the hunt for ultra-luxury, you may need to look elsewhere. For me, it would be all about the Dirty Dancing experience.

Now let’s all get out there, travel,  and have the time of our life….


  1. What a fitting tribute to Swayze — and an educational piece about Kellerman’s.

  2. I loved Patrick Swayze. The Info on The Kelermans was great. Some of the movie was also filmed at Lake Lure N.C. The video made me want to get up and dance in my kitchen in my P.J.’s as I drank my hot tea. Good Job!

  3. I was so sad when Patrick Swayze died. Dirty Dancing is one of my all-time favorite movies, one of very few I can watch over and over (Road House ain’t bad, either). I would LOVE to stay at this place, for nostalgic reasons alone. As one of y our other commenters noted, parts were also filmed in Lake Lure, NC – in fact, the scene with them balancing on the log over the river was filmed there -in the WINTER! It is said they were freezing to death in that scene, but you’d never know it.

  4. Super post, thanks for taking me down memory lane. Nobody puts Baby in the corner!

  5. Not only was Dirty Dancing filmed at Mountain Lake, many of the extras were Roanoke residents, where I lived for 16 years. Unfortunately, the film was made before I lived there or maybe you would have seen me as an extra.

    I’ve stayed at Mountain Lake on a girlfriend’s weekend. It’s a great place for hiking, as well as bonding over a few glasses of wine. When I lived in Roanoke, you could also make the drive to Mountain Lake for dinner or Sunday buffet in the dining room. I’m glad to hear Mountain Lake is still in business. I’d go back.

  6. So sad that Patrick’s gone to the great dance hall in the sky.

  7. Girl…you HAVE to go to the “real” Kellerman’s. It is awesome. We went at the end of August, which I’m thinking is the perfect time to go because it was perfect 72 degree weather, so the fact that there is no air conditioning in the cabins didn’t matter because it was very comfortable. It is the most beautiful and serene place I’ve stayed. Not sure how the v ibe there will be now because we went 2 weeks before he died…so sad. :( Anyway, if you’re interested, I have pictures on my facebook I’d be happy to share with you. Just email me. :) -Carrie

  8. Fantastic movie….great blog!
    .-= Portable Recorders´s last blog ..Edirol R09 Review =-.

  9. The Real Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing

  10. Love the movie plan on going always been my dream.hopey cancer let’s me go maybe next year, I keep dreamin.

  11. Is it still open now? I would love to go visit theis place

  12. Hello too wonderful to know that this resort really exist!!
    Yesterday we saw the live musichall of Dirty Dancing here in Bruxelles Belgium: it was such a great time! Great memories!
    I look forward for going to this resort as soon as possible!

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