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Nearly 35 years since its release, Dirty Dancing remains one of the most beloved romantic films of all time. While the story captured hearts, the iconic setting of Kellerman’s resort leaves a lasting impression.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the quick answer: The Dirty Dancing hotel location was the real Mountain Lake Lodge resort in Pembroke, Virginia where most of the movie was shot on location in 1986. The resort still stands today and highlights its history as the original Dirty Dancing hotel.

But did you know Kellerman’s was actually a real hotel? Let’s pull back the curtain on the history and location of the resort where Johnny and Baby danced that unforgettable summer.

The Hotel’s Heyday as a Vacation Destination

The hotel featured in the iconic movie Dirty Dancing had a rich history as a popular vacation destination. During its heyday, it attracted visitors from all over the country, offering a unique and memorable experience. Let’s take a closer look at the hotel’s vibrant past.

Opened in the 1940s as a summer retreat for Jewish families

The hotel first opened its doors in the 1940s as a summer retreat for Jewish families. It was established with the aim of providing a safe and enjoyable environment for families to relax and bond. The hotel’s picturesque location, nestled in the scenic Catskill Mountains, made it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating vacation.

During this time, the hotel became a hub for Jewish culture and traditions. Families would gather for Shabbat services, enjoy kosher meals, and participate in various activities that celebrated their heritage.

The hotel’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere made it a beloved destination for many.

At its peak hosted over 1,000 guests a week

The popularity of the hotel grew steadily over the years, and at its peak, it hosted over 1,000 guests a week. People from all walks of life flocked to the hotel to experience its unique charm and hospitality.

Families, couples, and groups of friends enjoyed the hotel’s comfortable accommodations, delicious dining options, and a wide range of recreational activities.

The hotel’s reputation for exceptional service and attention to detail played a significant role in attracting such a large number of guests. From the moment they arrived, visitors were treated to a warm welcome and a personalized experience.

The staff went above and beyond to ensure that every guest felt special and had a memorable stay.

Offered a full itinerary of activities and entertainment

One of the hotel’s standout features was its extensive itinerary of activities and entertainment. Guests had a wide range of options to choose from, ensuring that there was something for everyone. Whether you were interested in sports, arts and crafts, or evening shows, the hotel had it all.

The hotel offered a variety of sports facilities, including tennis courts, swimming pools, and a golf course. Guests could indulge in their favorite sports or try something new under the guidance of experienced instructors.

For those who preferred a more relaxed experience, the hotel also had spa facilities where guests could unwind and pamper themselves.

Evening entertainment was a highlight of the hotel experience. From live music performances to dance parties, guests were treated to a lively and engaging atmosphere. The hotel’s talented performers never failed to impress, leaving guests with lasting memories.

Filming on Location in Virginia

The iconic film Dirty Dancing, released in 1987, holds a special place in the hearts of many. Set in the summer of 1963, the movie tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman, played by Jennifer Grey, and her whirlwind romance with dance instructor Johnny Castle, portrayed by Patrick Swayze.

One of the key elements that contributed to the film’s success was its stunning location in the beautiful state of Virginia.

Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke stood in for Kellerman’s

In the film, Kellerman’s, the fictional Catskills resort where most of the story takes place, was brought to life by the real-life Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia. The lodge’s picturesque setting amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains provided the perfect backdrop for the film’s nostalgic atmosphere.

Visitors to the lodge today can still see some of the recognizable locations from the movie, such as the gazebo and the steps where Baby famously practiced her dance moves.

Crew stayed onsite in resort rooms and cottages

During the filming of Dirty Dancing, the crew had the unique opportunity to stay onsite at Mountain Lake Lodge in resort rooms and cottages. This allowed them to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the film and capture the essence of a summer resort.

The close proximity of the cast and crew fostered a sense of camaraderie and contributed to the overall success of the production.

Principal photography took place over 45 days in 1986

Principal photography for Dirty Dancing took place over a span of 45 days in 1986. This tight schedule required careful planning and coordination to ensure that all the necessary scenes were captured within the allotted time.

Despite the time constraints, the cast and crew were able to create a film that has since become a beloved classic.

If you’re a fan of Dirty Dancing, visiting the real-life location where the film was shot can be a truly special experience. Seeing the places where Baby and Johnny danced their way into our hearts can transport you back to the summer of 1963 and make you feel like part of the magic.

Iconic Sites from the Movie Today

The lake house still features the stone terrace

One of the most memorable locations from the movie Dirty Dancing is the lake house, where Baby and Johnny practiced their dance moves on the stone terrace overlooking the water. Today, fans of the film can still visit this iconic site and see the same stone terrace that was featured in the movie.

The lake house has been preserved and is now a popular tourist attraction.

Guests can stay in ‘Baby’s Cabin’

For die-hard fans of Dirty Dancing, there is an exciting opportunity to stay in “Baby’s Cabin” at the resort where the movie was filmed. This cabin, which was used as the set for Baby and her family’s vacation home, has been lovingly restored and is available for overnight stays.

Guests can experience a bit of movie magic by sleeping in the same cabin where Baby and Johnny’s love story unfolded.

Fans visit to recreate famous scenes

The popularity of Dirty Dancing has led to a dedicated fan base who visit the filming locations to recreate their favorite scenes from the movie. Whether it’s attempting the iconic lift in the lake or dancing on the resort’s dance floor, fans come from all over the world to pay homage to this beloved film.

Social media platforms are filled with videos and photos of fans reliving their favorite Dirty Dancing moments.

Visiting these iconic sites from Dirty Dancing allows fans to step into the world of the movie and experience the magic for themselves. It’s a chance to relive the romance and excitement of Baby and Johnny’s story, and a reminder of the lasting impact this film has had on popular culture.

Homages to Dirty Dancing Onsite

The legacy of the iconic film Dirty Dancing lives on at the hotel that served as its backdrop. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Baby and Johnny with a variety of homages to the movie that are available onsite.

From film memorabilia to dance lessons, the hotel offers guests a chance to relive the magic of Dirty Dancing.

Gift shop sells film memorabilia

The hotel’s gift shop is a treasure trove for fans of Dirty Dancing. Visitors can browse through a wide selection of film memorabilia, including posters, t-shirts, and replica props from the movie. Whether you’re looking for a keepsake to commemorate your visit or a gift for a fellow Dirty Dancing enthusiast, the gift shop has something for everyone.

It’s the perfect place to find a tangible reminder of the film’s enduring popularity.

Daily dance lessons teach the mambo

For those who want to channel their inner Baby or Johnny, the hotel offers daily dance lessons that teach the iconic moves from Dirty Dancing. Instructors guide guests through the steps of the mambo, the dance style that played a central role in the film.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced dancer, these lessons are a fun and energetic way to pay homage to the movie and improve your dancing skills. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to cha-cha-cha!

Offer guest packages with keepsakes and tours

The hotel goes above and beyond to provide guests with a truly immersive Dirty Dancing experience. They offer special guest packages that include keepsakes and tours related to the film. These packages may include items such as a signed copy of the script, a behind-the-scenes tour of the filming locations, or even a private screening of Dirty Dancing.

By offering these unique experiences, the hotel ensures that fans of the movie can create lasting memories while connecting with the film’s history.


Though fictionalized in the film, the resort brought to life in Dirty Dancing has real roots as a lively 1950s getaway. Visiting Mountain Lake Lodge today allows fans to step into Kellerman’s legacy and the summer romance that made movie magic.

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