It’s been in the news heavily for the past week, but really for the last year. Controversy surrounds the Grand Resort in Pigeon Forge, which was closed last week.
The Grand Resort was closed by a bank after a sale of the property fell through. According to WATE.com, 15 employees were laid off, and guests were transferred to the Smoky Shadows Motel and Conference Center.
The resort has been a hotbed of controversy since TripAdvisor declared the Grand Resort to be the “dirtiest hotel in America,” following a poll by users. Owner Ken Seaton sued TripAdvisor as a result. This is, likely, another result.
From the outside, the Grand Resort looked, well, quite grand. So how can you tell what hotels are worth precious vacation dollars? Well, here are top hotels in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, as ranked by TripAdvisor users. I don’t know about you, but I trust real people more than any corporate web site!
Clarion Inn, Pigeon Forge.
Ranked “Excellent” by 958 TripAdvisor users, this hotel is sure to be clean and a good value.
Rooms for an early December weekend start at $112. One TripAdvisor reviewer had this to say:
“The rooms are perfectly clean which means the most in a hotel stay……. There are so many perks to staying here, it’s hard to tell them all, but here are a couple. Breakfast is amazing…. Biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage, made to order omelets, fruit cups, yogurt, potatoes, bagels, toast, waffles, cereal, juice, coffee, water, flavored water, milk, a really good variety and also it’s good food. Massage chairs on the first floor are awesome.”
The Inn at Christmas Place, Pigeon Forge.
Ranked “Excellent” by 649 TripAdvisor users, this hotel is a spectacle, that’s for sure! I’ve been into the lobby, but haven’t ever stayed at this hotel. It’s definitely on the list, though! So much fun Christmas-y spirit!
You would expect to really pay for this luxury, but I looked for a room in February and found a double queen room with a balcony for only $99! A deal! Of course, booking here during the Christmas season is difficult, at best.
Here’s what one review said about the hotel:
We took our 3 grandchildren for a weekend stay. It was great. Rooms were clean. Breakfast was very good, crowded, so go early. Indoor pool was nice. Santa sang songs by the fireplace. Milk and cookies afterward. Well worth the trip.
Zoder’s Inn and Suites, Gatlinburg
Ranked “Excellent” by 217 TripAdvisor users, this hotel is located right on a mountain creek that reviewers say you can hear gurgling at night.
For the reviews, this seems like a great value. I looked for a room for January, and found a two double bed room for $64 per night! Wow!
Here’s a review:
The staff were great and the room was clean and well care for. The stream beside the hotel was very nice and the little extras were an added bonus–wine and cheese, cookies and milk and breakfast.
The Lodge at Buckberry Creek, Gatlinburg
Ranked “Excellent” by 184 TripAdvisor users, this hotel looks charming and different. It’s located up Ski Mountain Road, and it known for amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The rooms are all suites, featuring 1-2 bedrooms and lots of living space. You’ll pay for the space and views, though, with rooms starting at about $180 and going up to $460 per night.
One reviewer said:
Absolutely beautiful lodge. Beautifully decorated, spacious rooms with superb mt. view. Service was exceptional, food divine. Will go back! Hope to make it an annual trip in the fall with the leaves turning. I would recommend staying on the 3rd floor as these rooms have wood burning fireplaces and the best views.
Comfort Inn, Apple Valley, Sevierville
Ranked “Excellent” by 131 reviewers, this hotel is located within walking distance from The Apple Barn in Sevierville. It has a pretty amazing-looking indoor pool. And the outside is beautiful, red roofs contrasting nicely with the white exterior.
When I searched for rates for a weekend in January, I came up with a two queen bed room for $50! Wow!
Here’s a review:
The rooms were very clean, spacious and had balconies that were perfect for enjoying the warm sunshine. The staff was great and helpful. Wonderfully kept grounds and pool area.
The Resort at Governor’s Crossing, Sevierville
This is reviewed by ME! It’s one of my favorite hotels in the Smoky Mountain area, simply because it is SO family friendly! Obviously, with two kids, that’s something I value highly!
We stayed in a suite — I found one similar in January for $89 per night. It has two double beds in a bedroom (with a door! SO handy with kids!), and a living area/kitchen. This resort also features a really neat pirate playground, a small indoor waterpark, and an outdoor waterpark, some of which was STILL open when we were there in January! Excellent!
The kids LOVED this place, and still talk about it. The rooms aren’t super special or fancy or anything. In fact, they are pretty utilitarian. But when you have kids, that works!