Gatlinburg is one of the most beautiful areas on the East Coast of America. However, what people do not realize is Gatlinburg is also a wonderful tourist town and a gateway to the Smokies. Being the gateway to the Smokies, often means families will be traveling to the region. Here you will find the best Gatlinburg hotels for parents who are traveling with their kids.
How I Prepared The List
While I love traveling to Gatlinburg, it has been a while since I have visited the town. So I know the town is growing, but the growth has been for the good lately. To find the list, though, I scoured multiple travel websites to find what parents were saying and looked at the type of rooms the hotel offers, the availability of amenities, and even where the hotel is located. I mean seriously, who wants to be located right next to a busy road with kids, but at the same time who wants to have to stand in trolley stop for a trolley with kids. Those are just some of the factors I used in narrowing down the selection of hotels I decided to show here. Hopefully this article will let you find the perfect hotel to enjoy on your trip to the beautiful Eastern Tennessee area.
Comparison Table Of The Gatlinburg Hotels For Parents
|Hotel||on trolley route||indoor pool||hot tub||exercise room||views||near shopping||available baby beds||double rooms||average expedia review|
|Park Vista||yes||yes||yes||yes||excellent||no||website does not say||yes||4.3 out of 5|
|Holiday Inn Vacation Club||yes||yes||yes||yes||decent||walking distance||unknown||yes||4.7 out of 5|
|Fairfield Inn and Suites||yes||yes||yes||yes||decent||walking distance||yes||yes||4.4 out of 5|
|Sleep Inn and Suites||yes||yes||yes||yes||poor||walking distance||yes||yes||3.9 out of 5|
|Clarion Inn and Suites||yes||yes||yes||yes||on parkway||walking distance||yes||yesM/td>||4.2 out of 5|
Please note the pictures that are below are the hotels that are listed in the hotel. Top Left is the Park Vista, Top Right is Holiday Inn, Middle Left is Fairfield Inn, Middle Right is Sleep Inn, bottom is Clarion Inn.
Park Vista Hotel Overview
The Park Vista is one of the primary hotels you see in Gatlinburg. With the prime location, you will see it offers a commanding view of the town. However, before you book any hotel in Gatlinburg, you need to know the pros of the location you are considering. This is why I compiled this list to help you know if this is the right location for you or not.
Adjacent Suite Rooms – Traveling with the family often means you need to stay in the same room or adjacent rooms. In one review online, it said the part of the suite the kids stayed in had bunk beds and games. So this allows the family to stay in separate rooms, but still have some privacy that is normally not seen in a hotel.
Has A Trolley Stop At The Door – You may find the hotel is located up on top of a hill, which explains the commanding views, but this does take it out of reasonable walking distance to the shopping strip. The trolley will take you straight down to where you need to be in town, but make sure if you plan on riding the trolley a lot to buy an all day pass.
Pool Area Is Great – The pool area for the Park Vista has been reported as being one of the best indoor pools in the area. The best part is the pool does have some great locations for your kids to go to and in some reports it has been shown to have a pool set off to the side for the kids. This helps you know that your kids will be kept safe and free from harassment by adults.
View From Higher Floors – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. However, what you need to realize is some of the hotels in Gatlinburg can provide you with the perfect pictures you need to have. All you have to do is get the pictures from the upper floors because they give you the best pictures in Gatlinburg, unless you decide to go up in Space Needle.
On Site Restaurant – Since the hotel is located away from the strip, you may not want to head out to eat. This is when you need to realize you will enjoy the on site location and the food it offers. However, remember it is a hotel restaurant so do not expect to have some of the specialized food you can get at restaurants down in town.
Very Friendly Staff – Customer service is very important when you are looking to stay in a place. You are typically away from your home, but also away from the comfort you want to have. With the staff here, they make you feel like you are at home and this will help you enjoy your trip even more.
Seclusion – Okay, I know that I already mentioned people want to stay close to the strip for the shopping. However, some people want to have the mountains and feel like they are alone. To get this in a hotel, you do not need to be next to the strip. Instead, you need to be away from the strip and this means you will enjoy this location.
Updates Made To The Property – Anyone who has traveled to Gatlinburg knows this place has been around for what seems like ever. However, you will quickly realize the property has been brought into the Hilton family, which has allowed for a large number of upgrades to be made to this beautiful piece of property.
Unfortunately, just like all the products you can buy at a store, their is nothing that does not have a negative. So you will find the Park Vista does have some negatives as well. These cons will be covered here and hopefully will not dissuade you from making an educated choice on where to stay.
Checkin Time Is Not Until 4 PM – This may not seem like it is that big of a deal, until you leave your house at six in the morning and expect to be able to check into your hotel at about 2 or 3. However, after traveling and reaching the hotel at this time, you will be told that you cannot check in until 4, which means you have to travel the town with all of your luggage until the room is ready at 4.
Cost – Compared to most of the other hotels in the area, this one is a little bit higher in cost. However, you do have to weigh the views that you get versus the cost of the rooms, but still compared to the other hotels the cost is relatively high and that has been a chief complaint on Tripadvisor.
Location Is Out Of Walking Distance – Walking to the strip is a great way to get exercise and avoid the cost of parking. However, with the Park Vista it is to far out of the way for walking.
Holiday Inn Vacation Club Overview
The Holiday Inn Vacation Club is a nice property. However, sometimes you want to know more about a property before you select the place to stay at. Here is some information you can use to make an educated choice in hotels.
Ease Of Scheduling – This is an IHG property, which is a nice feature. With this feature you have an easy time scheduling the properties you are wanting to stay at, but also find the location easily.
Convenience – As was mentioned earlier with some of the hotels, they are not close enough to the strip to walk. This is the exact opposite here as the location is close to walking. So you can easily walk to the strip and be able to enjoy yourself.
Comfortable Beds – Sleeping in a hotel often means you cannot sleep because the beds tend to be worn out and feel horrible. However, when you are using this location you will find the location has some of the most comfortable beds in Gatlinburg.
Clean Rooms – While most hotels in this area will have great looking rooms, they need to realize the Holiday Inn Vacation Club has some of the best looking rooms around. This means you do not have to be concerned about bugs or other problems going on in the rooms.
Well Equipped Rooms – These are more of a condo or villa type of rooms for people. Since these are set up like this, you need to realize the equipment in the rooms needs to be updated. With most of these rooms, they will be updated to the top level and provide you with the latest equipment around.
Has A Hotel Store – Not many hotels can say this, but this one has a store on site. So you can easily find products you need if you get sick or want to have some food later on at night.
Offers Creekside Rooms – Generally anywhere in Gatlinburg will be near the river or a creek. With this location, you will have the chance to get a room positioned above the creek.
Nice Pool Area – The kids love to go swimming and this is something that this location offers. So you will want to make sure you check out this location because it will offer you plenty of swimming time for your family.
When looking at Tripadvisor, I did find some reviews that in the negative, but these help you balance out if you are looking at the right location to stay or not.
Has Time Share Offers – Okay, I know this is important for the company to get the best sales. However, when you are looking at the time share offer, you will find that you are going to be asked about getting a timeshare on a regular basis. So you may have to ignore the sales pitches all the time.
Promotional Sales Tour – Their has been reports of people who have been offered a rebate on their room if you give them a couple hours of your time. The downside is your rooms are at one of three area properties and not at this location in the reports.
Lack Of A Business Center – Even when you are traveling with your family, you will find that it may be necessary for you to do some work. If you need to do work, then you will be sorely disappointed at this location has no business center for you to use.
Fairfield Inn And Suites Overview
The Fairfield Inn and Suites is a location that has gained a strong pull with the business crowd. However, in Gatlinburg the location does have a strong pull with the family crowd as well. Here are the pros of the Fairfield Inn and Suites you will enjoy.
Comfortable Rooms – All hotels can claim to have the most comfortable rooms in the world. However, with the Fairfield Inn, the hotel prides itself of being held to the high standard of the Mariott properties.
Cookies Available At Check In – Checking into a hotel after a long drive often means you can get comfortable. With this location, you get the right comfort by having cookies available to eat when you check in.
Away From The Center Of Town – The center of town is exciting, but you will find it can be loud for families with little babies. Here you will be right at the entrance of town, so you can avoid the crowds and noise that is present in the middle of town.
Avoid Traffic Of Downtown – Sometimes you will find the traffic in downtown is going to be a horrible and can take you twenty minutes to reach a hotel. With this location being on the outskirts of town you will avoid the traffic jams.
Balconies Available – A balcony is a great place to sit and relax when you are in Gatlinburg. When you are looking at the Fairfield Inn, you will notice it allows you to sit and look at the river that is right across from the hotel.
Sidewalks Available To Walk To Town – A mile may seem like it is a long walk, but you need to realize with all the food available in Gatlinburg the exercise will do you good. Not only that the town has sidewalks that extend all the way to the hotel, which means you will have a safe time walking to town.
Great Breakfast Available – Okay, now most of the hotels will offer a breakfast for you to eat. With the breakfast you get here, you will be able to have some great food and a wide selection of food.
Friendly And Responsive Staff – Customer concerns is the number one concern of a Mariott property. This is no different here as the location has a staff that listens to your needs and guarantees all of your concerns are met.
Not everything smells like roses here. However, the complaints are not numerous and here are some of the cons that I found while looking at this hotel.
Housecleaning Can Have Issues – It had been reported the hotel can have some problems in keeping the rooms clean. However, all of these issues were addressed almost immediately.
Suites Maybe Smaller Than What You Are Used To – A suite is something that you will want to look at and think about stretching out in. However, some guests have reported the suites here were a little bit on the smaller side.
Standard Refrigerator And Microwave – The food portions in Gatlinburg are not small at all. Most of the time, the food is enough you end up bringing home the entire meal for the most part. If you are traveling with your family, you may notice the refrigerator and microwave are only standard size, which can make it hard for you to store your food.
Sleep Inn And Suites Overview
Since the location of the Sleep Inn is not on the main drag and is on the secondary street coming into town, it can be hard to find. This is when you should know about the pros of the Sleep Inn and see if this is the location you want to travel to.
Extremely Clean Rooms – In most hotels you will find a fault with some of the rooms. However, with the Sleep Inn, almost all of the Tripadvisor reviews talked about how clean the rooms are compared to the rest of the rooms.
Overlooks Some Of The Holiday Parades – Holiday parades happen all the time in Gatlinburg. However, it can be hard to find the best place to stay and watch a parade. When you stay here, though, you will find the balconies on the front side of the hotel they overlook the road and this means you have a view of the parades.
Lazy River At Indoor Pool – An indoor pool is important, but when you do not feel like swimming around you will enjoy a lazy river. This is exactly what you find here at the Sleep Inn.
Sunshine Available At The Pool – The pool you will find here is going to be available for you to sunbathe as well. So you will be able to enjoy your trip and catch some sun without leaving the hotel.
Close To Downtown – Walking to downtown is important, but you need to realize this hotel is located uphill. The trip downhill is not that bad, but you will find walking back up the hill can be a killer.
Graciously Accepts Walk-Ins – Walking into a location and asking for a room can be hard to do. However, the Sleep Inn generally accepts walk-ins unless they are completely booked up.
Breakfast Is Properly Stocked – If you want to eat you will find it can be hard to do at some locations because they run out of supplies. At this location it has been reported to be completely stocked up and ready for you to eat at.
In Room Jacuzzi – Depending on the room you stay in, you will find some of them offer you an in room Jacuzzi. These have been reported to be excellent and in top condition.
At the Sleep Inn, it is generally rated fairly high. However, you will find the hotel has had some negative reviews on Tripadvisor. So I found some of the points that will help you in getting to know if this is the right location for you to stay in or not.
Building Appears Dated – The property a lot of people on the website have reported as being dated and needing updates.
Pool May Not Be Warm – With this pool, it is set up to be located in an area that gets sun light quite a bit. With this sun light, it tends to warm the pool up quite a bit, but this means the pool heater shuts off and leaves the water cold. This was a complaint that was also seen on Tripadvisor.
Walking To Town Is Difficult – When you walk down to town it will keep you going quickly because it is down hill. However, when you decide to come back to your hotel be ready to hike because it can take twice as long.
Clarion Inn And Suites Overview
The Clarion is located in the middle of town, but it is also a hotel that has quite a wide range of reviews. Here is the pros of the Clarion as reported on Tripadvisor.
Great Breakfast – Eating breakfast is important for you to do before you go out into the mountains. However, you need to realize if you sleep in too late it is impossible to get the breakfast at the restaurants. This hotel has been bragged about for its breakfast.
Views From The Balcony – A balcony room is a must if you are staying at the Clarion. When you are on the balcony here, you will quickly notice you can see the fog lifting from the mountains each morning.
Hotel Is Very Clean – It has been reported the hotel is very clean and often provides great cleaning that is needed.
Indoor Pool – It was reported on Tripadvisor the hotel has a great indoor pool and the pool looks nice. So you will enjoy the pool, but you need to realize the indoor pool is detached from the hotel and this could be a problem if you are at the hotel in the middle of winter.
Extremely Friendly Staff – As so many people have reported before, the staff of this hotel is supposedly very friendly as well. So you will be able to enjoy the hotel for the friendly staff as well.
Free WiFi – Almost all hotels offer this now, but in Gatlinburg it can be sketchy to get the free WiFi at times. At the Clarion, though, you get the free WiFi for you to enjoy while you are at the location.
Honors Online Hotel Rates – A hotel typically will have rates that differ depending on how people come into the location. With this hotel, you will find they typically honor the online rate without any question, which may be cheaper than what you are quoted at the desk.
Modern Decor – With a lot of the hotels that are in Gatlinburg that are older, they need to be updated. However, quite a few reviews were reporting the hotel has some of the best decor around that is updated.
The Clarion may have some of the best in the ways of locations. However, you will quickly find the Clarion does not have nothing but positives. Here are some of the cons that have been reported with the Clarion Inn.
Difficulty Finding A Comfortable Water Temperature – Washing your hands or your body after a long day out is a good thing. However, you will quickly find this location has a hard time in getting the right setting for the water and depending on which handle you use is nearly impossible to determine how to wash your hands because the water can swing so erratically.
Contains A Hotel Fee – Almost all the hotels in the country do not charge any additional fees. However, in addition to the regular room rate, you have this additional fee to be concerned about as well.
Pool Is Detached – Now this is an issue because the pool is not attached to the hotel, which means you have to walk outside to get to the pool. Not only that when you are done swimming you can change in the changing room, but you will still have to walk back outside to get to your room.
Choosing Between Location Or Amenities
The main challenge you will have when you are selecting a Gatlinburg hotel for your family is to determine between your location and amenities. While most of the hotels in Gatlinburg have a great location, not all of them are ready to be walked from. However, at the same time the locations that tend to be a little bit harder to get to town from they have the best looking views. This brings the selection down to determining which amenity really catches your attention. Once you have this information, it will be easy for you to know which location you should stay. The key is to make sure you have fun while you are traveling to Gatlinburg.
Video Of The Park Vista
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