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The gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a remarkable little city, not just for its vast entertainment options but for its endless scenic views. There are plenty of choices for great lodging downtown in the heart of the action, but also quiet retreats away from the city center. The city is such a manageable size, and is connected by the Gatlinburg Trolley, that no matter where you stay you’ll have an easy time getting around.
Here are some of Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s best hotels:
The Lodge at Buckberry Creek
This luxury resort sits on 26 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, and feels a world away from Gatlinburg’s bustling downtown. Each of the Lodge at Buckberry Creek’s 14 suites has a fireplace, private balcony, sitting room, kitchen and bathroom with soaking tubs. This hotel was affected by the 2016 wildfire, and is still rebuilding its restaurant and other buildings.
The Park Vista DoubleTree
The Park Vista’s unique circular architecture allows for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, especially from the fire pit by the Little Pigeon River. Inside, there’s a saltwater pool with a whirlpool, and waterslides. A video game arcade will keep the kids occupied while parents relax at the nightly happy hour at Garden Grille, the hotel’s restaurant. Though it’s slightly outside of the downtown area, The Park Vista is on the Gatlinburg Trolley route and has easy access to attractions.
Hilton Garden Inn
Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg is very close to all the local attractions, and offers complimentary local transportation to many of them. Inside the hotel, rooms range from standard accommodations to luxury spaces with fireplaces, balconies and whirlpool tubs. There’s an indoor pool and fitness center, and a restaurant serving breakfast and dinner.
Old Creek Lodge
Close to the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Old Creek Lodge is a well-appointed rustic retreat, with stone fireplaces and in-room Jacuzzi tubs. Other amenities include refrigerators and microwaves in each room, some of which have seating areas and balconies overlooking the mountains. The hotel has an outdoor heated pool, and is within easy walking distance of the Gatlinburg Strip.
This historic hotel has been hosting visitors to Gatlinburg since 1937, and still maintains old-fashioned Southern hospitality, like its front porch full of rocking chairs overlooking the mountains. Gatlinburg Inn is so central to the action in the city that its outdoor pool is next to the path of the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, which boards next door, and looks directly at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Parlor rooms come with a separate sitting room, and family suites have two separate bedrooms.