Gatlinburg's Best Accommodations

In Gatlinburg, TN, if you can name it, it’s possible to do it: Ski. Fish. Hike. Climb waterfalls. Craft. Eat. Explore. It’s like a violent clash of natural charm and manmade pleasures. Amid all of the attractions, like the unspoiled Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a serious selection of hotels, resorts and rental options. From secluded chalets tucked into the mountainside, to kid-friendly hotels complete with lazy rivers, there’s something for everyone. So whether you’re seeking an intimate respite from city life or a full-on immersion into touristy fun, we’ve got you covered.

1. Gatlinburg Falls Resort

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Adam Sonnet, flickr
A short walk from downtown, Gatlinburg Falls Resort offers luxurious family-friendly accommodations in the heart of the Smokies. With more than 100 cabins -- ranging from 1 to 9 bedrooms (which sleeps up to 32) -- on their site, the resort is popular with large groups like family reunions and corporate retreats, as well as couples looking for their own special getaway. Families with kids will love their units replete with arcade games and private movie theaters, while older guests will love the fireplaces, gourmet kitchen, and balconies outfitted with hot tubs. With digs this plush, expect even the harshest of family critics to be silenced -- at least until they see the view of Mount LeConte.

2. The Lodge at Buckberry Creek

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The Lodge at Buckberry Creek
Located upon 26 acres of Smoky Mountain countryside, The Lodge at Buckberry Creek marries Southern hospitality with old-world Adirondack grandeur. Guests of the lodge’s 44 luxuriously appointed suites enjoy generously sized soaking tubs, fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the surrounding mountainside. The perfect base-camp for exploring the area’s many outdoor activities like golf, fishing and hiking, it also is just a short drive away from the popular Historic Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Trail. At the end of the day, retire fireside to cozy up with thick fleece blankets and a hot toddy, or enjoy a meal at the lodge’s celebrated restaurant -- one of the only fine dining establishments in the Smokies.

3. Bear Skin Lodge on the River

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George Middlebrooks
For those who wish to burn the candle on both ends, look no further than a room at the Bear Skin Lodge on the River. Steps away from popular destinations like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, as well as favorite restaurants like The Peddler Steakhouse, hotel guests can easily visit all the local attractions. However, with an outdoor heated pool, lazy river and rooms featuring fireplaces and private balconies overlooking bubbling mountain streams, spending a day lounging around the resort is perhaps the greatest attraction of them all.

4. Riverhouse Motor Lodge

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Natalie Curtiss, flickr
A nod to the city’s bygone days and simpler times, a stay at the Riverhouse Motor Lodge in the heart of downtown is a must for anyone looking for the classic Gatlinburg experience. While the hotel itself has been throughly modernized, it hasn’t lost any of its small-town charm. Here the service is friendly and unpretentious, the rooms quaint and clean, and the breakfast (brought to your room) served with homemade specialities like freshly made donuts. Enjoy views of the creek and the surrounding countryside from your private balcony, or take the short walk to attractions like the aerial tramway to Ober Gatlinburg. Not to miss is the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery located practically next door, which makes having a nightcap as you watch the sun set from your rocking chair a sublime possibility.

5. Jackson Mountain Homes

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iStock
Giving guests the premier private-chalet experience, Jackson Mountain Homes offers more than 190 cabins, chalets and condos scattered throughout the area. Whether you prefer a modern condo with a soaking tub convenient to downtown, or a secluded rustic cabin with multiple fireplaces tucked into the Smokies -- they’ve got you covered. Known for their immaculate service and attention to detail, the properties Jackson Mountain Homes manage are nothing short of spectacular. After all, with chalets named A Breathtaking View and Bearway to Heaven -- you can expect nothing less than delightful.
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