A small mountain city in Tennessee, Gatlinburg is famous for being the gateway to the sprawling Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Not only that, but Gatlinburg also features a selection of fun attractions for children and adults alike – from viewpoints and waterparks to golf courses and breweries.
Surrounded by gorgeous nature, including tree-topped peaks and meandering rivers, there are plenty of hotels in this laid-back resort city, making it a fun place to stay for friends, families, and couples. To make life easier, we’ve listed some of the very best hotels that Gatlinburg has to offer.
1. Hilton Garden Inn
The Hilton Garden Inn is a smart, friendly, and welcoming hotel. It features guest rooms that provide all the comfort you need for a relaxing break in Gatlinburg — some rooms even have their very own Jacuzzis and balconies, and all have microwaves and mini-fridges.
Amenities at this top Gatlinburg hotel include an indoor pool and an outdoor terrace complete with fire pit and Jacuzzi. Guests can dine at the onsite restaurant throughout the day.
Location: Situated just 100 yards from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this convenient setting places it near sights such as the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and Smoky Mountain Brewery.
2. Old Creek Lodge
With a touch of rustic charm, rooms at Old Creek Lodge feature wooden floors, leather armchairs, and even warming fireplaces for that real old-school atmosphere. Guests can unwind in the heated outdoor pool while taking in the surrounding view of the mountains.
There is an outdoor seating area next to a creek at this hotel, where guests can rest their legs after a day of hiking. There’s also a pleasant dining room for meals all day long.
Location: Just outside the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Downtown Gatlinburg, this hotel has a trolleybus stop right outside for easy access to various locations along the Downtown trolley route.
3. The Park Vista
Surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, rooms at this towering hotel boast unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape — it’s nothing short of breathtaking. Relaxed rooms come in a selection of sizes and styles and boast balconies and crisp, white linen.
Away from the views, families will enjoy playing in the super fun multi-level indoor pool, trying their hand at the arcade, and enjoying family meals at the onsite restaurant. Elsewhere, there’s a terrace with a fire pit and a bar for evening drinks.
Location: The Park Vista is set along the Historic Nature Trail, close to the national park, which means getting out into nature is easy. Gatlinburg Space Needle is located within easy walking distance of the hotel.
4. Greystone Lodge on the River
Greystone Lodge on the River is a relaxing spot to stay in Gatlinburg. Its unfussy rooms are clean and contemporary, decorated with natural colours and boasting well-appointed bathrooms — each one has an outdoor terrace or balcony with river views.
Guests can use the outdoor swimming pool (open in summer season) or work out in the fitness centre. Onsite parking is available, which is very handy for those on a road trip.
Location: The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is just 300 yards away from the doorstep of this hotel. There’s also family fun to be had at the Guinness World of Records Museum, just a stone’s throw from here, as well as Earthquake: The Ride.
5. The Appy Lodge
Guests are in for a great time at the Appy Lodge. This family-friendly hotel affords plenty of fun for children at the outdoor swimming pool (complete with large water slide), while adults can enjoy a drink or two around the fire pit in the evening.
Rooms are smart, with wooden floors and dark brown wood furnishings; they are decorated with art depicting the scenery of the national park. There’s also a convenient grocery store onsite, as well as a laundry and 24-hour front desk.
Location: This hotel is near to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, but also very close to the fun Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park. As a bonus, there’s a choice of restaurants and cafes right on the doorstep.
6. Bearskin Lodge on the River
This large hotel has lodge-style decor to match the surroundings. It features family-friendly rooms tastefully decorated with fireplaces, modern, tiled bathrooms, and rustic patterned wallpapers. Each one opens onto a veranda with seating areas.
During the summer months, guests can splash around in the hotel’s seasonal outdoor pool. When the weather’s a little more chilly, they can warm themselves around in the fire in the lounge.
Location: This place has a great location along the river in Gatlinburg — and there’s plenty to do for families nearby. There’s Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area (less than a 10-minute walk away), for a start, and other attractions like the Amazing Mirror Maze and Star Cars Museum.
7. Edgewater Hotel
With its classic, traditionally decorated rooms — featuring warm carpets and views out into nature — this Gatlinburg hotel is an authentic place to stay. Away from the rooms, there are some great onsite amenities that make it even better.
Guests can work up a sweat in the fitness centre, soak in the hot tub after a day exploring, have some fun in the games room, or splash around in the indoor-outdoor pool. As a bonus, there’s also free onsite parking.
Location: It has an excellent setting, right near to restaurants and bars of Downtown Gatlinburg. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is just a stone’s throw from here, as is the soaring Gatlinburg Space Needle.
8. River Terrace Resort
Boasting a beautiful sun deck alongside the river, this hotel has an idyllic location. On sunny days, guests can enjoy meals out on the terrace, serenaded by the sounds of nature as they drink and dine. There’s an outdoor pool, too.
The sizeable rooms are decorated in a selection of natural greens and browns and come with balconies overlooking the water. Inside, the restaurant area is warm and spacious and serves up a great breakfast.
Location: Located a four-minute drive from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this place is fantastic for getting out into nature. Nearby, there’s the opportunity for white water rafting or exploring the hiking trails that lace through the surrounding natural areas.
9. Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg
Definitely one of the best hotels for families in Gatlinburg, Margaritaville Resort is a modern, contemporary place to stay, with smart decor in its shared spaces and bright colours in its spacious guest rooms (complete with rain showers) for a fun atmosphere.
The vacation vibes continue at its outdoor pool. Boasting a twisting water slide, it’s surrounded by loungers and tables, while the indoor pool works just as well for cold or rainy days. It’s certainly a fun place to stay.
Location: A fantastic location for exploring the sights of Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Sweet Family Adams Theatre and the Guinness World of Record Museum are all within easy walking distance of the hotel.
10. Bent Creek Golf Village
Set within extensive, grassy grounds, this top Gatlinburg hotel is a lodge-like offering that boasts its very own 18-hole golf course, making it a great choice for keen golfers. Other amenities include an indoor and outdoor pool.
The guest rooms are set within the main building and are classic and cosy. Or you could opt for your own villa on the grounds, where you’ll have your own kitchen, dining and seating area (a great option for families and larger groups).
Location: This hotel is located away from downtown Gatlinburg but surrounded by beautiful nature. The Smoky Mountain Winery is just under ten miles away, and the Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park is a short drive from here, too.
11. Courtyard by Marriott
Modern and bright, this branch of Marriott is a smart hotel that features comfortable, contemporary guest rooms. It’s a warm and homely place to stay in Gatlinburg. Some of the rooms come with seating areas and balconies to relax in.
The onsite restaurant provides the place for dining in the evening, or you could enjoy a glass of wine in the evening on the outdoor terrace while sitting around the fire pit.
Location: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is around half a mile from the hotel, which is fantastic for those who want to get out and enjoy nature. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is mere yards from the property.
12. Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn is surrounded by the scenery of the mountains. It’s an ideal place to stay if you want to enjoy time away from the hustle and bustle of city life, with a loved one or your family.
Rooms are cosy and warm, complete with fireplaces and dark wood furnishings. Amenities include an outdoor pool area for swimming and sunbathing and a large dining area where you can enjoy hearty meals — and the daily complimentary breakfast buffet.
Location: This hotel has a great location. It’s close to Downtown Gatlinburg, within walking distance of many top sights and restaurants. The Ober Gatlinburg Tram is located nearby, making it even more convenient.
13. Bluegreen Vacations Mountain Loft Resort
The various styles of rooms and villas at Bluegreen Vacations Mountain Loft Resort are decorated in creams and whites. They come with their own kitchens and dishwashers, as well as seating areas and private balconies — the perfect place for a family vacation.
The hotel features a ton of fun for families, boasting an indoor-outdoor pool, four hot tubs, and a games room. There’s also a kids club, so parents can have a day or two to themselves.
Location: Surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, it’s just 20 minutes by car from here to Dollywood, and a 10-minute drive to Gatlinburg Space Needle, as well as the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
14. The Brookside Resort
The Brookside Resort is spread across large, landscaped grounds and should provide everything you need for a fun break in Gatlinburg. There’s a choice of rooms on offer, each with its own private balcony so you can really lap up the surrounding nature.
Families will have a blast in one of the two seasonal outdoor pools, but there are also basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard courts and a kids playground to make the most of here. The hotel also boasts a sundeck, complete with patio and BBQ area.
Location: Set on East Parkway, from here, the centre of Gatlinburg proper is a ten-minute stroll away. Smoky Mountain Winery is practically on the doorstep, and Hillbilly Golf — among other attractions — is half a mile from here.
15. Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott
Clean, modern, and spacious, the guest rooms at Fairfield Inn and Suites are a great place to relax and unwind. They come with everything you need – from a fridge and microwave to a bathroom.
The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and well-equipped fitness centre so you can keep up with those workouts. There’s also a contemporary restaurant serving a great daily breakfast. The outdoor terrace and fire pit is a dreamy evening spot.
Location: Away from the crowds of Downtown but still within walking distance, from here it’s a quick drive to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood, as well as the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.