The Great Smoky Mountains have been beckoning travelers to come take a break from ordinary life in an extraordinary atmosphere for centuries. Whenever you are ready to immerse yourself in the enchantment of the Smokies, local resorts and hotels are eagerly waiting to extend a warm welcome. Read on to discover some of the Smokies’ best places to stay, relax and play for an unforgettable vacation you’ll want to repeat time and again.
RiverStone Resort & Spa
Need to take some time away from the stresses of work and daily life? RiverStone Resort & Spa in Pigeon Forge provides a home away from home like no other. This spacious resort invites guests to indulge in luxury, comfort and relaxation surrounded by breathtaking Smoky Mountain views. It's easy to see why TripAdvisor reviewers ranked RiverStone the No. 1 Resort in Pigeon Forge.
RiverStone Resort & Spa underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2022, adding elegant new penthouse condos to its existing signature condo offerings. RiverStone’s 133 luxurious condos range in size from one bedroom to four bedrooms, each with a fully equipped kitchen making it easy for guests to enjoy a home-cooked meal on the road. The elegant condos leave no detail overlooked, with granite countertops, sunken tubs and private balconies so guests can relax outdoors in the crisp mountain breeze. To make the cooler months extra cozy, condos feature seasonal stone fireplaces. They also have full-body massage showers and washers and dryers for your convenience. Larger condos offer Jacuzzi hot tubs.
Nestled between the picturesque Gatlinburg Golf Course and the Little Pigeon River, RiverStone Resort & Spa’s location is praised by guests for its spectacular mountain setting and proximity to the best attractions in Pigeon Forge. The adjacent Riverwalk Trail is a tranquil, tree-lined greenway that travels parallel to the Little Pigeon River and invites guests to hike, bike or run in the fresh mountain air – or just relax on a bench and soak up the serenity of your surroundings. During warmer months, guests can cool off with a float in RiverStone's outdoor lazy river or make a splash in the indoor pool year-round.
For the ultimate relaxation experience, RiverStone Spa provides a full complement of day-spa services and packages, from massage therapy and body treatments to facials, manicures and pedicures. In 2023, RiverStone will continue to expand with the addition of Building 5, which will feature beautiful river views and fire pits where guests can lounge on cool evenings. A large indoor waterpark and an eatery will also be part of the resort expansion. These new additions are expected to open by summer 2024.
Courtyard Marriott Pigeon Forge
The Courtyard Marriott Pigeon Forge is not your typical hotel. Centrally located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, this stylish Courtyard is more like a mini resort, with three different charming fire pits and picnic areas, outdoor pools and a lazy river, a game room, fitness center, bistro and 24-hour Starbucks.
Open since 2016, guests consistently rave about Courtyard Marriott’s above-and-beyond amenities. It was rated the No. 1 Courtyard in the world in both 2017 and 2018 and has remained highly rated since. In 2021, Courtyard Marriott Pigeon Forge was ranked No. 2 in the world, only behind a brand-new Courtyard in Iceland.
Most of Courtyard’s 137 guest rooms and suites feature private balconies with river and mountain views. Rooms also boast granite bathroom vanities, smart TVs equipped with Netflix and Hulu, microwaves, mini refrigerators, coffee/tea makers, in-room safes and premium plush bedding. The nearby Riverwalk Trail gives guests easy access to scenic hiking and biking opportunities.
When you're ready to venture out and explore the area, you’ll appreciate Courtyard’s convenient location just minutes from Dollywood, museums, waterparks, kid-friendly attractions and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
La Quinta Inn, Econo Lodge Riverside & Quality Inn Near the Island
Across the street from Courtyard Marriott Pigeon Forge, La Quinta Inn & Suites is another ideal lodging choice for a Smoky Mountain getaway. La Quinta guests can take a short stroll along the picturesque Riverwalk Trail to The Island in Pigeon Forge and enjoy all the food and fun it offers, including choreographed dancing fountain shows and The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. La Quinta is also adjacent to Walden’s Landing, a family-friendly shopping center that includes the Forge Cinemas, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud and restaurants.
A rockstar property for families on a budget is Econo Lodge Riverside tucked along the Little Pigeon River. Econo Lodge Riverside features amenities not typically found at economy hotels, such as a handsome cedar wood picnic pavilion, a 500-foot private river walk, and outdoor benches and tables, where guests can soak up the scenery. Econo Lodge Riverside has racked up more than a dozen platinum awards, causing it to be ranked in the top 3% of Choice Hotels worldwide. Free coffee, breakfast and an indoor pool make it an ideal choice for families.
Another family-friendly, affordable hotel is the Quality Inn Near the Island. As the name suggests, this elegant Quality Inn is within walking distance of The Island in Pigeon Forge and all the entertainment it offers. Free hot breakfast, a beautifully landscaped outdoor pool and a 24-hour heated indoor pool are some of Quality Inn’s best-loved amenities. Guests also appreciate Quality Inn’s clean, modern and comfortable rooms, as well as its convenient location on the Parkway.
No matter what you are looking for, you can find rest and relaxation at any of these properties in the Smokies. For additional lodging information, photos and reservations, please visit exploresmokies.com.
Jefferson County in East Tennessee, just 30 minutes from Knoxville, is a place to explore recreation, history and much more.