Where to Stay in Gatlinburg: Best Areas & Hotels

Written by Lura Seavey
Updated Oct 27, 2022

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Tucked along the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a favorite spot for families, couples, or singles who want to hike some trails and explore the great outdoors; visit a few popular tourist attractions; or simply relax.

There are a wide range of lodgings in and near top downtown attractions like the family-favorite Ripley's Aquarium and Ripley's believe it or Not!, as well as a variety of restaurants and shops.

You'll also find several options near the Ober Gatlinburg Tram, another popular thing to do in the area.

For seclusion seekers and those who want to be engulfed in the natural surroundings, there are also excellent choices on the outskirts of town.

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Where to Stay in Gatlinburg for Luxury

Newfound Gap in the Smoky Mountains
Newfound Gap in the Smoky Mountains

Less than two miles from downtown Gatlinburg, The Lodge at Buckberry Creek was modeled after the great vacation retreats of the Adirondacks.

Rustic décor adds charm and warmth to the spacious luxury suites, which feature stone fireplaces and private balconies with plenty of space to relax and enjoy views of the beautiful natural surroundings. Suites are also equipped with private bathrooms and Jacuzzis, as well as a small kitchen for convenience.

The Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is a top-notch spa hotel located only minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance and within walking distance of several area attractions, including shopping, restaurants, and a family theme park.

In addition to the top-rate St. Somewhere Spa, there are two pools, a large hot tub, and a fitness center on-site. Wi-Fi is free of charge for guests, and other conveniences include room service, a restaurant, and self-serve laundry.

For those seeking an upscale cabin experience, the White Oak Lodge and Resort provides four-star lodgings and service on its 17-acre property. The fully furnished log cabins feature two or three bedrooms, kitchens, living areas, and a range of available amenities from a loft game room to screen-enclosed porches complete with a hot tub.

Guests will also enjoy the large saltwater pool with its pretty waterfalls, recreational facilities including tennis courts and a paved walking trail, and the picnic area furnished with grills.

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg: Mid-Range

Le Conte creek
Le Conte creek

An excellent mid-range option downtown is the Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown, located conveniently next to the convention center and within walking distance of many top Gatlinburg attractions. This modern, spotless Marriott property offers a wide range of amenities, including a fitness center, indoor heated pool, hot tub, and a fire pit within a peaceful garden.

All rooms at the Courtyard feature a mini-fridge and microwave, and some also include a balcony, fireplace, and full kitchen.

The Hampton Inn Gatlinburg Historic Nature Trail sits along the Le Conte Creek at the edge of the national park, near the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook, around ten minutes by foot to the main strip. Rooms include balconies with Adirondack chairs, and there is a fire pit near the outside hot tub. Hotel amenities include complimentary hot breakfast and Wi-Fi, a well-equipped fitness center, self-serve laundry, and an on-site Starbucks.

Old Creek Lodge overlooks Little Pigeon River, situated just outside the entrance to the park near the base of the Ober Gatlinburg Tram. The lodge has a warm, rustic architecture with wooden floors, exposed beams, and traditional furniture.

Rooms come with basic amenities, including a fridge and microwave, and breakfast is included. Suites have extras like large gas fireplaces, balconies, and Jacuzzis. The most popular feature at the lodge is its pool and in-house water park, which rivals facilities at area attractions.

The Greystone Lodge on the River is another solid mid-range option. The hotel has just under 250 rooms, most of which overlook the Little Pigeon River and come with balconies with views. The location is central, right next to Ripley's Aquarium and attractions like Anakeesta and Ole Red. Town trolleys also stop in front of the hotel, making it easy to explore without a car.

The Greystone Lodge is a family-friendly property and there are interconnecting rooms for families. There are also kids networks on the TV. Other perks of staying here include free parking, a swimming pool, and a vending machine should you need a late night snack.

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg on a Budget

Downtown Gatlinburg
Downtown Gatlinburg

Just three blocks from downtown Gatlinburg, Marshall's Creek Rest Motel is a small, privately owned motel that has retained all the charm and nostalgia of its early days.

Rooms sport retro wood panels, and you will be letting yourself in with a key instead of a card, but updates have been made in all the important places, and you will find the place spotless. Along with basic amenities like Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and microwaves, there is an outdoor pool and free parking.

Another good budget option is Econo Lodge Inn & Suites on the River, located near the Ober Gaitlinburg Tram and within 10-15 minutes' walk to downtown. Balcony rooms overlook Le Conte Creek or the central pool area, and rooms include free parking, Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, and mini-fridges, and there are recreational facilities including a tennis court.

Just two blocks from The Village Shops, the family-owned Mountain House Motor Inn Downtown offers clean, well-appointed rooms complete with a fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. Guests can also enjoy free parking, free Wi-Fi, and an outdoor pool with a separate kiddie section.

You can also find some beautiful campgrounds around Gatlinburg. Some of these even have yurts and cabins for rent.

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg for Families

Road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Located within walking distance of Hollywood Star Cars Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, shopping, and restaurants, Holiday Inn Express Gatlinburg Downtown is an excellent mid-range option for those who want to enjoy local tourist attractions, and it's a favorite with families.

In addition to children's activities, the entire family will love the heated indoor pool and splash zone play area with waterslides. Parents will also appreciate conveniences like complimentary breakfast; self-serve laundry facilities; and spacious rooms equipped with a mini-fridge, microwave, and Keurig coffee maker.

Bearskin Lodge on the River Hotel sits close to Ober Gatlinburg and the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on an expansive and attractive property. Rustic décor is balanced with updated amenities, and rooms feature balconies with rocking chairs. Suites and family rooms area also available, some with gas fireplaces and living areas.

The hotel offers complimentary breakfast, as well as freshly baked cookies, coffee, and hot chocolate in the lobby all day. Other amenities include a fitness center, a large outdoor pool, a lazy river, and a fire pit with plenty of space for guests to sit and relax in the evening.

Removed from the center of town in beautiful natural surroundings, Bent Creek Golf Village has several features that make it an ideal place for families. In addition to planned kids' activities, there is a playground, as well as a large outdoor heated pool, with an indoor pool as well for rainy days.

Parents will appreciate the self-serve laundry, and suites include in-room washer/dryers, as well as full kitchens, a pull-out couch, and a screened-in porch. As the name suggests, there is also a golf course on-site, as well as other recreational facilities.

Baymont by Wyndham Gatlinburg on the River is another great choice for families. Kids stay here free with adults, and there are children's TV networks. Parents will also appreciate the free breakfast buffet.

The hotel is right on the river, and rooms have furnished porches fronting it. There are a mix of rooms and suites, including family rooms. Amenities here include a heated indoor swimming pool and free Wi-Fi and parking.

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg for Romance

Meigs Falls
Meigs Falls

A great escape for couples, The Buckhorn Inn is located just outside of town, nestled at the feet of the Smoky Mountains. Guests have the option of a traditional room in the inn or more secluded lodgings in a cottage or private guesthouse.

This bed-and-breakfast style inn serves a freshly cooked breakfast each morning, and dinner is also available on-site for a romantic evening date. The property features nature trails, which traverse the meadows and evergreen forest, as well as a lovely pond, which is home to a pair of swans.

Another top choice for a romantic stay in Gatlinburg is Hippensteal's Mountain View Inn, a family-owned B&B-style inn that's set high on a mountainside. Wraparound porches on each floor provide panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, from Greenbrier Pinnacle to Mount Harrison.

In the evenings, couples can cozy-up in front of the big stone fireplace and chat with other travelers, or retire to their well-appointed rooms, which feature giant whirlpool-style soaking tubs.

Breakfast is a big deal at Hippensteal's, featuring a staggering selection of homemade pastries, breads, and hearty dishes like sausage pie. If you're feeling peckish later in the day, don't worry–the kitchen is open to guests for coffee, tea, and snacks all day, and in the evenings, there is always a fresh-baked dessert for that nighttime sweet tooth.

Couples who want extra space and plenty of amenities will love Honeymoon Hills Cabin Rentals, an especially good option for those who are staying more than just a few nights.

Cabins are well-spaced for added privacy, featuring high ceilings and a large open-concept living space. Each includes a full kitchen with a dining area, a separate living area with a couch, a fireplace, a furnished porch with mountain views, and a romantic soaking tub.

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