My family loves going to Gatlinburg, Tenn. In roughly three hours, we can pull into town, ready to explore. Whether it’s the Ripley’s Aquarium, Ober Gatlinburg, a mini golf course, laser tag or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there’s plenty to keep our family on the go. And, just as Gatlinburg overflows with attractions, restaurants and shopping, so, too, does this small Tennessee town overflow with accommodations. As such, it can be difficult to find just the right fit for your family. However, during our last visit, we were able to do just that at The Greystone Lodge on the River.
Located in downtown Gatlinburg right across from Ripley’s Aquarium, The Greystone Lodge on the River has much to offer families. First off, we stayed in one of the hotel’s two-room family suites, which we absolutely loved. This spacious guest room contained a living room, a dining area equipped with a microwave, mini refrigerator, sink and lots of counter space, a half bath, a full bath, a sleeping alcove with bunk beds, and a separate bedroom with queen bed, plus two balconies. There are also are three flat-panel TVs (living room, sleeping alcove and bedroom) along with free Wi-Fi, so there’s no shortage of entertainment available while in the room.
While the entire family loved how much room we had, my kids couldn’t get enough of their bunk beds, especially since they could watch TV while lounging around. And my husband and I loved the privacy of our own bedroom. Having two bathrooms was also wonderful, even if only one had a bathtub with shower. It made the morning routine of getting everyone ready so much easier.
Although we couldn’t cook full meals, my family also liked the dining area, where we could keep drinks in the fridge and warm up snacks or pop popcorn in the microwave. I also liked having a separate sink in the dining area where I could rinse out sippy cups. And it was nice being able to eat at a full-sized table rather than hunched over a tiny, low coffee table like those usually found in traditional hotel rooms.
Another plus for families, The Greystone Lodge on the River offers free continental breakfast each morning. Food choices include eggs, biscuits and gravy, cereal, toast, and fruit as well as milk, juices and coffee. This is a great way to start your day before setting out to enjoy all that Gatlinburg has to offer.
For those taking a break at the hotel, you’ll love the seasonal swimming pool complete with water slide and toddler splash pool. Although we didn’t have time to enjoy this amenity, it certainly looked like a lot of fun. And, if you need to work out, there’s also a fitness center.
Thanks to The Greystone Lodge on the River’s location, though, we got plenty of exercise anyway. Given its spot in downtown by the aquarium, the hotel is within walking distance of just about every inch of Gatlinburg. We loved being able to park the car and walk everywhere. We walked to dinner, to the many attractions, to play mini golf and to poke around the many shops.
For those who prefer a ride about town, the Gatlinburg Trolley stops right in front of the hotel. With routes to such destinations as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the arts & crafts community, and even Dollywood in nearby Pigeon Forge, guests of The Greystone Lodge on the River can get just about anywhere they want to go from the hotel. Check at the front desk for information on the trolley routes, schedules and fares.
The Greystone Lodge on the River provided everything we wanted in a hotel for our family: spacious accommodations, great amenities like free breakfast and a swimming pool, and a convenient location. Unfortunately, our stay was much too short, which is why we’re looking forward to returning very soon. And if you’re planning a visit to Gatlinburg, I recommend staying at The Greystone Lodge on the River with your family. If you do, be sure to let us know how your experience turns out!
Disclosure: Karon and her family stayed two nights as guests of The Greystone Lodge on the River. All opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author.