Fishing for kids in the stream behind the property
Free Wi-Fi throughout and free covered parking
Dated decor throughout the resort
pool and hot tub are seasonal and small
housekeeping is available
The 221-room Gatlinburg Town Square Resort by Exploria Resorts is a two-and-a-half-pearl property near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a 10-minute walk from the restaurants, shops, and attractions of downtown Gatlinburg. Apartment-style units have flat-screen TVs and fully equipped kitchens; some also have washers/dryers, fireplaces, and mountain views from furnished balconies. While the space and convenience of a kitchen is handy, housekeeping is limited to weekly service and apartments are dated. Property highlights include an indoor pool, outdoor pool with hot tub, and a picnic area with outdoor grills, plus a stream out back with organized fishing for kids. Wi-Fi and covered parking are both free, but guests looking for a more upscale mountain lodge experience may want to try The Lodge at Buckberry Creek, which has partially re-opened following the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, though rates are significantly more expensive.
Decent mid-range property with some dated features that draws longer-stay guests
Several stone towers are arranged around a central courtyard with a '90s-looking decorative pool, and a courtyard that includes a distinctive life-size checkerboard. The lobby is basic and purely functional, with white tile floors, large windows, a dark wood front desk, and couple overstuffed armchairs. Free coffee and water are provided and the yellow walls are hung with a few photos of mountain streams. There are no restaurants or bars on site, but guests gather around the two pools and game area with a life-size checkerboard and ping-pong tables. A stream running behind the property gives it a slightly authentic mountain feeling, but the resort has a homey, outdated, timeshare vibe overall (which makes sense as many guests here are timeshare owners). Leisure travelers and families are drawn here for the apartment-style accommodations, plus extras like outdoor picnic facilities.
Ten-minute walk to Gatlinburg shops and sights, a short drive to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This resort is on a side street off the main road, with the Gatlinburg Convention Center a five-minute walk away. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Gatlinburg Sky Lift is a 10-minute walk from the hotel as are the restaurants and shops of downtown Gatlinburg. The park headquarters is located just 10 minutes up the road by car. Gatlinburg is packed with tourist-friendly entertainment that draws lots of families, like the Amazing Mirror Maze, Gatlinburg Ziplines, and Gatlinburg Space Needle, all within a 10-minute walk. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a 15-minute walk from the hotel (or a five-minute drive), while Dollywood, the Tanger Outlets, and the Titanic Museum can be reached in under 30 minutes by car. The closest airport, McGhee Tyson Airport outside of Knoxville, is an hour's drive away.
Homey apartments with kitchens and flat-screen TVs; some with balconies or fireplaces
Rooms at the Gatlinburg Town Square Resort range from Studio to Three-Bedroom apartments and while decor varies, for the most part apartments are dated. All units have patterned motel-style carpets in neutral tones with homey, overstuffed striped couches and patterned armchairs. White walls are hung with generic, soft-colored art and light wood veneer and mid-tone furniture looks very late '90s. All apartments have kitchens with light granite countertops and ranges, full-size refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, and coffeemakers. All units also feature flat-screen TVs, sofa beds, phones, free Wi-Fi, and alarm clocks. Some units have fireplaces, washer/dryers, and excellent mountain or forest views from balconies. Beds are covered in outdated bedspreads and guests should keep in mind that housekeeping is only provided weekly. Bathrooms are lifted from a similar earlier era, though they are well-kept and clean, with light granite countertops, tan tile, and light patterned wallpaper, with white shower/tub combos. Some units have jetted tubs and all come with toiletries.
Two pools and a hot tub, outdoor sports, grilling
facilities, free Wi-Fi, and free parking
The small, blue-tiled outdoor pool and hot tub are surrounded by a gray deck along with green striped lounge chairs for seating and beautiful forest views. There is also an indoor pool surrounded by windows that's open in colder weather. Climbing features and slides fill the outdoor playground, and there is a basketball half-court plus a ping pong table, outdoor stone fire pit, and life-size checkerboard. A creekside picnic area is a particularly nice feature, with outdoor grills, and the resort organizes fishing in the creek for children. A small fitness center with cardio and weight machines is also on-site, but it's pretty limited in its offerings and machines aren't the most modern. Wi-Fi is free throughout and there is free covered parking, though spaces can be tight.
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