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Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort 3.5

Gatlinburg, Sevier County, Tennessee

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Large condo-style units, many with mountain views
  • Most rooms have kitchens and private balconies
  • Wild Bear Falls Waterpark attached to the hotel
  • Large arcade and game room also has a pool table
  • Two heated outdoor pools and a lazy river are popular
  • Restaurant, snack bar, bar/lounge, and ice-cream shop offer a variety of dining options
  • Small spa has a sauna and standard services
  • 24-hour fitness center features weights and cardio machines
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi
  • On-site kids' playground
  • Trolley service to downtown

Cons

  • Time-share property with limited housekeeping
  • Assigned "personal concierge" doubles as a time-share sales person
  • Some rooms need updating
  • Some rooms have views of the parking lot
  • Significant noise can travel from other rooms
  • Fee to use the water park
  • Mandatory resort fee

Bottom Line

Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort has been tragically impacted by the November 2016 wildfires. We will update our review as soon as possible. The size and scope of this time-share resort set it apart from most other hotels in the area. The attached water park makes it especially attractive to families, but use of the water park is not included in either the room rate or the resort fee, requiring an additional (optional) daily fee. It's also open to the public, so guests may have to compete with other tourists for the giant waterslides. Apart from the water park, there are two other outdoor pools, as well as a large arcade, a spa, and a playground. The location, between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, is somewhat isolated, so guests have to drive to get to area attractions. The condo-style rooms are large with full kitchens and living areas, but the walls are thin (noise is a major complaint among guests) and some are in better shape than others. Although there are several family-friendly amenities, other Gatlinburg hotels offer better rooms at lower rates. Travelers might prefer to stay downtown, or at another time-share such as the Gatlinburg Falls Resort -- and visit the Westgate's water park on a day trip.

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Scene

Mountain resort meets theme park

This theme park resort, set in the secluded mountain wilderness, provides a range of on-site activities for families, including multiple pools

The resort is off the main road that leads into Gatlinburg but is tucked away on 255 acres of its own secluded mountain wilderness. The peace and quiet ends there, though, with 55 of those acres essentially developed into a theme park, bustling with activity from 765 rooms full of guests. Uniformed employees (dressed like park rangers) are everywhere, showing new guests around or shuttling people around the hilly landscape in golf carts. The lobby has a lounge area with a stone tile floor, large fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows, and plush leather living room furniture, but most of the space is devoted to a front desk check-in area that's set up for long lines.

Location

Outside of town, off the 441 Parkway

Map of Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort

The Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort is between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge off the 441 Parkway that connects the two towns. Gatlinburg is a resort town bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, known for its scenic mountain views and outdoor activities. From the resort, it's an easy four-minute drive into the downtown area that's packed with restaurants, shopping, and tourist attractions. The entrance to the national park is an eight-minute drive away, but tourist traffic through town can greatly add to the time. Pigeon Forge and its popular Dollywood theme park is about a 20-minute drive in the opposite direction. Knoxville is less than an hour away, and Nashville is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the resort.

Rooms

Large condos with a mix of mountain ambiance and dated decor

The spacious One Bedroom Deluxe Villa includes a separate living space with fireplace, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen

The condo-style rooms are large and almost uniformly decorated, with shiny over-size living room furniture, gray carpets, and a great deal of wood molding. Some are in better condition than others. They range from studios to massive five-bedroom units that can be as large as 3,600 square feet. The furnishings vary: Some units have crated log furniture instead of metal-lattice chairs, and the wall paint varies from condo to condo. Some units have fireplaces. Each has a fully equipped kitchen or a kitchenette, and separate living/dining areas with queen sleeper sofas. All rooms (save studios) have private balconies, many with great mountain views, but others look over a parking lot. Deluxe rooms have much larger balconies of timber construction.

Features

Large water park, multiple dining options, and a 24-hour fitness center are the main features.

The mountain-themed Wild Bear Falls water park provides 60,000 square feet of interactive water features, hot tubs, and pools

The main event is the mountain-themed water park totaling 60,000 square feet of pools, hot tubs, interactive playgrounds, waterslides and a lazy river. The Westgate also has a retractable roof for year-round use. But access to the water park requires a separate fee. There are two other heated outdoor pools, both of which have sundecks/lounge areas and small hot tubs. To keep kids busy on dry land, there's also a large arcade with a variety of games, and an outdoor playground. A picnic area with umbrella-covered tables, grills, and a fire pit is an added plus. The spa is on the small side, with a tiny sauna and the usual services, including massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.

A large marketplace is on-site with snacks, limited groceries, and gifts. Three eateries consist of the Westgate Smokehouse Grill serving American standards, the Mason Jar Lounge with pizza and bar food, and the Roaring Fork Snack Bar. There's also a little ice-cream shop. The 24-hour fitness center has treadmills, stationary bikes, circuit machines, and free weights. Free parking is available, and staff in golf carts will shuttle guests around the resort, though the waiting times can be long.

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Address

915 Westgate Resort Rd., Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738-5155, United States

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