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Historic Tapoco Lodge 3.0

Robbinsville, North Carolina Mountains, North Carolina

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautiful setting in mountain region on Cheoah River with kayaking and fishing
  • Near windy Tail of the Dragon Road, a motorcyclist and sports car enthusiast destination
  • Homey rooms, some with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and microwaves
  • Rustic cabins with full kitchens and decks available
  • Tap room and grill with patio dining overlooking river
  • All-inclusive plan including breakfast buffet and three-course dinner
  • Fire pits with wooden benches and free s’more kits
  • Some pets allowed
  • No children under 12 (con for some)

Cons

  • Some rooms don’t have TVs 
  • Wi-Fi is free, though spotty 

Bottom Line

Historic Tapoco Lodge is rustic mid-range hotel in a beautiful setting on the Cheoah River. It’s not far from Tail of the Dragon Road, a popular destination for motorcyclists, and has a grill where travelers stop to eat outside while watching the river. There are 31 rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and microwaves; some have river views. It’s a good fit for couples and families with teens, but note that children under 12 are not allowed. The all-inclusive plan includes a hearty buffet breakfast and three-course dinner. For outdoor activities, there are kayaking and fishing on the river, and guests enjoy the free s’more supplies provided for the outdoor fire pits

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Scene

Historic inn with gorgeous mountain setting along a rushing river

This historic inn sits within Nantahala National Forest, providing for a beautiful natural seting in the mountains

Opened in 1930, the Historic Tapoco Lodge was built by the Aluminum Company of America as part of hydroelectric efforts at the time. Today, following shifts in ownership since opening to the public in 1995, the beautifully maintained lodge is on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is located on 120 acres of land in the Nantahala National Forest, with tree-covered mountains and the rushing Cheoah River providing a scenic backdrop. Inside, the spacious lobby has clay tile floors, brick walls, and an elegant pressed-tin ceiling. A taxidermy bear, its mouth agape to reveal sharp teeth, makes an ominous addition near the front desk. The room itself is cozy, however, with somewhat dated patterned rugs, a pair of couches, and low-lying armchairs with busily patterned upholstery. Clusters of rustic wood tables and plaid-cushioned chairs sit beside a window with views of the leafy grounds. There are two restaurants on-site including SlickRock Grill, a casual restaurant with a riverside brick patio that's popular with motorcyclists coming through the area. There’s also Jasper’s, a restaurant with a country feel and rough-hewn wood furniture. Guests tend to be couples or groups, with bikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and regularly returning guests especially prevalent. 

Location

Near famous Tail of the Dragon Road in Nantahala National Forest

Map of Historic Tapoco Lodge

Historic Tapoco Lodge is located 15 miles north of Robbinsville, North Carolina, and around 60 miles southeast of Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s on the Cheoah River in the Nantahala National Forest, and feels fairly remote, with no other businesses nearby. The hotel is near the start of the famous Tail of the Dragon road, part of US Highway 129 containing 318 curves in 11 miles -- a popular destination for bikers and sports car drivers.

Rooms

Homey rooms and cabins with varying amenities, some with river views

The rustic White Oak Cabin is homey and charming, with a separate living and dining areas and a fully-equipped kitchen

Lodge Rooms, Lodge Suites, and Cabins are available. All are homey with wooden floors, charming furnishings, and decorative bedspreads. While they do feel rustic, accommodations have modern lighting and nicely painted walls. The most basic options, Lodge Rooms, have Cheoah River or mountain views, and some have brick accent walls or bent-willow bed frames. Amenities vary by room type and include any combination (or lack) of flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, and K-Cup coffeemakers. Some rooms have porches with beautiful views of the river or mountains, and most bathrooms have black-and-white tile floors and shower/tub combinations, though some have stall showers. Some cabins have whirlpool baths, outdoor hot tubs, wooden decks, spacious living rooms, or full kitchens

Features

Hiking trails, kayaking, and tasty meals included

Jasper's restaurant serves a three-course dinner that is included in the rates and earns good reviews from guests

Several miles of hiking trails originate on the lodge’s grounds, and the river offers opportunities for fly fishing and kayaking. There is a shuffleboard area, and outdoor fire pits are available to guests. A breakfast buffet is included in the room rates, with tasty items like thick-cut bacon biscuits and gravy. A three-course dinner at Jasper's Restaurant is also included, and the food earns good reviews from guests. The restaurant serves refined country dishes, like fried green tomatoes and catfish. There's a small bar with microbrews, and SlickRock Grill serves brick-oven pizza and has outdoor seating on a patio with river views. Coffee, apples, and granola bars are offered in the lobby, and there is a small souvenir shop. The hotel has a theater with a stage and two pool tables. Parking is free. 

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Address

14981 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, North Carolina 28771-6885, United States

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