Lovely spa with nail care, beauty salon, and massage facilities
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Coin-operated laundry facilities
Dated gym has limited equipment
Nighttime music and mingling can be loud
Hefty daily parking fees; shuttle required to access parking lot
Located in the middle of the theme park-like Island in Pigeon Forge and just a 12-minute drive from Dollywood, this upper-middle-range mountain retreat is a memorably eclectic property that feels like a beach vacation in the mountains. Beachy furnishings, live music, and several lounging areas including a rooftop pool bar and lovely spa, make this a magnet for families and couples looking for a lively getaway. Margaritaville Restaurant and Margaritaville Coffee Shop provide ample food choices. The 132 spacious rooms, with ocean-inspired decor and frozen margarita makers, further emphasize the property’s focus on kicking back and having fun. However, all the relaxing comes at hefty prices for the area. The Econo Lodge Riverside has rates that are less eyebrow-raising, but a more modest offering of amenities.
Blending island-inspired decor into a mountain village property, this eclectic and entertaining Pigeon Forge retreat is essentially a tourist attraction in itself. Rattan chairs, a green and blue color scheme, and multiple outdoor seating areas create a laid-back and beachy ambience, and make for an interesting contrast with the surrounding mountain views. An hourly choreographed water fountain show and Jimmy Buffet music playing throughout give the resort give it a theme park-like atmosphere. The constant buzz and activity lasts into the night and can get loud, but everyone here, from families with children to couples, seems to be simply looking for a good time.
Among shops, restaurants, and rides in the middle of The Island
The resort sits at the center of The Island, a village-like setting filled with shops, restaurant, and entertainment options just off Pigeon Forge Parkway. The Island itself offers plenty to do: the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a ropes course, and carnival-style rides, all of which are under five minutes away on foot. Other Pigeon Forge attractions are within fast driving distance. Dollywood is a 12-minute drive away, the Titanic Museum is a six-minute drive away, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park takes 20 minutes to reach by car. McGhee Tyson Airport is 50 minutes away by car.
Large and airy, with beachy decor, private balconies, and frozen margarita makers
Like the common areas, rooms blend mountain and island elements, contrasting cozy stacked stone fireplaces with tropical-themed accent cushions, nautical rope closet handles, beach tile details, and marine-hued walls that make the already-large spaces feel even airier. The words “license to chill” stamped onto the driftwood headboards and vintage wall prints are a playful touch. All rooms have small, private balconies with beautiful river, village, or fountain views.
Rooms are air-conditioned and feature 40-inch flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, desks, iPod docking stations, and safes. Keurig coffeemakers, ice buckets, large mini-fridges, and microwaves are provided. The Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Makers in each room is a true highlight, and comes accompanied by classic margarita glasses. Ironing equipment is also available. Higher-category rooms have seating areas with sofas and armchairs, and Suites come with separate bedrooms and dining tables.
Bathrooms are slightly small but tasteful, with granite-topped vanities and light wood walk-in showers with fixed and rainfall showerheads. Some bathrooms have separate hot tubs. All bathrooms provide toiletries and hairdryers.
Several fun dining options, relaxed rooftop pool, and fantastic spa
There are numerous restaurants and activities within easy walking distance, but the hotel holds its own in terms of on-site features. There are four on-site dining/bar options. Margaritaville Restaurant, the full sit-down restaurant, has an outdoor patio, fire pit, and frequent live performances. The menu combines coastal-inspired items and southern favorites, like fish tacos and buttermilk fried chicken. The Changes in Latitude Lobby Bar blends contemporary light fixtures and tables with wicker chairs, a fireplace, and a counter bar, and offers cocktails and light snacks. The Margaritaville Coffee Shop has a standard cafe-style setup. The outdoor Chill Bar by the pool lives up to its name, offering a mellow atmosphere overlooking the fountain and Ferris wheel, plus a solid array of cold drinks and snacks. Room service is available. Surprisingly, there’s no designated breakfast restaurant or breakfast served on-site apart from sandwiches and bagels at the coffee shop.
The rooftop pool isn’t huge, but it rarely gets crowded, and provides many deck chairs, several cabanas, and an adjacent hot tub. The St. Somewhere Spa gets great reviews from guests for its colorful furnishings, snacks, and range of treatments from manicures and hair styling to couples’ massages and facials. It also includes clean locker rooms with rain showers, plus a gift shop. There’s a gym, but machines are limited and the stark space looks slightly neglected.
Several event spaces are available for reunions and business meetings, and a terrace is a popular spot for weddings. Parking is available, but it comes with hefty per-day fees, and the lot is far enough away from the hotel that a shuttle is necessary to reach it. Coin-operated laundry machines are convenient. Wi-Fi throughout the property is free.
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