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The Inn On The River 3.0

Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, Tennessee

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Convenient location right on the Parkway and overlooking the river
  • Updated rooms with coffeemakers; some with private balconies and gas fireplaces
  • Free hot breakfast with grits, eggs, sausage, and homemade biscuits and gravy
  • Heated indoor pool and hot tub, plus outdoor pool 
  • Free popcorn, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate in the lobby
  • Picnic areas with charcoal grills and outdoor patio with rocking chairs 
  • Free parking and free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Meeting room for up to 50 people, plus free business center
  • Certified as a green property by Tennessee Green Hospitality
  • Kids receive free check-in gift 

Cons

  • On a busy street; traffic is visible from the pool deck
  • No fitness center, restaurant or bar
  • No guest laundry

Bottom Line

One of the more budget-friendly Pigeon Forge options, the Inn On The River has some of the best river views and access in town. Two pools, picnic areas, and a walking trail along the river make it popular with families and couples. Its central location is also very convenient for tourists, with attractions right across the street or within a short drive or trolley ride. The 128 spacious rooms have maple furniture and conveniences like mini-fridges and Keurig coffeemakers. Half of the rooms feature private balconies overlooking the river. The Best Western Plaza Inn down the Parkway offers similar amenities closer to Dollywood for comparable rates. 

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Scene

A country-style budget pick that's as Southern as sweet tea

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Opened as a Hampton Inn in 1991, The Inn On The River has been independently operated since 2010. The new owners have made significant renovations since then, and regular guests -- primarily families and empty-nester couples -- appreciate the updates, the freebies, and the overall attention to detail. The lobby has wood floors, a central stone fireplace, and a river-wildlife decor theme, plus around 20 board games for guests to use. The hotel's commitment to Southern hospitality is apparent from the onset, when kids receive a welcome goodie bag. Free coffee, tea, iced water, and hot chocolate are available in the lobby 24 hours a day; free snacks and sweet tea are put out in the afternoons and free popcorn is up for grabs in the evenings from an old-fashioned popcorn cart. Off the lobby is a bright breakfast area, where a free Southern-style breakfast is served daily (eggs, sausage, grits, house-made biscuits and gravy). Many guests take their breakfast to the adjoining riverfront patio, which has wooden rockers, communal tables, and a flat-screen TV. The outdoor pool deck is set up to accommodate all-day loungers, though most guests are here to explore the nearby attractions and outdoor activities. The hotel is in a busy area that gets traffic noise; for example, you can see the highly trafficked road from the pool deck.

Location

Central Pigeon Forge, right on the Parkway and next to the river

Map of The Inn On The River

Located right on the Parkway, The Inn On The River puts all of Pigeon Forge's attractions within an easy walking, driving, or trolley-riding distance (the hotel is right along the trolley route). MagiQuest is across the street, with lots of other entertainment and many restaurants within walking distance. A gateway town to the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is home to the famed Dollywood theme park (14 minutes from the hotel by car). The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a 25-minute drive, through nearby Gatlinburg. The hotel's riverside location means it also offers access to a walking trail, unlike many other local budget options in town.

  • Two-minute drive to Dinosaur Walk Museum
  • Four-minute drive to the Island at Pigeon Forge
  • Four-minute drive to Adventure Raceway
  • Five-minute drive to WonderWorks
  • Seven-minute drive to Pigeon Forge Mill
  • Eight-minute drive to Dixie Stampede

Rooms

Great river views and far more features than traditional budget hotel rooms

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There are 10 total room types at the Inn On The River, ranging from 300-square-foot Parkway-facing standard rooms (called Parkside King Rooms) to 400-square-feet river-facing junior suites (called Riverside Two Queen Mini-Suites). Some rooms have gas fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, and rooms along the quieter back side of the building have private balconies or patios overlooking the river. All rooms include maple-wood furniture, Keurig coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and 36-inch LED flat-screen TVs with 64 channels. Beds feature Serta Cloud 9 mattresses, Serta pillow-tops, and microfiber linens, plus lap trays for working or reading in bed. Bathrooms have small vanities with marble countertops on small vanities, shower-tub combos, and toiletries from Bath & Body Works' Stress Relief collection. Playpens and microwaves are available upon request.

Features

Riverfront picnic area, two pools, and loads of free extras -- including a classic country-style breakfast

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Three acres of riverfront property are the main attraction here, with an outdoor patio, picnic benches, and charcoal grills, as well as a short walking trail along the river, home to mallard ducks, geese, beavers, and blue heron. The outdoor heated pool has a sundeck overlooking the river, while the indoor pool and hot tub are in a bright space with floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel takes the concept of Southern hospitality very seriously, operating on the idea that the room rate should be the only thing guests pay for. This means that the business center's printing and faxing are free, as are the lobby's popcorn, sweet iced tea, hot chocolate, and three types of coffee. Also free are the hotel's upgraded high-speed Wi-Fi and the daily hot breakfast that includes both continental and Southern-style items: eggs, sausage links, tater tots, cereals, oatmeal, yogurt, muffins, bagels, breads, juices, and a waffle station. The hotel makes its grits and biscuits and gravy from scratch. The Inn On The River is certified by the Tennessee Green Hospitality program; the hotel's earth-friendly practices include recycling, leaving linens on the beds during guests' stay (unless guests specify otherwise), and installing water-efficient bathroom fixtures.

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Address

2492 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 37863-3225, United States

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