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Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

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Smiths Grove...
Level Contributor
32 posts
61 reviews
Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

My husband and I are hoping to go down the Gatlinburg for our one year anniversary at the beginning of May. We stayed with Timber Tops last year for our honeymoon and had a great time but their just out of our price range this year. We are wanting something that has a hot tub and/or jacuzzi, hopefully a view (though not completely necessary), and not right in town. Our price range is limited so most cabins are out. Any ideas on where to look or suggestions to stay? Thanks!

Wilder, KY
Level Contributor
190 posts
1. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

My preference is always the cabins. Try VRBO if you're looking for a better price. Also, many places start offering a 3rd or 4th day free if you book "late" (< a month out) to try to fill any vacant cabins. So, if you're willing to wait, you can get the prices down. Also, if you're flexible and can go Sunday through Thursday, you can find better deals as well.

Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
2,484 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

We have done both, it's been a while since we rented a cabin because we prefer hotels. Here's why... we spend very little time there and we love to eat out. This restaurants here are amazing and I don't like to cook on vacation!! We also like to be right in town within walking distance. Unless you can get a really good deal cabins are more expensive than hotels. When we have stayed in a cabin it was with a big group of people and we shared the cost as well as the cooking/cleaning responsibilities so it worked well.

I can suggest a really nice hotel downtown on river road. The Riverhouse motor lodge gives you a quaint feeling of being in the mountains and is decorated similar to how cabins are. The best part is all rooms have a balcony right over the river. It's very quiet and peaceful but 1 block from all the action.

Here is a link but their website does not do them justice.


Level Contributor
2,026 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

Here is an opinion from a condo owner, so maybe a tad biased.

A condo is much more than a hotel room as it will have separate living and sleeping areas. There is a lot to be said for having a separate area to watch TV, read etc. if another person is sleeping. Even if you don’t use it for much, a full kitchen is very convenient to have for coffee and snacks. Many condos are cheaper than a motel room. However most condos don’t have private hot tubs, but usually have a hot tub in the resort.

Good luck with your search!

Belleville, Illinois
Level Contributor
87 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

I agree with checking VRBO out! I look at both VRBO and rental companies but I always go back to VRBO. I can find cabins half the price from owners then through rental companies.

Lansing, Illinois
Level Contributor
147 posts
86 reviews
5. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

To me staying in a cabin is part of what is special about the Smoky Mountains and East Tennessee area. A cabin that is secluded or semi-secluded brings you closer to the natural beauty of this area and makes the experience of visiting here unique. If I'm in a ski resort in Colorado, I'm in a condo. If I'm stopping along a highway or in a big city, I'm in a hotel. But I need to be in a cabin when I visit the Smokies. We've never tried VRBO, but we've had lots of luck with Timber Tops cabin rentals.

Thibodaux, Louisiana
Level Contributor
280 posts
72 reviews
6. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

I prefer cabins. I have a couple we use from VRBO that is cheaper than a hotel and are very nice and clean places. One has twoo bedrooms and a jacuzzi tube and a hot tub with a deck with a view. The other is a one bedroom with a hot tub but no view.

One bedroom ($50 a night plus $65 cleaning fee and $150 security deposit)


Two bedroom ($99 a night I can't remember if this owner had other fees)


Level Contributor
217 posts
43 reviews
7. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

We LOVE the Riverhouse! We've stayed there dozens of times over the years, however, the Riverhouse is one of the most expensive motels in Gburg. Considering you are on a farily tight budget apparently, the Riverhouse will not be an option.

Springfield, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,787 posts
31 reviews
8. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

We have been to Gatlinburg many times and use to be 'cabin' people, but with the higher rates and fees we just prefer hotels now. We did stay in a cabin last year and a couple nights in a hotel but we split the cabin with my parents.This year were on a budget so we are staying at Clarion Inn Pigeon Forge (we are here now) and love this hotel! Looks brand new! Love the bathroom and shower, has everything you need plus a great breakfast selection! Food is hot, freshly made omlets and waffles. Really good! Pool plus indoor and outdoor jacuzzi. We have a small balcony also. Four nights and our total was $377 (plus the free breakfast) and free wifi, cabins usually have that though.

Tough choice! But you will enjoy no matter where you decide!

I should say I'm picky about cabins so the cheap ones just don't cut it for me I don't like carpet and outdated cabins. I'd rather stay in a hotel than outdated cabin but that's me.

Edited: 1:40 pm, November 12, 2012
9. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

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Gonzales, Louisiana
Level Contributor
622 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: Opinions on cabins vs. condos/hotels

We go to the Smokies on a yearly basis- sometimes twice a year. We've become hotel people as well. I love staying at the Best Western right on the side of the Dixie Stampede. I don't go on vacation to cook like thenprevious poster said and I know the money I save on booking our hotel can go towards the meals I don't cook. And I can get breakfast for free if i desire. Plus indoor and outdoor pools and our room has a jacuzzi tub. No hidden fees- some cabin companies have a few of those. No surprise trips up a steep road to find a cabin on a road to narrow to fit more than one vehicle. We also are only in the room to sleep and find way too many things to keep us busy in the Smokies. Honeymoons or multiple families I think the cabins are a better deal are worth a splurge. I also don't have to worry about putting the trash out at a hotel. My 11 year old nephew went this summer and enjoyed the pool so much- with most cabins you don't have that. I know some have a community pool.