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“nothing fancy but still a nice place to stay a while.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Unicoi State Park & Lodge

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Unicoi State Park & Lodge
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1788 Highway 356, P. O. Box 849, Helen, GA 30545   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Helen
West Palm Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“nothing fancy but still a nice place to stay a while.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

It is not fancy but its a state park. The beds were clean and comfy. the rooms are small but have everything you need. In building "A" has a old musty smell and they need to do some updates. the tub stopped up and did not drain quickly. They claim to have Wi-Fi but that was on the fritz. The breakfast was nice but not as a great as it was just 4 years ago which was a disappointment. Also its a bit sad that they are so slow they don't do the dinner buffet anymore. I cant say I would be coming back to stay at Unicoi state park again, Which is sad cause the water fall, lakes streams and the start of the trail are there.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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331 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Georgia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

First of all, I'll tell you the good things about Unicoi Lodge. It is still a beautiful setting. Can't argue with that at all. Quiet, peaceful. The employees we saw working on the grounds, etc., were very friendly and helpful.
We camped at the Park for many years and would go to the Lodge to eat some of our meals. Since getting older we have stayed at the Lodge several times and always enjoyed our stay. Until this last one.
Things you should know:
It is still owned by the State of Georgia but is managed by a private company. Even though some of the state employees were retained it doesn't have that same "local" feel that it used to have. They say they are in the midst of a massive renovation project and it needs to be. Very dated.
One of the beds in our room was like an old horse - sunk in the middle. When I asked about the possibility of a mattress being swapped I was told they had no extra mattresses. Well, the place was only about 30% occupied so you would think they could have managed to find a better one somewhere.. I was told we could move to a different room (pack up and move) or maybe we could swap out who had to sleep on that bed. (Chuckle). I was not amused. Then I was told they had new beds on order but they had not arrived. Great.
If you have problems navigating stairs be aware that you can get around but you will have to walk a lot out of your way to get where you want to go. Not friendly to people with bad knees, legs, backs, etc. There are no elevators in the 4 buildings that house the guests.
We took advantage of an offered special of a room with free breakfast. The food was okay. Good coffee. But to our amazement the "free" breakfast did not include your beverage. So if you want anything but water you will have to pay extra. There was NO information on breakfast hours or anything at all on the restaurant in our room. I remember great buffets and meals in years past but all that is gone and what food was offered (at the Tavern) was pricey and not very good. In years past you would see locals there eating in the restaurant but not anymore.
Unicoi Lodge was the Premier Lodge for the State Park System and it is sad to see how far it has fallen. I hope it can come back but I fear it will never be the same.

Room Tip: If you can't maneuver steps be sure to let registration know before you check in. We had to chan...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Hurts us to have to write this response as well. We apologize for the less than pleasant experience that you had and hope that you will afford us another opportunity once the renovation is completed. The aforementioned renovation is scheduled to begin this December and will address the majority of the issues that you had.

We will tract your email, if that is ok, and let you know when this is completed. We would like for you to be our guest and critique the changes accordingly. Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns and letting us know where we need to improve, it is appreciated!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

You shouldn't go here if you're looking for modern or fancy accommodations. The rooms are simple but quite nice, and many of them have beautiful views and are in a cozy lodge environment. We really enjoyed it!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

This is one of the hardest reviews I've ever written. We've been coming to Unicoi lodge since the late 1970s. It's been a favorite of ours for decades. We've stayed in the lodge, camped in tents and spent weekends in the cabins. Unicoi was always there, rock steady by providing beauty, great lodging and the best trout you've ever tasted.

Tonight we arrived and the lodge was almost deserted. Upon entering the building the majestic quilts that once adorned the walls are gone. Making our way upstairs we found out the dining room was closed. We were guided to the Tavern for dinner. We were the only patrons at 6:30 when we arrived. The buffet is no longer served each night. I was able to have the trout that's been a staple for 30 years, but the fish was so poorly cooked it was no longer recognizable as the same fish I've always loved. The frozen mixed vegetables were soggy and inedible. The club sandwich tasted like a school luncheon sandwich (and that is doing a disservice to school luncheons.)

Good bye my old friend Unicoi Lodge. You are a shadow of your former glory. You streams, lake and trails still beckon but unless your Lodge and Restaurant is significantly upgraded I'm afraid you will disappear like the setting sun.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
We apoligize for your unfortunate experience and hope that you will afford us another opportunity once the renovations are completed. The multi-million renovation project is scheduled to start in December of this year and have Phase 1 to be completed by April 2014. This project will be ongoing for next two years in order to upgrade not just the Lodge but the overall Park property facilities as well.

With the downturn in the economy over the past several years, funding was very difficult to get and even just to maintain the facilities as a whole challenging. Fortunately the bonds have been bought and we are excited to bring Unicoi back to life again. Hopefully you come back and appreciate the upgrades.
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Tallahassee, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

The park is beautiful, and outside of the lodge is nice. The rooms, however, were horrible. We stayed in Lodge A, and the room was musty and dank. The bathroom was moldy and beds were hard. We didn't eat at the restaurant. We asked for another room and were told they were all the same. I would not stay again unless they renovated the rooms.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you for your recent review and we appreciate the honest feedback. We would like to let you know that the we have just started the initial phase of our planned multi-million dollar renovation that will address your issues. The renovation is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year and we would like to invite you back at that time as our guest to experience these changes. Your email address will be traced and will send you the proper correspondence at that time, again thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

When everything in town was booked, I called last minute to see if they could offer a deal. I got a great price, with free breakfast. The lodge is just north of town but only a quick minute from the main road. Fast check-in, plenty of parking, room was older but decent, tv could have been better but good sized with cold ac. Lots of places to sit both outside and inside the different buildings. We ate at the 'tavern' for dinner instead of going back to town, good food there, and breakfast buffet that is normally not included was excellent. The people there was a mix of families and older couples, but I enjoyed the quiet and you pay the $5 charge to enter the park as well, they have a beach to swim, canoes/paddleboats etc..

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
We appreciate the kind words and support for Unicoi as a destination. The TV's are scheduled to upgraded as part of our renovation project which is now starting to get underway. We hope to see you again and thank you for your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senoia, Georgia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

My daughter and I just returned from an overnight trip to the Unicoi Lodge and LOVED it! While the rooms are not fancy, they are very clean and have the basic amenities. Each Lodge building (there are 4) has a central indoor common area with a fireplace, tv, lots of comfy chairs and couches for relaxing, as well as an outdoor patio with a beautiful mountain view. The central "courtyard" has benches, swings and rocking chairs for relaxing. The main building has a store, restaurant (fair, at best) and tons and tons of room to play games, explore, just hang out. If bringing kids older than 4 or 5 I would highly suggest you get a room with a loft - kid-heaven! A little scary for little ones, however (or grown-ups afraid of heights!).

With so much to do in the area we plan on going back again and again!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you for your comments and we are glad that the experience was enjoyable while being somewhat unique at the same time. We have 30 such Loft type rooms and are very popular with families with children that are six years and older. Teenagers even like the lofts so that they feel like they have their own space. With our planned renovations, we are definitely keeping these rooms, however, we are intending to upgrade the bedding component to them for an even more comfortable experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Unicoi State Park & Lodge

Address: 1788 Highway 356, P. O. Box 849, Helen, GA 30545
Location: United States > Georgia > Helen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Helen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Unicoi State Park & Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Unicoi State Park Hotel Helen
Unicoi State Park Lodge And Conference Center Helen
Unicoi State Park Helen

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