I chose to stay here at the Nantahala Village Resort Lodge for 3 nights during the July 4, 2012 holiday weekend.
I chose to stay at the lodge itself, which is like a motel, except with scenic views of the mountains, if you choose the correct room. 1/2 of the lodge overlooks the swimming pool and parking lot, and if you pay a small upcharge fee, then you get the prettier side, of viewing a portion of the mountains depending on where your room is. For instance I took notes that rooms 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, & 11 have scenic views, with what I suspect rooms 10 & 11 will probably get most of the mountain view, and room 1, the least view. We were in room 5 I believe; which was the Shakespeare room.
The Nantahala Lodge itself, is not like a log cabin inside, as the interiors of the room look like motel rooms, but our room was in nice shape when we arrived.
One of the housekeepers, named Sara, was a disaster! She didn't empty any of our trash, left pillows on the floor, (can you believe this?), loosely pulled up the bed covers and kicked trash under the sink, didn't do any cleaning period! I'm a world-wide travleer, and I was astonished by this!!! This is just NOT acceptable; I've stayed at $49 a night motels with better housekeeping than this.
The GOOD thing for us, Sara only worked on Friday, and our other 2 days was tended to by a much better housekeeper, who I believe her name was Tara.
I articulated these feelings with Sean, who is the front desk manager, and explained to him, they need to dismiss the terrible housekeeper, Sara. He said she'd been written up before for these problems and agreed with me the whole way, and said others have complained about housekeeping in the lodge because of her laziness and poor service.
Okay, moving on....
#1.) They do have the 13 Moons restaurant on-site, just beneath the lodge, but it is only open for dinner; not lunch nor for breakfast. I agree with the a previous reviewer that they should open the 13 Moons for lunch & breakfast so I don't have to keep driving all around hunting for places to eat.
I did eat at 13 Moons restaurant twice. Once was on a Friday night, when the banjo player, nicknamed, "Blue" was there. He plays Blue Grass music & sings while playing banjo out on the porch-side of the restaurant. Not interested in sitting outside in the elements? That's fine, too, as they have seating inside as well, in cool air conditioning.
As for the quality of the food, it was just so-so. Nothing great or spectacular, but also not tragically bad either. I do recommend steering clear of the HOT wings; it was just WAYYY too much fire; go with mild wings instead.
The greatest thing they've got going for them with the restaurant is the view, but ONLY if you get over on the FAR left side, and OUTSIDE where there's more view of the mountain hills. The right side is obscured by trees.
#2.) They offer a little, but inadequate breakfast menu of little bites to eat at their Mountain Perks, (little breakfast sandwiches), but seriously, it's not enough, if you want a real, bona-fide hearty breakfast. I was told their coffee there is good, but I didn't audition, since I don't drink coffee much.
#3.) Surprisingly, they didn't have any other entertainment, activities or shows, other than the banjo player "Blue", who plays in the restaurant on Friday nights. I'm used to the TONS of entertainment provided on cruises, so this resort was rather empty-handed for any entertainment options, other than the banjo player on Friday nights.
#4.) They do have a billiards table, and other soccer table game, (with the turning men), a basketball court below the lodge, and I think tennis, along with a basic motel-like swimming pool, next to the lodge. You do have to ask for the sports equipment and pool balls as it's not kept in the recreation room. I found that out nearly toward the end of my stay. Sorry, kids, but NO video games or arcades in the recreation hall.
#5.) If you're looking for the prettiest, most panoramic & scenic view on their entire property, surprisingly, it's at the playground, between cabins 23 & 34, at the top of Observation Point Road. I really feel they should be building more cabins in that little stretch, or another lodge of suped-up fireplace suites. It seems like a lot of wasted space for a playground, and green area especially for kids who don't appreciate mountain views, anyway, like adults do.
In other areas....
I did take a walk down to the Nanatahala Riding Stables which is operated by a family. However, when arrived down there by foot, there was only 1 man in the horse stable on his cell phone the whole 5 minutes I was there, and nobody tending to any visitors that come walking by. I waited for the man to get off his cell phone to at least acknowledge & recognize us, but he didn't and acted like they didn't need the business, so we left.
We also did visit the Nantahala Spa house. Again, there's a feeling of lonliness here as well. Nobody was in the house, to tend to visitors dropping by, and their services are by appointment only. So you have to call.
I feel that between the horse riding stables & the spa for which they have both on-site, that there is a bit of neglect for prospective customers, as there isn't anyone manning either site location to answer any inquiries at those locations. It feels the farther you get away from home base, (meaning the lodge), it becomes a lonely stretch the rest of the way down leading to both the horse riding stable and the spa.
If you're looking for 1st class lodging it's often hard to find out in the wilderness, because so many cabins on-site here, co-located on the lodge grounds, have not been renovated. I'd say your best bet will be to go with one of their newer fireplace suites, (from what I was told by staff personnel), or to stay in their motel-like lodge, as I did, which is upstairs. (No elevator either). Otherwise you'll have to look elsewhere for luxury log cabin rentals, which I believe they offer down the road scattered about in different locations outside of the lodge grounds.
Making a reservation at the lodge was a rather cumbersome & lengthy process, as you have to do it over the phone and not able to do it thru the internet. They fax a form over you to sign and fax it back to them -- kind of a primitive way of doing business in modern times. Also their website is not updated either. They also charge a $35 reservation fee, like many cabins do.
The reason I have the property & lodge rated as "very good" is because of its location. It is situated in a scenic part of the Nantahala National Forest / Nantahala Gorge area. I think they could be doing more with this property as addressing the lack of customer service at the horse riding stables & spa locations, as well as sprucing up the tired, dated-looking recreation hall, and offering more activities & entertainment on big holiday weekends during the summer time. Also, the many cottages they have on property need updating, and they need to get rid of a housekeeper at the lodge, too.
For breakfast & lunch I recommend driving about 3-4 miles South on Hwy 19, down to the N.O.C., the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and try eating at the wildly popular River's End restaurant, (as we did twice for breakfast), and Slow Joe's is also there on the other side of the river bank, (walking distance, between both restaurants). We found that the mecca of life seems to be located at the N.O.C. (Hint: For better parking space access, cross over the bridge on to the other side of the Nantahala River). Both restaurants are located on the Nantahala River and there's a NICE walking bridge for GREAT photo opportunities, too!
Dates of Stay: July 5 - July 8, 2012, at the lodge itself.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.