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“Squalid cabins, nice pool, poor service” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Fontana Village Resort

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Fontana Village Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   300 Woods Road, Fontana Dam, NC 28733   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fontana Dam
StPeteFla
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Squalid cabins, nice pool, poor service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2008

Stayed at Fontana for a week in mid-July, with our two kids and another family from home and their three teens. Would have left after one night if we were making the trip solo, as the cabin was nearly unfit for habitation.

The cabin had large holes in the screens and walls. The floor in the bathroom had a hole 4" across that had been covered with laminate to hide the problem, the shower walls were uncaulked so water was continously leaking out of the enclosure onto the floor. There was limited lighting, lots of charming mexican music from the employees cabin next to ours, and ceiling fans that made sleeping unlikely(no a/c). Likewise, there was no telephone in our room(cell phones will NOT work here) so we couldn't call the front desk, there was no television or radio. The bed linens were not changed in our week. To obtain clean towels, we were instructed to hang our dirty ones on the porch railing - fresh towels are then laid on the porch mid-day.

Our first trip to the Bears Den lounge had the waitress present us with a $15.08 ticket for a domestic draft beer and soda - when we questioned the charge she lowered it to $5.08(a most unlikely total for such an order). At checkout, the $15.08 had reappeared on the room charge.

We inquired at the front desk as to the cost of the breakfast buffet the following morning, and was told $7.50. By the time we seated ourselves the following morning, the charge was $12.

The sound of motorcycles through the village wasn't entirely unexpected, the surrounding country is gorgeous. We hiked extensively, whitewater rafted in Nantahala(about an hour away) and drove to Cades Cove(another 1.5 hours away).

The pool and 'lazy river' water feature is nice for little kids, but has a max depth of 4.5 feet. the lazy river circulates water in a circle, and had tubes waiting for your soaking pleasure. Access to the pool is available to non-guests - we saw a flyer promoting a recreation pass to NC residents. Think about the security issues related to this policy before you let your kids go to the pool unaccompanied.

I would not stay in Fontana again. The cabins may be seriously inferior to the lodge rooms, but the poor customer service and games regarding charges was unacceptable.

  • Liked — mispriced breakfast
  • Disliked — lack of investment in cabin
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
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314 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tennessee
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2008

This resort could actually be a really fun place to stay, if management was improved. My family visited in June and we stayed in the Dogwood cabins. These cabins are dirty and not worth the money we spent. There was no air and I cut my foot on a piece of metal sticking up from the floor in the kitchen. There are nicer cabins there, though with air. During the day, my family had a great time at the resort. There is a great pool with a very small lazy river. There is an icecream store and a frisbee golf course. A pond is on grounds for fishing, but I really doubt there are any fish in there. We never caught any. At night, the place was miserable. The noise level both nights was ridiculous. We did not get to sleep until after 1 a.m. both nights. Some people (I think they were workers) were squeeling their gold cart up and down the road very late at night at kept it up for hours. We have two small children and they could not sleep because it was so loud. People were out talking very loud because they were intoxicated. Like I said, the nights were miserable. I think if we had a nicer cabin with air, we could have shut the windows and kept some of the noise out, but it was so hot in the cabin we had to leave them open. When I checked out I filled out a comment card and said I would like management to contact me. I still haven't heard from anyone and it's been a month. This place has potential, but not worth the money. Needs updating.

  • Liked — Pool/ Activities
  • Disliked — Cabin
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2008

I stayed at Fontana Village June 26-30, 2008 with 43 other members of my family (!) for a family reunion.

Some of our family stayed in the Lodge, others rented cabins. My immediate family rented a 3-bedroom, 2-bath Magnolia cabin. The cabin that we stayed in was actually a mobile/modular home enclosed with wood siding to make it look like a log cabin. The size of the rooms was adequate. The master bedroom had a nice-sized bath with a separate shower and whirlpool tub. The kitchen was an average size, with a full-sized refrigerator and basic plates/flatware/pots/pans. The dining nook had a small round table, but because of the configuration could only seat 3 people. The cabin did have a full-sized washer and dryer. The driveway to the cabin was VERY steep, and made this flatlander a bit nervous. Overall, I would call the accommodations basic and adequate, but not plush.

Cabin pluses: Great air conditioning, good-sized bedrooms, very quiet and peaceful, front porch with rocking chairs, cable tv.

Cabin minuses: No telephone, skimpy towels, no icemaker, no dishwasher, STEEP driveway, a little mouse that we could never catch, no paper goods other than toilet paper.

The Village overall had good facilities. My family ate all of its meals together in a private room. The service was excellent, and the food was good. All of the staff were extremely helpful and courteous. There were plenty of outdoor/athletic facilities ranging from putt-putt, 3 swimming pools, disc golf, nearby whitewater rafting, game room, etc. Planned activities included bingo, square/line dancing, a talent show, scavenger hunts and a great bonfire for marshmallow roasting.

The isolation of the village was a problem for me personally. Other than a shall general store and gift shop, there was no shopping without quite a drive (30 mins or so to nearby mountain craft stores, 60 mins to a town.) Also - cell phones and blackberries do not work on the premises. There is one spot about a 2-mile drive from the village where such devices may work, depending on your carrier. Otherwise, take some phone cards and plan to hike to the Lodge to make a phone call.

Village pluses: beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, plenty of outdoor activities, good food, friendly staff.

Village minuses: isolation from shopping, unable to communicate from cabin to cabin due to no phones, difficult for elderly folks to get around due to hills and many stairs.

Overall, if you enjoy mountain scenery and mountain roads and seek a quiet retreat or outdoor activities, this is a good place. If you like to shop for your leisure, this isn't it for you. I also wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has mobility problems.

  • Liked — Peace and Quiet
  • Disliked — Lack of amenities
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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West Long Branch, NJ
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2008

My husband and I own a timeshare at the village, and this was our first year there. We had a wonderful time! There's so much to do, we already have a list of plans going for next year! The staff was very friendly and helpful, the food was good and the cabin was very clean and comfortable (two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a jacuzzi, a deck and front porch, full kitchen and living room).

We didn't have any cell phone reception, but if you go towards Fontana Dam and pull in the scenic overlook, you can get pretty good reception. The village is about 45min to an hour from major attractions (Cherokee Reservation, Bryson City; Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Asheville are about 2 hours drive). We had a great time driving the Hellbender (Route 28) and the Dragon's Tail (Route 129).

The Smoky Mountains have always been a favorite destination, and now it feels a bit more like home with our timeshare. We have an actualy homebase instead of just a hotel room.

Highly recommended to those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle. Quiet, relaxing and beautiful!

  • Liked — Very comfortable and felt like home!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2008

We visit Fontana Village during hike week(s) in April and October of each year. The inn is not top of the line - but that's okay with us! We are there to hike and fellowship with other hikers that meet there at the same time. We don't want to totally rough it - so the Inn is great for us. The fall colors were wonderful in October and the spring flowers are beautiful! Visit during these times and enjoy programs and hiking with approx. 30 to 50 fellow hikers!

  • Liked — The Views, Great Programs, Hiking Trails
  • Disliked — Food options - bring your own!
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Grasonville, Maryland
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2008

Our motoring club calls the village home few a few days each year. If your into driving the twisties of the Dragon this is the place. Because of the variety of accommodations my review will be on the Willow and Dogwood cabins only. The Dogwood are leftover from the days when this was a workers village from the building of the dam. Most have been remodeled somewhat but don't expect much. The Willows are nothing more then a mobile home with a very nice deck added on. My money now goes to the Willows because they have AC and TVs. This year our Willow was very nice and just had a mattress refresh.

Fontana is in a very remote location if you do not bringing food your are driving at least 30 min or dining at the village.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ORLANDO & AUSTRALIA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2008

This place is great....We stayed in the fireplace rooms..
Great and clean....nice staff, beautiful lobby, restaurant....
Yes the maids were a little rushed and rude, but overall I give this place a B+
Would definately stay here again

  • Liked — Lobby & Location
  • Disliked — Maid Service
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fontana Village Resort

Address: 300 Woods Road, Fontana Dam, NC 28733
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Smoky Mountains > Fontana Dam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fontana Dam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Fontana Village Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 199
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fontana Village Resort, a year round destination resort, is set amidst the pristine beauty of the Nantahala Forest of western North Carolina, gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Village has a wide range of accommodations, including rooms in the intimate settings of The Lodge, suites, cabins in the forest, as well as RV & tent camping on Cheoah Lake. Add conference space, complimentary wi-fi service, restaurants and lounges, General Store, gift shops, outfitters, pools, marina, massage and fitness center, mountain bike shop, miles of on-site trails suitable for biking and hiking, and it's easy to see why Fontana is a Great Smoky Mountain Destination. The resort offers an assortment of dining options including the Mountview Restaurant and the Wildwood Grill offering resort-casual dining and event catering. The Pitstop offers a fast fare menu for guests or travelers on the go. If watersports are on your itinerary during your stay, the Fontana Marina, located on the beautiful 30 mile long Fontana Lake, has an assortment of different watercraft rentals and equipment available. The Marina's ship store offers a complete line of tackle, light groceries and snacks and anything else guests might need for a perfect day on the water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fontana Village Hotel Fontana Dam
Fontana Village Fontana Dam

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