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“"A relaxing place to stay with a sense of peace & tranquility"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Laughing Heart Lodge & Hostel

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Laughing Heart Lodge & Hostel
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289 NW Highway 25/70, Hot Springs, NC 28743   |  
Hotel amenities
Davenport, Iowa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“"A relaxing place to stay with a sense of peace & tranquility"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

I was looking for a unique place to stay during a tour of the area with a friend of mine from Australia.Not familiar with this part of the U.S. I discovered the Laughing Heart Lodge & Hostel on the internet & I'm glad I did. Everyone was very accommodating and welcoming , even our first night when we arrived 2 hours later than expected due to driving rain storms combined with narrow winding roads. (I had called).The Lodge itself is beautiful with lots of woodwork and the grounds are beautifully landscaped.The breakfast is somewhat simple;hardboiled eggs,cereals,granola,yogurt,fruit , juice coffee and the best biscuits I have tasted in a long time. It was especially relaxing to return there after a day of ziplining and whitewater rafting.Several rooms are available where for a slight additional cost the king beds can be divided into 2 separate beds and that's nice for people traveling together who don't want to sleep together.

Room Tip: I glanced at two vacant rooms on the same floor (2nd) as ours and they appeared to be just as nice a...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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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19 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Knoxville, Tennessee
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

We spent Easter weekend at LH lodge. The people and the Inn are warm and invite you to relax. You can sit in comfortable chairs and enjoy the incredible mountain views, or plan a day hike to the many trails surrounding area. We loved the fact that you could walk on the AT straight into town. Breakfast was tasty and the coffee hot. I will be back.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

I had the pleasure of staying at the Laughing Heart Lodge Hostel for one night. The hostel is mainly aimed at hikers on the Appalachian Trail which passes right behind the hostel. Nothing fancy, but a nice, basic, clean room and facilities. Just keep in mind the hostel is serving hikers who have been on the AT for days if not weeks.

The comradery of everyone staying there was so fabulous. Chuck and Tigger are the best and very helpful with pointing people to what they need and sharing their knowledge. I was lucky to be there on a night where some kind Trail Angels were providing free dinner of hot dogs and burgers.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

We spent Valentine's night at the lodge. We were promptly greeted at the door. There was a wine and cheese hour. Room was clean and shower was great! Breakfast was fresh and homemade. It was close to the Hot springs spa. Owners Pete and Karen were there making sure everything was okay. Will definitely go back!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Apex, North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

If you are staying @ Laughing Heart, and want a clean, warm, well-kept room, make sure to stay in the Lodge, NOT in the cabin. We (good friends visiting the mineral baths) elected to stay in the cabin so that we could each have our own sleeping quarters. There is a loft bed upstairs, and a sleeper sofa downstairs---sounds comfy, right? The cabin is old and rustic, but we should have been warned that it is also FREEZING, with very few heat sources, and mildew abounds---especially in the mattress of the pullout sofa. The sofa was a bumpy experience--you can feel every spring, and the sheets were full of holes and stains. The only blankets were 2 thin, threadbare comforters. Seating in the living room was made of 2nd hand, shabby & uncomfortable chairs, and the sofa was too scary to even sit on! My friend wanted a night-light so she could navigate down the steep stairs of the loft and we did find one in the bathroom, however the light bulb was burned out! Spider webs & dust abounds everywhere. Wind whistles through the cracks of the cabin walls (built in the 1800's).
The small kitchen backs up to the exit off the Appalachian trail, and entrance of the hostel---which is fine, but there are NO curtains on the windows, and trail-men sitting right outside the window, smoking and having late-night conversation, lend to an uncomfortable lack of privacy. Also, there is no heat source in the kitchen other than the stove, which we did not use. Stay here if you don't mind the weather seeping thru the walls and 3rd rate linens. Our tour of the main Lodge made us wish we had chosen to stay there, however there is no elevator if you have creaky knees like mine!

Room Tip: Stay in the main lodge if you desire warmth & a clean room.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Karen N, General Manager at Laughing Heart Lodge & Hostel, responded to this review, December 25, 2013
Thank you for your feedback on the Cabin. Yes, the Cabin is rustic - it was built in 1892 and adjoins the National Forest. I am sorry that you had the experience that you did and wish that you had spoken with us when you were here so that we could have addressed the linen and cleanliness complaints. We clean regularly, use a dehumidifier regularly and would have gladly brought in a space heater for you. We have added a high quality heater to the kitchen, there is baseboard heat in the upstairs loft bedroom and a small space heater in the bathroom, as well as a propane stove/heater in the living area. We are considering replacing the pull out sofa with a futon but have found that though they are more comfortable for sleeping they are not very comfortable for sitting on. Most people have loved the quaintness of the cabin but it is not for everyone. We will definitely address the curtain issue in the kitchen to improve the sense of privacy. Thank you for your input. Karen Nagle
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weaverville, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

I just held an afternoon workshop at Laughing Heart, visiting them for the first time yesterday, and it is an absolutely GORGEOUS jewel, tucked away in the heart of the mountains outside Hot Springs, NC. If you are thinking of holding a retreat, class or workshop there; needing healing from any of the amazing practitioners; need a place to stay and renew; need somewhere to hang your hat before or after hiking the trails around Hot Springs or the Appalachian Trial; or for no GOOD reason at all, put this lovely destination on your radar. It is beautiful in and out and will have your heart.

Room Tip: I didn't stay over night but I plan to, next chance I get.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peekskill, New York
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

This lovely B & B boast large and pleasant rooms, a big living room with a roaring fire and a nice library to while away an early evening after a day of hiking on the AT. The hosts are super friendly and helpful. Breakfast was good and plentiful for our taste buds the coffee could stand a tad improvement towards the stronger side.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Laughing Heart Lodge & Hostel

Address: 289 NW Highway 25/70, Hot Springs, NC 28743
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Smoky Mountains > Hot Springs
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Laughing Heart Lodge opened in August 2012 after extensive renovation. The lodge was built in 1892 and for over 50 years was a Jesuit Retreat Center. Today Laughing Heart Lodge offers accommodations for visitors and travelers in its 9 lovingly renovated rooms (7 with private baths) and most with exceptional mountain views. Laughing Heart also has a hostel which is at the trailhead of the Appalachian Trail and offers very affordable lodging for hikers and other visitors to Hot Springs. ... more   less 

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