I rented one of the Whispering Pines cabins to stay and cook in while attending 3 separate family reunions over the weekend August 8-12, 2013. My husband and I shared the 2 bedroom + loft cabin with another 3 other couples. The privacy of the two bedrooms was great. The couples who slept in the loft as well as in the living room did not have great privacy, but they didn't chip in for the cost so who cares.
I called ahead on the day of check in to see if we could check in any earlier than the allotted 4 pm check in time, because we had been driving in from FL and on the road all night. They did let us check in early and were able to get into our cabin before noon.
The cabin itself had a musty smell. We attributed it to it's rustic location as well as the massive amounts of rain the area had recently received. A few candles from the grocery store helped.
The kitchen was spacious compared to a lot of other cabin rentals. I was able to cook for the 10+ people we had constantly in and out, plus room for my 2 large crock pots I used to cook for our reunions. The kitchen was decently equipped, but I was glad that I brought plastic utensils. The cabin and amenities were definitely on the "rustic" side, but they suited our needs just fine.
The beds were adequate. Not insanely comfortable, but not uncomfortable either. The vanities in the two bedrooms also helped a great deal with keeping the traffic in the only bathroom bearable when it came to the 4 ladies in the cabin getting ready each morning.
The couches in the living room were pretty dingy, though. When we booked the cabin I specifically asked an employee over the phone if the cabin would have AC, knowing I would be doing so much cooking I knew it would get hot even if the weather outside was cool. I was told yes, they have both central AC and heat. Turns out it didn't. Only heat. Luckily it was cool enough at night to open the windows, but cooking during the day with no AC was not fun.
Maintenance collected our trash on a daily basis. They also brought additional towels half way through our 4 night stay.
We decided to go tubing, they advertised $6 for a tube rental for the entire day. The other outfitters in town charge upwards of $20 for 1 run so this seemed like a great deal.The tubes they provided were, let's just say, lacking. As an experienced tuber, these tubes were about 1/3 the size of a normal tube. The five adults that were tubing ranged in weight from 140 - 260 pounds, and the tubes they gave us were appropriate for someone no larger than 90 pounds. We had to take them back to the office to have them blown up some more, and even then they were less than adequate.
The trail hike to the river drop off was a little challenging as well. There are not any signs indicating distance or how far to the drop. The paths were shaded in the woods and very pretty, especially the two waterfalls along the way.
Needless to say, because of the inadequate tubes it was a rough ride. We all got out of the river with various bruises, scrapes and bumps. The water levels were very high due to recent rain, but the stretch of river was so rocky and the tubes being too small was a bad combo on the rocks. I couldn't imagine tubing when the waters were low. Those tubes were completely unsafe, and I feel the staff should not have allowed anyone to rent them. We were worried for the group of smaller kids who had the same size tubes behind us. When I complained to the front desk I was told the larger tubes went missing, and they guess they should get some more larger tubes. You think?
All in all the grounds are very beautiful. They have a lot of amenities to keep you busy and help you relax. The staff is overall very friendly and eager to help you have a great stay. For the area you do get a good value for what you pay. We will most likely rent here again next summer for our family reunions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 400 acre retreat just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. 16 secluded cabins ranging from 1 bedroom to 16 bedroom cabins plus 22 site campground. We have 6 ponds for fishing, hiking trails, horseback riding, hayrides, and other nearby activities and attractions. Cabins open year round. ... more less
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