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“Bell of TN” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Inn at Montgomery Bell

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Inn at Montgomery Bell
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1020 Jackson Hill Road, Burns, TN 37029   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Burns
Katy, Texas, United States
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Bell of TN”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

All of TN has been beautiful and this place is no exception. All the rooms have balconies overlooking the peaceful lake, hiking trails everywhere, fishing, manual boating...it is awesome. The staff offers activities all day and evevning, full restaurant, it's a low key place. There are NO micros or fridges in the room and the internet and phone service is patchy. That can be good or bad. We would come back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Upper floors can see more of the lake. First floor room balconies walk right out at lake level.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I have stayed at both the inn and in a villas. They are worlds apart. I reserved 2 villas for my wedding party for the weekend of my wedding and we were blown away. They were modern, updated, and very clean. There are flat screen tv's, nice big new bathrooms, and a full size kitchen. We had plenty of room for everyone.

Saying that...I had stayed at the inn prior to my experience at the villa. I stayed in a king size room for one night on a saturday. I was able to call and get the room the day of in August. It was very basic. I did not think it was dirty, but I likened it more to a dormitory type room as opposed to a hotel room. There was basic cable on a box tv, a wall unit a/c, and the bathroom was a little dingy. The balcony was nice but there were a lot of spiders and it was pretty apparent that no one had tended to the balcony as there were spider webs, litter, and the furniture was scattered about.

I organized a high school reunion there and the event staff were easy to work with and pretty much met my expectation for service provided.

I also had the breakfast buffet - which I enjoyed but it was pricey. For me and the hubby it was $20ish.

Saying all that... I would go back to stay in a villa. I probably am less likely to stay in the Inn again but I would if i had too. The drawback with a villa is that you have to do a 2 night stay to reserve one.

I am also a state employee so I get a discount - which is another reason why I did not mind the condition of the Inn as much. I too wonder why there has not been any rennovations? But I also work in a building (state owned) that could use some rennovations. It is what it is!

My ratings attached to this review are regarding the most recent stay at a villa.

Room Tip: Villas - it is the way to go!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Somewhere south of the middle
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We stayed here for two or three nights last October for a church gathering. This was our second time to stay and while it is not a 4-5 star hotel, we enjoyed ourselves and the atmosphere. The wait staff in the dining room were outstanding and very friendly! Would stay here again in the future, it's really pretty!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nashville
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

I stayed on a Thursday night for a company meeting. The hotel is located within the Park. They also have cabins. The park has beautiful scenery. It also has a golf course, walking trails, playground area, and a very nice swimming pool.

I wasn't expecting 3 Star accommodations, but I was expecting my room to have two sheets. There was a bottom/fitted sheet, but not a top sheet. There was the comforter and a half paper thin blanket? then the bottom sheet. I don't like to use comforters in hotels, but here I had no choice. There was nothing else which to cover yourself. Also the walls are paper thin. A man was disciplining his child and I clearly heard every word. Everything else in the room was standard: TV, chair, table. I also like that housekeeping left 4 wash clothes instead of the usual three. The view of the lake from my room was beautiful.

I had catered breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the hotel. The breakfast was a buffet including bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns, bagels, cereal, juice and coffee. Both lunch and dinner included choice of backed ham, chicken, cream potatoes, green beans, carrots, broccoli, baked apples, salad, and an assortment of desserts: cheese cake, blackberry cobbler, banana pudding. All of it was very good. If you don't want to eat at the hotel there is a McDonalds and Subway in the city where the hotel is (Burns) and about 8 miles away in the city of Dickson there are the typical fast food joints and restaurant chains.

If my company wasn't paying for it this hotel wouldn't be my first or second choice.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the lake
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Nashville, Tennessee
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed on Friday and Saturday nights after having visited the park a few times. The park is really - three lakes, a swimming area, nice campground, beautiful trails, and a boat rental on one lake. There's also a golf course and a small chapel with a church service on Sundays throughout the summer. This is a very nice state park.

But the inn is a different story. The building is really nice, the architecture is superb, and the views over Acorn Lake are just pleasant. The first thing you notice is that it smells like a nursing home.

The room where we stayed was mostly clean but very dated. They still have an old "square" TV. We had a single king bed and the room was quite empty. The space where the other bed would have been contained a single chair in the corner. There was also a desk and a dresser. The bathroom was mostly clean but not maintained well. The knob for the shower was removable, and the drain cover wasn't attached. There was also no vent in the bathroom which led to lots of condensation on the tile floor when bathing. The bed had a funky odor to it and probably needed to be replaced.

All rooms have a private balcony with a couple of chairs and a little table. It was a pleasant place to sit.

The pool area has a lot of potential. There is an indoor pool (which was kept at an uncomfortably high temperature), an outdoor pool, and a hot tub. The hot tub was being repaired according to a sign, but the weathered tarp over it suggested that it had been out of service for a year or more. Too bad - what I could see of it was nice stone and it would have a lovely view.

The outdoor pool was nice but dirty. There was a layer of oily scum (sunscreen) along the side of the pool right above the water line that suggested it wasn't being treated properly and rarely cleaned. One part had broken concrete that someone had covered with layers of electric tape to cover the jagged edges.

The restaurant was okay. It was clean, understaffed, and had magnificent views for the diners. They have a buffet, and we ate there twice. First was a breakfast. It was good, but no better than what a Comfort Inn would give you for free. It cost $9/person. We made the mistake of eating dinner on a Saturday evening. That's their "steak buffet" which costs $14 or $15 per person, $5 more than the normal evening buffet. The steaks were numerous but low quality. The macaroni and cheese was simply gourmet, as was the soup. The quality difference between items was a bit odd. Service was terrible as they were understaffed.

The construction of the inn is like at least one other state park inn that I've seen where the building is concrete and the rooms have concrete on four sides. We had no cell phone reception in our room but did get reception in the common areas. The wifi also didn't work in the room despite our being on the main level not too far from the lobby. Wifi worked fine in the lobby and restaurant.

I see other folks talking about our state budget and budget cuts and such, but the inn charges plenty per night and was mostly full when we were there. Given that they don't have a mortgage to worry about I have to wonder where the revenue is going. Smaller hoteliers have to cover the cost of the building, new furniture, refrigerators, free breakfasts, etc. for the same price and seem to be doing well. Here, they have very few costs and can't seem to keep up. It really doesn't add up. I'm not sure if inn revenue is being diverted to help cover the park's other costs, but the bottom line is that it shouldn't be a problem for them to keep the rooms updated and cleaned with what they're charging.

Even with the poor rating I wouldn't necessarily recommend against this place if you're going to spend a day or two at the park. There are other hotels just 10 minutes from the park that are probably nicer but being in the park has its advantages. Just don't spend much time in the room and find somewhere else to eat. There are a number of great restaurants in Dickson just 10-15 minutes west of the park.

Room Tip: Most rooms have the same view - the worst views are overlooking the pool. Might want to try to get...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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Travelers are raving about these Burns hotels

Ethridge, Tennessee
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
442 helpful votes 442 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

Well...mixed feelings....A Super 8 has a nicer hotel room than the Montgomery Bell Inn, but a Super 8 does not give you a balcony with a pretty lake view. The Montgomery Bell Inn rooms are livable, very plain with no bells and whistles, but everything works. The tv is old but works with good reception, and you get a lot of channels through Comcast (no premiums that I could see). I did not bring a laptop to test the internet connection. The beds were slightly more comfortable than I expected them to be, but they were not supercomfy either. I brought my comforter with me, expecting a very plain hard bed with an itchy bedspread and got a bed that was only slightly better. I should have brought my pillow, too, because the pillows were flat and limp. The mattress was old and stained; they really need to update the beds if nothing else. I didn't get much sleep, not necessarily because of the bed but because of that bloody air conditioning which kept kicking on and off in explosive bursts and gurgles. I lay in bed every night and timed its kick-ons/kick-offs. On 65 degrees, it was on 8 minutes, kicked off for 4 minutes, 8-4, 8-4, argh, I couldn't sleep! And when it was off, you heard everybody and everything. We heard clomping over our heads from the rooms above, noises in the hallway including voices of the staff storming down the hallway even as late as 11 pm, doors slamming, the tv blaring in the adjoining rooms. We were there 4 nights. Wed and Thurs nights were fairly quiet; Friday and Saturday nights - noisy. Yep, nights were dreadful, but during the day you sit out on the balcony and look out over the water and watch everyone having fun, well, you feel better, and the setting almost makes up for the sleepless nights. Go down, have a swim in the indoor or outdoor pool or in the lake, use the exercise room, and peddle the peddleboat. I did all the above, but the most fun for me is the peddleboat, which I hadn't been on since I was 12 when I went to the park with my late father way back in the 80s. I got a bit of a tear in the eye. It only cost $5 an hour, and the girl who works there is very sweet. Yep, all of that almost makes up for the hotel's shortcomings....almost......the area around the hotel is not handicap accessible. There are at least 2 steep staircases on each side of the hotel. You have to walk down steep stairs to get to the 'beach' and peddleboats, and I watched a lot of people struggle with the stairs (and saw one woman fall out of a peddleboat - it is not easy to get into those things if you are disabled in any way). The observation tower connected to the restaurant by a boardwalk has some rickety wooden steps that need replacement pronto - if you fall through those steps, you will fall to your death. Because the tower is high. Our hotel room was on the 4th floor so all we had to do was walk a few steps down the hallway to a spacious restaurant with a lake view. I was not a fan of the buffet so one night we ordered from the menu. I ordered a burger and fries, and my mother ordered country fried steak. She hated her steak; I said that she should have gotten white peppered gravy instead of brown gravy, and she said, yes, but the steak was bad, too. My burger was a bit burnt. And those fries....those fries were loaded down with salt. I didn't even have to say anything; our waitress, who was very sweet, had some new fries brought out at no extra charge, and they were salt-free this time, but still...bleh, thin and yucky...how can you screw up french fries??? I can throw some Oreida steak fries in my old oven and get better results! Back to the buffet. The buffet was the same every night except for the high-priced Saturday buffet where you had steak added and not much else. But every other night you had catfish, salisbury steak, fried chicken, chili, hush puppies, a HARD dinner roll or corn muffin, and I can't remember what else - a salad bar, too, with the dressings NOT labeled. You had to search for the ketchup and tartar sauce which was placed on a separate table. The tartar sauce was in a bowl - again, not labeled. Really, you had to guess and hope for the best what you were putting on your fish or salad. I ended up drowning my catfish in blue cheese the first night - bleh yuk. The dessert - banana pudding or peach cobbler - sigh - not the best dessert choices, in my opinion. But the peach cobbler was OK, if you want it every night. Really, we strongly considered going somewhere for dinner (and did for breakfast - tried the breakfast buffet once and once was enough).... But one reason we stayed at Montgomery Bell was just to step out of our hotel room (almost literally) into a restaurant with a view. That was really nice, beyond convenient. So every night we gave the restaurant more business and said to ourselves, well, just try different combinations on the buffet and make it work somehow. The Saturday night buffet - $34 for two people because of the mediocre steak addition as opposed to the usual $21 bill we had been getting - was the last straw. When we checked out, we were SO ready for some Cracker Barrel where a killer breakfast or dinner for two cost less than that dreadful buffet. But to be fair, people were going at that buffet like animals, so maybe it was just me.....And on the plus side, we had the same waitress every night, and she was hardworking and as sweet as can be. In fact, most of the staff was very friendly. Housekeeping is on the ball although our tub did not look terribly clean; I think it was mostly just stained with age and not their fault although the tub safety strips were crinkled up and needed replacing. Check in was smooth enough. The staff is now required to take everybody's license plate number, and that is a good thing. And may I suggest, for extra security, could the hotel please provide a safe in every room? That is a no brainer. It can get pretty wild on a Friday or Saturday night. Also, you get NO microwave and, I kid you not, NO fridge - that is incredible. A fridge should always be provided; what if you have a cold and need some fresh cold orange juice in the middle of the night? You know? I didn't but I'm just saying....I just purchased a wheelie cooler to replace my old cooler - turns out I've been in 3 hotels in the past month without fridges - incredible - that's more in all my lifetime combined. I honestly don't know if I would stay here again; I live only 30 minutes away so I would probably just drive out and spend the day at the park like I did when I was a little girl and went with my dad to go swimming and peddleboating....

Room Tip: Demand a top floor room so you can't hear people above.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

Considering the budget cuts the state parks are suffering through, the Inn is doing O.K. The view over the lake and mixed hardwood forest is beautiful. Front desk was helpful but could use some training on how to make people feel welcome. The room was plain but clean and quiet. The water pressure was poor. The Inn's restaurant was disappointing. Salad bar was good but hot buffet was basically the same thing every day for the four days I was there. Variety would help! The state park as well as nearby state parks are very interesting and offer authentic and compelling TN history.

Room Tip: All rooms overlook gorgeous lake
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Inn at Montgomery Bell

Address: 1020 Jackson Hill Road, Burns, TN 37029
Location: United States > Tennessee > Burns
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Burns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Montgomery Bell State Park is located seven miles east of Dickson in Dickson County. The rolling hills of Dickson County contain a treasure that was considered more precious than gold to the builders of young America. The treasure was iron ore, and it lured men by the hundreds to this area of Middle Tennessee. The site of the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at Montgomery Bell State Park. ... more   less 

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