We stayed at Christopher Place in late December for 4 days. The view from CP is really striking: the Smoky Mountains are in full evidence from all of the back windows, and from a number of the rooms. CP is quite far from the main road, so it's very quiet, and CP has a "quiet" policy asking the guests to keep it quiet after 10 AM. The staff are very friendly and unobtrusive, and the breakfast food was quite excellent. We enjoyed sitting in the 1st floor lounge/bar (which has a nice fireplace) and using the comfortable game room on the 3rd floor (which has a pool table and a bunch of board games). We used one of the "get one free day" certificates obtained by buying one of the Inn guides (see http://store.iloveinns.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=AHI24), which helped make the stay affordable. All in all, we really enjoyed our time there.
That said, we had a few problems with the two different rooms we stayed in:
• The room we had reserved, the Margaret Room, is on the third floor. The room is enormous, with a nice bed and nice furnishings, and it has a wonderful view of the mountains. However, there's a closet in the room that houses one of CP's main heating units, and when the heating unit is running (which in cooler days is all of the time), there's a loud throbbing hum in the room that's especially loud in the bathroom, plus the whole room has a vibration to some degree. The vibrating hum isn't constant; it varies, and it was especially loud at night (it's substantially more noticeable than the kind of thing you hear in a hotel that has one of those older heating units near the window). We stuck it out the first night, but it was hard to sleep through and would have made it hard to enjoy the room during the day. The next day, we asked to switch rooms, which they gracefully let us do (they moved us to a more expensive room, but didn't charge us an increased rate), and they acknowledged that we weren't the first ones to have some trouble with the noise/vibration. We know it is the kind of thing that might not bother some people and would bother others a lot. The staff told us that the other third floor room would probably have the same noise/vibration issue.
• We were switched to the Lion's Den, a room on the first floor. This room was also well decorated, and spacious, and features a hot tub as well as two separate sinks/toilets. The bed was quite comfortable too. However, this room had a few quirks: 1) Before we switched into the room, we were told that a few of the hot tub's jets weren't working, but when we tried turning on the jets, a foul odor quickly emerged, kind of like sewage. We mentioned this to the staff and they said it was because the water is partially sulfuric, but that didn't make sense to us because the smell didn't happen when the water was in the tub; it only happened when the jets were running. We figured the jets probably hadn't been cleaned and had some stale/fouled water in them. 2) The hot water in the shower didn't last even a full minute (there was no similar problem with either the hot tub or the sink faucets). When asked, the staff indicated an awareness of this problem but said they were having trouble fixing it because the floor was concrete, which made it difficult to get under the floor to fix the water problems. This problem made the shower very difficult to use (there wasn't even enough time to wash shampoo out of one's hair). 3) For one of the sinks in the bathroom, only scalding hot water would come out; it was impossible to get cold water from it. In talking to the staff, we determined this was also a known issue, but it obviously wasn't a huge deal because there was another sink we could use.
Be warned regarding the sounds issues for the 3rd floor rooms, and the water issues for the Lion'...
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We are so happy you enjoyed the wonderful view, the quiet surroundings in the mountains, and the common guest areas. And we were happy to upgrade your stay to Lion's Den. We appreciate the information regarding the bathroom and have subsequently addressed them. We do hope you return to enjoy another quiet escape with us!
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