Trip was to visit Dollywood and the mountains. 2 adults/2 kids (6,9). Drove over to Knoxville from Easley, SC on Wednesday evening, staying with parents in Knoxville on Wednesday night.
Headed up to Pigeon Forge in am on Thursday morning, did a quick visit to the Tanger Oulet Mall, checked on putt-putt prices at Ripley's golf establishment located in front part of Tanger Outlet Mall ($46, think not). We then headed into Pigeon Forge. We passed the hotel on the left just a mile or so down from the Tanger Outlet Mall. It was around noon so we took the boys to "The Track" for some go-carts and golf (much more reasonable pricing/value for what you receive). We had a late lunch across the street at Calhoun's (being a native Knoxvillian, I find this regional chain to be very average but the wife wanted to give it a try) and it was fine, average but fine.
It was around 2:30 pm so we headed over to the hotel to check-in. Gave our information and so forth but room was not ready (it was pointed out to me that check-in was not until 4:00 pm, obviously, we knew that but just hoped to unload the van before driving over to Dollywood). There was a line of about 4 folks at the front desk and 1 gentleman doing a very efficient and courteous job checking folks in. It never ceases to amaze me how when there is a line two things seem to happen: 1st - some of the folks checking-in start asking the most idiotic and drawn-out questions, going on and on. 2nd - when the line is about taken care of, someone emerges from the back to help the other front desk person (sorry but where were you when we needed you?). Both of these things happened.
Again, fellow at front desk was very professional and pleasant. Lobby of hotel is nice size and very attractive. Has a fire place (not needed in late July), checker table, chess table, large flat-screen television, and there was a computer station over in the far left corner, and the laundry room is located just outside the door past the computer station.
We did our evening visit at Dollywood and on return around 8:20 pm picked up our room keys. Inquired about the location of the luggage carts, grabbed one, loaded it up and headed up to the room (Non-smoking room 523 @ the far end of the hallway). Room was average size, bathroom was decent size, 2 queen beds, flat screen tv (not HD, not that it matters, we are not there to watch tv), and a sitting chair. Room was clean (carpet was in excellent shape), well-stocked with the basics and one of the best features that you now see in many of the Hampton's these days is that the ac/heating unit is controlled by a wall thermostat. Note: no fridge in the room, although I heard the front desk gentleman tell one of the "questioning" people checking-in ahead of me that the property would be adding them in the future.
We found the room to be very quiet. Did not hear any outside noise (maybe the end of the hallway had something to do with that) and again, the 5th floor location may have disuaded folks from utilizing the stairway that was located next to our room.
We arrived at the breakfast around 7:40 on Friday morning and it was not crowded. Good choice of hot and cold items. When we came through the lobby around 9:00, there was more of a crowd. On Saturday morning, we came down around 8:30 and it was very busy but we sat in the "meeting room" near the lobby bathroom and had the room entirely to ourselves until we were finishing up. Both mornings, the breakfast staff did an excellent job keeping things restocked.
We used the pool Friday night after our all-day visit to Dollywood. The pool area was very clean with plenty of towels. The Tiki torches around the pool were a nice touch and seem to keep the bugs away.
We were at this property 2 nights (7/30 & 7/31) and found it to be a very good place to spend our short trip to the Smokies area. Having lived in Knoxville for the first 30 years of my life and having seen Pigeon Forge grow from 1 donut shop and 1 service station....I am somewhat wary of the tourism operation that is now there. Our stay at this Hampton made our stay seem like that we were somewhat removed from the "tourism stuff". To us that is a very good thing. We headed up to the mountains Saturday morning after check-out and had a blast tubing at the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area. Now that is what makes the mountains a destination.
One last note, we try and avoid "pet-friendly" hotels. Sorry but just prefer to not stay in a room where others little 4-legged friends have been moving about. We saw a couple of small dogs on leashes outside the lobby, but nothing too intrusive.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
THANK YOU for taking the time to write a review about the award winning Hampton Inn & Suites, Pigeon Forge, TN. I will share your comments with our wonderful staff. We look forward to your RETURN visit. Tim Rice, President, Mountaintop Management, LLC.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.