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“Beautiful Location, Pricey Accommodations”

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Amicalola Falls Lodge
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Dawsonville
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Beautiful Location, Pricey Accommodations”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Although we have visited Amicalola Falls a couple of times over the years, we have never stayed at the Lodge. We decided to visit the Hike Inn (separate review) so included a night at Amicalola Falls Lodge beforehand.

Amicalola Falls is truly a beautiful park. It was quite crowded on the Sunday we arrived and it broke my heart to see all the trash left by visitors. However, the Falls were breathtaking and we really enjoyed watching the skinks and toads down by the Reflecting Pool. After climbing down (and back up - 600 steps!) the Falls, we checked into the Lodge. The view from the lobby is gorgeous and the hotel is very warm and homey. All the staff we met were friendly and helpful. The room needed updating and the air conditioner left a musty smell, but otherwise it was generally clean and spacious, and we appreciated the free WiFi and wide variety of television channels (we needed a rest after that climb)!

We ate both dinner and breakfast at the Maple Restaurant within the Lodge. We were very daunted by the buffet prices ($17.95 dinner, $9.95 breakfast for adults - not including beverages) and not very impressed by the appearance of the buffet. However, the views from the dining room were lovely, and the nearest restaurant according to Mapquest was a 25-minute drive each way, so we opted to stay. There was also a talented family group of musicians performing, so that added to the appeal.

Unfortunately, the quality of the food is nowhere near what it should be for the cost. The meats (beef brisket and herb chicken) were overdone, and the shells were over sauced. The vegetables and bread were uninspired at best. On a positive note, the dessert bar was varied and tasty (although the ice cream machine was out of service). For breakfast, the eggs tasted reconstituted (the taste and texture of both the scrambled eggs and the quiche was terrible) and the muffins were dry and overdone. The bacon was good and we enjoyed the fresh fruit, as well the selection of individual boxed cereals.

Overall, the cost of our overnight stay including room, dinner and breakfast was way too high for the quality of the room and food. Although we are glad for the experience, we do not plan to stay at Amicalola Falls Lodge in the future and would not recommend it except as an optional stopover before or after your journey to the Hike Inn.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TraceyW717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Thank you for letting us know about your experience here at Amicalola Falls Lodge. We are very excited to let you know that we are in the planning stages of a renovation that will address many of the issues that you told us about. It is our goal to provide everyone with an exceptional dining experience and I am sorry to hear this was not the case for you. I sincerely hope that you will plan another visit to Amicalola allowing us the opportunity to regain your confidence.
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328 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
181 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

OK, I know this is a state park property, and thus isn't expected to be up to date. It does, however, seem that a spectacular location such as this merits more maintenance and refurbishing than it has been given. The positives: The rooms were clean. The views are amazing. The staff was very welcoming and friendly. The cornbread in the dining room was great.
The negatives: The water pressure and temperature were pathetic. The faucet in the sink turned all the way around and never did get me any really hot water. The decor clearly hasn't been updated in 20+ years. The food was just so-so, except for the cornbread, which was a marvel of yumminess.
I came here with group of 16 for a meeting, and 3 time people in the group were given keys to other people's rooms - yikes! Fortunately, all were other people in our group, but still... this should NOT happen.
The state needs to upgrade this facility badly. If you paid rack rate prices, you would be very disappointed in the quality of the facility.
Of course, it was nicer than a tent... but it should be, shouldn't it?

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank velagato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Thank you for letting us know about your experience here at Amicalola Falls Lodge. I would like to express my apologies about the issues that you had while staying with us. Let me first address our lodge rooms. It is true that we have not been able to update our rooms in a while, but we are excited to let you know we are planning a large renovation that improves the lodge rooms markedly. Your hot water problems are something that I will address with our Chief Engineer today.
I genuinely hope that you will plan another visit to Amicalola Falls Lodge and allow us the opportunity to regain your confidence. I know that you will not regret it.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I visited Amicalola Falls Lodge for our anniversary celebration. We checked in around 5 PM. We were able to get a room upgrade when we checked in. The room was spacious and clean. We had a balcony with a wonderful view and two comfortable chairs. The room was clean and comfortable. The furnishings are not new and the wall paper could stand to be replaced. Everything was functional and the furniture was comfortable. We were pleased with the room.
We had dinner in the Maple Restaurant. Dinner was buffet style. At first I was not pleased with the offerings as dinner is over $17 per person and there was not a large selection of food. The food however was very good and everything I tried was tasty. My husband and I both were happy with dinner. We both left full and satisfied.
The bed was comfortable. We both slept well. My only complaint is the pillows. The pillows were flat and uncomfortable. They definitely need to invest in better pillows. I would have given 5 stars if they had better pillows.
All in all we had a good trip and enjoyed our stay. We will stay at the lodge again given the opportunity.

Room Tip: Get a room with a balcony. The view and mountain breeze is worth the expense.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kristy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Thank you for your comments, we look forward to your next visit and we plan to have new pillows in the next year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2013

The Amicalola Falls Lodge has wonderful staff, a great location, and spacious rooms and common areas. However, the Lodge is in dire need of updating and maintenance. We stayed in the Executive Suite and were dismayed about the disrepair. The carpet was frayed in spots. The bath/shower setup was odd (disconcerting full-wall mirror, no curtain, hard to get into and out of), and was rusty and moldy. The screen door to the balcony was torn and useless, the air conditioner/heater was loud. The decor was circa 1988.
Sounds awful, right? Well, the suite was huge, the kitchen was well-equipped, and the room had gorgeous views. The staff at the hotel was friendly and helpful. The homespun food at the restaurant was not fancy, but delicious. The grounds are lovely and fun to explore. There's good with the bad. I don't blame the staff of this hotel for it's condition--I blame the state of Georgia for not giving the Lodge the resources to maintain and keep this gem of a hotel up to par.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank A C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Thank you for your comments. We are happy to let you know that we are in the planning stages of a huge renovation here at the Lodge. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

This place is special. Literally on top of a mountain, view from the room was incredible. The waterfall is amazing. You have all the comforts of home but it seems like you are in the middle of nowhere. Outlet mall and plently of chain dining areas just 20-25 miles away, horseback riding just 7 miles away. The lodge has plenty of spacious areas for relaxing and enjoying the scenery. The breakfast buffet was decent with eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal and reasonably priced. It snowed while there and we will not forget our stay. Beautiful and peaceful. We will be back!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank First B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Thank you for your kind words, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bent NM
Level Contributor
408 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

I could not have written a better review that Cheapseater (see below) who covered it all. This is a fine place for a scenic getaway or a little hiking. The trail to the base of the falls is strenuous downgrade and worse climbing up the 600 steps, so get someone to pick you up at the bottom.
The Maple dining room was quite good both for dinner and breakfast and features regional cooking and good service.
The bad comments about the lodge all seem to stem from people who used Groupon.

Room Tip: If you can get an upgrade to a junior suite ($119) the view is well worth it.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Odis P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for your positive comments about your stay at Amicalola Falls Lodge. We strive each day to continuously improve ourselves and are very excited about the upcoming renovations. We look forward to having you as our guest again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Tennessee
Level Contributor
156 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

The Amicalola Falls Lodge is located in the Amicolola Falls State Park between Ellijay and Dawsonville off of State Hwy 52. Considering that it is a State Park property, we really think highly of the Lodge based upon our stay in March of 2013.
The Lodge is located at the top of the mountain in which the State Park is located. The State Park offers cabins, campsites, a Hike Inn and the Lodge for guests to select from. We stayed at the Lodge on a weekend in a room looking west over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Lodge has 56 rooms, conference venues, porches, common areas, a gift shop and a large dining area looking west over the mountains. One must drive up a pretty steep grade to arrive and you pass the welcome center, the cabins, the campground and the various trails to the falls.
Once at the Lodge, one may pull through for guest arrival and check-in. Plenty of parking for special needs at the front area of the Lodge and plenty of parking in lots that are a very short distance away. In fact, we simply parking a walked our luggage in with us for check-in.
The reception desk in in a large common area with 4 story window overlook. Check in was easy and very kind employees. The dining room is located past the reception area and again has the overlook of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Lodge is a state park property. It is undergoing renewal and upgrades. I was expecting a state government institutional type construction and was pleased to find otherwise. Our room had not benefited from an upgrade. The room was the type that I expect to find in an Marriott Fairfield Inn- meaning a good clean, comfortable room with everything that one should expect from a nice hotel chain. Understand it is not a Marriott or Hilton grand property but it was quite welcoming and very comfortable. The view was the real success of the room but it was comfortable otherwise. Look forward to returning and seeing the upgrades. That said, the cost of a stay is not inexpensive for such a remotely located Lodge.
The Maple Dining Room was much better than expected. In fact, the buffet food was quite good. The service was excellent. Again, we were not expecting much from a state property food vendor but we were very pleased. It is not the dining room at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville so if that is what your expectations are, then you should consider going elsewhere.
Both dinner and breakfast were enjoyable meals with excellent service and good food.
The location is the reason for visitors. The falls, trails, view and a self contained stay provide a most relaxing getaway. Very helpful and kind staff with a happy disposition.
In summary, this is a solid and good state property in a beautiful location. If you prefer luxury, then this is not your place. The Lodge offers a wonderful view in a remote location and you never have to leave the state park for a relaxing weekend with hikes, walks, reflection and time with your family and friends. Highly recommended for if this is what you are looking for. Looking forward to returning to see the upgrades and here is hoping that the Lodge will always offer a reasonable cost stay with special deals and offers for travelers.

Room Tip: Select a west view room overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cheapseater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori V, General Manager at Amicalola Falls Lodge, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for your comments on our Lodge. We strive to provide everyone with an exceptional experience and we are very excited about the renovations that being planned. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amicalola Falls Lodge

Property: Amicalola Falls Lodge
Address: 418 Amicalola Falls Lodge Dr, Dawsonville, GA 30534-1009
Location: United States > Georgia > Dawsonville
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Dawsonville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Amicalola Falls Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
High in the North Georgia Mountains is Amicalola Falls State Park home of Amicalola Falls Lodge. Named after the Cherokee word for “tumbling waters” Amicalola Falls is one of the most popular state parks in Georgia. The park’s namesake is the 729-foot falls: the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The park is also the start of the 8-mile approach trail to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the 2,150-mile Appalachian Trail. The Lodge was built in 1990 by the State of Georgia, with 56 guestrooms in the main lodge and 14 cabins along with a gift shop, meeting space and a mountain view restaurant. The lodge rooms vary from standard hotel rooms with 2 double beds, loft suites that can sleep 6, to king bed suites with private balconies. The Lodge also is home to The Maple Restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The Lodge rests on 829 acres with on-site activities that include stream or pond fishing, as well as more than twelve miles of hiking trails, several centering on viewing the spectacular 729-foot waterfall. Amicalola Falls Lodge features more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space that can host groups and social events consisting of up to 150 people in traditional meeting spaces as well as a unique outdoor veranda setting. The Lodge’s spectacular view, peaceful setting, and exceptional service make it a destination not to be missed while in the North Georgia Mountains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amicalola Falls State Park Hotel Dawsonville
Amicalola Falls State Park And Lodge

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