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“A beautiful place with a few issues”

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Unicoi State Park & Lodge
Ranked #9 of 19 Hotels in Helen
Reviewed January 29, 2012

This is going to be a somewhat complicated affair. There are different aspects of this facility that must be considered.

My wife and I spent one night (two days) as the end cap of a week celebrating her 50th birthday. I will lodge room, the lodge itself and the restaurant. We stayed in a loft unit as our daughter was with us. We had two meals at the restaurant and we were in the lodge itself a good bit.

About our lodge room.....

Pros:
1. The room (as well as the whole place) was clean and tidy.
2. It was roomy downstairs and in the loft.
3. It was thoughtfully appointed with small touches.
4. It was comfortable including the pillows and mattresses.
5. The views and surroundings are fantastic. In each building there is a large common room that has a TV and a fireplace. Great for groups.

Cons:
1. The room has an under windows heating/air unit for each room that looks like it was installed in the 1970's. The "off" button did not work. It took us about 8 hours to get it properly regulated where we were comfortable. We cannot fathom why a facility that promotes energy conservation so much would be using these units. Their energy bill must be off the charts.
2. The cable TV would regularly suffer from interference and once winked out completely for about 30 minutes. We weren't there for the TV anyway.
3. The whole place is a little thread worn. It would not take much to correct this as it is fundamentally sound.

About the restaurant....

Pros:
1. The food is good. All of it. They had Fried Georgia Mountain Trout the night we were there and it was the best we have ever had. Everything else was very good.
2. The staff was great. They remembered us from dinner to breakfast and placed us at the same table.
3. The dinner was pricey but well worth it. Breakfast is what you would expect to pay.

Cons: None

About the Lodge....

The Lodge space is large and roomy. There are common spaces with fireplaces for relaxation and conversation. The entire staff is great. The gift shop is fantastic. We spent about an hour there. Parking is fine but getting from parking to the rooms can be a bit of a walk.

In two days we did Anna Ruby Falls, Unicoi State Park's Bottom Lake Trail, the Unicoi Gap portion of the Appalachian Trail and Helen, GA. Overall, we would not hesitate recommending this property to friends and family as long as they are aware of the above. We will certainly visit again. Next time we will try the cottages just to mix things up if we can. They have minimum stay requirements.
About the lodge....

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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12  Thank Valinor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 12, 2012

I went here for a family reunion and we were worried this wouldn't be very nice. But it was perfectly fine. We stayed in lodge A which had a big central room with chairs and a fireplace to sit by. It had a very clean room, with beds that were perfectly comfortable. The shower was very nice, plenty of hot water and pressure. Towels were a bit small and rough. Nice view of the trees.
We ate the breakfast buffet which had a wide selection of foods. The dinner buffet wasn't as good, most food was slightly greasy, had a large salad bar. Not much for healthy or dieters.
Overall we really enjoyed our time and would stay here again as it's a good value.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank misodiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

My husband, myself, and our two adult children stayed in one of the barrel cottages for a few days. We wish we had known it would be such a long walk to and from the parking area. We had foolishly assumed we could park by the cottage. People with small children, those with disabilities, and the elderly should be warned. All other pack light and bring a flashlight. The way down is lit but not perfectly.

The cottage was small but not too small, and the kitchen was well equipped. There were plenty of towels. The view from the little porch was of the lake and very pleasant. It was fun having a fireplace but the wind made branches scrape against the metal chimney all night which made quite a racket.

I wish I could say that the place was spotless, but it wasn't. It wasn't horrid, and our bed seemed clean enough (although one person complained their bed was not clean), but one of the extra blankets was dirty and encrusted with what looked like bits of candy. Actually, none of the blankets was spotless. They ought to check these things and take care of them.

The heat works. :)

The bathroom is really small, and there is nowhere to put anything. We had to set aside a kitchen chair to keep toiletries and such. It gave things sort of a college dorm vibe. I'm not a big fan of college dorms.

We did try eating at the Lodge which has a buffet advertising trout. I swear those fish had been left by fishermen sometime around the turn of the century. Dry. Tasteless. Sad little fish. The other choices were limited and uninspired. There was an array of desserts, which was the best part of the meal. One person complained that the cake was stale and hard, though. Not cheap either.

But you come for the setting, and it is very pretty there. It's always great being so close to hiking trails and that was definitely the best part of this place.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Shea1114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

This is our third trip to this Lodge. We recently had 2 Loft rooms with the family. The rooms were clean and well stocked. When we asked, the fireplace in the family area was lit both times. The kids love the loft area of the room. We had breakfast and lunch at the lodge. It is served buffet style and the food was good and the food bars well stocked. The choices are somewhat limited but what is there is good and the servers are very attentive. Our breakfast server had worked a late party the night before but was so attentive to the whole family even early in the morning. There is definitely some upgrading needed but apparently they are working on that. The only complaint was the game room is closed and apparently used for storage. Not good with children. Luckily we had cards with us but the game room was great back when we came the other times. It kept the kids occupied in the evening with something to do. There is not a lot for children to be occupied. Otherwise well worth the money and the trip.

Room Tip: Ask for a loft room. Buildings A and B seem to have the good views of the hills and trees. Bring ga...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank poofimgone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2011

We stayed at the lodge because we got rained out of our camping trip. We were lerey about the lodge because of the other reviews. We got the room for $70 which included 2 buffet breakfasts. I don't think I would pay any more than that. The room was clean and simple. Definitely older but kept clean. Breafast was nothing exciting. Several people had to wait for food cause half the buffet needed to be restocked. Food was average. If we had to pay for it we would go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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7  Thank Travels2gether
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2011

It is a no frills place. It was clean and well kept. The towels were small and hard and you can see through the sheets. It was the hardest bed that I can ever remember trying to sleep on. The shower head sprayed half the water on the ceiling. It reminded me of college dorm. I don't understand why there is a $5 parking charge for a place out in the boonies. We were there for a conference and the staff were eager to please. For the money, it was a decent place to hold a conference. However, I would never book this place for a personal stay.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank gelo7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

Front desk staff was not very friendly. Cereal was in one of the beds. Soap/lotion dispenser was filthy. Shower curtain was mildewed. Tub drain was slow causing standing water when showering. More water came out of the tub faucet than the shower head. There were only about four tissues in the dispenser. The bed sheets were so thin one could literally see through them. The door frame leading to the bathroom looke similar to the soap dispenser...disgusting.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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2  Thank MaggieWhippet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Unicoi State Park & Lodge

Address: 1788 Highway 356, P. O. Box 849, Helen, GA 30545-2326
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Georgia > Helen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 19 Hotels in Helen
Price Range: $89 - $187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Unicoi State Park & Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 130
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Also Known As:
Unicoi State Park Hotel Helen
Unicoi State Park Lodge And Conference Center Helen
Unicoi State Park Helen

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