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“rough start , beautiful finish”

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Unicoi State Park & Lodge
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Helen
LAWRENCEVILLE
Level Contributor
90 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“rough start , beautiful finish”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

The Hubby and I are North GA Mtns fans and routinely travel up there throughout the year. It is only an hour or so north of Atlanta... We have camped, and cabined in many State parks By chance, we have never stayed at Unicoi State Park.
I arranged to reserve a pet friendly Barrel cabin at Unicoi for a recent wknd.,in conjunction with an athletic event on the grounds of the Park.
We arrived 20 mins prior to check in time and were advised the cabin was not ready, could we wait?
No problem!
We drove through the campgrounds and on to the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls, and walked the short walk to the Falls, formed by the Curtis and York Creeks, It then flows on as the Smith Creek feeding into the beautiful Smith Lake. Took many photographs at sunset!
Finally able to get into our cabin later that evening and were a tad disappointed to find a not so clean cabin and evidence of 4 legged critters...
The following morning, after an early call time for the event, we returned to our cabin and lucked into Housekeeping servicing a neighboring cabin. Upon explaining our concerns.. they were quick to respond w/ assistance and additional towels..!

With many State Park cabin experiences under our belts.we realize,rustic it is when you stay cabins! However, cleanliness can and should be expected at any level of stay.
Upon checking out I advised the Front Desk staff of our lack of clean cabin and mice visitors. They indicated they would alert the Head of Housekeeping.

I followed up from home with an email and was very quickly.. that day even! responded to by management. They were very quick to offer apologies, glad to hear their on the ground Housekeeping staff responded appropriately and were kind enough to offer reimbursement.

Now, for the beautiful finish: This is another of the gorgeous Georgia State Parks located in the North GA Mtns, within a few miles of the quaint alpine like village of Helen.Which has lots of shops and great eating places from fab Betty's Country Store with a Deli for some awesome sandwiches for hiking grub or picnic foodies, as well as several sit down restaurants!
We enjoyed 2 sunny afternoons kayaking on Lake Smith, the 44 acre lake in Unicoi .as well as hanging on the beach, Also hiking along the Lake trails. Finally, we visited nearby Moccasin Creek State Park and hiked the 2-Mile Hemlock Falls Trail. Excellent creek side hiking with plenty of small Falls.
Unicoi is the perfect base to launch you into many North Georgia mountain activities! The cabins themselves are pretty basic with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath,. eat in kitchen small living room with fireplace and deck. Simple,

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank travelingMomGA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated. We are pleased to let you know that the total rehab and update to our cabins have been scheduled to start this coming December with completion anticipated by April. Hopefully you will be able to return and enjoy your stay in the area even more, again thank you and we wish to see you back then,
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554 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (149)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013

This is a beautiful area with mountains, lakes and trees. We have camped here and this weekend we stayed in the lodge. It was quiet, clean and had very nice views of the mountains and the surrounding areas. The front desk staff were very professional and helpful. Trust me this lodge beats staying in Helen hands down. Most hotels in Helen even the $100 plus a night ones are very dirty. They smell and are overrated by a long shot. Helen has no 4 star hotels so this lodge is the best you are gonna get in this area. I have worked as a manager in 4 star hotels in Atlanta and know a little about the business. I would not stay in Helen because the rooms there are disgusting. Some may be better than others however the majority of hotels in Helen are dirty, bad smelling and disgusting. Come on Helen your lodging facilities need to step up to the plate. In the meantime me and my family will be staying at the beautiful Unicoi Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank DerekStephens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Royal, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2013

The staff were all very friendly and helpful. Customer service ranks up there with many 5 star hotels. Resturant food was good, but nothing special. Hotel is located very close to Helen and a 2 hour drive from cherokee, nc

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank eclipse386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

That says it all really. We only managed to get one night here as we were travelling through the area but it was very relaxing and in such a beautiful spot, great to be able to take the short walk around the lake before breakfast.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank twowives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Social Circle, Georgia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I took our youth camping at Unicoi this weekend and we had a great time camping at the double buddy sight and tubing in Helen, However, I was very upset with the condition of the bathrooms at our campground. I have NEVER complained about a camping bathroom before but it was bad. Mold and mildew all over the doors and walls. Seriously, take a good bath before you go because the state parks have gone to pot since they got rid of the engineering and construction crews.

Room Tip: The double buddy sites say they will fit 3 tents or 3 campers but there is NO WAY you could fit 3 te...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 3170family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
The Park Comfort Stations in the campgrounds are being added to our scheduled upcoming multi-million dollar project to upgrade the overall Park and Lodge facilites that is scheduled to begin this December.

We apologize for the current condition that you experienced and are indeed utilizing a local maintenance crew to deep clean these facilities, which are currently being maintained by the volunteer campground hosts as part of their duties.

Hopefully we will see back again and thank you for your comments.
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West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

It is not fancy but its a state park. The beds were clean and comfy. the rooms are small but have everything you need. In building "A" has a old musty smell and they need to do some updates. the tub stopped up and did not drain quickly. They claim to have Wi-Fi but that was on the fritz. The breakfast was nice but not as a great as it was just 4 years ago which was a disappointment. Also its a bit sad that they are so slow they don't do the dinner buffet anymore. I cant say I would be coming back to stay at Unicoi state park again, Which is sad cause the water fall, lakes streams and the start of the trail are there.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Rachel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Helen hotels

Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

First of all, I'll tell you the good things about Unicoi Lodge. It is still a beautiful setting. Can't argue with that at all. Quiet, peaceful. The employees we saw working on the grounds, etc., were very friendly and helpful.
We camped at the Park for many years and would go to the Lodge to eat some of our meals. Since getting older we have stayed at the Lodge several times and always enjoyed our stay. Until this last one.
Things you should know:
It is still owned by the State of Georgia but is managed by a private company. Even though some of the state employees were retained it doesn't have that same "local" feel that it used to have. They say they are in the midst of a massive renovation project and it needs to be. Very dated.
One of the beds in our room was like an old horse - sunk in the middle. When I asked about the possibility of a mattress being swapped I was told they had no extra mattresses. Well, the place was only about 30% occupied so you would think they could have managed to find a better one somewhere.. I was told we could move to a different room (pack up and move) or maybe we could swap out who had to sleep on that bed. (Chuckle). I was not amused. Then I was told they had new beds on order but they had not arrived. Great.
If you have problems navigating stairs be aware that you can get around but you will have to walk a lot out of your way to get where you want to go. Not friendly to people with bad knees, legs, backs, etc. There are no elevators in the 4 buildings that house the guests.
We took advantage of an offered special of a room with free breakfast. The food was okay. Good coffee. But to our amazement the "free" breakfast did not include your beverage. So if you want anything but water you will have to pay extra. There was NO information on breakfast hours or anything at all on the restaurant in our room. I remember great buffets and meals in years past but all that is gone and what food was offered (at the Tavern) was pricey and not very good. In years past you would see locals there eating in the restaurant but not anymore.
Unicoi Lodge was the Premier Lodge for the State Park System and it is sad to see how far it has fallen. I hope it can come back but I fear it will never be the same.

Room Tip: If you can't maneuver steps be sure to let registration know before you check in. We had to chan...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NanaB98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harvey D, General Manager at Unicoi State Park & Lodge, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Hurts us to have to write this response as well. We apologize for the less than pleasant experience that you had and hope that you will afford us another opportunity once the renovation is completed. The aforementioned renovation is scheduled to begin this December and will address the majority of the issues that you had.

We will tract your email, if that is ok, and let you know when this is completed. We would like for you to be our guest and critique the changes accordingly. Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns and letting us know where we need to improve, it is appreciated!
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Additional Information about Unicoi State Park & Lodge

Property: Unicoi State Park & Lodge
Address: 1788 Highway 356, P. O. Box 849, Helen, GA 30545-2326
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 #8 of 18 Hotels in Helen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Unicoi State Park & Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Reservation Options:
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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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