We've stayed in Georgia state park cottages before at three other parks and been happy with the cabins -- great price, usually in locations you can't find a hotel in, and good scenery -- so despite mixed reviews about Unicoi cottages on travel sites, we decided to book one of the barrel cottages on the lake. The cottages are cramped, dark (no windows on two sides) and squeezed together. Entry porches are shared with another cottage, meaning less privacy than usual in state park cabins. Unless you're there when leaves are off the trees, there is no view of the lake, really.
The first cabin we were assigned to smelled musty downstairs; upstairs, it smelled like an animal had died in the walls. We asked for another cottage and moved to one next door; the desk clerk said it wasn't uncommon for flying squirrels to get in the cabins and die. This cabin smelled clean and we moved in -- only to find rodent droppings in a kitchen cabinet, dishes and glasses with greasy smears and food stains in cabinets (guests are supposed to wash them before leaving, and there is no dishwasher) and stained sheets and dead bugs in one bed. The lodge staff was very nice the next morning when we asked for fresh sheets and sent housekeeping out to replace the sheets and deal with the mold in the bathroom. By then, we had already washed all the dishes and glasses, removed the rodent droppings, shook all the old crumbs out of the toaster, etc. They also said they would adjust our bill, something I didn't ask for but that was certainly called for in this case.
The next morning, we found fresh rodent droppings along the kitchen counter. Mentioned it to the guy at checkout and he said I'd already gotten a discount .... um, dude, how about taking the advice the way it was meant, and DEAL WITH THE MOUSE PROBLEM! We would never stay there again, and based on this experience are much less likely to stay in any other Georgia state park cottages. I know the state is having budget problems and the department that oversees parks is particularly hard hit, but at $140 a night for a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage, you ought to get something that's at least clean, even if it's not that up-to-date. Private cabins in the area rent for about that price or a little more, and ones I saw on my visit were new, scrupulously clean and much better equipped. We were told on renting that the cabins had been renovated in the past two or three years. The kitchen seemed updated, if small; the rest of the cottage just felt old and tired.
Also -- some of these cottages require a walk of about 400 feet or so from the parking area, over a gravel path with a lot of steps. Not much fun when you're toting a cooler and a bunch of suitcases.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Groupon, TripOnline SA, Priceline, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz and getaroom.com so you can book your Unicoi State Park & Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Unicoi State Park Hotel Helen
- Unicoi State Park Lodge And Conference Center Helen
- Unicoi State Park Helen