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“Not as good as we've heard it used to be”

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Cherokee / Great Smokies KOA
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Good location near the town and the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but the women's showers near us were unusable, and other problems such as an out-of-order ice machine and no cell reception detracted from the experience. Much of the staff seemed new and inexperienced, though eager to help. BIG -- lots of room to walk, ride, etc. Daughter loved the bouncy pillow, but was disappointed the pool was closed. The indoor pool is small and was overcrowded.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank FamilyManDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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310 - 316 of 392 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2013

We took our grandchildren (tweens) to the mountains for the first time. They LOVED the mountains and all the surrounding areas. The KOA was a bit wet on a couple of days due to more than average rainfall. The staff was friendly and helpful. The dryers worked fine and the showers and restrooms were good. Yes, the pool was being renovated but we didn't travel to the mountains to swim in a pool. We did, however, paddle around in a local river. The KOA really should do something about the large population of borer bees but please not if it means getting rid of the many many lightening bugs! Of the other campgrounds in the area, we checked them out, KOA gets our vote of confidence.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank ojusto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

Spent 8 nights in tent section. Smelled strongly of urine the entire week. Only one shower worked after the first day, we made daily reports and was never addressed. The bathrooms were not cleaned the entire week. The same trash stayed in shower and stalls. The outdoor pool was not open. People were tubing and coming straight to the indoor pool and the water was gross. Only one of three washing machines worked during the entire week. With so much rain we needed a washer a few times but had to wait in line. With no phone service it would have been nice to have decent wifi as it was the only way to communicate with the outside world.
Had heard a lot of positive remarks from people prior to visit but we certainly weren't impressed! Will stay elsewhere next time!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank Crissy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

Should have told us prior to 5put hour trip pool closed didnot even tell us on arrival had to drive to dollywood to find something to do. The campsites are nice but at 74.00 a nite that would get you a pool somewhere else beware call before you go my daughter very dissapointed in pool being closed for the summer.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank Camper1429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We just returned from a 7day stay at this KoA. in previous years we always enjoyed our stay. Not so much this summer.
Outdoor-pool closed!!!! (and no information about this on website) game-room not working, vending machines not working, problems with plumbing in showers and bathrooms. speeding employees in golf-carts yelling at kids for no reason. the indoor pool was partly so crowded that nobody could swim just stand side-by-side.
The Wifi is terrible & slow if you get a connection.
1 young employee trying to answer phone and help customers at desk while 3 or 4 more walk by and go to a backroom doing whatever and when they return, they have no desire to answer the people that are on-hold.
Guess we will try another campground next time.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Michael-Carolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Overall we were happy there. The grounds were a little wet from recent rains, and we had booked a tent site for our family of 4. We found a dry section to set up the tent without a problem but it was a little muddy walking around the campground. We were told they have had a higher than normal rainfall.

We were disappointed to get an email about 2 weeks before we left telling us the outdoor pool would not be open until after our trip. At least we knew before we got there or I'm sure the disappointment would have been greater. Glad there was an indoor pool to use, but it got quite busy as a result. The hot tub was very hot some days and not hot enough on others, and as other reviewers have mentioned, there were too many kids playing rough in the hot tub to allow the tired parents any rest. Honestly I'm not saying that's the campground's fault, they cant really have someone stand around and make people be attentive parents. At least the kids I encountered were basically good kids, no real troublemakers.

The staff were all very friendly and eager to help, although I got the impression that probably half of them were working their first jobs in high school. The young man who rented our family bicycles wasn't quite sure how to work the air pump or untangle the bikes, for example, but he was more than willing to take his time and figure it out, and it never seemed like a bother for him.

Very complete gift shop and store, good food at the outdoor cafe' although get there a little early. When it says they close at 8, that means they start putting things away at 745 and stop taking orders, and are locking the door and walking away at 8...you have been warned.

As far as cleanliness, I found it to be a mixed bag mostly. The bathrooms were cleaned pretty often, but on more than one occasion the teenage worker would walk in and mop the area in front of the sinks, then out the door and leave, when the showers really needed a quick mop the most.

Our kids LOVED the big bounce pillow, and honestly we could probably spend longer on property as the kids always complained when I got them off that thing!

But here's what sold us, on the last night of our trip, we were watching the weather and saw a pretty bad looking storm coming in. We had to get up and get going the next morning, with a 12 hour drive home, and the thought of laying awake all night while lightning crashed around our tent, and trying to figure out how we would pack up in the morning to leave if it was still pouring rain, as it was forecast to do, had us pretty stressed out. We had a tight schedule, as we were driving home a day early to attend a unexpected funeral. I decided to spend the extra and move into a cabin, but by then it was almost 10pm. I called the General Manager, Mark, and apologized for calling so late, but told him I was tent camping with two small kids and was worried about the weather, inquiring if we might be able to move to a cabin. To my surprise he said "don't worry we'll put you in a cabin, no charge" which I certainly wasn't expecting. We would have been happy to pay the extra $20 or whatever to sleep dry and safe, and that's without him even knowing the circumstances of why we were leaving so early.

It's true there are some repairs needed, and some cosmetic things really could stand to be addressed, but the help we received more than made up for it. We spent only 2 days here, but after the friendly service and hospitality we received, we are already planning to stay for a week next year.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Lance B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Management needs to work on communication with workers when problem arrises... OUTDOOR POOL TORE UP & didn't tell us... Fail to tell us at time of check in... we are staying 12 nights..... Didn't give us a discount on it didn't offer chairs to sit in the sun... If they would have told us this at time of check in, before I paid $535.00 I would have went somewhere else...

  • Stayed: June 2013
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5  Thank Lynn_Nelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cherokee / Great Smokies KOA

Address: 92 Koa Campground Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719-6451
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Cherokee
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Cherokee
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
What a location! The Cherokee/Great Smokies KOA is bordered on one side by the serene Raven Fork River and on the other side by three tribal trout ponds. It lies just across the road from Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway. From almost anywhere on the KOA's grounds, take in 360-degree mountain views. The resort campground offers camping cabins, cottages and Deluxe cabins, large RV and tent sites. This KOA is ideal for the biggest group gatherings with year-round indoor and seasonal outdoor pools and hot tubs, food service,an outdoor movie-cinema, a Jumping Pillow and adventure mini golf. Campers enjoy the shuttle to area attractions and events too numerous to count. Check online for special events, theme weekends and seasonal activities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cherokee / Great Smokies Koa Hotel Cherokee

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