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“BEWARE.....LOCK UP EVERYTHING...INCLUDING CLOTHES!!!”

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Wilderness at the Smokies Resort
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Sevierville
Reviewed July 7, 2009

The hotel offers in room safes.....NOW WE KNOW WHY....they do not trust their employees.....my advice.....lock up money, purse, and even your clothes!!
Who would think to lock up clothes!! We had purchased our daughter 2 new American Eagle shirts..came back to the room, tried them on, put them on the bed, left going to watch fireworks in Pigeon Forge. Didn't pay much attention until packing up the next morning, but the shirts were gone. I searched our luggage, took the bedding completely off...nothing! We thought maybe we had packed it in our suitcases already(although I had already checked them several times). We left the hotel going to Park Tower(great hotel) in Pigeon Forge. Took everything out of suitcases one piece at a time. Still nothing!! I called lost and found at Wilderness at the Smokies(just incase we overlooked them(3 people looking for them, there was no way to overlook them)....got a recording to leave name, number and detailed message and someone would get back with us. Finally after leaving 2 messages, they were not found. SOMEONE HAD BEEN IN OUR ROOM!!! WHAT ELSE COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THEM???? DID THEY GROW WINGS AND FLY AWAY?? We spoke with management...they were to call us back. We heard nothing from management, so we stopped by there on our way out. MANAGEMENT WAS VERY RUDE!!! We couldn't prove that anyone had been in our room. The manager rolled his eyes at my husband....that's real mature!!! Security checked the video camera and said no one had been in our room....and house keeping didn't leave with a clothing bag after they cleaned our room....like they would pack them out in a bag....which they were not in....then where are the shirts????? It's not so much the $25.00 we lost from the shirts....I don't feel safe after this....so much for privacy. We are just thankful that we had our valuable items with us. There was no forced entry to our hotel room, so whomever came in had to have a key. They are pretty smart because they took items you normally wouldn't miss right off. Plus, these items still had tags on them.....take them back and get something they really like themselves, or maybe this was just their size!!!
OTHER THINGS ABOUT THE HOTEL: the bathroom door would not stay shut and would not lock.
WHATEVER YOU DO.....DO NOT MAKE A PHONE CALL FROM THE ROOM.....75 CENTS PER CALL. I should have used my cell phone, but who would have thought!!
They have a ride called the Wave Rider....pretty neat ride, but wear the tightest swimsuit you can find!!!! I saw more bottoms than I wish to share.

The hotel did have nice towels!!

Would we stay here again, maybe if we won a free night's stay...lol

May this be a lesson for all...regardless of where you are staying, lock anything you want to keep in the trunk of your car!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank violated09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,549 - 2,555 of 2,645 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2009

Just back from a long weekend. This place has the potential to be a great destination. The facility and property are excellent, but this is dampened by a rude and uncaring staff. In reading all of the wonderful comments on this site, I cannot help but wonder if they are real. They surely did not represent what my family and I (and a lot of other people) experienced this weekend. Front desk staff were horrible.... Better suited for a fast food restaurant..... Probably the best minimum wage will buy!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank fosheek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2009

We stayed at this resort June 19 - 22, and it was one of the best vacations I've had. I traveled with my husband and two of our children, ages 8 and 9. From the time we arrived until check out every member of the staff we encountered, desk clerks, shop employees, bartenders, lifeguards, and even housekeeping were extremely helpful and friendly. Our room was clean and well- equipped. The bathroom wasn't much smaller than any other hotel bathroom I've seen (and I've seen a few as I work in the Hospitality business.) The fact that the door opened inward into the bathroom was a bit odd, and made it seem to be smaller when the door was opened. Everyone had a blast at all the waterparks, although do be careful on the wet floor at the indoor waterpark, as it is very slippery. I fell twice, and saw no fewer than 5 other people fall near me. The drinks served at the waterparks are NOT in glass containers, they are plastic bottles for the beer and a plastic cup for mixed drinks. The hallways were a bit of a hike, but I had read these reviews and we were prepared for that. There were plenty of luggage racks. I can't review the restaurants since we didn't eat there. There is a great variety of resturants nearby the hotel. We found it to be convenient to the Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg area, and spent every morning out doing 'tourist-y' things in the area, and returning to the resort in the afternoon for waterpark fun. There were plenty of chairs and tables, and none of the lines were more than 10 minutes. (Except for the surf rider on our last day, there was a 30+ minute wait at one point, but even that was entertaining since you get to see everyone else trying it out.) The shuttles were running very efficiently and we never waited more than 5 minutes for one. The Ripley's aquarium admission was very helpful, since we had planned on visiting it anyway, and you are by no means required to buy the combo ticket for anyone else in your party. The aquarium was the only Ripley's attraction we went to, and one adult and 2 children's aquarium single tickets were the only thing we had to purchase for the 4 of us. My huband, children, and I all agree we had a fantastic time, and can't wait to return. We plan to take friends next time and go in on a suite in the River Lodge, since we stayed up the hill at the smaller hotel this time.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Amyangyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2009

My family and I just got back from a weekend at this resort. Water parks were open (inside and outside). One indoor slide was still not opened yet, but we had a blast. It looks as if they have a lot of room to expand the out door water park. Our room was clean and pleasant, with up to date amenities i.e. flat screen tv, DVD player. The restaurant at the resort was a little pricy but there are lots of great restaurants in the area. Our room had a refrigerator, microwave and range top, so if you are on a budget, like we are, you can do small meals with out the added cost. I would recommend this place to any family looking for a relaxing experience. Can’t wait to stay there when all they are planning is up and running.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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Thank ffredtcfd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2009

My family (husband, 5yr old, and 3 yr old) stayed in the One Bedroom Deluxe for 5 days June 14-19. We booked back in February so we did not pay full price (we paid $239/night). The "room" is actually two hotel rooms with an adjoining door. In one room is a bathroom, full kitchen (silverware, and some cookware), tv room with a murphy bed. The other room is a bathroom, queen bed with twin bunk on top, queen bed separated from others by a short wall, two tvs in front of beds, and balcony.

The only thing I did not like about the room was there was no way for the two adjoining doors(one in each room) to be left open. We had to prop them open with a trash can and a dining room table chair. If the doors shut you had to use the key to get back in the room from the hallway. You would think they would have done something to keep these open.

Another complaint is that yes, you can hear people above you. It is rather loud - just hope that you don't have a bunch of kids running around when you're trying to sleep. Next time I would request that I was on the top floor.

About the hallways, they are not that bad. Yes, they are long but it is a resort. It might take you 2 minutes to walk to the waterpark. My kids never complained about walking the hallways.

I read the reviews about the restaurants beforehand so I did not bother with the food. We always went back up to the room to eat lunch or to snack.

As for the waterpark it was very nice and there are plenty of lifeguards that are very attentive. My kids had PLENTY to do at the inside waterpark and both outdoor ones. In fact, two days we didn't do anything but hang out at the waterparks. The shuttles always were around to take you back and forth.

I would definately stay again, only if I did not pay full price for the room.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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Thank slhVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2009

I stayed at the Stone Hill Lodge with my 9-year-old son. We stayed in the cheapest room we could find, which was $149 a night, plus tax and fees, of course. We thought the room was just fine. It was clean and had a balcony. Although our view overlooked a construction area, it didn't bother us. This motel is attached to the smaller outdoor waterpark (2 smaller water slides, hot tub, children's play area and pool).

We had to take the shuttle across the street to the indoor park and the other outdoor park. The other outdoor park is simply a lazy-river type pool/wave pool, half of the hot tub and the pool. We did enjoy the water park. There was plenty of seating and plenty of lifeguards. The shuttles ran constantly and we hardly ever had to wait for a shuttle. I'm under the impression this may change in less busy seasons. It did get annoying having to ride the shuttle several times a day, so next time I would try to get a room at River Lodge, which is attached to the indoor waterdome. There would never be a need to go across the street to Stone Hill.

We didn't have to wait in line for the water slides (at least not more than five minutes, if that). I liked the fact that they provided plenty of towels at the play area.

The buffet was closed at Stone Hill, which we didn't find out until we were ready for dinner. So it was back on the shuttle....

The food at Thirsty Miner was bad and overpriced. The bread was hard, the chicken fingers were cold and tasted days old. The pizza was decent. No ice cream for desert, just a very limited selection of cobblers, pies and other 'gross' stuff for a kid. The ribs were -- well, I'm not even sure if it was ribs or bones with a tad bit of chewy, greasy meat on it.

Yes, one kid eats free with a paying adult, but the adult buffet was $14.99, plus almost $2 each for drinks, whether it be kid or adult. It was a much better deal to go to Golden Corral down the road. I can't believe how bad the food was at a 'resort.'

The arcade at Stone Hill was terrible. For a child my age, it was a waste of money. It did not give tickets and there was no redemption center. You have to buy a plastic 'debit' card of sorts for 50 cents. Your kids swipe it to play the games. We won 2,000 points on Deal or No Deal (which was supposed to entitle us to a free small soft drink). The ticket didn't print and when we told someone, they said didn't look into it and didn't give us the free drink. Not a big deal, I know, but for a kid who was excited to win, it was dissapointing that they wouldn't take us at our word and give us a free drink.

Now, across the street at River Lodge, the arcade was one of the best I've seen. I'm glad we found it on the second day before we wasted more money at the other arcade. This arcade gave tickets, had the prize redemption center. Surprisingly, the redemption center gave some of the best prizes I've seen at an arcade.

All of the staff I encountered were friendly enough. The two extremely minor problems we had were handled quickly and easily (our wristband was missing a little tab, so we had to get a new one and our key became demagnetized.)

The smaller water park attached to our building closed at 8:00 and didn't open until 10:00 a.m., which I felt was too late for an anxious child. The pool/park hours weren't posted at either park. Shuttle hours/locations weren't posted, either. Yes, we could and did ask, but it would be so nice to have the hours posted or at least listed in the room.

The other small issue I had was the fact that when we first arrived, there was no sign (that we saw, at least) indicating which building was Stone Hill and which was River Lodge. We drove to the building our GPS took us to, but once we parked, we still weren't sure where to check in. Signage could definitely be better at this resort. In fact, that's my main complaint besides the price.

The 'free' admission to Ripley's Aquarium was helpful, but it's pretty much just an incentive to buy the combo ticket. They put the aquarium and two other attractions on the combo pass, and then, of course, you have to buy the combo for everyone else in your party.

When booking the room online, it was advertised at $50 off room price each night. When I checked availabilty, it listed the room price as $149, so I thought I would take $50 off of this price. Wrong. After I booked, I emailed and was told that I was already getting $100 off per night. I just think this should have been a little bit clearer when booking. Thinking I was getting a room for $99 a night and actually getting it for $149 was a big difference.

By the time taxes and fees were added, it was close to $177 a night. With the cheapest rooms like I got, you're definitely paying for the 'free' aquarium admission and water park access.

Overall, I was very happy. I did feel it could be cheaper. Next time, I may or may not stay there. The $50 a night rooms all over the area are definitely attractive. If I stay there again, it will definitely just be for the water park, nothing more.

  • Stayed: June 2009
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Thank jmgdhe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2009

I am currently staying at this hotel for a conference. The room was booked for me by my principal so those in attendance of the conference from our school could all stay on the premises of the conference and not have to worry about getting to and from it. I had read a review on this site for this hotel earlier this week, and noticed that it was not favorable. I figured that person had just had a run of bad luck, and surely this hotel could not be that bad! Boy, was I wrong! My review is kinda lengthy, so bear with me!

Currently, I believe there are two buildings open for this hotel. There's one at the top of the hill, and one at the bottom of the hill. The top of the hill is the "main" building and where the conference center is. Now, that being said...

The conference is taking place today, tomorrow, and Friday (June 17, 18, and 19). The pre-conference activities were today, for those who chose to attend, and the main conference is tomorrow and Friday. My principal booked rooms for all of the teachers from my school who would be in attendance in either late February or early March (the invoice from the hotel is dated March 2), shortly after the dates of the conference were first published. The rooms were paid for by a check from the school system on March 9. Now, with most hotels that I know of, when you book a room, they assign you a room. Apparently, Wilderness at the Smokies does not follow with this well-designed logic. Upon arrival at the hotel, they did not have a room for me.

This was not a direct statement made to me by the man at the check-in desk. This was what I overheard during his telephone conversation with the powers that be. Now, given, I had arrived later in the evening than I had wished to arrive, but this was a foreseeable occurrence, and I notified the hotel late last week that this would be so. The reservations supervisor assured me that a note would be placed in my reservation stating that I would be a late check-in, and she said that it would not be a problem (she, in fact, put the note on my reservation, but it was apparently ignored).

Check-in starts at 4:00. I arrived at 9:30. When I walked up to the front desk to check in, I was subjected to several minutes of key-tapping, and, eventually, he placed a phone call. While eavesdropping on the phone conversation, the gentleman behind the desk made the statement to the anonymous being on the other end of the line that he had someone here to check in, and there was not a room available. Imagine my shock when, with registration confirmation number and copy of the check that had been sent to the hotel months ago in hand, I overheard that I did not have a room! After several more minutes of phone conversation, he hung up the phone and informed me that I would have to stay in the building down the hill. He also informed me that I would have to ride a shuttle bus (?!!) up the hill every morning for the conference. I pointedly asked the man why, when my room had been reserved AND PAID FOR since March, was I being placed in a separate building from my colleagues? He stated that everyone was "scattered throughout the hotel." I asked again why all of my colleagues, whose rooms were booked and paid for at the same time as mine, were in the main building and I was being placed down the hill...why was it that, when the hotel knew that I was arriving today, my room had apparently been given away? He had no answer for me. All he could do was shrug is shoulders.

He went back to his computer, and I was subjected to 10 or 15 more minutes of key tapping and another phone call regarding the status of whether I did or did not have a room in which to sleep. Finally, after standing there long enough to build up a line of roughly 10 or 15 other guests behind me (apparently, during such a busy time, seeing as how the conference is for middle school teachers all across the state of Tennessee, the infinite wisdom of the management only saw fit to have one person manning the front desk), I was given my room keys and a bracelet for the water-parks (which, of course, I will not have time in which to partake, so that is perfectly useless), and received some very shady directions on how to get to my room.

Upon finally arriving at my room, which was in the building down the hill, on the fourth floor, and nearly the entire way down what seemed like an endless hallway, I walk in and set my things down and looked out my sliding-glass door and saw that I had a couple of chairs and a fabulous view of...wait for it...a 3-level concrete parking deck!. I sat down on the bed and opened the computer to send a dissatisfaction note to the hotel (another debacle in and of itself, seeing as how they are apparently trying to pinch pennies wherever possible by not equipping the hotel with enough router and server capabilities to accommodate their guests, and trying to do anything on the Internet is enough to make someone spit nails...each page can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes to load, if it even does load...), and I noticed that it was hotter than Hades in my room, which I found odd, since the A/C had just cut off shortly after I walked in. I went and looked at the A/C unit, first off thinking that it was odd that such a modern hotel would have a wall unit, anyway. I noticed that it was on "Max Cool" and was turned as cold as it would go. I called the front desk to question it, and he said that he would send an engineer up immediately.

15 minutes later, I'm greeted by a knock on my door from maintenance. He came in, and we were talking about it. He said that I needed to stick my room key in this little slot by the door. I thought that was odd, but gave him my key. He put it in place, and then went to a second set of air controls, which are so logically and conveniently located behind my TV (where's the logic?) and showed me how it worked. Apparently, as a money-saving venture (which they apparently do not pass along to the customer, based on the rates I've seen some people post), they have it set up where your room key must be in that handy-dandy little slot for your air to go below 80 (so if you don't want your room to be miserably hot every time you come back to it, as for at least one more key than you need so you can leave one in at all times). I asked him if there was something somewhere that told me that was the way the air worked. He said that they should have told me at check-in. I informed him that no one had told me that, and had they (or even the man at the front desk when I called about it), it would have saved him a trip all the way to BFE to my room. He smiled and turned to leave. At least there was ONE helpful person around...

All of this, and I haven't even stayed a full night yet. The resort seems to be huge, and stretched beyond the abilities of the management to control. No one seems to know what anyone else is/should be doing. If it gives you any clue as to the massiveness of this place, my room was in the 14000 range. Yes, 14 - thousand....

What thoroughly astounds me is that they are still building on to this resort!! They are not even competent enough to manage what they have, and they are making it bigger!!!! Talk about biting off more that you can chew!

I have already informed the hotel through complaint channels that I will never be staying in their hotel again under my own free will. The rooms are clean and decent, but, to me, that will never make up for extremely poor quality service!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
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2  Thank Aladarye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness at the Smokies Resort

Address: 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37876-1358
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Tennessee > Sevier County > Sevierville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Sevierville
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Wilderness at the Smokies Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 713
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Wilderness At The Smokies Hotel Sevierville

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