I am always anxious to share a good experience, but in this case, there was some good and some not so good. Since I rely heavily on TripAdvisor.com in deciding where to stay, I feel that people like myself need to know both.
My husband and I reserved a cabin at Starr Crest Resort to celebrate our 14th anniversary. A friend had told us about the resort, and when I looked at it online, it looked like a beautiful place to stay in the Smokies, and a bonus was that they had several cabins that were pet-friendly. We wanted to take our dog with us, so we booked one of those cabins. The resort had a special for September, where you could get one night free if you stayed two nights. This was the real deciding factor for us, as the nightly rental is pretty pricey for a 1-bedroom cabin. But what really adds up is all of their extra fees. There is a $45 "registration fee" (for what? I've never been charged anything like this before, anywhere). There is also a $20 "hot tub fee," they say because after each guest leaves, they have to drain the hot tub and replace the chemicals, etc. Wouldn't they just do that as a matter of safety? Of course, we also paid a $50 (non-refundable) "pet fee." OK, it's not like they didn't disclose all of these fees up front, but I still think some of them are excessive.
We stayed in "Candy Kisses." The cabin was nice, but certainly not luxurious. Everything was very clean, except for the floors. While the major appliances in the kitchen were nice, the ice maker in the fridge did not work. I discovered the first night that the coffee maker did not work. To their credit, they did bring us a replacement from another cabin, and we discovered that the problem was a short in the cord of the first coffee maker. Neither the first coffee maker nor the replacement was in very good shape, which is not what I would have expected for the price we paid. Also, even though there were several dishes, and kitchen utensils, several "necessary" items were missing. There were no good knives and no baking sheet. We needed to do most of our own cooking, since you can't take a dog in a restaurant. That brings me to the biggest complaint we had - the charcoal grill that we had really looked forward to using was a joke. It was one of those like you find in a public park (a metal box on a pole, with a rusty grate on top). Some of the cabins had much nicer grills, but ours was very unsatisfactory. Since it was pretty windy on the mountain, it was very hard to get and keep a fire going.
That brings me to the good things: the views were INCREDIBLE. We were on the top of a mountain, and the view from our back decks was absolutely gorgeous. It was peaceful, and since we stayed during the week, there weren't too many "neighbors" while we were there. It was a good place to walk, and the location, even though it was a steep drive up and down the mountain, was very convenient to Pigeon Forge. The only thing that could have made the views better would have been if the trees had already started changing colors, but we knew it was too early for that. The furnishings in the cabin were adequate, and it did have a nice big screen TV. There was no TV in the master bedroom, but it did have a fireplace, which was very romantic. The only thing that puzzles me is why they call it a 1-bedroom cabin, when it actually has two distinct bedrooms (one upstairs and one downstairs).
I'm sure part of the reason for (what I consider) the high rental price is "location, location, location" and I'm sure many of the cabins (especially those that are not pet-friendly) are probably much nicer than the one we stayed in. Some of them also had much nicer landscaping - ours looked sadly neglected. All in all, I would recommend this resort, especially if you want to be close to Pigeon Forge, and still have incredible mountain views. I wouldn't exactly say it had all the comforts of home, but it was a good place for a family getaway.
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- Also Known As:
- Starr Crest Hotel Sevierville