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“Quick Trip”
Review of Dancing Bear Lodge

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Dancing Bear Lodge
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Townsend
Certificate of Excellence
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Quick Trip”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Dancing Bear lodge in a 2 bedroom cabin which we shared with his parents.

Pros:
1. Beds are superbly comfortable and well appointed
2. Large back porch
3. Great location
4. Good dinner choices
5. Quiet and private

Cons:
1. Service was a 5 out of 10. The staff were freinedly, but did not offer much insight into the property or the amenities. We were not given any information about any type of events, or special happenings during our stay. It would have been nice to know there was a fire pit outside with smores, etc.
2. Cabin: while not uncomfortable, they have not made them overly welcoming. The living room furniture is inadequate for 4 people. there is one small sofa and one small chair. The back porch furniture is fine, I would rather see 4 rocking chairs, rather than the porch swing. The main complaint about the cabin is the bathroom situation. There is only one, and it is very small and cramped to share with 4 adults. It was rather akward having to share with my husband's parents and having them in the next room while I am trying to use the restroom.
3. Breakfast: It needs to start earlier, or they need to provide their proprietary blend of coffee to the those in the cabins for home brew. The coffee that was supplied in our cabin was generic at best.
4. Dining: Dinner was very good and decently priced. It was a tad annoying that when we checked in, the front desk staff did not even mention dinner reservations, and then we were stuck waiting until 8 pm to eat. They should make sure the guests that are staying at their lodge are taken care of first with the dining reservations.
5. It would be nice if they had someone come by the cabins to assist with the fireplaces. or at least make it known if they are willing to come help.

Not trying to harp on the bad, because those small things mentioned were very minor, and would not preclude us from returning to the lodge again. We will most certainly be back at some point, and hopefully they continue to improve the amentities, as the overall property and location is great.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Claire H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DancingBearOwner, Owner at Dancing Bear Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Dear Claire H,

Thank you for your post and both positive and constructive feedback. Our two bedroom cabins are best suited for a family with children rather than four adults. We suggest couples traveling together stay in their own lodge rooms or one bedroom cabins.

With that said, in reading your comments, it sounds as if our team did not deliver the service we pride ourselves on from the start. Our reservationist should have guided you all into accommodations that would have met your expectations; set up your dining times and always offer assistance with area attractions and in room services.

I apologize we did not meet your, or our own, service expectations. We take our guests' comments seriously and our management team has addressed the service issues with our team.

Best,

Matt Alexander
Managing Partner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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548 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

My wife and I have stayed at Dancing Bear Lodge in a Deluxe Cabin three times in the past two years and we thoroughly love the quality of the cabins, the lodge and the privacy afforded in the cabins. The king sized feather beds are superbly comfortable, the cabins clean and well appointed.The cabins are hand hewn site built. Large comfortable leather chairs face the stone hearth wood burning fireplace.There is a small wet bar and refrigerator well equipped for cocktails and coffee. On the private back porch is a clean temperature adjustable jetted hot tub. Perfect for Romance! The bath is spacious and offers a large deep corner tub and shower.
Complaints? Dining.
My wife and I have had the opportunity to travel frequently. We know fine dining and we wish we could tell you this was fine dining but it's average at best.
While the Lodge itself is wonderfully beautiful, cathedral like in its openness, warm with it's huge double fireplace do not expect a Gourmet dining experience.
The property touts their Chef as Gourmet, being experienced as a Chef from the world class-and priced- Blackberry Farms-- the Mother property of the Dancing Bear Lodge in Walland Tennessee. They must have dismissed him with an extra box of Salt, because everything here is overly salted-- the cardinal sin of a Chef unsure of his cuisine. The menu is not only limited in offerings but if you make the mistake-as we did- to choose to dine for two nights-- it is redundant.
We expected the menu to change. It didn't and not only that, when we ordered a simple baked chicken dish @ 7:30 they were out of it! All the other entree choices-- all three of them-- were a heavy steak, a tough pork chop- which I had the night before- and a "fish dish" breaded and salty as hell-- "enjoyed" by my wife the night before.
This was my wife's birthday and when I made the reservation I told them that. Not only did they not acknowledge it at dinner or anytime else during our stay: what does it cost for a piece of birthday cake?
My advice? Don't waste your money. A dinner with two entrees, salads, and wine is well in excess of $100. Save 50 % or more by driving Just a mile or two down the road to Miss Lilly's Cafe. Clean, well appointed and locally owned. All foods are freshly prepared offering homemade breads, local Trout and everything else you'd expect on a menu. Not four choices but many.
To restate, our accommodations were very good. The dining experience isn't.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FlyfreeTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DancingBearOwner, Owner at Dancing Bear Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Dear Flyfree TN,

Thank you for your post and feedback on Dancing Bear Restaurant. While I am happy you enjoy our cabins, I am sorry your dining experience did not meet your expectations. Chef Carter is an excellent and well trained chef. We rarely received negative feedback regarding Chef's food, but when we do he and I listen intently.

We have expanded our nightly offerings and our menu does change nightly. I hope you will return to stay and dine again. Please let us know when you are returning as Chef would like to prepare something especially for you both. You can email me directly at matt@dancingbearlodge.com.

Best,

Matt Alexander
Managing Partner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in a 2 bedroom cabin with our son and daugher-in-law and twin babies. The set up for the 2 bedroom should be for 1 couple. The second bedroom is up a dangerous staircase. The railing is too wide to hold on and there should be another railing on the wall. I had to go up and put 2 feet on each step. It is really hard to mange if you have to go to the bathroom which is downstair. There is not enough comfortable seating for 4 people. There is a small couch for 2 and 1 other comfortable chair. The cabin does have a full size kitchen the downstair bedroom is large with a jacuzzi. Both bedrooms beds were comforable but soft for our tastes. The upstair bedroom was an A frame and my husband hit his head a few times.
We used the fireplace the first night but the smoke went up to the upstair bedroom. It may because it was pouring rain the whole time we were there. The continental breakfast was great and always had a quiche and nut breads and muffins. The staff was very helpful especially at breadfast. The staff had put in 2 play and pacs for the babies. I think we would stay in the lodge next time or a 1 bedroom cabin.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charlotte T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DancingBearOwner, Owner at Dancing Bear Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Dear Charlotte T,

Thank you for your feedback on Dancing Bear Lodge's two bedroom cabins. You are correct they are best suited for two adults with children and not great for four adults. However, we are renovating a couple of them this winter by adding a bathroom upstairs and expanding the downstairs bathroom. We hope to have two of these by May.

In the meantime, we suggest couples traveling together stay in their own lodge rooms or one bedroom cabins. The lodge provides ample space to gather with your friends and family.

Best,

Matt Alexander
Managing Partner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

The nearby Relais & Chateau Blackberry Farm gets all the press and kudos but we find Dancing Bear Lodge just a short drive away from "The Farm" to be the real Smoky Mountains "sleeper." First of all, the beds are dreamy comfy. Second, the restaurant at the Lodge is very good and a fraction of what you will spend at The Farm. We picked Dancing Bear Lodge because is is pet friendly with a nominal fee for our Maltese Sazerac. And we would return again. The only complaints we have are 1) breakfast is all starch and the quiches both had pork or sausage (not great for me who does not eat meat), 2) The TVs and reception are not good. 3) If you have ambulatory issues the showers may not work for you. It is quite the step up and over to get in and out of the shower if you have short legs (like me) or difficulty with movement. Ask about this when you reserve your room. 4) The $5/hr bike rental is a waste of money since the trails are not kept up. Instead, take a hike or drive. 5) The young lady at the front desk could be more welcoming instead of somber all business. Try handing out apples in the rooms since the inn is located in the "Apple Valley."

Room Tip: Book a cottage and enjoy a wood burning fireplace and in room jacuzzi!
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mightymelanie123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DancingBearOwner, Owner at Dancing Bear Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
MightyMelanie,

Thank you for your post. We appreciate the feedback and are very happy you enjoyed your stay at Dancing Bear Lodge. Our cable provider switched our area to digital without a lot of warning. We have since rewired all our rooms and cabins and the TV reception is excellent now. After a few storms we had this winter, our trails were in bad shape. I just rode them last week and they are clear and as fun as ever.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best,
Matt Alexander
Managing Partner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter
Level 6 Contributor
279 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

This is a very nice lodge at the edge of the Smoky Mountains. Our room was great. Very spacious and tastefully decorated. It is not the typical hotel room. The restaurant was excellent. It is definitely the best restaurant in Townsend. The only disadvantage is the noise from the street. But because of the restaurant I give it a full 5 star. The breakfast is good but not outstanding.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank flying_dutchman_US
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Great restaurant. Great ambiance. Subpar wait staff. They have a fabulous capability in the quality of food and menu, but they just do not have the attention to detail that the lodge should have. Overall, not just the restaurant. I even had to beg for a reservation as a hotel/lodge guest. AYKM!!! But thanks to 1 "bigger picture" front desk staff member, who called the manager, I was able to dine there with my son. They had a group in and were "all about the group". They need to realize that while the group makes them lots of money, the transient guest is equally as important. All in all, well worth the price, which is higher than more good restaurants in the area.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank peggyplee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverton, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2012

My family really enjoyed our recent stay at the Dancing Bear Lodge. The continental breakfast was very good and the restaurant was a great choice for dinner. The staff was very friendly and helpful and the 2-bedroom cabin we stayed in was perfect for our family of four. Only minor complaint was that the bathroom was quite small and had no counter space or shelf over the sink on which to keep toiletries. Housekeeping took good care of us, but we found it odd that they ran the dishwasher for one dirty glass we left in the sink while they encourage guests to go "green" with the towels! We enjoyed the hot tub on the deck after busy days exploring the area. Might have been nice to have breakfast available before 8:30. When you are hitting the road to explore that is a bit of a late start.

We loved its convenience to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park's Townsend entrance. After a day in the Pigeon Forge area we were grateful to be on the "quiet side" of the Smokies.

Room Tip: All the two bedroom cabins appear to be the same and were very nice. Tight on bathrooom space.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kmg-mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dancing Bear Lodge

Property: Dancing Bear Lodge
Address: 7140 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882-3818
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Tennessee > Townsend
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Townsend
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dancing Bear Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centered in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dancing Bear Lodge is known as East Tennessee's ultimate vacation basecamp offering charming Southern hospitality. It's picturesque location and luxurious amenities offer guests an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after trekking mountain trails and exploring surrounding areas. With 36 acres featuring intimate rustic cabins and countless sports and activities, Dancing Bear Lodge creates a comforting retreat tailor-made for the adventurer in all of us. We welcome our guests to experience the best the Smokies have to offer by reserving one of our charming cabins. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dancing Bear Hotel Townsend

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