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“You get what you pay for here....”

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Sidney James Mountain Lodge
Ranked #52 of 77 Hotels in Gatlinburg
A TripAdvisor Member
East TN
227
Reviewed June 2, 2006

We arrived Thursday and left on Saturday. We stay in Gatlinburg particularly for the creekside balconies, and we don't usually mind paying a bit more for this amenity.

I booked this one sight unseen, and I will try to be fair here. The Sydney James is your average 1960's built hotel. I don't think it's been updated much since then. Any visible updates were VERY low budget. For instance, where there had once been a connecting door, now there is a large piece of unfinished exposed drywall. Nice! Also in the bathroom, which I will get to later, the weird shaped 1960's toilet tank lid had broken, so it was replaced with a Home Depot regular square one that didn't even fit. Very attractive...

Okay, the room was clean. The housekeeping staff does a good job cleaning this outdated and run down property. I will say my room was very clean. There was one gooey mystery stain on the balcony table, but they probably just missed it.

The decor was 1970's old and tacky, but in decent shape. Carpet was ok, didn't look nasty. BEDS...These are hard, not so bad since I like a firm bed. Sheet were very clean, but they were rough like sleeping on paper. Pillows VERY thin, but we bring our own anyway.

AC was good and cold. Patio door recently replaced, this was the one good update. It even had a burglar bar. Nice table and 2 chairs on balcony, I liked that.

The creekside balcony was nice, but through NO FAULT of the Sydney James, it was glaringly lit up at night, because the hotel next door has a wing and a pool behind the creek. So you really had to pull your drapes at night unless you wanted the light shining in your room.
Bathroom was old and bad shape, but clean. Paint peeling walls, mismatched toilet tank lid, the ceiling had open holes in it where the ceiling tiles didn't fit properly. Basically the bathroom needs a complete refit.

I don't know what they wash the towels in, but they were so stiff and scratchy, I can't imagine anyone wanting to steal one...All rooms have refrigerators and coffee makers. Bonus points for that...

Didn't use the pool, but looked ok to me. Parking lot was sort of crowded but ok. People at desk were polite when we checked in.

There was NO INTERNET OUTLET in the room. This was the number one thing that would keep me from ever staying here again. I mean there was NO WAY to get on the internet. In other words, the 1970's style desk phone, was hardwired into a jagged hole in the wall. Seriously! So I couldn't even use dial up.... You had to go to the lobby to use the wireless connection. Like, spring a few hundred bucks for some routers, how hard is that?

number two dealbreaker....NO continental breakfast...How cheap can you be? We hardly ever wake up early enough to eat breakfast, but it's nice to go down and get some juice and coffee if we do. If the hotel down the street for half the price can offer breakfast, why can't Sydney James?

I will say we have stayed in at least 10 different motels in Gatlinburg. This wasn't the worst, but it was definitely in the bottom 3. And I'm being really fair here, cause I know this hotel is old. And for the price, I didn't expect a fancy room. But I do expect some kind of internet connection and free breakfast at any price.

Bottom Line, if you want fresh decor, internet and breakfast, go somewhere else. If you want a clean, timeworn 1970's creekside room at a cheap price, this may be your kinda place!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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873 - 879 of 933 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Reading, PA
17
Reviewed May 30, 2006

NEVER STAY AT THIS TERRIBLE HOTEL! We had booked a 3 night stay at the Sidney James & after seeing (& smelling) our rooms we only stayed 1 night (& that was only because they claimed they were going to charge us anyway). First of all we were never sent any paperwork confirming our reservation. The man on the phone was very disinterested when we called and told us the only thing we would need would be our phone #, so even though the clerk was very snippy in telling us that we had received a copy of their cancellation policy this wasn't true! When we arrived and saw the place we decided to check our rooms out before checking in. Good we did! We had reserved "creekside" rooms (my husband & I in 1 room, my parents in another (that were supposed to be side-by-side (they turned out to be on seperate floors)! When we were finally able to get the keys shoved in hard enough to open the doors we were greeted by the stench of mildew! When we pointed this out to the crabby blond-haired woman at the front desk she told us that is because they are creekside! Amazingly after we left the Sidney James and got rooms for the next 2 nights at the Best Western Twin Islands just down the road we had rooms that were even closer to the creek, with a nice view and NO SMELL! The creekside rooms at the Sidney looked old and not well maintained & they didn't even have a view of the creek until you went out on the balcony and looked straight down. If you just looked out your window all you saw was the roof of the building behind us. We refused to stay in these 2 rooms even for 1 night so were were given rooms in the main part of the hotel (#604 & #605). Both rooms had refridgerators but neither could be run because they were so loud! The bathroom fan was also very loud (it sounded like a helicopter landing)! They carpeting in both rooms was filthy and my parents had to leave the back off of their toilet so they could make it stop running after every flush! Don't plan on any ice if you chose to risk staying here - there is an ice machine but it is empty! Also, ladies, don't plan to shave while you are showering - there isn't enough light to see much of anything! There were no tissues in our room. and the alarm clock didn't work! I saw some other reviews that say they enjoyed the pool. I don't know why. The nice looking waterfall in all of their brochure pictures fell into a pool of green slimy looking water! The "cave" type area that you can swim thru in the pool had a little shelf like area in the back that was full of what looked like broken glass and other trash! My recommendation is that you stay at the Best Western Twin Islands on the main street in town - it was 1,000 times nicer and cheaper!! PS: Eat right next door at "No Way Jose's" - GREAT FOOD!!

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
atlanta, ga
11
Reviewed April 23, 2006

Sidney james is an Ok place to stay. Very easy to get around gatlinburg. We stayed on the riverside and was cute to see the river below. The bed was hard to sleep on.
It was chilly outside and rained most of the time we were there and the fireplace did help keeping us warm while we were in the room. Basic room for the price.

  • Stayed: October 2005
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
atlanta, georgia
13
Reviewed March 24, 2006

We were proud to have our reception at this location. The staff was great. They made our reception wonderful...I would come back time and time again..

Stayed: October 2002
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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A TripAdvisor Member
Springfield,TN
16
Reviewed February 25, 2006

I will start with the good part....the room was clean.
Thats about it. We stayed in a "courtside" room (which is in the run-down hotel across the street from the rest of the Sidney James.) which was mowhere near as nice as the photos on the website show them to be. The indoor pool ( the reason we booked a room here) was over 150 yards away and across the street and being that it was cold outside, we never went swimming. Local phone calls are .50 cents each, and room service is an outside number to a way overpriced steak place hooked onto the side of the main hotel. In other words, bring a cell phone. Oh...and dont take a shower unless you love the water to go from scalding to freezing at least 8 times in a 5 minute shower. NOT A GOOD PLACE TO STAY!!! Trust me.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2006

We stayed here for our honeymoon, 5th anniversary, and 10th anniversary. We will be staying elsewhere on our 15th anniversary. We had a room with fireplace, jacuzzi, and balcony overlooking the river. Everything was clean enough, but was getting worn out. The carpet, bedspreads, etc., were all the same in 2003 as they were in 1993!

  • Stayed: December 2003
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2  Thank whitney37354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
peebles ohio
315
Reviewed December 12, 2005

we stayed there 3 nights from dec 9 to the 12th we had to room on the court side the rooms were real clean the staff was great and ellie the lady that cleans the rooms there does a great job and the pool and hot tub was nice and it is easy find the sidney james i will be back in june tony from ohio

  • Stayed: December 2005
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sidney James Mountain Lodge

Address: 610 Historic Nature Trl, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-3343
Location: United States > Tennessee > Sevier County > Gatlinburg
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 77 Hotels in Gatlinburg
Price Range: $60 - $121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sidney James Mountain Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 136
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Also Known As:
Sidney James Mountain Hotel Gatlinburg
Sidney James Mountain Gatlinburg
Sidney James Lodge

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