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 The housekeeping staff does a good job cleaning this outdated and run down property.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!
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- Also Known As:
- Sidney James Mountain Hotel Gatlinburg
- Sidney James Mountain Gatlinburg
- Sidney James Lodge