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“Great location, clean roomy suite”

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Black Bear Inn & Suites
Ranked #37 of 77 Hotels in Gatlinburg
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Great location, clean roomy suite”
Reviewed July 22, 2007

I've stayed at several Gatlinburg hotels and the Clarion is my favorite so far. The other brand name and local hotels I've stayed at are okay, but a bit worn and dated. Most hotels in Gatlinburg seem worn to me, such high traffic I guess.

The Clarion may seem far our as it is between lights 9 and 10 near the entrance to the national park, but it is definitely very convenient to downtown.

We had a 1 bedroom family suite with two queens and a pull out sofa. The family suites are the end units, at the end of the hallway. We stayed in #602, overlooking the parkway and the Park Grill restaurant. The King suites are in the middle of the the hotel just off the elevators and the regular rooms are in between the family suites and the king suites.

I really liked the the end and highest unit, as it was very private. Someone said it was "eighties" in another review, and the furnishings were pretty traditional. But the bathroom was immacuately clean, and I am very picky. The entire unit was clean, fridge and microwave almost brand new.

The staff were friendly, the indoor pool is oddly in the parking lot, the grounds were very well-maintained, security guards were present all the time.

Other reviews complained about the breakfast, but I thought it was pretty complete. Every day there is pancakes, muffins, bagels, toast, cereal, fruit, Krispy Kreme donoughts, etc. Then each day there is additional items like biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs, etc. And yes, there are those yucky hot pocket things on Wednesday or Tuesday, but we were there on a weekend so I didn't have to experience that.

Bathroom had one sink, water pressure was good, plenty of comfy pillows, curved shower rod, in-room ac/heat units do blow on you at night. Two tv's in suite. No separating door between living area and sleeping area.

Two little grocery markets and a package store across the street.

We loved the Clarion and will stay there again. This is not a five star hotel or the Four Seasons, but for the area, it is the best I have found so far, especially considering the location is absolutely ideal.

  • Liked — Location, location, location
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BusyMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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662 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 (154)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2007

We took our four kids to Gatlinburg for a family getaway for three nights. Very clean room and hotel in general with friendly staff. Located at the very end of Gatlinburg, next ot the tram that goes up to the ski resort. The pool is nice and kid-friendly. Close to many restaurants and shops. No complaints except the breakfast was cramped and not very user-friendly.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Breakfast
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank cnlindon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomasville
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2007

My husband and I booked a King Suite because we were traveling with our 9 yr old twins. We wanted a room separate from our children and decided to put them on the fold out sofa when we booked our suite,

The initial look of the suite was okay but were put on the second floor in the corner beside of the stairwell. Everytime someone opened the stairwell door, the suction from the door would make our door rattle and it woke us up numerous times. Not to mention our ground floor view of the parking lot.

The cable TV in the bedroom worked fine as long as you got up and jiggled the cable every so often.

The worst part of all was that we arrived at almost 11 pm after a 5 hour drive and pulled out the sofa for the children to sleep. There was no cover on the mattress and immediately noticed the coils from the 2' thick mattress sticking through the fabric. We called the front desk and they brought another that was even worse. They brought a 3rd one that was so stained that they had to give us extra mattress covers to protect to separate from the sheets. When inquiring about extra blankets to possibly make them a place to sleep on the floor, we were told there was no extra blankets available and no other rooms available. We were offered a standard 2 bed room for the next 3 nights that we declined.

On the plus side, it was a great location in Gatlinburg and could be a very nice place if upgrades would take place. Also if your room includes breakfast, don't get excited because it is not too good.

I would not recommend this hotel to stay at this time without first checking it out to see exactly what your accomodations will be.

The staff was very friendly and the problems we encountered were handled to best of their abilities but did not help our situation at the time.

Our total bill for 4 nights was still 600.00 even after the Manager knocked 165.00 off of our bill at checkout. Not a good value for what we received at all.

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank SaphireThomasville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Suburban, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2007

This review is based on a four-night vacation stay with two children, ages 11 and 6. We had never stayed at a Choice Hotel before and chose it based on shopping for similarly priced hotels. Normally we would stay at a Holiday Inn, but we have had a couple of negative experiences recently and decided to try a new chain.

Overall, our stay was quite nice. Our room was on the 6th floor, facing toward the street (“city view” on the web site). As the street traffic got a little noisy, particularly on the Friday night, and because you have the bright lights from the Texas Roadhouse restaurant across the street, I would recommend a room on the other side. The room was small but sufficient for our stay.

The location of the hotel is great. It is at the very south end of Gatlinburg, between traffic lights 9 and 10. Since there aren’t many hotels on this end, there isn’t much foot traffic in front of the hotel, yet it is within easy walking distance of all the downtown attractions and at least a score of restaurants (Bennett’s BBQ is highly recommended). Across the street are two grocery stores, so we could stock the very roomy refrigerator, which was perfect for making picnic lunches for the journeys into the Park. And since it’s almost literally at the entrance of the park, you don’t have to drive through the very congested Gatlinburg streets to make your way into the main entrance. Based on what I saw, this was maybe the best location possible for a hotel in Gatlinburg.

There were a couple of problems with the room. First, there was a noticeable musty smell when we first got into the room, and we noticed a wet area on the carpet near the air conditioner. I guessed that the AC was leaking, but in fact we would later find out that rainwater comes in under the balcony door. I’m no handy man, but it seems like a simple bit of weather stripping would solve that problem. Additionally, it looked like there was an exhaust fan in the bathroom but it did not work. The microwave oven timer was stuck on, making an annoying ticking noise, so we just left the door propped open to stop it. Finally the safe was too small for my Sony Vaio laptop.

The service overall was good. We were shorted a couple of towels one night, but a call to the front desk brought a prompt resolution to that. Although the pool is in a separate building toward the parking lot, it’s a very short walk and was enjoyable for the family. The free “full breakfast” is a continental breakfast, cold pancakes that need to be warmed in the microwave, plus an additional item such as biscuits & gravy, scrambled eggs (not fresh), or omelet “hot pockets.” It was very busy every morning, and one morning the fresh fruit ran out. The coffee was excellent.

Note that you are going to be charged an addition $5 per night “resort fee,” so add that to whatever rate you find when shopping online for hotels.

Overall this was a great stay and I would recommend it to anyone vacationing in the Smoky Mountains.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank eBzky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 27, 2007

We stayed here in June 2007. Very nice hotel but the regular rooms are a little small. Didn't like that the balconies aren't seperated by walls of some kind and they too are a bit small but we liked it.

Something we didn't know was that your kids need to be 14 to go to the pool alone. So my 13 and 11 y.o. couldn't just go swimming we had to go with them.

Housekeeping did a very nice job. Could hear the water in another room from the bathroom but not too much. And we liked that although we knew there were small children in the rooms next to us we couldn't hear them all night. But the halls are loud. You can hear through the room door to the hall but not through the walls.
Very friendly staff but I didn't have any problems. Don't know how friendly they are when you're complaining.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — small rooms not private balconies
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jobranmommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indy
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2007

I spent countless hours on the internet trying to find the perfect hotel for our family for spring break. I have to say that I was somewhat dissapointed when I arrived at the clarion. The windows and hallways leading to our room were dirty and the building smelled musky. Our room was okay had I not paid $159.00 per night plus taxes and safe fee. I was going to tell them to take the safe fee off but they had already slipped the bill under the door. I thought it would be a hassle. Maybe at $79.00 it would have been a okay deal. Our room was fairly clean but outdated with a mauve jacuzzi and 80's decor. The windows were dirty and theblinds were broken on the door. My husband fixed them. The beds were pretty comfortable. Our bathroom had rust and the tiles were falling off of the bathroom. It was okay just outdated. The pool was ugly and in a glass building that was in the parking lot. It closed 10p sharp. The staff was friendly and were helpful to come and light our pilot light in the fireplace. I will say we had a very nice view with a very large balcony. We were street side. I would NOT reccomend the back of the building facing the parking lot and no view at all. The 1st floor rooms face cars directly. The breakfast is hardly deluxe it consisted of a frozen pizza pocket and terrible fruit w/ generic tea and coffee. It's ok if you just want a donut or ceral/oatmeal.
I took a drive to find a place that I would stay next time. If you have kids the Fairfiled Inn by Marriot looked nice with a great pool. The place I was most impressed with and is a good value is Zoder's Inn. The rooms hang over a rushing creek and look to have a great indoor and outdoor pool.
I hope this helps someone and would be glad to answer and questions that anyone may have

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — outdated/too expensive for what you get
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bryantjr1220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leonardo, New Jersey
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2007

This is the second year we stayed here. We went with a large group of teens for Winterfest. The staff is very nice and accomodating. They have a nice breakfast, not 5 star, but nice and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day - nice bonus! They have a nice seating area in the lobby where you can sit with a group and share pizza and watch TV. Really all the comforts of home! Highly recommended!

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank Aloha-lover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Bear Inn & Suites

Property: Black Bear Inn & Suites
Address: 1100 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (Formerly Clarion Inn & Suites)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Tennessee > Sevier County > Gatlinburg
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Gatlinburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Black Bear Inn & Suites 2.5*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Clarion Inn & Suites Gatlinburg has a sleek, stylized look! From the lobby to rooftop Penthouse Suites and every room in between. Start your morning off right with a delicious full, hot complimentary breakfast including omelets cooked to order and Belgium waffles. The Clarion's location is ideal for everyone! Interested in a scenic drive or hike? The hotel is located only 100 yards from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited park in the Nation! Want to walk or take a Trolley around downtown Gatlinburg and experience the town's many popular attractions and wide array of restaurants? Not a problem! Clarion Inn & Suites is located right on the Parkway! Thinking about driving to Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood, Dolly's Splash Country, Titanic Museum Attraction, shopping at Tanger Outlets or seeing Pigeon Forge's many theaters and dinner shows? Clarion is only a short drive away from Pigeon Forge. Clarion Inn & Suites Gatlinburg is "Definitely a Cut Above!". We hope to see you in the Smoky Mountains soon! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Inn And Suites
Clarion Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg Clarion

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