The 7 Best Gatlinburg, Tennessee Hotels of 2021

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The Rundown

01 of 07

Best Overall: Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Courtesy of Margaritaville Resort


An island-themed resort may seem like a strange concept in the heart of mountainous Gatlinburg but if Margaritaville Resort’s No. 1 rating on TripAdvisor is anything to go by, it’s one that works. It’s located opposite Anakeesta theme park in the city center and is a fun-filled destination for family and friends regardless of the season. In summer, cool off in the outdoor pool or treat yourself to frozen margaritas at License to Chill Bar. In winter, the indoor pool and hot tub beckon while the covered terrace has a fireplace for cozy aprés-ski evenings.

A full-service spa and 24-hour fitness center complete the resort’s list of wellness amenities while dining outlets include Joe Merchant’s Coffee & Provisions and LandShark Bar & Grill (home of beach-inspired favorites like fish tacos and burgers). Rooms and suites all boast tropical decor, a fireplace, a 50” LCD TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, and basic self-catering facilities. Most have private balconies, while one and two-bedroom suites afford abundant extra space. 

Read more reviews of the best spas in Tennessee.

02 of 07

Best Budget: Marshall’s Creek Rest Motel

Marshall’s Creek Rest Motel

Courtesy of Marshall’s Creek Rest Motel

Marshall’s Creek Rest Motel is an excellent option for budget travelers. The vintage motor inn is located next to Baskins Creek and is just three blocks from the shops, restaurants, and bars of Gatlinburg’s main strip. Although it’s a no-frills kind of place, it’s also clean, comfortable and equipped with all the necessary amenities. There are three room types: Single, Double, and Family, all with private en-suite bathrooms, a TV, microwave, and mini-fridge.

Some rooms come with a wall heater while others have an electric fireplace. Extra blankets are also provided. Regardless of which room type you choose, expect retro wood-paneled walls and floors and rustic furniture. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool – ideal for relaxing in between adventures in summer. There’s no on-site restaurant, however, all rooms are equipped with a folding table and two chairs so you can order takeaways and eat in comfort if you don’t feel like going out. 

03 of 07

Best Romantic: Buckhorn Inn

Buckhorn Inn

Courtesy of Buckhorn Inn

Looking for a romantic spot away from the hubbub of the city center? Classic country lodge Buckhorn Inn could be just what you’re looking for. Founded in 1938, it’s located a 15-minute drive east of downtown Gatlinburg amidst spectacular grounds complete with a swan lake and meditation labyrinth. The inn sets the scene for romance with roaring fireplaces, period furniture, and a flagstone terrace with views of Mount LeConte. Spend quality time reading together in the Library or lounging on the sofas in the Great Room.

Accommodation options range from private guesthouses and cottages to traditional inn rooms. We love the Premier Rooms for their fireplaces and two-person Jacuzzi tubs. Go the extra mile to celebrate a special occasion by ordering a Cheers to Romance basket with sparkling wine, flowers, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Whichever room you choose, a hearty two-course breakfast is included in your stay. Four-course gourmet dinners featuring seasonal, Southern-inspired cuisine are an optional (and well worthwhile) extra. 

04 of 07

Best Boutique: The Lodge at Buckberry Creek

The Lodge at Buckberry Creek

Courtesy of Lodge at Buckberry Creek

Located in its own 26-acre mountain sanctuary, The Lodge at Buckberry Creek was built as an homage to the great Adirondack retreats of America’s Gilded Age. As such, it offers the last word in rustic luxury and with just 14 suites, provides an intimate, boutique atmosphere. Each suite is uniquely decorated in majestic Adirondack style with a gas fireplace, a private deck, and a sumptuous Jacuzzi tub bathroom. A kitchenette with full-size appliances allows for easy self-catering.

The Gallery Suites are the most luxurious, with original art and Oriental rugs spread out across 755 square feet of space (including a master bedroom and a separate living room). Originally, the lodge was a full-service hotel with a fine-dining restaurant and bar. However, all but one of its buildings were destroyed in the 2016 fires so for the moment, those that don’t want to cook for themselves will need to take a 10-minute drive to the restaurants of downtown Gatlinburg. However, plans for a rebuild are underway.

Take a look at nearby accommodations with our selection of the best Smoky Mountain National Park hotels.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Best Business: Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown

Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown

Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown

Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown could not be more convenient for business guests. It’s located across the street from Gatlinburg Convention Center and has four meeting rooms of its own on-site. Of these, the largest can accommodate up to 220 guests in a welcoming, contemporary style; while professional event catering services come in handy if you’re planning a lunch meeting or corporate dinner. The hotel also offers complimentary Wi-Fi and a 24-hour business center to help maximize your productivity.

Before your meeting, visit The Bistro restaurant for a full American breakfast and Starbucks coffee. Later, it serves tasty dinners and after-work cocktails. Other options for unwinding after a busy day include a session in the fitness center, a soak in the outdoor hot tub or a few laps of the indoor swimming pool. All rooms and suites come with spacious work desks, a mini-fridge, and luxury bedding. Consider upgrading for a fireplace and private balcony. Other useful amenities at your disposal range from room service to valet dry-cleaning.

06 of 07

Best B&B: Laurel Springs Lodge B&B

Laurel Springs Lodge B&B

Courtesy of Laurel Springs Lodge B&B


Situated two blocks off the main parkway near the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, Laurel Springs Lodge B&B invites you to travel back to a time when the city was still a sleepy mountain village. The 1930s building features jade-painted shingle walls and original wooden floors, all set within a beautiful, rambling garden. Inside, the quaint decor is complemented by modern comforts and conveniences. All five individually decorated bedrooms have 400+ thread count linens, hypoallergenic pillows, cable TV, and central heating.

Three of them also boast electric fireplaces and a comfy sitting area. Start your morning with a homemade breakfast spread in the B&B’s light-filled dining room. Menu options change every day but could include specialties such as blueberry crêpes or French toast stuffed with banana and pecans. Afternoon treats and in-room chocolates are also included in your room rate. The lodge has several charming shared spaces, from the covered gazebo and hot tub to the lounge with its atmospheric fireplace. Wi-Fi and parking are complimentary. 

For more travel options, check out our guide to the best Tennessee RV parks.

07 of 07

Best Themed: The Inn at Christmas Place

The Inn at Christmas Place

Courtesy of The Inn at Christmas Place


The Inn at Christmas Place may be a 20-minute drive from downtown Gatlinburg, but it deserves a place on this list for its sheer uniqueness. A haven for anyone with a passion for the festive season, the inn celebrates Christmas every day of the year. Imagine permanently decorated, old-world Bavarian-style architecture, Singing Santa concerts three evenings a week and a two-story glockenspiel that plays Christmas carols on the hour in the lobby. Real Christmas and Christmas in July are also celebrated with special activities, crafts, and entertainment.

Christmas-themed novelties aside, the hotel also boasts an indoor pool with a large hot tub and an outdoor pool with a 95-foot water slide. All rooms and suites include a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker and flatscreen TV; and the complimentary breakfast is an extravaganza of sweet treats and savory dishes. For the most immersive experience, book The Santa Suite. The Santa-themed decor takes the concept to the next level, with a fully decorated mantel and Christmas tree.

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