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Posts Tagged ‘Gatlinburg TN’

Greystone Lodge: This Hotel in Gatlinburg is Ideal for Families with Breakfast, A Pool, and an Enviable Location

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If you are planning to travel to Gatlinburg with the family, then the Greystone Lodge is the perfect place to stay! It’s hard to find a hotel that is family-friendly, clean, within a budget, and ideally located. Conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Gatlinburg, The Greystone Lodge on the River is just that. We sent Kristina and her family there to see what the hotel is all about and why families love it.

Greystone Lodge on the River in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Kristina’s stay was part of a media trip and included complimentary nights at the hotel but all opinions are her own.

This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Choosing a hotel for your family can be quite an ordeal. In the past, I’ve spent hours reading reviews, asking for suggestions, and then second-guessing my decision. In Gatlinburg, the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, about a three-hour drive from Greenville, there are hundreds of hotels and lodging options to choose from and it can be overwhelming. But after staying two nights at the Greystone Lodge in Gatlinburg, I can say with absolute certainty I’ve found the perfect place for a family trip to the beautiful mountain town. It is within walking distance of almost everything in Downtown Gatlinburg, making it a great option for families with little ones who get tired easily!

While families are often out and about during the day, they do appreciate a clean, relaxing hotel to come home to at night or to rest up before heading back out to enjoy the town. Greystone offers all that and more.

From Their Family to Yours: Greystone Lodge on the River

Originally built in 1962 by Jack Miller Sr., the Greystone Lodge was constructed with guests in mind, striving for a place to rest, recharge, and make wonderful memories together. The Miller family still owns the property today and it is one of the very last family-owned hotels in Gatlinburg. This is quite the rarity and affords them the opportunity to be more attentive to their guests.

The trolley that leaves out of the Greystone Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Catch the trolley from the hotel. Photo provided by the Greystone Lodge.

The hotel manager, Jackie, I spoke with has worked for Greystone Lodge for 23 years. She said many of their employees have had long careers there as well, which speaks to the kind of business the hotel runs.

The hotel has gone through an extensive $7.5 million renovation in the last few years in an effort to continue to provide the best experience possible to guests.

Amenities & Location

The two big things I think make Greystone stand out amongst other hotels are its ideal location and its family-friendly amenities.

The location of the Greystone Lodge cannot be beaten. It’s maybe ten steps away from the aquarium and across the street from Anakeesta. It’s a block away from the Pancake Pantry and within walking distance to pretty much everywhere you’d need to go in Gatlinburg, which is a huge deal because parking is scarce in town and you almost always have to pay for it, anywhere from $5-$10+.

The hotel is also just steps away from the Gatlinburg Trolley so you can take that around town if you don’t feel like walking.

You can also drive right up to your room, whether on the first or third or whatever floor you’re on, and park right outside the room, which is so helpful when it comes to unloading all the unnecessary stuff your kids decided they needed to take on the trip.

Yummy Breakfast Options On Site

Greystone Lodge also offers a free continental breakfast, a heated pool with a slide, wi-fi, a fitness center, and free parking. The breakfast is really good – they have biscuits and gravy, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, coffee, juice, bagels, and pastries. It was a big hit with my kids.

Pool for the Kids to Play

The pool and slide were awesome. My kids must have gone down that slide at least 80 times. They loved it. The pool is open from April until mid-October or early November depending on the weather. The pool is such a good option for families to entertain their kids without spending anything extra during the trip.

The pool at the Greystone Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Pool at the Greystone Lodge

Rooms at the Greystone Lodge

The room we stayed in, a queen suite with a balcony that overlooked the river, was exceptionally clean, spacious, and comfortable. In my research on hotels in the area, I saw so many reviews of other places that were atrocious. I didn’t want to end up with a bad hotel on a family trip because that has unfortunately happened to me elsewhere and put a huge damper on a vacation.

The Greystone Lodge is so impressive in this aspect because they take such care to provide a great experience for their guests and it shows. They consistently have amazing reviews on all the major travel websites.

Family Suites for Total Comfort

The Greystone Lodge offers family suites with one or two bedrooms and bunk beds, executive suites with fireplaces and soaking tubs, and more budget-conscious suites with all the amenities of the hotel. All rooms have a microwave and small refrigerator, which was perfect for the snacks I brought that needed to be chilled.

We got pizza one night and sat out on the balcony to enjoy dinner and the view of the river, which was very nice. Not all rooms have that option but if you get a room that does, certainly take advantage of it!

Patio view of the Greystone Lodge
Photo provided by the Greystone Lodge.

Rates and The Rewards Program

Jackie told me the majority of their guests are repeat stays and some families are on their third or fourth generation who have stayed at the Greystone. One woman recently showed Jackie a photo of herself at the Greystone when she was 10 years old and she was now bringing her grandchildren to the same place!

Like all hotels, rates are dependent upon season. During the busiest months of July and October, rates are higher than those of the slower months like January and February. A Queen suite may start around $145/night during the low season and be closer to $220+ for the high season.

Greystone has a Loyal Lodger Rewards program that offers discounts the more nights a guest stays with them.

If you’re looking for a perfect family hotel in Gatlinburg where you won’t have to worry about parking, breakfast, or entertainment, the Greystone Lodge is a great option, one that may just become part of your family for generations to come.

Have you stayed at the Greystone Lodge in Gatlinburg?

The Greystone Lodge on the River
559 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Family Guide

Make your Gatlinburg vacation an epic one with our Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Travel Guide, with things to do, places to eat, holiday fun, and more!

Mom Review: Mirror Maze in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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Gatlinburg in the winter is a different sort of town than Gatlinburg in the summer.

When we took our recent adventure to the mountain town, we found it sleepy and quiet and that’s exactly the way we liked it.  Traffic was minimal (except for the weekend) and the streets were not overcrowded and the restaurants had no wait time.  Again – that’s exactly what we love – especially when we are always a party of six (at least) and generally tables for six are not as readily available at peak times.

The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies was hands down our favorite activity of the week, but we had some great laughs and funny moments at several other stopping points along the Gatlinburg streets.

In exchange for writing honest reviews, the kind folks who run all of the Ripley’s attractions offered us tickets to a few of their other museums and amusements.  I’ll be sharing all three reviews in a three part series over the next week or so. ~Lacey Keigley

Find a place to stay in Gatlinburg, TN. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze

The first choice for us, after visiting the aquarium, was to walk down the street to Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze.  The Mirror Maze is right on Gatlinburg’s main street and it’s very easy to walk from anywhere you park in town.  (Lucky for us, we just left our car in the aquarium parking lot, which was convenient.)

The lobby of the mirror maze features two gigantic walls of candy so – you know – parents beware.  Your kids will definitely ask for candy.  You can say no, naturally.  I didn’t want to purchase pounds of sugar and food dye and banana flavored everything, but I also remember what it was like as a kid to be looking at a WALL of dreamy candy so I offered a quick compromise to my band of kids.  “Everyone can pick two pieces of candy,” I told them.  Oddly enough, they were thrilled and quite satisfied.  So they each chose literally two single pieces of candy – and we were all content.  A little sugar versus begging and copious amounts of sugar.  Or, again – you can just say no.  Isn’t it funny, parents?  You really do get the choice.

We were kind of extra excited about the concept of a mirror maze because most of us have been reading the book series of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the kids in the novel series are always facing challenges and puzzles and this mirror maze felt like our own challenge and puzzle.

The employees told us to put on plastic gloves that they provided – gigantic, ill-fitting plastic gloves – so that we would be more hygienic as we touched the mirrors that every other guest has most assuredly been touching as well.  I tried to avert my thoughts from the finger touched mirrors and just tried to think of the fun of conquering a maze with my children.

We decided to all hold hands to add to our experience and because we genuinely thought we might face the possibility of getting lost from one another inside the maze.

That probably wouldn’t have happened.

The mirrors were everywhere – as they should be in a maze – and they certainly played tricks on your mind as to which direction to turn and which door to take and where to go next.

There was an “infinity” room that made me laugh a lot – mostly because of the song blaring – was it Journey? – and the lights flashing and the disco ball. All those quirky details, you know.

Our technique of making it through the maze was rather effective as we found the ending in record time.  But, because we liked the mirrors and we wanted more of a challenge, we decided to pretend we didn’t find the exit and kept trucking through the corners and the twists and the turns all over again just for fun.

Also, we discovered a fundamental truth concerning mirror mazes.  Fundamental, I tell you.  It is this: You should choose your outfit wisely and fix your hair carefully before entering said mirror maze.  Because you are going to be seeing yourself from every angle.  Every. Angle.  And you’re going to want to leave this mirror maze with some self-respect intact.  Every. Angle.

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There you go.  I’ve covered the walls of candy and the dress yourself correctly bits.  They were important.

As far as the maze itself goes, it really was lots of fun.  It was speedy, though.  And that’s a little hard to swallow to spend money to be in and out of an attraction in ten minutes or less.  When you buy the Mirror Maze as part of the an add-on ticket, it hurts a little less.

In Review

I’d say the key to all Gatlinburg attractions is the same, keep your expectations in line.  Recognize that this is not Disney.  This is Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  These are mirror mazes and world record museums and 5D moving theaters on a street in a mountain town.  A town that sells footlong corn dogs at place called Fannie Farkle’s for the same price that you can buy two kids’ meals at Chick-fil-A.

Be reasonable, guys.

If you are visiting Gatlinburg for the second (or thirtieth) time, you already know this.

And you’re okay with it.

You’re making these return trips to Pigeon Forge and to Gatlinburg, to the cabins and to the go cart rides, to the outlets and to the pancake houses, because it’s nostalgic, because you first came to Gatlinburg as a kid with your Memaw and your Pepaw, because you brought your toddlers here and you remember how big their eyes grew when they first ordered their silver dollar pancakes at the Pancake Pantry and rode their first roller coaster at Dollywood and you like the idea of returning to the same quirky streets that seem like they never change, old time photo shops on every corner and a gem store and wooden guns and beanie babies.  That’s why you come to Gatlinburg.

So you stroll through the mirror maze and you let the kids buy a couple of pieces of candy and you stop in for the free fudge samples (always take the free fudge, people) and you admire the hand crafted wooden knives and you buy the funnel cake and you stack up those memories and that nostalgia for all its worth.

Expectations, friends.  Most adventures fare better when you can manage your expectations.

Book your tickets here (purchasing via this link allows a small amount of the proceeds to go to Kidding Around Greenville).

Are you traveling to Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge? See our other travel reviews:

Meet Lacey
Lacey KeigleyLacey Keigley is the mother of six children – five of whom she homeschools. She thinks old wooden crates make the best bookshelves. She hangs worn out barn tin on her walls and calls it art. She believes raising her six children is the scariest and the wildest journey she has ever taken. She likes the magic of sunlight through the old bottles on her kitchen shelf. She blogs about education and parenting and grace and unexpected adventures on her blog SoEveryDay. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest.