Selecting a hotel for my family is no longer as easy of a process as it once was. Though my family enjoys each other’s company, I know to force my three teenagers into a crowded, standard size hotel room is asking for trouble. After a busy day of sightseeing and reviewing destinations, the only thing they want is a bit of space from one another. The only thing I wanted prior to our last trip, was to find affordable large family accommodations in Gatlinburg.
At first, I thought it would be great to rent a cabin or to stay at one of the many resorts in the area. Though I found rates that were pretty reasonable, after a major vehicle repair and a dental emergency pretty much drained our winter savings, I needed to find something that wouldn’t eat up the rest of our dwindling budget. My hours of searching paid off when I discovered Quality Inn Creekside, a Choice Hotels property.
The location was perfect. Located right on the strip in Gatlinburg, it was within walking distance to nearly every major attraction in town. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies was an easy 1/2 mile away, with plenty of shops and attractions to and from to stop and explore.
The parking lot was pretty crowded and we had a hard time finding a parking spot on Saturday evening after the Wonders of Magic show. I was thankful that we’d rented a smaller SUV and not planned to drive my husband’s huge truck.
You know when you see a tow truck in the parking lot that the establishment takes their “No Parking” signs seriously.
You can’t really see how tight it was from this picture, but my husband actually had us step out of the car, and pulled in the rear view mirrors before he backed in to this spot. It was a tight squeeze, with a vehicle close on one side, a steel support beam on the other and slanting roof behind him due to the stairs, but he managed to fit the Acadia into the parking spot unscathed. It may not have been ideal, but it was the only open parking spot we could find.
Our suite nearly made up for the parking. It was larger than I expected and very roomy with two bedrooms, a pull out sleeper sofa, kitchen and fireplace!
The room was very clean and comfortable. With the addition of a pull-out sleeper sofa in the living area, it provided sleeping space for 8 people, plenty of space for my teens to spread out. The suite also has three TV’s so there was no need to fight over the remote or what channel everyone would be watching.
The kitchenette has a stove, full-size refrigerator, microwave and limited kitchen tools with pots, pans, silverware and plates. Just make sure to pack your own can opener.
Even with all that space, the kids still managed to pile onto the couch, together, to watch TV and snack on leftover Long John Silver’s hush puppies.
While both bedrooms have heating units, the living room relies on the gas fireplace, which doesn’t produce enough heat to warm the room comfortably. Maybe that’s why the kids covered up and huddled together.
The hotel has a continental breakfast in the building that houses the office and lobby with eggs, breads, cereals, fruit, juice and sausage gravy. The hotel is conveniently located with plenty of nearby restaurants to grab a bite to eat. You’ll also appreciate the trolley that stops in front of the hotel so once you find a parking spot, you won’t be forced to give it up to explore the area.
You’ll also find a seasonal outdoor pool and our suite had a pair of chairs outside our door to allow you to enjoy the view when the weather is a bit warmer and relax as you listen to the sounds of the gurgling creek.
The Quality Inn Creekside is comprised of a number of buildings with a large variety of rooms which you can see online. While I appreciated the large space that our suite offered, and the ability to prepare home cooked meals in the in-room kitchen, if you plan to arrive on a working vacation (like I did), you may be a bit disappointed to discover that the internet may not work.
I was told at the front desk that they’ve never had anyone complain that the internet won’t work and told me they thought it was my device and suggested that I had entered the incorrect password. While that may have been the case, none of our smart phones or iPods would connect either. After using the internet in the lobby, I walked back to my room with my computer open and noticed that I lost the signal completely when I reached the second floor of our building by the pool.
This may not be the case for you and honestly, when you’re in the Smokies, do you really want to be on the computer? Just sayin.’
Our stay at the Quality Inn Creekside was comfortable and enjoyable. Though parking was almost a deal breaker for me, after looking at many of the other hotels in the area, I can’t imagine that it would be terribly different at many other locations.
My husband also noticed several days later that though we were initially charged for our two night stay, a second charge appeared for a third night. My husband called the hotel and they reversed the charge immediately.
Having worked as a hotel employee, I know that mistakes can and do happen. I always make it a point to keep my receipts and look over any charges on my credit card or bank statement to make sure no errors are made.
If you’re looking for affordable large family accommodations in Gatlinburg, I’d suggest that you consider Quality Inn Creekside.
Quality Inn Creekside
Address: 125 LeConte Creek Drive, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone: 865-436-4865 or Toll Free: 1-800-473-8319
Choice Privileges members can book a room now and stay two separate nights until May 15 and earn one night free at over 1,500 hotels.
Though rates vary greatly throughout the year, my family paid a total of about $155 for two nights in early March.
Other things to do in the area:
Your Guide to Home school Friendly Spring Break Ideas in the Smokies
Family Fun at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge Tennessee
Visiting Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg Tennessee
My Favorite Photos from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies