Your hotel will be your launchpad to all the adventures waiting for you in your chosen destination. It’ll be your home away from home, so it has to be comfortable. Plus, a significant amount of your travel budget will likely go towards your accommodations, so you’ll want to get the most bang for your buck.
So, if, finally, the airfare to your dream destination, a loaded account, and the days off from work are all aligned, it’s time to book your hotel! But before you click that “confirm” button, you should consider a few factors to ensure you have the best possible experience in Gatlinburg.
Reviews from fellow travelers are your magical bowl of truth. These reviews, if not paid for, are generally honest and provide an overview of what you can expect from the hotel. If a reviewer mentions anything about the staff being particularly unaccommodating, take note. If the reviewer talks about bedbugs, RUN.
You can look for reviews on the hotel’s website. But, if you want to connect with other travelers and get a more unfiltered account, try reading reviews on TripAdvisor. Facebook travel groups are also a blessing. Just steer clear of blogger groups, as they may be given freebies in exchange for a review.
When Gatlinburg, Tennessee, comes to mind, you probably think of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But Gatlinburg is also home to fantastic hotels with incredible amenities, from rooftop pools to on-site restaurants. So, if you’re looking for an exquisite Gatlinburg hotel experience, check out the amenities before booking. For instance, Park Place, located on the riverfront in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, offers an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub with a view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There’s also free Wi-Fi access, sunbathing area with chairs by the river, and daily breakfast for all guests.
Of course, if you’re looking to save money, you can always forego the luxury amenities and enjoy all that Gatlinburg offers outside your hotel. But imagine laying by an infinity pool with a view of the Smokys after a long day of hiking. Doesn’t that sound nice?
You may be tempted to book the cheapest hotel you can find. But, if it’s miles away from the nearest attraction, you’ll spend more on transportation than you saved on your room. Unless, of course, you’re planning to spend most of your time in the hotel, in which case, book away!
You don’t want to spend your vacation time in traffic. But, if you want to be close to Gatlinburg’s famous Sugarlands Visitor Center, Gatlinburg Space Needle, or Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, look for hotels within walking distance or along Ski Mountain Road. It’s also important to check the hotel’s distance from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
No matter the kind of traveler you are, you still have a budget. And depending on your budget, you may have to make some sacrifices. Book in advance if you’re looking for the cheapest room possible. It is because the rates will only go up closer to your travel dates.
You can also try your hand at bargaining. For example, if you call the hotel and mention that you found a cheaper rate elsewhere, you never know; they may give you a discount.
Another way to save money is by booking a hotel with a kitchenette. It will allow you to save on meals by cooking some of your food. Just be sure to stock up on groceries before you head to Gatlinburg.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. No one wants to stay in a dirty hotel room. But some hotels are cleaner than others. A hotel’s cleanliness can also change over time. So, it would be best if you went through the images on the website with a fine-toothed comb.
If you feel your inner Enola Holmes tingling, research the hotel on Google. You can often find images of the hotel that the hotel itself did not take. These images will give you a better idea of what the hotel looks like. Or, maybe just visit and check. You always have the option of booking on the spot.
Most hotels have categories for smoking and non-smoking rooms. But some hotels are entirely non-smoking. So, if you’re a regular puff-puff-passer, book a smoking room. The last thing you want is to get caught with a fine for smoking in a non-smoking room.
Similarly, if you’re allergic to smoke or just really hate the smell, book a non-smoking room. Again, the website usually has a filter for this. But if you’re unsure, give the hotel a call to double-check.
Are you planning to bring your four-legged furry friend with you on vacation? If so, you’ll need a hotel that loves pets just as much as you. Unfortunately, many hotels charge extra for pets or have weight and breed restrictions. So, before booking, ensure your pet is welcome at the hotel.
You should also be aware that not all rooms in pet-friendly hotels are, in fact, pet-friendly. We recommend talking to the hotel directly before making any advance payments.
Things happen, and sometimes you have to cancel your vacation. You’re already not so pleased with having to waste all that money you spent on your non-refundable hotel room. But it’s even worse when you find out that the hotel has a strict cancellation policy.
Before you book, always check the cancellation policy of the hotel. Some hotels allow you to cancel for a full refund up to 24 hours before your check-in date. Others charge a fee no matter when you cancel.
Some hotels also have a minimum-night stay requirement. So, if you cancel before that, you may still be charged for your stay. Therefore, before you book, it’s best to be certain of the policy to avoid any later stressful surprises.
Check-In and Check-Out Time:
This one is often overlooked but can make a significant difference, especially if you’re trying to save money.
Check-in time is usually around noon, and check-out time is 2 pm. But some hotels allow you to check in early or check out late for an extra fee. If your flight or drive home isn’t until the evening, paying for a late check-out may be worth it.
You can also try to see if the hotel will let you check in early for free. It usually requires calling the hotel in advance and asking if early check-in is possible. It doesn’t hurt to ask; it may save you time and money.
When booking a hotel, there are many things you should consider. The price is often the most significant factor. But it’s not the only thing you should think about. So, widen your perspective and take a look at the big picture. After all, you want to have the best vacation possible. And booking the right hotel is a big part of that.
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