The Gatlinburg Lodge at

The Gatlinburg Lodge at
The Wears Valley Chalet at
The Wears Valley Chalet at

 Sleeps 28
Game Room
Hot Tub

Cabin Tour!
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 Sleeps 5
Pool Table
Hot Tub

Cabin Tour!

Cabin rental questions: FAQ, and questions to ask before renting a Smoky Mountains cabin

If you can remember your week in the Smokies every year since you were 4 years old, or if this is your first visit to the area, these are questions that you should find out the answer to, before you choose your cabin. Some are questions that are more likely to be considered, such as what are the views like; but others are questions that don't matter until you arrive at your cabin without having asked them. We hope you'll choose our cabin for your vacation, because we think you'll enjoy it the most, but whether we have the pleasure of hosting your stay or whether you choose another, we hope our experience in this business will help you make sure nothing is overlooked, for your vacation.

  1. Does the cabin have views of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park? A view of the actual park is an amazing feature in a cabin, so if this issue matters to you remember to verify that the cabin at least has views of the surrounding hills of the Smoky Mountains, or maybe is in a charming woods location, surrounded by trees. Many cabins in this area unfortunately have a view of nothing but the side of the neighboring cabin.
  2. Is the cabin clean? Walking without shoes, on a rug, should not feel dirty. There should not be the last 6 months' dust still on the satellite receiver. There should not be dishes left in the dishwasher. Put simply, the cabin should leave no trace of the last guests, making you wonder whether you are perhaps the cabin's first visitors. 

  3. Is the cabin well-maintained?  If the kitchen is not equipped for the number of guests the cabin is advertised as sleeping, or if the dryer doesn't heat up, or if the jets don't run on the hot-tub, your vacation will be interrupted. We don't think that should be allowed to happen.
  4. Is there a hot tub? When was it last drained? Cleaned? Sanitized? If you can't find information about the hot tub maintenance, chances are it isn't drained between each stay. Some cabin companies settle for replacing the sanitizing chemicals, but leaving the water. Look for the company's statement about attention to hot tubs, if you are concerned by this issue.
  5. Does the cabin use an exterminator service?  Are there lots of bugs inside the cabin?
  6. Are the photos on the web site current and accurate? You don't want the disappointment of discovering that the pictures you reviewed showed the cabin as it was about 7,000 guests ago. A picture is worth a thousand words only if the picture is accurate. 
  7. Does the cabin have internet access?  If so, is there an extra charge for it, and is it wireless?
  8. What if you have questions during your stay?  Will you be able to contact anyone after-hours? If you arrive in town at 9:30 pm, but are having a hard time finding the cabin, who will you call? Verify that there is someone to contact, if you encounter a problem during your stay.
  9. How many other people have had the key, or the key-code, to the front door? If it's a physical key, how many guests have had the opportunity to copy the key, if they cared to? If it's an electronic door lock opened with a key code, is your key code unique, or could others have access to the cabin as well as you?
  10. Is there a driveway?  If there is, how steep is it?  Is it paved?  How many cars can park on it?
  11. Does the cabin have a screened porch?
  12. Does the cabin have a game room? If it does, remember all game rooms are not created equal. Get a description, if you will be using the game room.
  13. Does the cabin have cable or satellite TV?
  14. Is the shower narrow? Is the shower curtain moldy? 
  15. Does the cabin have air conditioning? If so, does it have multi-zone Central Air, or AC wall units?
  16. Does the cabin have reliable heat?  If so, what kind and how many zones?
  17. Are towels provided?  If so, what size? Are they high-quality?  Are bed linens provided? Are they high-quality?
  18. How far away is an entrance to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP)?
  19. What are reviews for the cabin like?  Are they recent?
  20. Is there a Foosball table? Air Hockey table? Pool table? Are they all full size?
  21. Is there a sleeper sofa? Sleeper sofas sometimes need a little extra attention, to make sure each bed gives a good night's sleep. Make sure any sleeper sofas get that extra padding and comfort, so every person's stay is perfect.
  22. How large is the kitchen?  Is it well-stocked? The kitchen should be equipped for at least the number of guests the cabin is advertised as sleeping. Also check that the kitchen is full-sized, not a kitchenette.
  23. Does the cabin have a DVD Player? If you're staying over Christmas, you have to watch It's A Wonderful Life... if you bring it, verify that there's somewhere to play it. If you don't want to bring it, check the next question.
  24. Is there a library of DVDs? If so, what genre? Are these cast-off's from the dollar store bargain bin, or will you find classics, like It's A Wonderful Life and Finding Nemo?
  25. Is there a jacuzzi? When was it last cleaned and sanitized?
  26. Does the cabin have a washer/dryer?
  27. Can you arrive anytime post check-in time, or do you have to schedule your arrival around when the office closes? Some cabins store the key in a code-protected lock box, or better yet use an electronic door lock, so you can go straight to the cabin. Most still require a traffic-battling stop by the office to pick up the key, before your vacation can begin. 
  28. Does the cabin have a Video Game Player and Video Games?
  29. Will you have to drive to an office to register, sign papers, pick up the key to the rental cabin, etc?  How far is the rental office from the cabin?
  30. Can you reserve the cabin online?  Is the website secure?
  31. Does the cabin have nice landscaping? ... any landscaping?
  32. Does the cabin have a big-screen HD 1080p television? How many?  Is there a TV in each bedroom with cable/satellite?
  33. Is there a barbecue? 
  34. Is there a picnic table?  Is the picnic table in a screened room?
  35. Is there a gas fireplace? How many? Will it work? The housekeepers should check that the pilot light is on, between each guest. The propane should never be low enough that there is any possibility of a guest running out.
  36. How many decks are there?  What furniture is on the decks?
  37. Are the roads to the cabin two-lane?  Are they paved? Who maintains them?