As part of our recent excursion to the Pigeon Forge area, we were provided lodging at the Wilderness at the Smokies, otherwise known as one of my new favorite places on earth.
The accommodations for the rooms are generous and definitely have families in mind! We were in a bunk suite. Check out how it was set up!
This particular room could comfortably accommodate up to 7 people. It features a full size bathroom, a sink and vanity, two queen beds, a twin bunk bed (SO fun for kids!), and a pull-out couch. We didn’t use the couch, but we did request a pack and play for Layah, and they accommodated that request, no problem! The queen beds are separated by a half wall, which gives a little more privacy than a standard hotel room. Tim and I often find ourselves stuck in the bathroom after our girls go to sleep in most hotel rooms, but with this set up, we could be on our computers and the light wasn’t disturbing the kids while they went to sleep. Let me tell you, I REALLY enjoyed not hanging out in the bathroom! 🙂 Our room also had a kitchen area with a second sink, microwave and an empty fridge (no mini-bar…THANK YOU!) and a breakfast nook, as well as a balcony, which was fun to use for extra play space and general relaxation.
The room itself was nice enough to make it a place I would recommend staying with a family, but my friends, that is NOT what makes this hotel so exceptional.
They happen to have 3 water parks on site. One of them is indoors and is a comfortable 84 degrees all year. It was right down the hall and down a few floors from our room!
For my 4-year-old, I don’t think she would have been any happier if we had gone to Hawaii, honestly. She was on cloud nine, and spent most of her time battling the waves at the edge of the wave pool! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in one of the chairs that they had right at the edge of the water. I let the waves coming in roll over my feet. Darah played nearby. It was very relaxing! The roof of this facility even allows for UV rays to penetrate through. I personally was not thrilled to learn this, but if you like to tan, this is a place where you can do so, even in January!
The indoor water park also featured a few really fun tube rides, two large kid-friendly areas, and a wave rider simulator that was extremely popular. The park wasn’t packed when we were there, but the line for that attraction was still quite long! There is also a grill on site for quick eats (pizza, chicken tenders) and there is a bar so you can treat yourself to a cold one if you like. Towels are available on site for hotel guests to use so you don’t need to bring your own. And I just can’t emphasize enough how awesome it is to walk down the hall to go to a water park! Admission into the park is included for all guests, and that’s part of what makes staying at the Wilderness at the Smokies an excellent value.
We also had a great time enjoying the indoor attractions at Wilderness at the Smokies.
The Adventure Forest, located just off the water park, has bowling, a very large high ropes course, rock climbing, arcade games, and a fantastic climbing area for kids. We also played a round of indoor golf (set to black lights, which made it really fun for the kids!) and a James Bond-esque laser maze. We had all day passes and the indoor park wasn’t at all crowded when we visited, so we got to play whatever we wanted over and over again! I think the all day or the all stay passes are the way to go if you have kids who like to play quite a bit. You can plop down and bowl for a few hours if you want! And there’s an indoor food area right there so you can even have lunch on site. We grabbed a sub from the shop and it was quite tasty!
Basically, there is no shortage of fun things to do on site at Wilderness at the Smokies. I think for the price you pay to stay there, families will experience a tremendous value (the room we stayed in has an off-season price of $169/night, which includes some free area attraction tickets and 4 water park passes for your whole stay!). This hotel is 2 1/2 hours from our home, and I can tell you without hesitation that we will be headed back. What a great option for shooing away the winter blues!
Have you ever stayed at Wilderness at the Smokies? Ever been to a year-round water park? Where did you go? If you’d like to see our other adventures, check out my review of the Titanic Attraction and the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.