The wooded slopes and the lush serene landscape of the Smoky Mountains make Gatlinburg a picture-perfect place for a secluded getaway. Beloved by newlyweds, the small town boasts over 1,800 hotels and mountain cabins with breathtaking views of the Smokies, and choosing exactly where to stay in Gatlinburg for your honeymoon can be a tough decision.
So we’ve done the hard work for you! Listed below is our choice of the seven most romantic hotels in Gatlinburg, based partially on star ratings but mostly on real-life reviews, comments and local experience. We’ve chosen three above-average hotels (not necessarily the most expensive) and three mountain cabins, plus one option that’s a bit out of left field, but we like it!
(BTW, if you’re not totally sold on Gatlinburg, we’ve put together some guides on other awesome places in the USA that are perfect for a honeymoon!)
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list.
Hummingbird Hideaway (rated 8.2/10)
We’re starting with a well-reviewed and reasonably-priced mountain Hummingbird Hideaway cabin, set quite high in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. A warm gas fireplace is the central feature of the living room, where huge windows accent the cathedral ceiling and let in lots of natural light. The whole interior is varnished wood paneling and the well-made furniture is also all wood, except for a big ol’ comfortable leather sofa that dominates the living area.
The local arts and crafts community is a close drive away, and there are a variety of nearby places for lunch or an evening meal, meaning you won’t have to drive through downtown Gatlinburg to reach a decent restaurant. If you do fancy a night in, there’s a very well-equipped kitchen area with a large oven, microwave and a massive fridge.
The primary bedroom features a king-sized bed and a large heart-shaped Jacuzzi in its own corner of the bedroom, which overlooks the forest. Very close to your bed is the primary bathroom with a shower/tub combination and vanity.
The deck is a great place to while away the hours, with a pair of hand-made rocking chairs and a large outdoor hot tub. The deck overlooks a pebbled area surrounding a fire pit, so you can stay nice and warm once you’re out of the tub, sit back and just take in the views.
Address: Boyd Blvd, Gatlinburg.
Average cost of cabin for 2 people (6 nights/7 days): $1,787 (high season), $1,121 (offseason)
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Downtown (rated 9.0/10)
The Fairfield Inn is run by Marriott, so you know to expect a quality stay. Located just off the main parkway, the hotel is away from the busy traffic but still close enough to walk to all the main attractions. In fact, there’s a tree-lined entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park only half a mile from the hotel lobby, and Ripley’s Aquarium and the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery are a five-minute walk away.
The rooms are surprisingly large and warmly decorated with a modern feel, which is no surprise as the Fairfield Inn is one of the newest hotels in Gatlinburg, completed in 2017. All rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and 50″ flatscreen TVs, as well as minifridges, microwaves and a useful collection of amenities. If you choose one of the suites you’ll get a well-appointed living area, but in our experience the extra space isn’t needed: book one of the king rooms for a saving of $200 and you can buy a few more bottles of champagne instead!
The shared facilities include a seasonal swimming pool, a hot tub and a well-equipped gym. But best of all is the outdoor terrace with a live coal fire – it’s a perfect place to sip a last cocktail before heading to the warmth of your oversize bed, and you just might catch sight of a bear or two.
And we have one last tip for you: when you get to the hotel, ask for Joshua. He’s one of the best concierges in the business, and he’ll bend over backward to make your stay a memorable one.
Address: Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg
Average cost of King Room for 2 people (6 nights/7 days): $1,459 (high season), $980 (offseason)
Always (rated 9.5/10)
Always is a secluded holiday cabin for two with a nice romantic name and a nice romantic setting, with panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The hideaway is perfectly located between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, so nothing is too far of a drive. Our one concern is that it’s so remote it can be hard to find, but perhaps that’s exactly what ‘getting away from it all’ really means!
The wood-paneled open living space has a stone fireplace, cable television, a fully-furnished kitchen, and dining for two. High square glass panels, large windows and the glass door give natural light, making the already-generous 600 square feet seem a lot more spacious.
The appointed bedroom suite has a comfy king-sized bed and a jetted tub with room enough for two, and there’s a fully-equipped kitchen with an oven, a microwave, a fridge and a washing machine plus the usual amenities.
Out on the terrace are a hot tub and a set of rocking chairs, which is the perfect place to sit and watch the fireflies dancing in the twilight as you make plans for the following day. Or, better yet, don’t make any plans: just relax.
Address: Timber Ridge Rd., Gatlinburg
Average cost of cabin for 2 people (6 nights/7 days): $2,175 (high season), $1,228 (offseason)
Margaritaville Resort (rated 9.5/10)
In Gatlinburg’s budget-friendly hotel range, one hotel that stands out for better-than-average quality is the Margaritaville Resort (named, of course, after the Jimmy Buffet song). Located on its own private river island just off the downtown strip, this casual hotel is a minute’s walk from restaurants, shops and tourist attractions, including the superb Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. (Actually, we’ve never been, we just liked the name).
The resort features a variety of spacious rooms, with a decor described as ‘a mountain paradise with an island state of mind‘. We’re not sure what that means, but it certainly works — the color scheme has a definite sand, sea and sky feel which adds to the room’s light and airy ambiance. Again, we’d recommend opting for the cheapest room, which in this case is the King Standard. It does away with unnecessary things like second beds and living areas; instead you get a clean, warm room with a great bed, a private balcony, and an oversized bathroom with a (superb) rain shower. Not to mention a great view of the Smokies.
As it’s a resort-type hotel there are plenty of on-site dining options, including the License to Chill Bar, the Landshark Bar & Grill and the pool bar. There’s also a gym and the on-site St. Somewhere Spa, with qualified masseurs who can be booked for a special couples spa session to soothe away those aches and pains.
We were worried that Margaritaville’s typical ‘party party’ atmosphere wouldn’t be a good fit in Tenessee, but we’re happy to be proved wrong: Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg combines a laid-back island attitude and first-class Southern hospitality.
Address: 539 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Average cost of King Standard room for 2 people (6 nights/7 days): $1,553 (high season), $808 (offseason)
Burnin’ Love (rated 8/10)
It might be over 6 hours to Graceland, but that hasn’t stopped some Gatlinburg folk from naming their mountain cabins after Elvis songs. There’s even a pair of cabins further along the same road called ‘Love Me Tender’ and ‘Love me True’. As for the road itself: yes, it really is called Honeymoon Hill Road. The forest location of the Burnin’ Love cabin is picture-perfect: it’s on a secluded mountain top where only nature will ever come calling. And it’s interesting to note that this particular cabin is exclusively for couples — no families or kids allowed!
Before you get inside, the tree-lined walkway leads to a large covered porch with an oversized hot tub, an outdoor BBQ Grill and some comfy-looking rocking chairs. It’s a great place to relax and breathe in the unique Smoky Mountain air. Turning our attention to the cabin itself, we have a large, solid home constructed from chestnut and white oak. It’s been richly stained with a dark resin finish, which adds to the feeling that the cabin has always been there.
The bedroom area features an elegant king size bed and a huge whirlpool. It’s red, which is possibly a bit too kitsch, but it’s also heart-shaped, which is cute! There’s a bathroom area with a bathtub and shower, and opposite is a large, fully-equipped kitchen. The living area centers around a year-round fireplace and 42″ TV (with cable), and a well-upholstered sofa.
For every newlywed couple, the owners have put together a cute Honeymooner’s Surprise package, which is perfect for a bit of indulgence in the jacuzzi. You get a pair of engraved ‘Honeymoon Hills’ champagne flutes filled with Hershey’s Kisses, a lightly-scented bubble bath, a large serving of chocolate-dipped strawberries and, curiously, a bottle of cider!
Address: 750 Honeymoon Hill Road, Gatlinburg
Average cost of cabin for 2 people (6 nights/7 days): $1,883 (high season), $884 (offseason)
Greystone Lodge on the River (rated 8.6/10)
Set in downtown Gatlinburg, this is called ‘Lodge on the River’ for a reason: the Little Pigeon river rolls directly past your balcony and the view is just spectacular. That’s why it’s so important at this lodge to get a room with a balcony. So our advice is to take no chances: book a suite. Since the recent $7.5m renovation there’s more than one king exec suite, so make sure you ask for the one with a real bath as well as the large shower: they call it the ‘Soaking Tub Suite’.
The Greystone Lodge on the River is a family-run business, not part of a chain, and they’ve been welcoming guests to Gatlinburg for over 50 years. It’s clear that they take pride in their service and levels of quality: the rooms are never less than spotless on arrival. The updated decor throughout the lodge is fresh and new, with tasteful muted colors and nice extra touches everywhere.
All of the lodge’s rooms feature flat-panel TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves and complimentary Wi-Fi, but the suites add a gas fireplace and, in our case, a soaking tub and a massive king-sized double bed. If the soaking tub isn’t aquatic enough for you, the lodge has a heated outdoor pool and there’s a brand new guests-only fitness center right nearby.
All Gatlinburg trolleys stop right outside the front door and the transport system is excellent, so you’ll be saving a lot on gas. The lodge has one of the best locations in town: it’s only 350 yards from Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre and, as you’ll remember, that’s one of our favorite places! Joking aside, it’s the convenient downtown location and the superb views of the river that make the Greystone Lodge a special place.
Address: 559 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Av Cost of King Executive Suite for 2 people (6 nights/7 days): $1,299 (high season), $845 (offseason)
Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains (rated 9.3/10)
Well, we promised you something a bit different, and here it is! Recognized in ‘Top 20 Resorts in the US – South’ by Condé Nast, Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains is located in Pigeon Forge, 10 miles from Gatlinburg. Just minutes from the entrance to the National Park, the campsite is set upon 182-acres of lush, wooded terrain and offers eco-friendly accommodation and a minimal carbon footprint.
As well as offering most of the amenities you’d expect from a hotel, camping (or in this case, glamping) offers something unique: a chance to gaze up at the stars from the comfort of your bed. For this reason, we’ve chosen the Stargazer tent, which has a night sky viewing window directly above the bed.
Apart from the special viewing window, the Stargazer boasts a plush king-size bed with luxury linen (no sleeping bags here!) and an ensuite bathroom with a shower, sink and even a flushing toilet. Although you’re on a fairly large campsite, choosing the Stargazer gives you an exclusive private deck with a pair of lounge chairs, so you can enjoy the clear night breeze before retreating into your upscale tent for the night. And don’t worry about being cold at night, because the tent is kept warm by — get this — a wood-burning stove.
Of course, going camping means saying goodbye to some of the things you’re used to, at least for a while. There’s no Wi-Fi available, and there will be plenty of bugs flying around, so it’s a case of swapping the internet for a mosquito net. (Thanks, we’re very proud of that one!) And even though you’ve got a shower to yourself, don’t expect piping hot water and hi-pressure jets.
That said, the concept is spectacular. The tents are exceptionally high quality, and cleanliness standards are superb, right down to the shared facilities. We haven’t tried this ourselves, but it’s becoming increasingly popular with the eco-aware, and there’s no doubting it’s a strange, but brilliant, twist on where to go for your honeymoon.
Address: 1015 Laurel Lick Rd, Pigeon Forge
Av Cost of Stargazer Tent for 2 people: (6 nights/7 days): $2,377 (all seasons)
What can couples do in Gatlinburg on honeymoon?
There’s plenty for couples to do in Gatlinburg whether on honeymoon or a special vacation. The most popular attraction is the Grand Smoky Mountain National Park, which is a wildlife fest that delivers all year round. (And don’t worry: there are a few dangerous animals in the Smokies, but they’ll generally leave you alone). Number two on your to-do list should always be Ober Gatlinburg, a unique mountain-top amusement park that proves there’s more to snow than just skiing and snowboarding.
How many days are enough for a Gatlinburg honeymoon?
We think six or seven days are enough for a Gatlinburg honeymoon vacation. A 4-night romantic getaway in a log cabin might seem like enough, but most visitors to the Smokies wish they’d stayed longer. For one thing: the Smoky Mountain National Park is massive, and it’s impossible to appreciate it in only three days.
How much does it cost to stay in Gatlinburg?
The average cost to stay in Gatlinburg is $128 for a hotel room for two people for one night. (These figures come from the travel budgets of real travelers.) So, for a 6 night/7 day stay, your hotel bill will typically be $768. The same data shows that the average spent on food is $68 per day, and $28 per day is spent on travel, so the overall average cost to stay in Gatlinburg is $2,132 for two people on a one-week vacation.
Of course the rate you’ll pay depends in part on when you’re going. The hotel peak season is June to August, and the offseason is January to April. For each hotel on our list, we’ve shown the average cost of a room for two people staying 6 nights (7 days). High season rates are often double the offseason, so be prepared if you’re going to be a June bride and groom.