By LARRY VAUGHT
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Anyone who knows me understands how much I enjoy going to Pigeon Forge and have for years.
However, I’ve never enjoyed a vacation top there more than the one last week when my wife, two grandsons and myself were guests of the Margaritaville Island Hotel and Renie Carroll for a few days. I tried to tell my grandsons they may well never stay in another hotel so nice, but I’m not sure they believed it.
After all, where else can you get a room with two balconies, including one overlooking a multi-tier fountain show with water, music and light that my grandsons liked watching at all hours of the day and night.
It was also nice being able to see such a majestic view of the Smoky Mountains from the rooftop pool as well as other Pigeon Forge attractions.
Every guest gets a special welcome — including a personalized note in our room — and true Southern hospitality. And the rooms are so spacious and well designed. Our fountain view room had a king bed, another room with two twin beds our grandsons loved, two full bathrooms (one had a sweet walk-in dual rain shower), a living room area, fireplace, refrigerator, microwave, alarm clock with iPad docking station and a Margaritaville speciality — a frozen concoction maker with drink recipes. Plus, there was free wireless internet that worked great.
Signs in the room say to “just chill” and did my grandsons adopt that philosophy from start to finish. Some mornings I was not sure they were going to get out of those comfortable beds.
When they did get up, one really does not have to leave the Island entertainment complex to have a great experience. We spent a lot of time at the rooftop pool.
The kids loved a night time ride on The Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot-high observation ferris wheel. It lights up the night with various colors and the view is magnificent.
We had our picture made with parrots, got lost in a mirror maze, drove bumper cars, watched rope course participants and checked out a lot of shops. We also tried a lot of restaurants, including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Dick’s Last Resort that were both certainly kid-friendly.
And all that came without leaving the Island, which is located right off the Pigeon Forge Parkway. It’s also close to a variety of other attractions and spots to eat.
If that’s not enough, there is a dynamic resort spa that is open to both hotel guests as well as the public. It’s a relaxing, peaceful environment that offers Wastin’ Away Signature Massage, Couples Massage, Margaritaville Signature Facial, or Margaritaville Manicure and Pedicure in Paradise. You can even book an appointment with a hair stylist in the spa.
It has six “treatment” rooms and every spa service includes a footbath, something I know former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard would love. I really liked the Chill Room.
And get this — cell phone use is limited in the spa to make sure you do not ruin the relaxing atmosphere.
So if you are looking for a spot to shop, play, eat and just chill, I would highly recommend the Margaritaville Island Hotel. It might cost a bit more than other places, but the experience, amenities and location certainly offset that concern.
Plus, if you really want a special experience, three penthouse units are available — or you can book all three and have the third floor to yourself.
Margaritaville Island Hotel often has vacancies during the week, but Carroll says weekends book early. She also said the resort is now hosting weddings and expects that to become a popular attraction.
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For more infomation, go to http://www.margaritavilleislandhotel.com or call 844-434-6787 (toll free). For spa information, call 865-280-6200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.