The Best Hotels around Smoky Mountain National Park

There’s more to the Smoky Mountains than black bears and hiking trails: in this neck of the woods, you’ll also find genteel former mansions turned hotels and chic farm stays with world renowned food, surprising vineyards, and woodland diversions. Here’s your Appalachian getaway guide.

1471 W Millers Cove Rd, Walland, TN 37886, USA
Set on 4,200 secluded acres of hillocks, ponds, and gardens at the foot of the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, this award-winning resort, a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux brand, is awash in genteel luxury, from its splendid spa to its exquisitely appointed rooms, suites, and cottages. But make no mistake, the family-owned property takes the “farm” in its name to heart: Its James Beard Award–winning restaurant, The Barn, as well as the more informal Dogwood restaurant, were early leaders in the farm-to-table movement, welcoming guests who come to pay homage to the inn’s self-described foothills cuisine.

In addition to several gardeners, the farm employs its own butcher, cheese maker, and beekeeper, along with a preservationist who makes pickles, jams, and jellies. The staff raise their own sheep, pigs, and chickens, and forage the land for mushrooms, berries, ramps, wild crab apples, and muscadines—which you’ll share at the table with other guests (all meals are included in your stay). Thankfully, a roster of on-site activities—including cycling, wakeboarding, archery, paddleboarding, hiking, fly-fishing, swimming, tennis, and golf—allow you to indulge without feeling guilty.
1500 Pinnacles Way, Newport, TN 37821, USA
Just 30 minutes from the bustling tourist towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge sits this secluded bed-and-breakfast surrounded by 200 forested acres. Accommodations at Christopher Place are intended for couples rather than families: Nine individually decorated rooms, four with in-room hot tubs for two and several with fireplaces, have only one bed, and children younger than 12 aren’t allowed.

You can savor in-room breakfasts and dinners in a few of the rooms; everyone else can enjoy meals at the Mountain View Restaurant, which serves an affordable, seasonal four-course menu with a backdrop that’s just as satisfying. Hearty breakfasts will gird you for a full day of exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or just hiking the trails outside the resort’s front door. Return for a dip in the pool, then a cocktail or glass of wine in front of a roaring fire at Marston’s Library Pub, named after the property’s owner.
11 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
The Blue Ridge Mountains stand in for the Black Forest at Grand Bohemian Asheville, a 104-room luxury property inspired by old-world Bavarian hunting lodges, complete with stag-antler chandeliers, rich velvet and brocade textiles, and a popular mascot in the lobby—a taxidermied wild boar named Zsa Zsa. In contrast to the more dramatic public spaces, rooms and suites are spacious and light with crisp white bedding and tufted headboards; almost all of the bathrooms have large tubs with shutters that open up to the sleeping area. In addition to the rare original artwork that’s scattered throughout the hotel, there’s a gallery featuring paintings, art glass, woodwork, and sculptures from local, regional, and international artists. George W. Vanderbilt’s Gilded Age castle is across the street, and the hotel is within walking distance of Biltmore Village’s popular restaurants and shops and only two miles from trendy downtown Asheville, making it a convenient jump-off for exploring the Great Smokies.
1 Antler Hill Rd, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
On a hilltop perch overlooking 8,000 acres of grounds designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Inn on Biltmore Estate’s 210 rooms and suites evoke traditional 19th-century manor houses, with dark mahogany beds and desks, billowing window treatments, and comfortable overstuffed chairs; book a room with a balcony to breathe fresh mountain air while appreciating views of rolling hills—or simply take in the vista from the hotel’s veranda. The formal dining room showcases seasonal specialties using estate-raised cattle and lamb, vegetables from the on-site garden, and wine from the property’s own winery, where you can participate in a free tasting, then ride back in a complimentary shuttle. If you’re looking for something more casual, the lobby lounge and library bar offer salads and sandwiches—and no dress code. But the main attraction is the 250-room Biltmore château, the Gilded Age mansion George Vanderbilt built here in the late 1800s, and its 16th-century tapestries, Renoir and Sargent originals, and 65 fireplaces.
100 Reynolds Heights
There are only a handful of pre-Civil War brick homes left in western North Carolina; Reynolds Mansion is one of them. Built in 1847, the Colonial Revival house can be found on the National Registry of Historic Places and appears much as it was 170 years ago, save for the addition of a few bathrooms and other modern conveniences. Most of the eight guestrooms—which retain original 16-foot ceilings—and three carriage-house suites feature fireplaces and Jacuzzi or claw-foot tubs. While the original estate was 1,500 acres, the mansion now sits on the last remaining four acres, surrounded by Reynolds Village and other developments, but is still a tranquil respite with a spring-fed pool and gorgeously maintained gardens and grounds just a few miles from downtown Asheville. The hotel takes the “breakfast” in its name seriously: There’s one seating, at 9 a.m. in the formal dining room or, weather permitting, on one of the porches; expect a seasonally rotating menu of hearty main dishes often made with eggs that the owners collect from their hens.
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