Wilderness at the Smokies is a fantastic year-round resort in Tennessee offering a number of desirable amenities including Tennessee's largest indoor/outdoor water park, several on-site restaurants, an arcade, mini golf, and more.
The central location in Seiverville puts you just a short drive away from all the action and activities in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg without being around all the congestion and noise.
Wilderness is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a fun, affordable, family friendly property in the beautiful Smoky Mountains region. We were in town for the annual holiday themed Santa Hustle Half Marathon, which conveniently started right outside the hotel.
Wilderness features an attractive rustic theme. Visiting over the holiday seasons is one of the best times as it is decked out with Christmas trees, decorations, and special festive events.
The indoor water park is definitely the highlight of this resort, especially during the winter months. I had never been to an indoor water park before this visit, however, I was pleased with the facility.
4 unique water-slides, a wave pool, a surfing area, a poolside bar and snack shop, and a gigantic indoor outdoor hot tub are some of the amenities you will find at Wild Water Dome. The tube slides were a blast, as was the wave pool.
The pool side bar is great for relaxing a bit, especially during football season. The hot tub was fantastic, although restricting usage to adults 18+ would have been even better.
Admission to the water park is thankfully exclusive to guests of the resorts, which helps keep the crowds down a bit, especially during the prime season. Because admission is included with your stay, you can visit as much as you like during your trip.
Another perk is being able to use the park before check in (noon on check in day) and after check out (you are able to use the water park until closing on check out day).
We did not have a chance to use the fitness facilities at either location as I had enough of a workout running the Santa Hustle Half Marathon during our stay. However, the facilities looked nice.
We tried one of the 2 main restaurants. I was satisfied with our dinner at Thirsty Miner, which is located next to the indoor water park in the River Lodge building. The staff was very accommodating, the food was better than I expected, and the atmosphere was friendly and inviting.
We looked at the menus at both restaurants before deciding on Thirsty Miner. Hidden Trail has a limited menu of bar snacks and sandwiches. I would say that Thirsty Miner is more accommodating to families with a diverse menu, casual atmosphere, and daily buffet offerings.
We did not use the indoor arcade or mini-golf, however, they seemed to be a hit with the kids. The arcade is very large, featuring most of the games you would find at a typical Dave and Busters.
Room rates were extremely affordable for all the amenities. We paid $140 for one night, which isn't bad considering the included water park admission.
Lodging at Wilderness includes 3 different options: rooms at Stone Hill Lodge, suites at River Lodge, and luxury sanctuary villas (located a mile from the property). Free shuttle service is provided to from the Stone to River Lodge (leaves every 10 minutes or so).
Stone Hill Lodge offers both Queen and King size rooms, including a King executive suite. Room amenities include: coffeemakers, fridge, flat screen TV, and admission to both water parks.
Stone Hill Lodge houses the Salamander Springs Outdoor water park, a fitness center, a full service bar and grille, an arcade, and a gift shop.
Suites at River Lodge are perfect for families or large groups traveling. Some of the suites feature multiple bedrooms, fireplaces, and a full kitchen.
River Lodge houses Wild Water Dome indoor water park, Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark, an arcade, paint your own pottery classes, a fitness center, mini-golf, a full service restaurant and deli, a gift shop, and a beautiful lobby which is decorated for the holidays. We stayed at Stone Hill Lodge because we booked at last minute and all the other rooms were sold out due to the race.
Our room wasn't anything special, however, the rustic theme and large windows were nice. The room is fairly big and includes all the traditional amenities like a fridge, coffee maker, and a flat screen TV.
Had we booked the room early, I probably would have booked a suite at River Lodge, both for the bigger space and easier access to the indoor water park.
Overall, I was satisfied with our stay at Wilderness. Although, we didn't have enough time to explore everything at the resort, we were impressed with what we did see. Wilderness is conveniently located within driving distance of both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, although there are more than enough activities on-site to keep you and your family occupied without ever leaving.