By LARRY VAUGHT
GATLINBURG — In just over two months you’ll have a new lodging choice in Gatlinburg that I think will appeal to a lot of us.
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is taking reservations for July 19 and after now. The property is in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg (539 Parkway at Traffic Light 5) and there’s nothing else quite like it in Gatlinburg.
Not only will it have the same upscale lodging options as the Margaritaville Resort at The Island in Pigeon Forge has, but it will be adjacent to the new LandShark Bar & Grill, next to Ripley’s Aquarium and across the street from the year-old Anakeesta Outdoor Family Experience. You will be within easy walking distance of downtown businesses but also have majestic views of the Smoky Mountains.
Renie Carroll, Margaritaville marketing manager, said the seven-story facility will have 162 luxury guest rooms and suites — including some with accommodations for six with two queen beds and a sleeper sofa. For a grandfather like me with four grandchildren, that’s a big, big deal.
“We think those family suites will be very popular,” Carroll said.
Most rooms again will have private balconies along with other amenities including free WiFi and a 24-hour fitness center. Granted, I’ll use the WiFi more than the fitness center, but both are important to most of us.
We ate at the LandShark Bar & Grill this week and it’s going to be popular, especially since it is so close to the resort. Same with Anakeesta across the street because an admission there allows you to leave and come back. Margaritaville guests can easily go to the top of the attraction in the morning, enjoy a few hours, come back down and then go back maybe again near sunset for a great view and/or dinner. And kids will love the aquarium.
There will also be a lobby cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner choices if you do not want to leave the property.
“We will also have a spa with the same great service we have here (in Pigeon Forge),” Carroll said.
However, what has my grandchildren the most excited already is the outdoor pool with a huge slide that has them as excited as the rooftop pool at Margaritaville Pigeon Forge. There’s also an indoor pool with hot tub.
“The pool is really big and should be a huge hit,” Carroll said.
Another hit for Gatlinburg Margaritaville guests could be the proximity to country singer Blake Shelton’s Old Red restaurant and entertainment complex scheduled to open in February or March. He’s just opened a similar facility in Nashville but the one here won’t have a rooftop bar.
“We just think everything about the resort and location is going to be very, very popular,” Carroll said.
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Margaritaville Gatlinburg Toll-Free Reservation Line: (888) 447-0222