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cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

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cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

we have never been to Pigeon Forge and are hoping to come down (9 hour drive) in August - probably the first week. I have been doing lots of research, but am stumped whether to get a condo, a cabin or book a hotel. Two adults, two kids 11 & 8. We plan on doing Dollywood, dixie stampede, white water rafting, maybe some caverns, Ripley's aquarium, etc. The kids LOVE to swim, so that makes me lean towards a hotel with a pool and slide. But it would be nice to have a bit of a kitchen to cut down on eating out, as well as a separate living room for when the kids go to bed. I've been looking at cabins on VRBO also. I just can't decide! What are the pros and cons to all of them, and how do you decide?

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1. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

We prefer cabins for longer stays. We like the privacy, grilling on the decks, hot tubs, views and other features. You can get a cabin in a resort and still have pool access. Most cabins have washers and dryers also.

The main drawback to a cabin would be for those who need a vacation away from cooking and cleaning.

We find that not having to eat in restaurants all the time is relaxing as well as rewarding. Waiting in line to eat at some places can be frustrating when you're hungry. I like cooking, so it's not a chore for me. I can have a couple of drinks and not worry about driving. Renting a cabin seems like having your own mountain home, even if temporary.

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2. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

Our family has done both as we live only about 2 hours away. On spring break this year we stayed at the Econolodge Riverside so the kids could have an indoor pool. Breakfast was included and we ate meals out (but only stayed a few days). For a longer trip I would recommend a cabin. The negative is that you will have to go grocery shopping. ...but you will have a living room and probably your own hot tub.

Athens, Georgia
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3. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

We prefer staying in a hotel. For multiple reasons but we really like being in town close to everything. I don't like to cook on vacation other than a quick breakfast or sandwich for lunch. We have stayed in cabins before and we found ourselves driving back and forth a lot. With my 2 little ones it's nice to run back to the hotel for a bathroom break or snack. We try to stay somewhere that offers a free breakfast too. I can recommend willow creek lodge, they have a pool with a slide, breakfast and they have a few "family suites". A condo would be my second choice if you really need a kitchen but I would find one close to town.

Paris, Tn
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for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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2,699 posts
28 reviews
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4. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

We've gone the motel route many times. But lately we've rented a cabin. We prefer the cabin for many reasons. (privacy, a scenic setting) and we also love to grill our steaks or dogs out on the grill. If you choose the motel, so much of your expenditure is on food. Depending on the number of meals you eat out and the number of people in your family, well, that could prove extremely costly. I too, like the idea of being able to have a drink or two and not worry about driving safety or getting pulled over by the law.


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5. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

We really missed a pool the one time we stayed at a cabin, but some cabins have pools of their own or shared ones on site. Cabins will also have cleaning fees and deposits.

6. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

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St. Louis, MO
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7. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

Here's how we pick

condo for a stay of a week or longer or when we have a large family group when we want resort amenities // great common area to hang out in / don't have to have meals out // get a washer and dryer, so don't have to pack a full week's worth of clothes

cabin for a stay of a week or longer or when we have a large family group, when being in a pristine natural environment is more important to use than resort amenities (same advantages of condo, but beautiful wilderness typically rather than tennis, swimming, and hot tub

hotel for short get-a-ways of four nights or less (when condo or cabin feels like overkill / when we'll mostly be out and about vs. hanging out and visiting with family) // For Pigeon Forge we are just staying for four nights and planning to stay at the Inn on the River with indoor pool, balcony, mini frig, and // Advantages -- breakfast, daily maid service, resort feel and amenities, restaurant onsite or close by // Will opt for condo, cabin, or house on even a short stay if I have a large family group and we all want to stay together if decent location and price are available.// After four nights, though, a hotel gets really old for me really fast. Four nights is my limit.

Grove City, Ohio
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8. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

If you want an indoor pool for your kids, check out Riverstone Resort and Spa. It's very nice and has an indoor pool that is open 24 hours. Their web address is www.Riverstoneresort.com .

Englewood, Ohio
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131 posts
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9. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

We always do a cabin for a lot of the reasons listed above. We normally like the privacy and escape aspect of being able to go back to the cabin and just relax and not worry about anyone else around or on top of us. We only rent cabins outside of resorts or outside of the area that are not right on top of each other except when we have friends then we stay at one that we know is a great set up for two separate couples with that in mind. Also price wise it seems that there is not a lot different then a GOOD hotel or a condo. It is always nice to have a laundry option and cooking options also. Good luck and make sure to review the places on here before you choose!

Dallas, Texas
Destination Expert
for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas
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10. Re: cabin vs hotel vs condo - how do you decide?

We also prefer hotels plenty of places to eat nearby.

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