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“Great place for people on a budget”

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Fontana Village Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fontana Dam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 August 2008

This is our third trip to Fontana. It is true that you get what you pay for. The first time we stayed in a one bedroom log trailer (willow). It was pretty new and pretty nice. The second time, we stayed in a two bedroom Laurel cabin. It was ok, but kinda old. The cable didn't work and there were exposed wires in the ceiling. It was clean enough. It was up on hill with no parking. Since we had an SUV, we could make our own.
This year there were no Laurels available, we stayed in the Dogwoods. It was aptly named. It was barely acceptable. It had a noticeable tilt to the house which seemed to get worse while we were there. I do believe I discovered a new species of arachnid while we were there. It was infested with 8 legged animals. The fridge was a tiny hotel room one. The bathroom reminded me of some 15$ an hour motels. It is also BYOAC. Bring your own airconditioner, which we did. The mattresses are shot.
The restaurants are overpriced by about 25 percent compared to the surrounding tourist cities. The store is unbelievably overpriced. They have a list of activities that is more like a guideline for when an employee feels like it. Things like bubbles for the kids and softball for the kids only happened if you made it.


On the pluses:
It is a great location. The temperature is consistently 10+ degrees cooler than South Carolina. The three pools are nice. The new pool and lazy river is a big hit with the kids. The food is very good even though it is expensive. There are some activities for kids and adults.

The prices are ok. You can get a excellent cabin for 100-150 a night if you get it anywhere but Fontana. Whereas Fontana is 150+ a night for a nice cabin. The more expensive cabins are very nice. We went walking in the evening and got a good look at some of the unoccupied cabins.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank LaneRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 July 2008

Stayed at Fontana for a week in mid-July, with our two kids and another family from home and their three teens. Would have left after one night if we were making the trip solo, as the cabin was nearly unfit for habitation.

The cabin had large holes in the screens and walls. The floor in the bathroom had a hole 4" across that had been covered with laminate to hide the problem, the shower walls were uncaulked so water was continously leaking out of the enclosure onto the floor. There was limited lighting, lots of charming mexican music from the employees cabin next to ours, and ceiling fans that made sleeping unlikely(no a/c). Likewise, there was no telephone in our room(cell phones will NOT work here) so we couldn't call the front desk, there was no television or radio. The bed linens were not changed in our week. To obtain clean towels, we were instructed to hang our dirty ones on the porch railing - fresh towels are then laid on the porch mid-day.

Our first trip to the Bears Den lounge had the waitress present us with a $15.08 ticket for a domestic draft beer and soda - when we questioned the charge she lowered it to $5.08(a most unlikely total for such an order). At checkout, the $15.08 had reappeared on the room charge.

We inquired at the front desk as to the cost of the breakfast buffet the following morning, and was told $7.50. By the time we seated ourselves the following morning, the charge was $12.

The sound of motorcycles through the village wasn't entirely unexpected, the surrounding country is gorgeous. We hiked extensively, whitewater rafted in Nantahala(about an hour away) and drove to Cades Cove(another 1.5 hours away).

The pool and 'lazy river' water feature is nice for little kids, but has a max depth of 4.5 feet. the lazy river circulates water in a circle, and had tubes waiting for your soaking pleasure. Access to the pool is available to non-guests - we saw a flyer promoting a recreation pass to NC residents. Think about the security issues related to this policy before you let your kids go to the pool unaccompanied.

I would not stay in Fontana again. The cabins may be seriously inferior to the lodge rooms, but the poor customer service and games regarding charges was unacceptable.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Cpeterkelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2008

This resort could actually be a really fun place to stay, if management was improved. My family visited in June and we stayed in the Dogwood cabins. These cabins are dirty and not worth the money we spent. There was no air and I cut my foot on a piece of metal sticking up from the floor in the kitchen. There are nicer cabins there, though with air. During the day, my family had a great time at the resort. There is a great pool with a very small lazy river. There is an icecream store and a frisbee golf course. A pond is on grounds for fishing, but I really doubt there are any fish in there. We never caught any. At night, the place was miserable. The noise level both nights was ridiculous. We did not get to sleep until after 1 a.m. both nights. Some people (I think they were workers) were squeeling their gold cart up and down the road very late at night at kept it up for hours. We have two small children and they could not sleep because it was so loud. People were out talking very loud because they were intoxicated. Like I said, the nights were miserable. I think if we had a nicer cabin with air, we could have shut the windows and kept some of the noise out, but it was so hot in the cabin we had to leave them open. When I checked out I filled out a comment card and said I would like management to contact me. I still haven't heard from anyone and it's been a month. This place has potential, but not worth the money. Needs updating.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank jennlatham18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2008

I stayed at Fontana Village June 26-30, 2008 with 43 other members of my family (!) for a family reunion.

Some of our family stayed in the Lodge, others rented cabins. My immediate family rented a 3-bedroom, 2-bath Magnolia cabin. The cabin that we stayed in was actually a mobile/modular home enclosed with wood siding to make it look like a log cabin. The size of the rooms was adequate. The master bedroom had a nice-sized bath with a separate shower and whirlpool tub. The kitchen was an average size, with a full-sized refrigerator and basic plates/flatware/pots/pans. The dining nook had a small round table, but because of the configuration could only seat 3 people. The cabin did have a full-sized washer and dryer. The driveway to the cabin was VERY steep, and made this flatlander a bit nervous. Overall, I would call the accommodations basic and adequate, but not plush.

Cabin pluses: Great air conditioning, good-sized bedrooms, very quiet and peaceful, front porch with rocking chairs, cable tv.

Cabin minuses: No telephone, skimpy towels, no icemaker, no dishwasher, STEEP driveway, a little mouse that we could never catch, no paper goods other than toilet paper.

The Village overall had good facilities. My family ate all of its meals together in a private room. The service was excellent, and the food was good. All of the staff were extremely helpful and courteous. There were plenty of outdoor/athletic facilities ranging from putt-putt, 3 swimming pools, disc golf, nearby whitewater rafting, game room, etc. Planned activities included bingo, square/line dancing, a talent show, scavenger hunts and a great bonfire for marshmallow roasting.

The isolation of the village was a problem for me personally. Other than a shall general store and gift shop, there was no shopping without quite a drive (30 mins or so to nearby mountain craft stores, 60 mins to a town.) Also - cell phones and blackberries do not work on the premises. There is one spot about a 2-mile drive from the village where such devices may work, depending on your carrier. Otherwise, take some phone cards and plan to hike to the Lodge to make a phone call.

Village pluses: beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, plenty of outdoor activities, good food, friendly staff.

Village minuses: isolation from shopping, unable to communicate from cabin to cabin due to no phones, difficult for elderly folks to get around due to hills and many stairs.

Overall, if you enjoy mountain scenery and mountain roads and seek a quiet retreat or outdoor activities, this is a good place. If you like to shop for your leisure, this isn't it for you. I also wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has mobility problems.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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Thank aafolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2008

My husband and I own a timeshare at the village, and this was our first year there. We had a wonderful time! There's so much to do, we already have a list of plans going for next year! The staff was very friendly and helpful, the food was good and the cabin was very clean and comfortable (two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a jacuzzi, a deck and front porch, full kitchen and living room).

We didn't have any cell phone reception, but if you go towards Fontana Dam and pull in the scenic overlook, you can get pretty good reception. The village is about 45min to an hour from major attractions (Cherokee Reservation, Bryson City; Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Asheville are about 2 hours drive). We had a great time driving the Hellbender (Route 28) and the Dragon's Tail (Route 129).

The Smoky Mountains have always been a favorite destination, and now it feels a bit more like home with our timeshare. We have an actualy homebase instead of just a hotel room.

Highly recommended to those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle. Quiet, relaxing and beautiful!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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Thank jubilee4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2008

We visit Fontana Village during hike week(s) in April and October of each year. The inn is not top of the line - but that's okay with us! We are there to hike and fellowship with other hikers that meet there at the same time. We don't want to totally rough it - so the Inn is great for us. The fall colors were wonderful in October and the spring flowers are beautiful! Visit during these times and enjoy programs and hiking with approx. 30 to 50 fellow hikers!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank TheHappyHiker11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2008

Our motoring club calls the village home few a few days each year. If your into driving the twisties of the Dragon this is the place. Because of the variety of accommodations my review will be on the Willow and Dogwood cabins only. The Dogwood are leftover from the days when this was a workers village from the building of the dam. Most have been remodeled somewhat but don't expect much. The Willows are nothing more then a mobile home with a very nice deck added on. My money now goes to the Willows because they have AC and TVs. This year our Willow was very nice and just had a mattress refresh.

Fontana is in a very remote location if you do not bringing food your are driving at least 30 min or dining at the village.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cranky64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fontana Village Resort

Address: 300 Woods Rd, Fontana Dam, NC 28733-7603
Phone Number:
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Fontana Dam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fontana Dam
Price Range: £98 - £125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Fontana Village Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 199
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fontana Village Resort, a year round destination resort, is set amidst the pristine beauty of the Nantahala Forest of western North Carolina, gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Village has a wide range of accommodations, including rooms in the intimate settings of The Lodge, suites, cabins in the forest, as well as RV & tent camping on Cheoah Lake. Add conference space, complimentary wi-fi service, restaurants and lounges, General Store, gift shops, outfitters, pools, marina, fitness center, mountain bike shop, miles of on-site trails suitable for biking and hiking, and it's easy to see why Fontana is a Great Smoky Mountain Destination. The resort offers an assortment of dining options including the Mountview Restaurant and the Wildwood Grill offering resort-casual dining and event catering. The Pitstop offers a fast fare menu for guests or travelers on the go. If watersports are on your itinerary during your stay, the Fontana Marina, located on the beautiful 30 mile long Fontana Lake, has an assortment of different watercraft rentals and equipment available. The Marina's ship store offers a complete line of tackle, light groceries and snacks and anything else guests might need for a perfect day on the water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fontana Village Hotel Fontana Dam
Fontana Village Fontana Dam

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