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“Clean, friendly, fun and PET-friendly, too.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Townsend / Great Smokies KOA

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Townsend / Great Smokies KOA
Certificate of Excellence
Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Clean, friendly, fun and PET-friendly, too.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2012

The good: We have camped with Townsend KOA for many years now, dating back to when it was Little River Campground. Though the prices have steadily increased, we still love camping there, knowing the only germs we are sharing belong to our family! lol

Though we liked Tremont, if you want to stay on the river to hear splashing water and not Harley Davidson Motorcycles, go with KOA. A natural sharp bend in Little River blessed them with river sites that are quiet and peaceful, and as far from the highway as you can get without getting wet.

The employees and staff go out of their way to give you a smile and a good experience during your stay. If we ever have an emergency or any kind of need, they are quick to respond. Bathhouses are clean, campground is spotless, and most spots don't have you elbow to elbow with other campers. The last spot we stayed in was 121, on the river. It is HUGE!

They offer lots of fun activities for kids and adults on Saturdays, like Bingo, Tie-Dye, Hay rides, and movies. Our two Bostons loved the fenced-in dog park: LOTS of room to run off-leash and chase a ball or frisbee.

The BAD: One disappointment was the restaurant/store. It seems... cheapened somehow? Can't put my finger on it, unless it is the tacky merchandise. There are lots of 'not cheap' souvenirs they could offer: local arts and crafts on consignment, better quality commercial items... Minnetonka moccasins used to be sold there years ago, and I remember longing for a pair as a little girl. I loved looking at all the colors and styles. Also, plain food would be more appreciated, I think. We started to have a meal there one afternoon last week, and nothing on the menu appealed to any of us (two adults and 3 kids aged 6-11). We opted to drive to Pizza Hut.

The UGLY: While I appreciate people's right to enjoy a beer, groups of people drinking and watching football, etc, in a campground doesn't sit well with me. The more they drink, the louder they get, usually coinciding with loudest after 9 or 10 o'clock at night. The employees have all gone home, and other campers have no recourse but to lie awake and listen to the ***holes and their rudeness. Unfortunately, if you have kids, they are exposed to more and more cussing and lewd behavior as the night wears on. It would be nice if KOA would leave a couple of older men patrolling the campground at night, or even a security guard.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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160 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kentucky
Level Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2012 via mobile

If you like a non-commercialized Smokey Mountains experience this is the place! Very quiet area, woodsy, right on the river for kids to play in the rocks. Nice playground, clean bath house, friendly staff.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank QueenaKentucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2012

My wife and I love camping. So we wanted to introduce our 3.5 year old and 5 yearr old girls to the experience. This place was awesome from start to finish. Very clean campground with extremely clean bathouses. There were also portable toilets placed throughout campground and these things were extremely clean. The playground, pool and arcade were awsome for the kids. The sites are nice and shady. We were on the river and the site was large enough to not feel cramped. There is a picnic table and fire ring on the site. I would suggest tent pads and air matresses as our tent was partially on gravel. The Staff at this KOA was superb. Extremely friendly. These people always were riding around on their carts and delivering ice or wood to campers, cleaning, directing lost campers (me), and answering 3 million questions with a smile on their face. I would definately recommend this KOA to anyone, especially those with small kids. We are already planning our next trip and it will be back here at this KOA. No doubt about it.

Room Tip: Definately go with riverside site no matter if you stay in cabin, camper, or tent.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2012

In early August three of my camping buddies and I spent three nights in Lodge Two in this KOA. We are all over 45. We chose the campground because of its easy access Cades Cove and other parts of the western side of the GSMNP. We had a great view of the river from our deck. We watched tubers float down the river through a thin stand of trees. One afternoon we were the tubers. You can launch rent and launch at the KOA. One guy got the bedroom with his own TV. I slept on the fold-out couch in the living room. The loft was spacious enough for two queen size matteresses (one came with cabin).

The deck was spacious, had a table with four chairs and a large gas with side burner. The decks of the adjacent lodges are rather close but their L-shaped gave some privacy and a chance to chat with the neighbors.

The kitchen space inside included a microwave, an under-the-counter frig and sink (also served as "bathroom" sink). This cabin was more expensive than the other cabin we stayed in on the NC side but was newer and had the pay for view of the river.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
98 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2012

Our cabin was spotless. It looked new and probably was. Nice patio and fire ring for camp fire and the pool was clean and close. Not much to look at as far as scenery within the campground where we were located, but there are some water front sites. I enjoyed walking around as most of the place is nicely shaded w/ mature trees. It was a little weird at first at check in, as the computers were down and seems as though corporate doesn't allow their employees to rent cabins if this happens?!?!?!? Staff did make an exception and rented me a room after a weird conversation and my getting upset about it. Kind of made for an uncomfortable introduction, however, the remainder of my stay the staff was very, very nice. A store/gas station is attached and the location of the campground was wonderful. Right at the foot hills of the Smoky Mtns...It is REALLY quiet this side of the Smoky Mts, which was a nice change of pace compared to Cherokee, NC. Overall, it was nice...pricey, very pricey, but worth it for a night or two.

Room Tip: Ask for one on the water if you want scenery!
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AMBC77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
103 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2012

Last year we stayed in Gatlinburg at a hotel. It was too busy for me. Our balconly overlooked the river which I really liked, but right across the river were Condo's. Here at the Townsend KOA, we stayed in a "Kozy Kabin", it was right on the river with a swing on the porch. There were trees across the river and maybe one or two RV's showing through the trees. I really liked the view. The cabin did not have bathrooms, but the Comfort Station was very very clean with private showers. We never had to wait in line. The Cabin also had air!!. Everything was very neat and clean. Townsend is in between, Cades Cove and the Sugarlands Visitor Center. About 20 minutes each way. This was the first time my daughter and I camped on our own and it was a great experience. By the way, there is a small fridge in the cabin too.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gwendalyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2012

We spent a week in a deluxe lodge # 9. These lodges are next to the highway, but we rarely heard the noise. The lodges have all the basic comforts and were clean and well maintained.
All have a small patio with gas grill and patio furniture ( an umberella for the table would be a nice touch). The lodge provided a great base for the our Smoky Mountain adventures. Be advised the lodges are small and not ideal for hanging around the cabin. The larger lodges along the river would be better suited for hanging around the cabin.

Room Tip: Note: Bring extra towels. A cooler was helpful for keeping drinks cool and minimizing the traffic i...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank therman17404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Townsend / Great Smokies KOA

Property: Townsend / Great Smokies KOA
Address: 8533 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882
Region: United States > Tennessee > Townsend
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Townsend
Number of rooms: 135
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in what's known as "the peaceful side of the Smokies," the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA neighbors Cades Cove and the countless black bears, deer, plants and flowers that make their homes there. With the tranquil Little River hugging the property line, endless hiking trails weaving through the wooded tapestry surrounding the kampground and swinging bridges suspended nearby, each day at this KOA promises a new adventure. Nearby attractions like Dollywood, Tuckaleechee Caverns (a 25-million-year old cavern system) and miles of tubing and biking guarantee great fun for your vacation. On-site, visit the Little River Village restaurant for a batch of fudge, grab your tackle and cast your line and enjoy free wireless Internet during your stay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Townsend / Great Smokies Koa Hotel Townsend

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