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“Nice, but hidden costs”

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Black Bear Inn & Suites
Ranked #41 of 78 Hotels in Gatlinburg
Reviewed 5 June 2010

Clarion is a higher branch of the Choice Hotels. The room was clean & bug free. Free wi-fi worked well. The free breakfast was great...omelets made to order, sausage, gravy, biscuits and the rest of the offerings. Coffee was good (the coffee offered at the Comfort Inns branch is always weak) and strong. Little balcony on the room was nice.

But the free breakfast wasn't really free...found out when we checked in that there was a $9 resort fee added which was NOT shown when I reserved the room at the Choices website. Also, the tax was $1+ more than the estimated shown. Still a good deal but surprising to learn upon checkin.

Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
1  Thank teechur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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551 - 557 of 686 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2010

Be sure to read the fine print of your reservation. They will charge you an additional $9.00 per night on top of the room rate and tax. This is not a local/state government charge but a ploy to make their rates look better.

Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
1  Thank MRogers138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2010

My husband and I reserved a two queen bedroom for 3 days on the clarion website. We didn't book a king size bed sine it was more expensive (not sure why). Our charges were different each day, Sunday-69.95, Monday-79.95 and Tuesday-99.95. When we got there we decided to see about getting a king. We selected a king suite with a jacuzzi. The charge for that room was Sunday- 119.95, Monday-129.95, and Tuesday-149.95. When I asked if I could use a 10% coupon I was told by the manager I already was getting a 10% discount. I did check on the Clarion website, to reserve the same room and those were the prices on that room. Therefore, I don't think I got a 10% discount.
The breakfast was ok, they ran out of eggs before 9:00am. It was from 7am to 10:00. The only fresh fruit was apples. The location was great we left our car in the parking lot for the whole time we stayed.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank goodfod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResvMgr, Reservations Manager at Black Bear Inn & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2010

Thank you for taking time to write to TripAdvisor. It is common practice in the hotel industry to change room rates depending on the days/dates and times of year. When you make your reservation online, we offer a 10% discount off of the regular price. Since we only allow one discount per reservation, we were unable to also use your 10% coupon. This coupon could be valuable to people who do not book on-line, and do not have membership in AAA, AARP, or the military.

Our breakfast is very popular with our guests, and we do our best to anticipate demands. Unfortunately, we do not always get it right. I do sincerely apologize that we ran out of eggs while you were at breakfast. We did receive more a little later in the morning. Each day, we leave out both apples and bananas for our guests. It sounds as though the bananas were already gone by the time of your arrival. Again, we do out best to anticipate demand.

We hope you will choose to stay with us again the next time you visit Gatlinburg.

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Reviewed 11 April 2010

Stayed only one night. The staff was excellent, very nice and accomodating. The room was typical and clean with plenty of hot water. The small balcony was a nice plus. The pool was perfect, and the breakfast was excellent. Plus, with the microwave and fridge, we were able to save on lunch by reheating our dinner leftovers just before checkout. Just missed 5 stars for; small beds (the smallest queen beds) and the blinds did not keep the room dark enough for sleep.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank LoupMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResvMgr, Reservations Manager at Black Bear Inn & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2010

Thank you for your kind words. We appreciate you spending your valuable time informing others about your stay. Our manager of Guest Services is currently researching options to address the issues of the sunshine coming through the blinds. We hope to purchase new blinds or install a special filter on the existing ones to remedy this issue.

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Reviewed 11 April 2010

The best aspect is the location. It is a relatively clean, modern hotel right on the main strip, although a few blocks from the very heart of town. The hotel tries in many ways to be first rate, but it just can't escape it's heritage - that of being a 'Choice Hotel', which are generally on the low-moderate end of chain hotels. The rooms are nicely appointed, with better than average carpet and quality furniture. Then they blow it by not spending the extra for a good bed. The beds are standard, low-end hotel beds. They are hard & uncomfortable. They have added thicker mattress pads, so they must be aware there is a comfort issue. Without these pads there is very little between you and the springs. The bathrooms are very small and again the class shows through. They have the smaller, round, non-elongated toilets such as I haven't seen in a (quality) hotel in a long time. The toilet tissue must be the cheapest available. There's plenty of hot water which is consistent and VERY hot (be careful), but showers run at a trickel - probably some water-saving device). Towels were plush and big. BTW, the water pipes make a high shrill noise at times (like a neighbor filling a tub) - it is very loud & reminds me of some oriental torture.
Overall, the hotel makes a very nice first impression. Unfortunately, the closer you look the more the budget orientation shows through. Staff was generally very nice and attentive - security guard was curt, rude, and seemed to stare at even the nice folks with suspicion - intimidating. The pool is heated to a very nice temp. - warm and inviting. It's indoors, so screaming kids voices can echo pretty loud. The hot tub was cold. Parking is tight. Breakfast was better than most, with some hot items and made-to-order omletts. Problem is, the hotel is very busy and crowded. Staff does NOT keep up, and usually they run out of items early - sometimes an hour before the breakfast ends. If you get there at 9:45, you're probably out of luck. This is in sharp contrast to many other hotels today that keep breakfast fully stocked until the end time, and often a few minutes beyond. The hallways are HOT, and I mean HOT, and elevators un-air-conditioned. With 2 elevators serving 7 floors in a hotel which is often full, you can wait for an elevator. You will have a layer of sweat by the time you reach the lobby.
The exterior is particularly nice, the grounds well kept, and the lobby is spacious, well appointed, and somewhat upscale. They have an 'internet cafe', but it's horrible. First, unlike most hotels, it's not 24/7. I couldn't check my email until after 11 pm (because I was with a group) and by then it was closed. One computer is broken, and the internet was so slow it was impossible to use - I mean VERY slow, like 10 minutes to get onto email. I would have brought my laptop, but they told us on the phone they had an 'internet cafe'. I missed a number of important emails.
I won't go into their rediculous (and deceptive) resort fee. Others have bashed them enough for that. Just remember, if you get a price quote like say $90, it won't be that - it will actually be $99 with the added $9 resort fee. It actually IS in the fine print on-line, but MANY have complained that they didn't find out until arrival or check-out.
I have stayed here in the past, but they did not get my repeat business the next time because of the above mentioned things. This time I stayed here because I was with a group. I do like the hotel and would recommend it, just be aware of it's shortcomings. The location is very good. Is it worth the cheap bed, breakfast problems, and other negative points? I don't know. If you're on a budget this may be for you. I wouldn't consider this hotel for anything over about $99 a night (WITH resort fee). If you don't mind spending a bit more, The Hilton Garden Inn is far superior.

  • Stayed: April 2010
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Thank cruisedoc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2010

After our first hotel was a nightmare, we called the Clarion. They gave us great deal on a King suite and we came right over. The breakfast was very good, but get there early. The pool was great and the balcony where I'm writing this is very nice. You can walk to the entrance to the park and great restaurants. It seems to be much more quiet on this side of town.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank rlap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResvMgr, Reservations Manager at Black Bear Inn & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2010

Thank you so much for taking your valuable time to write a review about our hotel. Our breakfast is very popular, and it does indeed get busy in our dining area from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. As you noticed, this is indeed the quiet end of Gatlinburg, and we like it that way! But even though we are at the end of town, we are still just a short walk to restaurants, shopping and attractions in Gatlinburg. We hope to see you again on your next visit to Gatlinburg.

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Reviewed 28 March 2010

We stayed here for one night after arriving in Gatlinburg a day early and not being able to get a room for the one night at our hotel for the week. The lady at the Smoky Mountain Resort made a reservation for us. There was a convention and the only room they had left was a king suite. We checked in after nine and checked out in the morning. So we did not get to really enjoy the hotel much. The location is right on the strip near Ober Gatlinburg's tram. So you literally walk right out the door and are on the strip. If you want quiet then this is not the place for you. But if you want the convenience of walking out the door and being right on the strip. This is perfect. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Everyone would smile and say hello. The only exception to this was the breakfast lady. But with a convention there, I am sure she had been extremely busy. The room was spotless. It had a king bed and jacuzzi in a separate room and a kitchenette and fireplace and balcony. The view was just of the parking lot and swimming pool. But this hotel's location is it's biggest asset. And the breakfast was much more than a regular continental breakfast. They even had a man making omelets and hot food available. I would not hesitate to stay here again. I do think the nine dollar RESORT fee is ridiculous. They did not charge this in the past. I think they should seriously thing about getting rid of that. No other hotels in this area charge a resort fee.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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Thank IndianaKris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResvMgr, Reservations Manager at Black Bear Inn & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2010

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your stay with us. We pride ourselves on our cleanliness and customer service. Yes, our location is great! Because we are right on the main Parkway through downtown Gatlinburg, we are close to restaurants, shopping, and attractions. Unfortunately, that means that there is noise from cars and pedestrians on the street. Each of our rooms have a balcony. Perhaps on your next stay, you will want to choose a room with the balcony on the back of the hotel, overlooking the parking lot and swimming pool. That side is a little quieter, and also a little less expensive. I will pass on your concerns about the resort fee to our General Manager. We hope you stay with us on your next trip to the Smokies.

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Additional Information about Black Bear Inn & Suites

Address: 1100 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (Formerly Clarion Inn & Suites)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Tennessee > Sevier County > Gatlinburg
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Gatlinburg
Price Range: £85 - £227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Black Bear Inn & Suites 2.5*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Black Bear Inn & Suites Gatlinburg has a sleek, stylized look! From the lobby to rooftop Penthouse Suites and every room in between. Start your morning off right with a delicious full, hot complimentary breakfast including omelets cooked to order and Belgium waffles. The Black Bear Inn & Suites's location is ideal for everyone! Interested in a scenic drive or hike? The hotel is located only 100 yards from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited park in the Nation! Want to walk or take a Trolley around downtown Gatlinburg and experience the town's many popular attractions and wide array of restaurants? Not a problem! Black Bear Inn & Suites is located right on the Parkway! Thinking about driving to Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood, Dolly's Splash Country, Titanic Museum Attraction, shopping at Tanger Outlets or seeing Pigeon Forge's many theaters and dinner shows? Black Bear Inn & Suites is only a short drive away from Pigeon Forge. Black Bear Inn & Suites Gatlinburg is "Definitely a Cut Above!". We hope to see you in the Smoky Mountains soon! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Inn And Suites
Clarion Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg Clarion

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