I “planned” a spontaneous getaway to Cades Cove – or in other words, I looked online the day of!
I saw several lodging options in Townsend, but this one looked more intriguing.
I am so glad I called and spoke to Alan (I hope I am spelling that correctly.). He helped me to figure out which room – or house – would fit me better. I can’t sleep hot and he informed me that the Walker House does not have individual air control. So, out with the Walker House. Then the options were between a King bed or 2 Twins. I chose the King. I didn’t realize that it’s not actually a king bed, but two twins put together, like they do on cruise ships (and in England, apparently, as this place eventually reminded me of a stay in London). Next time I will just get the twin room, since you can’t sleep in the middle of a twin-to-king bed.
This has nothing to do with the lodge, but getting there was FAR more torturous than it was supposed to have been. I got stuck in a 90-tedious-minutes MULTIPLE-MILES LONG slow-down-to-a-stop-and-go-crawl on the interstate and it had me in a PANIC. So when I finally arrived I was a mess.
Luckily, we still had some light when we pulled into the driveway. It was a shorter ‘driveway’ than what the internet suggests, but I got the point. “In through the gates, and into a calmer, lovelier world”. I say ‘we’ because I brought my dog. Happily, they are dog friendly. That matters a lot.
There was no parking when we arrived, but there was a man who seemed to work for the hotel/lodge and I sort of assumed he would stick around to assist me with my luggage. Sadly, by the time I had gotten my key (a REAL key!), he was not there. That was a small ‘strike one’. I tend to expect more service than what we find these days (after COVID), and especially at a nicer place like this.
Oh, one more thing that I was hoping for, but didn’t get … a welcome beverage. I went to the bar and got one for myself, but it would have been nicer if while checking-in I was offered a glass of champagne.
I ‘parked’ by the ‘no parking’ sign so I could be closer to the entrance door and got my luggage out, then went around back and parked the car. Someone should have been there to assist.
The room is very plaid. I didn’t know I liked plaid until I saw the room. Plaid carpet. Interesting. I like it.
Whenever you first get a room there is some adjusting to be done. This one was regarding the air con. It wasn’t on. I moved the thermostat and nothing happened. I called and Greta said because no one had been in the room the air con didn’t ‘know’ to turn on. This also reminds me of a cruise ship or some hotels where the air con is linked to the balcony door, so they don’t waste energy with a door open. I know this is supposedly an older hotel, or built to look like one, but in modern times, we like our own individual temperatures. Greta offered to bring me a fan, and I took her up on that. The fan was good not only for air circulation, but also noise. That’s how I sleep at home.
The air con never actually came on all night. Luckily, it was a cooler night, and there is a window that you can crank open. I hope a snake doesn’t slither in and sleep with me tonight! No screen because of the crank window. But at least it’s fresh air.
The next day I did greet a visitor. It was a large grasshopper-looking thing. I’m not afraid of bugs. I wanted to catch it and take it outside, but I missed and couldn’t find it again. Hope it’s ok. Maybe it’s in my luggage! - LOL.
I was very much looking forward to a 4-star dinner, and all my needs were met PERFECTLY! I had the Pork Schnitzel and Squash, and paired it with a Grenache. Absolutely perfect! I have missed 4-star life! Glad it’s back!
After dinner I went outside by the fire pit where they had make-your-own S’MORES!!!! And so I did! Such fun!
Went back to the room to get ready for bed. This is something for all hotels … your TV does not have a sleep timer. It needs a sleep timer. And a way to turn down the brightness.
Tried to get comfortable. The linens were good. The pillows were good. The bed, already mentioned, was really a twin so I couldn’t spread out in the middle. It was a bit too hard for me, too. I would get comfortable, then wake up and flip over, and repeat about 40 times until I couldn’t do it anymore, and got up FAR earlier than typical. I beat the sun today. But I didn’t feel tired, and knew I’d need the time if I was to tackle Cades Cove and the drive back home.
Attempted a bath. That was a joke. I’m 5’6” and I couldn’t even get my lower leg in the tub. This is not a tub for bathing, it’s a tub for showering. But the shower only put out about 3 drops of water. I turned the showerhead so it put out a stronger stream and managed to get the parts that needed cleaning cleaned and rinsed. But a relaxing bath it was not.
The towels. Like all hotel towels – a joke. I always bring my own. Hotel towels are either too thick or too thin and always too small; and they always have that hotel chemical leftover gunk on them. It got the job done, but forget about wrapping yourself in one.
I was still too full from my marvelous dinner to have breakfast, but if you’re into eating in the a.m. theirs looked delicious. Next time.
RT Lodge is gorgeous.
I felt very comfortable there.
The staff are cordial and welcoming.
It was a bit damp when I was there, but I would love to return and do some trails, and take advantage of their bikes.
Would definitely eat there again …. and again!
And would definitely stay there again – just not the “King” bed next time.
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Oh, but in sad news ... I drove half of the entire time of my 30+ hour trip, and did NOT see ONE BEAR. Disappointed.
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And, in other news ... WINO news ...
Cades Cove Cellars still sells 'candy wine'. Didn't purchase because the only one swillable is their muscadine, and the sample I had tasted of dirty sock.
A vineyard that was worth the extra driving (by now my leg is numb) was "Blue Goose Vineyards". It is a family farm winery that still only produces muscadine wine, but Cat, the daughter of the winemaker, was lovely to chat to. I had a "Cat Chat"! Can't beat their view, either. She was very nice letting me take time after her 6:00 closing to meander and let the doggie wander with me.
PS - Down and back with one overnight stay is TOO MUCH DRIVING.
That 90-minute interstate slow down just about did me in.
All that and no bears. Sad.
GORGEOUS TREES, tho!
And doggie and I got to walk on lands we've not had our feet on before.
Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes.
"If it's still steaming, we must be leaving!" - LOL.
An original quote from ME!
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