Would you believe there was a time when a common vacation mentality sided with small, single rooms or tents for vacation accommodation against cabins and chalets because “I’m already in a house every day of the year, why would I want to go [to the mountains or somewhere else rustic] to some other house that’s more expensive than a hotel with room service?” Well, that mentality was a long time ago when areas like the Smokies were already popular but less developed vacation destinations and before electricity and running water was available for most houses up along the highlands. You could tell the base interest was there, though, because many seasons in the Smokies had their rustic, authentic mountain cabins rented out for short and long stretches of time all the same.
Today, our cabin development and relevant industries have evolved lightyears beyond that. Now our vacation cabins and chalets can provide more amenities and luxuries than the average residential house can provide. HDTVs and cable/satellite, high-speed wireless internet, outdoor hot tubs, indoor jacuzzi tubs, seasonal decorations, high-class dining rooms, enormous living rooms with cathedral ceilings, onsite grills, fireplaces, lots of outdoor decks and more views of the Smoky Mountains and/or the deep forests therein than you could possibly believe.
These amenities alone make vacation cabins and chalets popular choices for Thanksgiving family dinners, Summer vacations, Christmas getaways, Spring Break, honeymoons, wedding receptions and even corporate retreats, but the structural difference of having an entire house to your group instead of a hotel room or series of rooms downtown is a big factor as well. Many vacation cabins in the area are in “resort villages” of their own and there might be a cluster of them all within a cul-de-sac environment, but a majority of them are on properties and land that has plenty of room to stretch out without the need to interact with neighboring guests. Some properties are “efficiently-sized” where there is only really enough land around as needed to get into the driveway and walk to the door with luggage comfortably and other properties have full-sized yards and may even include its own lake or stream for fishing.
The variety is endless and some will really surprise and delight you!
The obvious tradeoffs for a vacation cabin versus a hotel or condo include a higher fee for the higher class accommodation and, more often than not, less convenience as cabins can be as much as half an hour away from the town you’re situated in. If you have issues with steep mountain roads or complex directions heading deep into the green forests around us, a vacation cabin rental in the Smokies is not for you. Some roads even require chains on tires during the Winter season.
Vacation cabins and chalets (which are the same things, by the way, in case there’s any confusion) are an excellent example of “greater cost/greater reward”. They require more out of you than a hotel reservation and stay, and you will get more out of them with the right planning.
We at Mount LeConte Team love the vacation accommodations industry and are happy to encourage visitors to consider them for their upcoming vacation plans!