Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort
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TravelPod Member ReviewsWestgate Smoky Mountain Resort Gatlinburg
I have reviewed over 60 hotels all over the world and I have NEVER given a hotel anything less than a 3 (I am REALLY good at picking hotels and also I try to always find a redeeming quality in any hotel I select) But this one I should have went with my instincts on and don't even feel I want to consider its redeeming qualities in giving it a rating. On the surface this resort seems lovely at a glance. Our room is in the 3000s and on top of the hill and has a great view. It has a fireplace and tiled floors and a nice tiled shower. It has a comfortable large bed and a full kitchen, nice ceiling fans. The resort itself is located a few minutes from town but up on a mountain so the location is nice. So you might wonder why I would rate it so low...well let me start by saying this is NOT a review of the staff but a review of what is wrong with the room. The ice maker didn't work which was possibly due to a low setting on the freezer which we couldn't locate upon our search (they eventually switched out the refrigerator for another one), the internet is spotty at best and goes in and out and I was unable to access it at all for a day and a half until I complained and had them check the router, even still it goes in and out. Although I am quite aware I am in the mountains I am also aware that the system they have for the routers is not the wisest or most efficient. I would have easily overlooked these things but the bigger issue I had was with the washer/dryer. We booked this room specifically for the washer and dryer and had quite a bit of laundry to do. I had never seen a combo before (as in the drum both washes and supposedly dries) but we gave it the old college try. It did not in fact DRY anything. I will spare you the details but over the course of 3 days we called probably 20 times to complain and each time the poor maintenance guy would come up and give us tips on how to get it to "kind of" work. Even after the latest tip...to put it through the spin cycle twice and then dry it for 3 HOURS it should be MOSTLY dry. We tried that and left for the day and came back to find our wash still locked inside. And when we finally got it out it was not dry. I laid it out overnight and it was STILL not dry. It literally took me an entire DAY to do 1 load of wash (and it's a SMALL drum to begin with so maybe 7 items) and now I have underwear hanging from the ceiling fan. Finally after completely flipping my lid they replaced the washer/dryer combo with the same (still waiting to test this one out). I know this doesn't seem like a big deal but I have literally spent every second of the time I have had in my room either on the phone with maintenance or waiting for someone to show up over SOMETHING. It has been a general sense of annoyance every second and some of the staff seems completely unconcerned or willing to help. I also want to be clear that this is NOT the fault of the staff. There are some VERY kind people who work here...Mike, David, Henning, Jim, Carol (I think her name is...) just to name a few...and they have tried to do what they can within the bounds they have to operate in to make us happy. In fact I would say they have themselves gone above and beyond to try to fix things as best they can but it is clear they do not have the back up they need from the resort itself to actually make things right. It's sadly like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and I feel terrible for them. So I am in no way faulting them and in fact I would like to say that it is sad and tragic that a company with such gross displays of their own wealth would treat their employees with such disrespect. Working for a large company myself I can see the suffering they are all going through trying to make the guests happy but having little chance of that with what they are left with. This leads me to the general construction of the room itself. You can tell that ZERO care was taken in the building and upkeep of this hotel. Door frames are crooked so badly so that I can see the light under the connecting door to the other unit and a small rat could fit underneath the door through the gap. I can also hear everything my neighbors are saying as the walls are paper thin and the giant gap under the door doesn't help), the couches are covered in a child's marker scribble, the "granite" back splash is stuck on crooked and ill matched. The closet door is the cheapest I have ever seen (mirrored metal doors) and the track is so thin that the door pops out and won't open right and again is crooked. Light fixtures are crooked (installed) and even in the woodwork you can see they made no effort in design to accommodate for entry ways size etc as some are simply cut off half way and crooked on top of that. The washer/dryer combo was an obvious after thought because it does not fit well under the sink and sticks out making you have to wedge yourself in between that and the giant makeup mirror that is hanging from the wall to get to the sink. Oh and by the way do not touch that mirror. It is Nasty! There appear to be stuck on whatever all over it. It's not even usable as a mirror. They say the washer/dryer combo is what they use on boats...well I am not on a boat. They also say its supposed to be energy efficient yet I don't see how since 1 load took me all day and between the wash/extra spin and 3 hour dry cycles was easily running non stop for 5 hours at least. It sounds like it was a cost saving effort from the resort and they don't care how terrible they are or how many complaints maintenance has on them they will just keep putting them in. I am also aware there are still units with electric separate dryers so not sure why they didn't just move me to one of those but whatever. The shower was a good idea and probably great new but the rainshower head is so high up that now it has lime scale all over it and you can't clean it so the water sprays everywhere and its freezing cold so I am not sure how to turn it on and get out fast enough to let it heat up?? Then there is the odd design of the shower where the "bench" is right behind the water spray so no matter how you angle the shower head you can't really functionally use it (say for shaving). Everywhere you look it is obvious they have cheaped out and taken the sloppy and fast approach. It speaks volumes to me about this company and where the person in charge has squarely laid his priorities. With himself and his own financial gain with no care or concern for his guests/owners or the even and especially the people who work for him!! It makes me sick to see how the kind hearted employees are being treated and I wonder how many complaints like mine they have to endure on a daily basis because the management has no common sense or ability to listen to the people in the trenches. I find it ironic that upon check in I was told that they wanted my opinion on the hotel and wanted to set up a time for a tour and to hear what I thought of the place. They say that this resort is a 5 star and they are trying to get one more (is that even possible???) and frankly the "star system" they are referring to is based on availability of amenities to which I would say this qualifies for possibly a 3 on that scale but anything above a 3 is merely quality of said amenities and the quality of amenities here is downright CRAP. Well they have gotten about 20 calls from me so far about what I think of the place. (and yes I am quite aware this was simply a ploy to get me to sit through a time share presentation) There were also employees who disappointed me here. like when I had to ask for ice 3 times and even drove down to the front desk thinking maybe they would just GIVE me some ice but NOPE. I finally got some but what a hassle. It seems that some people just put in tickets in this giant boondoggle and have no thought on how to make the people happy. I was even transferred at one point to "the front desk" to tell them what was going on and got a voice mail and left one and no one has called back or attempted to deal with us in that regard. I would also like to say the parking situation is next to awful up here. And there is construction so you can't drive right to the building but have to drive all the way around. I think our room is possibly the farthest and most inconvenient on all of property right now (with the construction). The exterior night lighting down below on the cabins seems softer and warm and rustic yet up here on the hill the lighting is like that of an airport! Which is great if you want to watch the bats flying around at night. I'm in unit 31083 in case you were wondering. Although I suppose there are units above me that are even more inconvenient. At least I am 1st level. The Pool situation is also not what I hoped for. There are 2 pools way on the other side of property and it is such a large complex that you either would have to drive there (and risk not finding parking) or take the resort shuttle which you have to wait for. AND the pools do not even look impressive at all from what I have seen. I have not inconvenienced myself to use them so I can't comment on cleanliness etc. But good damn luck getting to them from up here. Much of this stuff I could overlook but everything together leaves a bad taste in my mouth so much so that as I sit here now in this room writing this I am wasting my vacation but I feel its important to let people know what they are getting into. Particularly if they are considering BUYING into Westgate.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort Gatlinburg
Had a great time
I just returned from a trip to this resort and I had a very good experience. I read the reviews posted on this web site prior to going and I was really worried! I had no need to be, it was really nice.
Everyone was very polite and friendly, the rooms were top-notch. The kitchen and bathrooms were fully stocked and everything was clean and new. The location is perfect, it is between the high-class Gatlinburg village area and the more comercial Pigeon Forge area. We went to Dollywood, took a tram ride, shopped, went to the national park, ate at the Dixie Stampede and many more fun things. I took my Mom with me and I was very proud of the accomodations. Now I do want to mention a few things about timeshare ownership in general. It is true that they do push a product on you. They did want to meet with me to sell me more time. I suppose one could feel annoyed or pressured by that, I simply said "I absolutely do not want to meet with anyone again, I am on vacation." and that was that. Don't be pushed around! Also I must say that timeshares that don't lock you into a specific week, such as Westgate Smokey, do have pros and cons. Theoretically you can go whenever you want, but you must plan in advance. You can't just say "I want to go to my timeshare next month". You have to plan far in advance, if you don't you will be one of the people who cry about room availability. I have found Westgate to be okay with customer service, but you can't fly by the seat of your pants. Plan in advance and enjoy!
They nothing but money hungry
Sell...sell...sell...That's all they seem to care about. They show you a 2 bedroom unit and you get a 1 bedroom. Make sure you read all the fine print and find out about any hidden or upgrade costs. There customer service really s__ks. Can't get any dates that fit your schedule, if you can even find any dates( over sell...sell...sell ). I would never buy anything from them again. Rather stay in a hotel. It's a better deal. If they keep this practice up, the only visitors that will be staying there will be there own employees looking at each other wandering what happened. Stand by a corner, hold a bucket out. I'll donated a penny to it as long a I found it on the ground. LETS GET THIS ACT GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!!!!!
We loved our 4 day stay at Westgate Resort in Gatlinburg. We have a family of 5 and everyone just loved it. It is a beautiful place to stay!! Our representative is Spring Maples and she is great! If you are thinking of going and you want a great rep, ask for her! We bought into the timeshare and we are so happy, we just can't wait to get back to Westgate!! I highly recommend this resort to anyone! You'll love the outdoor pools and the on site stables too! Can't wait until all of the renovactions are done, this is going to be a fantastic place to look forward to visiting every year!!
Intruded While Sleeping & Invaded Privacy
Can you believe it???I was sleeping, my barely 17 year old daughter was asleep on the couch in our 'jammas' ... and a member of the maintenance crew walked in our unit unannounced by using his pass-key. 'He needed to flush our toilet.' There were no problems with it. There had not been problems with it. Yes, my 17 year-old daughter woke me-up, shocked!I shared the information with the sales rep, Richard; responsible for the building we were in--I discussed the SEVERE security issue. I declined filing a formal complaint; UNTIL...2 days later...WE left the unit at 1 PM on Saturday and returned before 6 pm...there had been another person who had entered our room. He had left a note stating he had changed the air conditioner filter. IF he had checked with the guest relations...we were checking out at 7 AM Sunday. They were going to have to maintain the room anyway.I take serious issues with any resort which permits routine maintainance when a unit is occupied! MOST especially when they walk in unannounced while people are sleeping! Intruded & Invaded
DO NOT buy in to this timeshare. It is nothing but a rip off. We have owned since June 2000 and have only been able to use it 2 nights. Every time we try to schedule, we are told there is nothing available (no matter how far in advance we try). They always say it's the "peak season" (I live only 90 miles away and I know the entire year is not the "peak season". The maintenance fees keep going up each year. We could use that money to book a hotel for a week in Gatlinburg. My advice to you is stay away from this resort. You won't be happy!
sounds like we all have alot in common,we bought 1 year ago and sadly we do have reseverations and when we decided to do an exchange it was gonna cost us 116.00 and they wouldnt exchange at the westgate resort we wanted to go due to some being restricted .?????imagine that lets see for last year i spent 3200.00 i got online to find out where we wanted to go they were running a promotion and we got it for 298.00...anybody could do that !! any also after the exchange fee because we wonted to upgrade to a 2 bedroom an extra 80.00 a night so actually the exact cost was 676.00 for the week im sorry but i really dont see any benefit here also i'd like to add the fact that this took me 2 days to find out? does anyone out there know what we can do since this is highway robbery?
I bought my timeshare while in Florida in April of 2001, and all I have had is grief. They get the money and I get nothing. I have been trying to make reservations for Gatlinburg for over a year and can never get one because they are always booked up. A man I talked to to make a reservations aid people who stay there make reservations to come back because they no if they dont they cant get a reservation. This whole Westgate resort thingis a total rip-off they get the money and we get nothing. Cheated and ripped off
I just returned home from a five day stay at the resort and it was great. They are very helpful with any questions and have excellent views. Near all attractions in the surrounding communities. If you go, you must visit the Smoky Mtn. Nat'l. Park. An overall wonderful experience.
What a rip off
Do NOT buy from these people - whenever you call for a reservation they NEVER have anything open no matter what you ask - that week is full. I paid for a two bedroom in the red zone and have yet to be able to get a reservation - I am contacting a lawyer as this is a load of you know what - these people are just taking money but not offerring services or
what you paid for - we were robbed.
What I really think of Westgate Resorts
I'm writing in regards about Westgate Resorts. I am a timeshare owner at this resort and have owned it for over a year. I have never had nothing but hassles and aggravations from this place. They real you in get your money then your on your own to figure out the rest from there. They say your suppose to get all these discounts to things and places and discounted hotels if they have nothing available. Well, they never have nothing available for you and there discounts are a joke, because I can get the same rates by calling over the phone. I know I've checked before. When trying to make getaway reservations nobody speaks good English (at all). I spent a whole day on the phone once trying to get my reservation straightened out because they didn't know how to spell my last name. It has been unbelievable the problems I've had with this company. Timeshares aren't what they are brought out to be !!!
TripAdvisor Reviews Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort Gatlinburg
Travel Blogs from Gatlinburg
We spent new years eve at Ober Gatlinburg, We rode the tram up. Unfortunately it was very crowded and took us 2 1/2 hours in line to get on the tram. Was pretty ride up to the top of the mountain. But once there they were making snow, and the mountain tops had snow from the night before still on the trees. We ate at the buffet in the restaurant that was excellent, Lot of food ...
... The park was awesome! On the third day we went horse back riding and zip lining. The kids LOVED the horse back riding, however Vera did NOT love the zip lining! :o)
On our final day we went to Ober Gatlinburg where the kids got to go snow tubing. There was plenty of man made snow to make this a cold and wet, but exhilarating outing. Immediately following the snow tubing we got back into the car and made our ...
... find yourself in Dollywood, trust me, get 2 loaves. Our next day was spent in Gatlinburg, where most of the Smoky Mountains craftsman have their shops. There is an art loop, which will probably take about 1-2 hours, depending on how many stops you make. This offers your usual pottery, textiles, paintings etc. There is a broom maker as well, but unfortunately closed on Sundays, so we missed them. We headed to Gatlinburg center, which ...
We met a couple here at the campground that we spent a good bit of time with. Randy and Frieda own a rental cabin wayyy up on top of a mountain called "kindred spirit". They repaired and remodeled this cabin including putting in a seperate heated indoor pool, hot Tub etc. This place has everything!! The view ...
... recommend this campground if coming to see Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
The camp ground is in wears valley with mountains pretty much surrounding the valley. It's secluded enough to relax but only 10 minutes from Pigeon Forge and about 20 minutes to Gatlinburg. Less than 30 minutes to Cades Cove.
We will stay here again if we come up this way.