Saturday, February 28, 2009

Headin' For The Hills + Glenstone Lodge Review

What is the best thing you can do for yourself after finishing the bar exam? Get out of town, at least for a couple of days. I decided to go to Gatlinburg, in the Smoky Mountains, because it is close to Nashville and a perfect weekend getaway.

I invited my friend P up to join me, and we were looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. Dinner at the Bubba Gump Seafood restaurant was good. The wait staff know how to take birthday celebrations a notch above.

Breakfast at the Log Cabin Pancake House was also good. You can never go wrong with pancakes, and like many pancake restaurants, this one offers any variety imaginable. Back to the hotel room to play on the computer and read a novel that has been on my shelf for too long. This afternoon we will go downtown and shop a little and find a nice steakhouse for dinner. Tomorrow we will leave at checkout and see what else we want to do before we meander out of town.

In other words, the perfect getaway after finishing the bar exam is to find a good place to do nothing. Some place that forces you to relax.

On the Glenstone Lodge: I stayed here many years ago and I have to say it is faded from its former glory. The centerpiece of the hotel is its great indoor two-level pool with a waterfall going from the top level to the bottom level. It is certainly wonderful, but like the rest of the hotel needs a facelift. Sitting in the hot tub connected to the pool you can see rust and chipped plaster (or whatever the material is) on the area right above the hot tub.

The lobby and hallways definitely need to be updated. There was a problem with getting hot water too. Twice I had to call the front desk and say there was no hot water to take a shower. The woman answering the phone told me sometimes you have to leave the water running for as long as 20 minutes before you get hot water. "Hmmm? "I said. "The $70 price tag for the room seems a little high for that." "But your room normally goes for as high as $110, and the hotel was built in the '70s," she answered. "Hmmm, even more so," I replied. "And a lot of hotels were built in the '70s, or earlier, and they don't have this problem."

Gatlinburg can charge high rates, especially in the summer, because a ton of people come here and want hotel rooms, so it is a seller's market. But Glenstone should take some of those profits and update the hotel so it is worth the money.


Eric H said...

I remember being a kid when the Glenstone opened. I thought it was really cool, but living in the area it was a little like visiting Opryland Hotel and living in Nashville. 20 minutes for hot water though says a lot. They are obviously milking their past investment.

If you like true crafts I hope you took a moment look for some of the shops of the local craft guild in Gatlinburg. Some of those folks are real professionals, making some really pretty stuff.

Worldwind said...

Absolutely! I always try to stop at the Arrowcraft Store. I bought a beautiful glass necklace. It is always a treat to look at the good crafts there and some other places.