Sidney James Mountain Lodge Review: A Family-Friendly Retreat in Gatlinburg




Sidney James Mountain Lodge Review: A Family-Friendly Retreat in Gatlinburg


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When it comes to finding the perfect hotel in Gatlinburg, Sidney James Mountain Lodge stands out as a top choice for many travelers. Combining value, comfort, and convenience, this hotel offers a family-friendly setting with a range of amenities tailored to suit the needs of every guest.

Location and Quality

Sidney James Mountain Lodge is conveniently located at 610 Historic Nature Trail in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Situated in the heart of Gatlinburg, the hotel is easily accessible and provides a central base for exploring the area’s attractions. To reach the lodge from the Gatlinburg Parkway, head southeast on Historic Nature Trail. The lodge is located on the right-hand side, just a short distance from Trinity Episcopal Church. Its prime location allows guests to immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Gatlinburg while also providing convenient access to nearby landmarks, restaurants, and art galleries.

Sidney James Mountain Lodge

The quality of the hotel is evident from the moment you step into the lobby. The friendly and accommodating staff greets you warmly, making you feel instantly at home. The rooms at Sidney James Lodge are thoughtfully designed, providing a comfortable and cozy environment for guests to relax and unwind. Each room is equipped with modern amenities, including a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, ensuring a pleasant stay for all.

Key Features and Functionality

Sidney James Mountain Lodge boasts a range of key features that enhance the overall guest experience. One notable highlight is the complimentary wifi, allowing guests to stay connected throughout their stay. Whether you need to catch up on work emails or share your vacation photos with friends and family, the reliable wifi ensures you can do so without any hassle.

The hotel’s amenities further contribute to its appeal. The 24-hour front desk provides round-the-clock assistance, ensuring that guests’ needs are promptly addressed at any time of the day. The picnic area and outdoor furniture offer a delightful space for relaxation, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.

For those seeking leisure and recreation, Sidney James Mountain Lodge features a pool where guests can cool off and enjoy a refreshing swim. The on-site restaurant is a convenient option for satisfying your hunger without having to venture far. Additionally, free parking is available for guests arriving by car, eliminating the worry of finding a spot in the busy area.

Comparison with Similar Hotels

When compared to other hotels in Gatlinburg, Sidney James Mountain Lodge truly stands out. Its combination of value, comfort, and convenient amenities sets it apart from the competition. The family-friendly atmosphere and accommodating staff create a welcoming environment that makes guests feel right at home. With its ideal location and thoughtful features, Sidney James Mountain Lodge offers an excellent choice for travelers seeking an enjoyable and stress-free stay.

Pros and Cons

Like any hotel, Sidney James Mountain Lodge has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons:

  • Family-friendly setting with amenities for all ages
  • Complimentary wifi for staying connected
  • Cozy and comfortable rooms with modern amenities
  • 24-hour front desk for round-the-clock assistance
  • On-site restaurant and pool for added convenience
  • Free parking for guests arriving by car
  • Some rooms may require updates and renovations

Genuine User Experiences and Testimonials

Please note these are excerpts from various reviews on TripAdvisor.

The Sidney James is a nice older motel located at the top of Historic Nature Trail Rd. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the main parkway of Gatlinburg. We stayed in the section of the motel across the street from the office. While the property is definitely dated, the inside of our room had been updated somewhat. The furniture was newer, the bed was comfortable, and it was decorated nicely. The sink is located outside of the shower room, which is always nice. The only complaints I have are that it was hard to get the correct water temp during a shower. My shower kept getting cold while my son’s was hot. The second complaint was that the other guests were very loud, and we could hear them pretty late into the night outside. Other than that, I would stay there again.

This hotel could use an update. It is an older hotel and definitely is a bit worn. The staff was nice and friendly. The room was dark and kind of crowded. The bed was comfortable. We felt the price we paid was way overpriced for what the hotel offered. The hotel is up a hill from the downtown area, and while it is fairly close, the walk up is not easy. We did eat in their cafe one night, and the food was good.

Parking seemed limited. There was a main lobby that looked nice, but the elevator lobby we had to use was a glassed front laundromat with 4 washers & dryers, coin-operated. Outdated tile floors, an ice machine that looked old but worked well, and 1 old vending machine 4 snacks/candy only 1/4 stocked, and the elevator. It took 2 days before we found the vending machine that offered drinks, since nowhere did we see any sort of map of the hotel. Our room had a ‘balcony’ that was about 4’x18″, and it overlooked a ‘river’ which was a stream, but the entire rest of the view was a huge, fully equipped, staffed, functioning construction site of some sort. We just kept the plain tan curtains closed. The air conditioner in the room worked ok. The fridge did not work the first 2 days then started cooling, but it did appear to be new and was clean.

These testimonials provide a range of experiences from guests who have stayed at Sidney James Mountain Lodge. While some guests mentioned issues with cleanliness, room conditions, and parking, others appreciated the location, friendly staff, and proximity to attractions. It’s important to consider these varied opinions when making a decision about staying at the lodge.

Tips and Tricks for a Great Stay

To make the most of your stay at Sidney James Mountain Lodge, here are some tips and tricks:

  1. Explore the Surrounding Area: Take advantage of the hotel’s prime location by exploring the nearby attractions and landmarks. Visit Trinity Episcopal Church and Our Savior Lutheran Church to appreciate the local history and architecture.
  2. Dine at Local Steakhouses: When hunger strikes, try out the nearby steakhouses that are popular among both locals and tourists. Cherokee Grill, The Peddler Steakhouse, and Alamo Steakhouse & Saloon offer delicious meals and a memorable dining experience.
  3. Discover Art Galleries: Gatlinburg is known for its vibrant art scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, Fowler’s Clay Works, and Paul Murray Gallery. Immerse yourself in the local art and find unique pieces to bring back as souvenirs.
  4. Make use of the Pool and Picnic Area: Take a refreshing dip in the hotel’s pool and soak up the sun in the outdoor picnic area. It’s the perfect way to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
  5. Stay Connected with Free Wifi: Sidney James Mountain Lodge offers complimentary wifi to all guests. Take advantage of this amenity to stay connected with friends and family, plan your daily activities, or simply browse the web.

Some Nearby Restaurants

Certainly! Here is a list of restaurants near Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg:

Cherokee Grill

  • Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
  • Description: Cherokee Grill offers a diverse menu featuring hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and gourmet burgers. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with a rustic mountain lodge vibe, perfect for a delicious and satisfying meal.

The Peddler Steakhouse

  • Cuisine: Steakhouse
  • Description: The Peddler Steakhouse is renowned for its top-quality steaks, grilled to perfection. The restaurant’s unique concept allows guests to select their own cut of meat, which is then cooked to their preferred level of doneness. Enjoy a memorable dining experience while savoring tender and flavorful steaks.

Alamo Steakhouse & Saloon

  • Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
  • Description: Alamo Steakhouse & Saloon offers a Western-themed dining experience with a wide selection of mouthwatering steaks, ribs, and Southern favorites. The restaurant prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients to create dishes bursting with flavor.

The Peddler Pancake House

  • Cuisine: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Description: If you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or brunch, The Peddler Pancake House is a great choice. They offer a variety of delicious pancakes, waffles, omelets, and other breakfast classics. It’s the perfect spot to start your day off right.

Calhoun’s Gatlinburg

  • Cuisine: Barbecue, American
  • Description: Calhoun’s Gatlinburg is a popular barbecue restaurant that specializes in slow-smoked meats and Southern comfort food. From tender ribs to pulled pork sandwiches, their menu showcases the flavors of traditional Tennessee barbecue.

The Melting Pot

  • Cuisine: Fondue
  • Description: The Melting Pot offers a unique dining experience centered around fondue. Choose from a variety of cheeses, meats, and chocolates for a fun and interactive meal. It’s a great option for special occasions or a memorable night out.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Description: Inspired by the famous movie Forrest Gump, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. serves up delicious seafood dishes in a lively and casual atmosphere. Indulge in their signature shrimp dishes and enjoy the playful movie-themed decor.

Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

  • Cuisine: Pizza
  • Description: Big Daddy’s Pizzeria is a local favorite for pizza lovers. They offer a variety of specialty pizzas with fresh ingredients and a range of toppings. Whether you prefer classic flavors or more adventurous combinations, Big Daddy’s has something for everyone.

These restaurants near Sidney James Mountain Lodge offer a diverse range of culinary experiences, ensuring that guests have plenty of dining options to suit their preferences.

Book Your Stay At The Sidney James

Nearby Attractions

Here is a list of attractions near Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg:

Great Smoky Mountains Nationals Park

  • Description: Located just a short distance from Sidney James Mountain Lodge, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder. Explore the numerous hiking trails, take in stunning panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the lush forests and majestic mountains.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

  • Description: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a popular attraction for visitors of all ages. Discover a fascinating underwater world with a variety of marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and colorful fish. Enjoy interactive exhibits, dive shows, and the opportunity to touch stingrays.

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

  • Description: Gatlinburg SkyLift Park offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the town of Gatlinburg. Ride the iconic yellow SkyLift to the top, where you can walk across the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, and enjoy breathtaking views.

Ober Gatlinburg

  • Description: Ober Gatlinburg is a mountain resort that offers a range of activities throughout the year. During the winter, enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. In the summer, take a scenic chairlift ride, go ice skating, or experience the thrilling Alpine Slide.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

  • Description: The Gatlinburg Space Needle is an iconic observation tower that provides stunning panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg. Take a glass elevator to the observation deck and enjoy breathtaking vistas from 407 feet above the ground.

Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community

  • Description: The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is an eight-mile loop featuring a diverse collection of galleries, studios, and shops showcasing the works of local artisans. Explore handmade crafts, pottery, paintings, and unique souvenirs created by talented artists.

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

  • Description: Experience the thrill of the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, an exciting alpine coaster that twists and turns through the scenic landscape. Control your own speed as you race down the mountain, enjoying the adrenaline rush and beautiful views.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

  • Description: The Gatlinburg Space Needle is an iconic observation tower that provides stunning panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg. Take a glass elevator to the observation deck and enjoy breathtaking vistas from 407 feet above the ground.

These attractions near Sidney James Mountain Lodge offer a wide range of experiences, from immersing yourself in nature at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to enjoying thrilling rides and stunning views at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and Gatlinburg Space Needle. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or family-friendly entertainment, there’s something for everyone near the hotel.

Nearby Stores

Here is a list of stores for shopping near Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg:

The Village Shops

  • Description: The Village Shops is a charming complex featuring a variety of specialty stores and boutiques. Browse through unique shops offering handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, home decor, and souvenirs. The picturesque setting adds to the shopping experience.

Mountain Mall

  • Description: Mountain Mall is a multi-level shopping destination offering a wide selection of shops and boutiques. Explore stores specializing in apparel, accessories, artwork, collectibles, and more. The mall also houses several food vendors and sweet shops.

The Gatlinburg Strip

  • Description: The Gatlinburg Strip is a vibrant area lined with a mix of souvenir shops, boutiques, and specialty stores. Browse through a variety of merchandise, including t-shirts, hats, local crafts, artwork, candies, and unique gifts. You’ll find something for everyone here.

The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

  • Description: Located near Sidney James Mountain Lodge, The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is a unique shopping experience. Browse through an extensive collection of salt and pepper shakers from around the world and find one-of-a-kind pieces to add to your collection or as a quirky souvenir.

The Old Mill Square

  • Description: The Old Mill Square is a historic complex that offers shopping, dining, and a glimpse into the area’s past. Explore specialty shops offering handmade pottery, quilts, kitchenware, jams, jellies, and more. The rustic charm of the area adds to the overall experience.

The Pepper Palace

  • Description: The Pepper Palace is a store dedicated to all things spicy. Browse through a wide variety of hot sauces, salsas, seasonings, and pepper-themed merchandise. If you’re a fan of spicy flavors, this is the place to find unique and fiery products.

Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

  • Description: Indulge your sweet tooth at Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, a shop known for its delicious handmade candies. Watch as candies are made right before your eyes and choose from a selection of fudges, chocolates, caramel apples, and other tempting treats.

Mountain Mist Pottery

  • Description: Mountain Mist Pottery is a pottery studio and store offering beautifully crafted handmade ceramics. Explore a collection of unique pottery pieces, including bowls, mugs, vases, and decorative items, all made by local artisans.

These stores near Sidney James Mountain Lodge provide a diverse range of shopping options, from unique gifts and souvenirs to locally made crafts and artisanal products. Take some time to explore these shopping destinations and find treasures to remind you of your visit to Gatlinburg.


Is breakfast included in the room rate?

No, breakfast is not included in the room rate. However, the on-site restaurant offers a variety of breakfast options for an additional cost.

Can I request a specific room type or location?

Yes, you can make requests for specific room types or locations. While the hotel will do its best to accommodate your preferences, please note that it is subject to availability.

Is there a fitness center at the hotel?

Unfortunately, Sidney James Mountain Lodge does not have a fitness center. However, there are several outdoor activities and hiking trails in the area for those looking to stay active.

Is the hotel pet-friendly?

Yes, Sidney James Mountain Lodge is pet-friendly. Please check with the hotel regarding their pet policy and any additional fees that may apply.


In conclusion, Sidney James Mountain Lodge is a fantastic choice for travelers visiting Gatlinburg. With its family-friendly atmosphere, comfortable rooms, and convenient amenities, it provides an enjoyable and memorable stay. The hotel’s ideal location near landmarks, steakhouses, and art galleries adds to its appeal. While some rooms may require updates, the overall experience is positive, as reflected in genuine user reviews. Whether you’re exploring the area’s attractions or simply relaxing by the pool, Sidney James Mountain Lodge offers a delightful retreat for a wide range of travelers.


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