Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Review

We always recommend downtown Gatlinburg or a cabin to families heading to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. If you’re staying downtown, Margaritaville Resort in Gatlinburg is the best location.

What about the rest of the resort? Is this tropical-inspired resort in the Smoky Mountains worth it? Read our review from our last of several stays in this resort.

Key Takeaways

  • Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is one of our most recommended resorts on our blogs, Facebook pages, and to friends and family.
  • Traffic can make driving in Gatlinburg a mess: This resort, next to downtown Gatlinburg attractions like the Aquarium and Anakeesta, makes walking the town much more accessible.
  • The resort is much newer than most Gatlinburg hotels. Rooms are clean and have comfy beds and modern amenities; some offer river or downtown views.
  • Eat at the on-site restaurant (just outside the hotel), or sip drinks at the License to Chill Bar.
  • There’s an indoor pool, an outdoor pool with a water slide and fire pit area, plus a fitness center.
  • Read more about Gatlinburg in our Gatlinburg vacation guide.

Overview of Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg View Of Front Of Hotel

The Margaritaville brand has been growing everywhere, including the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. Is no exception. With two properties in Pigeon Forge, a luxury campground, and this resort, there’s no shortage of beach-inspired resorts in this hilly area.

Margaritaville Gatlinburg was built in 2019, and the hotel has done an excellent job of keeping the place looking new. Compared to most of the other hotels & motels on the main strip, this property offers more of a complete resort experience. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool, a fitness center, and several restaurants.

Gatlinburg vs Pigeon Forge

Just up the road in Pigeon Forge area there’s both the Margaritaville Island Hotel, which is very nice, and the Margaritaville Island Inn, which is more of a regular hotel that’s been turned into the Margaritaville brand.

You can also stay at the The Lodge at Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, a hotel and campground combination. It’s got a great pool and is one of the nicest campgrounds around.

But enough about Pigeon Forge; we’re here to review the Gatlinburg Margaritaville, which we consider the best of all four properties in the area!


Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg View From Balcony

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is located in one of the busiest parts of town, and traffic slows to a crawl on busy weekends going past the resort on the Parkway. There’s no traffic light at the entrance either, so it’s easier to get into if you’re coming from the north, the Pigeon Forge area.

This is why being able to leave your car at a centrally located area is nice, and just walking the town. You’ll usually move faster than the car traffic.

The resort is just steps away from downtown Gatlinburg. You can walk to places like the Aquarium and Anakeesta just across the street. The picture below was taken from our room balcony, with the base of Anakeesta across the street.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Anakeesta View From Balcony

Booking and Check-In


Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Sign Above Check In

We recommend booking any Gatlinburg hotel pretty far in advance, especially if you’re travelling in the peak months or on a holiday/weekend. If booking last minute it’s not unexpected to see prices of over $300 a night for downtown Gatlinburg hotels, even for the simple motel-style Hampton Inn down the street!

We’ve also tried to stay at the Margaritaville Gatlinburg last minute on a holiday weekend before and found no availability (apart from a $900 two-bedroom suite).

On the other hand, if you’re staying on a weekday in January, we’ve found rooms for $129 a night on Expedia.


Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg View From Front Of Hotel

Margaritaville, while still on the main parkway, feels isolated crowds just outside the parking lot. Its front entrance is nicely landscaped, especially in the spring through fall. It has an island mixed wita h mountain retreat feel.

As parking is at a premium in Gatlinburg, you’ll get a parking tag for either self-parking or valet parking at check-in. Self parking is so close that we don’t feel valet is needed, it’s right next to the hotel.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Lobby

The entire staff has been friendly of our visits, from the valet offering luggage assistance to the check-in counter.

We’ve been offered the Margarita Package at check-in before, which at $99 plus tax gives you a Margaritaville blender to borrow, 1 pint of Patron Tequila, Margaritaville Mix, lime, salt & a paring knife a & shot glass to take home. We personally didn’t find it worth $99.

The lobby looks new and bright, with the beach and island theme including rope swing chairs hanging from the ceiling and plenty of seating.

One of the most unique things about Margaritaville is the live parrots in the lobby. During the day, they’re on display, and at night, they’re taken somewhere else to sleep.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Parrots

Guest Rooms

Room View At Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

The rooms at Margaritaville have vibrant decor, with more decor and colors inspired by Jimmy Buffet.

Between 400 and 500 sq ft, the regular rooms are a good size and are offered in 2 queen and one king sizes.

There are also larger suites, including two bedroom suites

Beds In Room Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Ours had a front-facing balcony overlooking the Parkway and Anakeesta. Some pictures above, looking towards the parkway, were from the balcony.

There’s also a big minibar with a sink (in case you rented the Margarita machine), a coffee machine, and a fridge.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Mini Bar In Room

The bathroom is also large, bright, and clean.

Dining Options

License to Chill Bar

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg License To Chill Bar

The License to Chill Bar is located just inside from the outdoor pool area, and offers drinks and food like hamburgers and appetizers.

You can order indoors or from service at the pool chairs. We found it took a long time to get food from the pool area, since there were only two servers for a lot of people in the pool area. We ended up going inside to order, most of the time.

LandShark Bar & Grill

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Landshark Bar And Grill

LandShark is located just in front of the resort, along the main road (The Parkway).

This restaurant gets busy, along with the nearby restaurants like Ole Red (one of our favorites for the music). Wait times can be very long on busy weekend nights, so we typically try to eat earlier.

While we’ve ate at LandShark several times, it’s not one of our favorite restaurants. We just didn’t find the food to be that good.

Daiquiri Shack and Grill

This is located just above the Landshark restaurant, you can’t miss it as you walk out to the road. Family friendly bar that serves items like burgers and wings. We haven’t tried this restaurant but will on our next stay.

Joe Merchants Coffee and Provisions

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Joe Merchants

Joe Merchants is right by the front entrance, and serves items like breakfast sandwhiches and coffee.

Pools and activities

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Outdoor Pool

The inviting outdoor pool area is our kid’s favorite part of the Margaritaville Resort. The pool area is big, with plenty of seating. There’s chaise lounges and chairs and tables for eating, with food and drink service provided.

The pool area has a giant slide, which was constantly being used. Since it does get cold during the winter in Gatlinburg, the outdoor pool is usually open from sometime in April until the end of October.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Pool Outdoor

There’s also a smaller kids splash area, that we didn’t get a picture of for this article.

A fire pit and table area is located just outside the License to Chill restaurant.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Fire Pit

The outdoors is a great place to enjoy the warm summer Tennessee weather.

There are a few areas around the resort with chairs to relax outside, too, like this area between the parking lot and the river.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Chairs By Creek

There’s also an indoor pool if you’re visiting in the winter.

During the summer, this doesn’t get much use, as the outdoor pool area is so good.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Indoor Pool


Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is our favorite resort in Gatlinburg. The resort’s prime location is one of the best, and it has a beach getaway feel while still being in a mountain town.

It can be expensive to book on peak summer dates (along with other Gatlinburg hotels), but it offers some great deals off-season or by booking early.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Front View

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