Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Review

We always recommend downtown Gatlinburg (or a cabin) to families heading to the Smoky Mountains for the first time.

If you’re staying downtown and looking for a newer hotel, Margaritaville Resort in Gatlinburg is in one of the best locations.

Here’s our review from our last of several stays in this resort.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg. Photo by Ashley @

Key Takeaways

  • Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is one of the resorts we recommend most 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, have comfy beds, and have 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.

Overview of Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg lobby
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Lobby. Photo by Ashley @

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 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 the Pigeon Forge area, there’s the Margaritaville Island Hotel, which is very nice, and the Margaritaville Island Inn, which is more of a regular hotel turned into the Margaritaville brand.

You can also stay at The Lodge at Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, a hotel and campground combination. It has 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 View from Balcony. Photo by Ashley @

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 also no traffic light at the entrance, 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, which are just across the street. The picture below was taken from our room balcony, with the base of Anakeesta across the street.

margaritaville resort view of gatlinburg
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg View of Gatlinburg. Photo by Ashley @

Booking and Check-In


We recommend booking any Gatlinburg hotel well in advance, especially if you’re travelling during the peak months or on a holiday or weekend.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg lobby
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Lobby . Photo by Ashley @

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 on Expedia for $129 a night.


Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Looking Out Front
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg View from Front Door. Photo by Ashley @

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

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

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg lobby
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Lobby. Photo by Ashley @

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 didn’t find it worth $99.

The lobby looks new and bright. It has a 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
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Real Parrots. Photo by Ashley @

Guest Rooms

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg guest room
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Guest Room. Photo by Ashley @

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

The regular rooms are good sizes, between 400 and 500 sq ft, and are offered in two queen and one king sizes.

There are also larger suites, including two-bedroom suites

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg guest room bed and nightstand
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Guest Room . Photo by Ashley @

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 guest room mini bar
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Guest Room Minibar. Photo by Ashley @

The bathroom is also large, bright, and clean.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg bathroom. Photo by Ashley @
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Bathroom. Photo by Ashley @

Dining Options

License to Chill Bar

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg  license to chill par
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg License to Chill Bar. Photo by Ashley @

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

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg bar inside hotel
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg License to Chill Bar =. Photo by Ashley @

You can order indoors or from the service at the pool chairs.

On some of our visits, it’s been pretty busy, with only one or two servers outside, so it was much quicker to order inside.

LandShark Bar & Grill

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg landshark bar and grill
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Landshark Bar & Grill. Photo by Ashley @

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

This restaurant gets busy, along with the nearby restaurants like Ole Red. Wait times can be very long on busy weekend nights, so we typically try to eat earlier.

While we ate at Landshark once, and the food and service were fine, it wasn’t somewhere we thought, “We need to come back here!”

Daiquiri Shack and Grill

This is located just above the Landshark restaurant; you can’t miss it as you walk out to the road.

It’s a family-friendly bar that serves items like burgers and wings. We haven’t tried this restaurant yet, but we will on our next stay.

Joe Merchants Coffee and Provisions

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg coffee shop
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Coffee Shop. Photo by Ashley @

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

Pools and activities

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Pool with slide
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Pool. Photo by Ashley @

The inviting outdoor pool area is our kids’ favorite part of Margaritaville Resort.

The pool area is big, with plenty of seating. There are chaise lounges, chairs, and tables for eating, and food and drink service is provided.

The pool area has a giant slide, which our kids constantly 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.
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Pool. Photo by Ashley @

There’s also a smaller kids’ splash area around the other side of the slide.

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg indoor Pool.\
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Indoor Pool. Photo by Ashley @

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

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

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

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Pool fire pit
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Pool Firepit Area. Photo by Ashley @

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 the river
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg Chairs by River. Photo by Ashley @


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.

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