by Katy Koontz
RiverStone Resort & Spa, opened in 2006, offers a little slice of luxury in the Smoky Mountain gateway town of Pigeon Forge. The all-condo resort is tucked away off of the main drag in a peaceful 15-acre setting between the Little Pigeon River and the Gatlinburg Golf Course. Yet, its location is also extremely convenient to all the family-friendly restaurants and attractions Pigeon Forge has long been known for, and the resort is also right down the street from the ever-popular Dollywood amusement park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park. (In fact, the resort offers packages with tickets to Dollywood and Splash Country.) RiverStone is also within an easy drive of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the U.S.
RiverStone has 185 condos, some of which are privately owned, although most are available for rent. Units have anywhere from one to four bedrooms, and each condo has a full kitchen, a gas fireplace, a washer-dryer, and a balcony. The kitchen appliances are all top quality, and the condos are beautifully decorated with elegant furnishings. The resort has a spa that’s great for a little parental pampering, while the kids will love the lazy river (complete with waterfall), the atrium pool (with its retractable roof), the game room and the playground. A walking path perfect for short family strolls runs along the river, where you will encounter resident ducks who are only too happy to be fed by anyone who happens to be toting an extra slice of bread or two.
Our Editor Loves
- Indoor/outdoor pool with lazy river
- Full kitchen and washer/dryer in every unit
- Attractive children's playground and game room
- Horse Back Riding
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
RiverStone offers one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom condo units. One-bedroom units range from 616 to 688 square feet and sleep from four to six. Two-bedroom units range from 1,347 to 1,353 to square feet and sleep from six to eight. Three-bedroom units (1,444 square feet) sleep up to eight, while the four-bedroom units (1,938 square feet) sleep up to 10.
All units have gas fireplaces and balconies, and some of the two-bedroom units in buildings 1, 2, and 3 have screened-in patios accessible from sliding doors in the kitchen. About 60 percent of the units have a golf-course view, with 10 percent offering mountain views and the remaining 30 percent offer a view of the Little Pigeon River.
If you need a crib, RiverStone has a limited supply of Pack-'n-Plays available at no charge. Although the resort does not offer rollaway beds, all the units have queen sleeper sofas in the living rooms. All bed linens and towels are provided. Each condo has a washer and dryer and comes with a starter package of laundry detergent, as well as a starter supply of soap, shampoo, dishwasher detergent, toilet tissue, facial tissue, and trash bags. (Note: Although most units have bathtubs, the one-bedroom units in building 4 have only showers.) Condos also come equipped with hairdryers, irons and ironing boards. Wi-Fi is free in the rooms and throughout the resort, and the widescreen, flat-panel televisions in each unit have extended cable packages.
The kitchens have everything you could possibly need, including dishes, utensils, baking dishes, a teakettle, a colander, measuring cups, a knife set, an eight-piece set of non-stick cookware, a pitcher, a blender, a toaster, kitchen towels and other useful items.
Although everything at the resort is within easy walking distance, the lazy river is most convenient to buildings 3 and 4, while the pool and playground (as well as the spa) are most convenient to building 2.
River Log Cabin
In addition to its condo units, RiverStone also offers the River Log Cabin with a wrap-around porch and a loft complete with a pool table. The cabin has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps up to four people.
Me and my husband got the couples massage from Stacy and Erica, they were both AMAZING!!! Next time we are back in town, I will definitely be going back! This was my husbands first massage and he is already wanting another ???? I would definitely recommend them!
My family went to Riverstone Resort for a girls trip. We all had massages. The spa was clean and relaxing. The staff was friendly. Stacy gave the best massage that I have ever had. She is exceptional!!!
Pool and Lazy River
RiverStone's recreation building houses an indoor pool (maximum depth is 5 feet) with an atrium-style retractable roof and sliding glass doors, making it truly an indoor-outdoor facility. The pool area also includes a baby pool, a hot tub, and an adjacent sun deck that overlooks the river. Pool towels are supplied, so you won't need to bring your own from the room. (The pool and hot tub are open 24 hours a day.) A short walk from the pool is the popular 300-foot lazy river, which includes a waterfall kids can drift under on giant clear plastic inner tubes. The Lazy River is open from May through September, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Downstairs in the recreation building is a game room with a pool table, air hockey, and several video games (including both retro games like Ms. Pac-Man and more modern video games). The game room is open from 9 a.m. to midnight.
An attractive playground sits right next to the recreation building, and a small picnic area with tables and a charcoal grill is by the river.
Although there are no restaurants or snack bars on the property, you'll find more than 20 restaurants within a mile of the resort and free fresh coffee available in the lobby 24 hours a day.
Every condo features a fully equipped kitchen and allows families the option to cook as well. If you plan to cook in the condo, there is a grocery store not far away.
Planning & Tips
All about the Extras
RiverStone's fitness center, in a 2,000-square-foot room overlooking the pool in the recreation building, is filled with Precor cardio equipment, free weights, and Pilates mat equipment. Fitness room hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The resort's DVD rental machine (located in the game room) offers a good selection of movies at a per night fee.
Maid service is not included in the room rate, but you can pay for either a light touch-up (which includes making beds, vacuuming, supplying fresh towels, and taking out trash) or a full-clean (which also includes doing the dishes). Not included in the rental rate is a required one-time departure cleaning fee. The fee ranges in cost based on the number of bedrooms in your unit.
Some of the condos are pet-friendly, although they accept dogs only. You can have up to two dogs (each up to 15 pounds) per condo unit.
The Art of Smart Timing
The busiest month at RiverStone is July, although May is also popular because of Dolly's Homecoming Parade (including themed floats, marching bands, and Dolly Parton as the grand marshal), which goes right through downtown Pigeon Forge. October is also popular because of the fall colors in the Smokies, so plan accordingly.
The time to get the best bargains is winter, with January offering the absolute lowest rates. The good news is that winters here are fairly mild, and the Smoky Mountain Winterfest light displays (in Pigeon Forge as well as neighboring Sevierville and Gatlinburg) make this an inviting time to visit. The region's five million lights go on in November and stay lit through Valentine's Day.
RiverStone is located about 45 minutes from the Knoxville airport (McGhee Tyson). If you drive, you'll probably arrive via I-40. Take exit 407 and head south on TN Route 66 for about 15 miles until you get to Pigeon Forge. Turn left onto Dollywood Lane, and you'll soon see the resort on your right.
The resort doesn't offer airport pick-up, but you can take a cab or rent a car.
For Mom and Dad
RiverStone's full-service spa offers massage therapy, facial and nail treatments, various body treatments (including scrubs and wraps) and beauty treatments. Hours vary by season, but the spa is generally open from morning through late afternoon or early evening and is closed on Sunday. The Princess Manicure and Princess Pedicure are available for children ages 6 to 12.
Play golf at the adjacent Gatlinburg Golf Course, open year-round. Despite its moniker, the golf course is indeed located in Pigeon Forge.