You may have heard that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Well, I found that “somewhere”. At this place it is 5 o’clock all the time and during a recent weekend getaway to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, I got to experience everything that 5 o’clock (or as I call it, the “turn up hour”) has to offer at the new Margaritaville Island Hotel.
That’s right, there is an entire hotel devoted to the fun and popular restaurant and bar known as Margaritaville. You’ve probably seen the restaurant in many destinations across the U.S. and all over the Caribbean. I’ve been to many of them, everywhere from Sydney, Australia to Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, and it’s always a good time so I was extremely excited to stay at the hotel.
The Margaritaville Island Hotel is located on The Island, Pigeon Forge’s newest hot spot where there are all kinds of shops, attractions, and restaurants. There is literally something for everyone at The Island and you could spend hours just taking in the sights. Since the hotel is located right in the middle of the action, everything is virtually at your doorstep.
The hotel offers valet parking services and it is just $12 per day. This is not a bad price at all compared to many other hotels and resorts, and trust me – it’s worth it! The valet was not only extremely convenient since it’s at the main entrance, but they also helped unload our luggage. I had quite a lot of equipment with me (a shower chair, a hoyer lift, suitcases, etc) and they had no problem with unloading it all. The valet guys were always friendly and greeted us with a smile.
After unloading, we went inside the hotel and I was stunned. The lobby area is very chic and has couches, TVs, and even a real parrot that is fun to watch. I knew that I was in the Great Smoky Mountains, but immediately felt like I had been transported to paradise. That is what makes the Margaritaville Island Hotel completely unlike anywhere else in the Pigeon Forge area.
The Changes in Latitude Bar is also connected to the lobby so you can start enjoying the first of your many margaritas upon check-in. This bar also serves tasty food and has an outdoor seating area where you can see Little Pigeon River while having a drink. Another awesome thing to do is order a s’mores kit from this bar. The s’mores kit comes with marshmallows, graham crackers, and a Hershey’s chocolate bar. There are a couple fire pits just outside the bar in front of the hotel, making this the perfect place to make your s’mores. I of course had to take part in the s’mores experience as my craving got the best of me. While stringing marshmallow from ear to ear the sights around me of people shopping and laughing with their families around The Island made this experience one of my favorites.
The Margaritaville Coffee Shop is directly connected to the lobby as well. I had an iced mocha latte and an egg & cheese English muffin. This started each morning off right and it was cheaper and more convenient to eat here than to wait in line at one of the many pancake houses that line the parkway of Pigeon Forge.
During our stay, we were in room V218 and this was an Accessible Village One Bedroom Suite. The suite had a living room with a 40″ flat screen TV, a stacked stone fireplace and a kitchen area with a refrigerator, microwave, Keurig coffee maker, air conditioning, and a Margaritaville Concoction Maker (you supply the liquor and mix). The interior decor in my suite provided a beach-like vibe and again, I felt like I had been transported to paradise.
The bedroom included a king sized bed and flat screen television as well. A balcony connected to the bedroom and I loved sitting there and watching everyone walk around The Island down below. We could also see the giant ferris wheel known as the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel from our balcony. Since this was a ‘village room’ we could not see the fountains of The Island, but we could see the shops and it was still a great view. The hotel offers river view rooms and fountain view rooms also though, in case you prefer one of those. The balcony was fully accessible and there was not even a bump to get out on it. It was very smooth and easy to roll out onto. The legs of my hoyer lift would not fit under the bed because there is no clearance under the bed as the frame sits directly on the floor. But making this room accessible, there was a pull-out sofa bed in the living area that worked perfectly. If you’ll be bringing a hoyer lift then be sure to tell the hotel that you need a room with a pull-out sofa bed when making your reservations. At first I was worried that the pull-out wouldn’t be comfortable, but it really was. Definitely the most comfy sofa bed that I’ve ever slept on!
The bathroom connects to both the bedroom and the living area so you can enter it from either room. This worked out fantastic in the mornings because I was able to get in my shower chair and roll into the bathroom without interfering with the other people that were traveling with me. They just simply stayed in the bedroom and I entered the bathroom from the living area where my sofa bed was. At other hotels I’ve stayed at in the past, this hasn’t been the case so getting from the bed to the hoyer lift to the shower chair to the bathroom wasn’t always very “private” – but it worked out even better than I expected here!
The bathroom had a pull under sink and a large roll-in shower. There is both a handheld shower sprayer and an overhead rain shower available. The shower worked perfectly and the hotel even provided a shower bench in case I needed it. I didn’t use it because I brought my own chair, but it was nice to know that they had something there at least.
The room and everything was great, but my favorite part of the Margaritaville Island Hotel was the rooftop pool and Chill Bar. There are tables, lounge chairs, and even private cabanas all around the pool. There are 5 different cabanas (3 smaller ones and 2 large ones with a ceiling fan) and they cost between $50-150, depending if you want to rent one for a half day or a whole day. It got pretty hot out by the pool so they could be worth the extra cost to you.
The pool does have an access lift for wheelchair users if you need to cool off in the water. It can lower you into the pool or even into the jacuzzi because it can roll wherever you need it to go. It’s actually one of the nicer pool lifts that I’ve seen and since the hotel is fairly new, it looked to be in great shape.
Right by the rooftop pool is the Chill Bar, which serves drinks and food. You can enjoy a great lunch here or sit at one of the surrounding tables. You’ll even have a fantastic view of The Island’s fountains down below. If your taste buds are craving some different foods, you can call Mellow Mushroom or the Timberwood Grill. They are both located on The Island and will deliver to the hotel. The drinks at the Chill Bar are AMAZING also and since you’re at Margaritaville, you have to try some. My favorite drink by far was the License to Chill. I get it every time that I go to a Margaritaville and this was no exception. I promise you’ll love it!
If you’re coming to the Margaritaville Island Hotel, I would highly suggest taking a day or at least a half day to just chill out by the rooftop pool. I know that Pigeon Forge has a lot to offer, but it’s also really nice to have a pool day. The day that we spent here was my favorite day of the trip actually. Usually I’m the type to want to go explore, but I quickly drifted into the Margaritaville attitude and got my license to chill.
Overall, this was one of my favorite and most memorable hotel stays ever. The Margaritaville Island Hotel is so much more than a place to sleep; it’s actually an attraction all on its own. It has everything that you could possibly want in your stay and is set in the best location in Pigeon Forge. I may have just gotten back from the hotel, but I’m already planning my return to paradise. Fins up!
*Thank you to the Margaritaville Island Hotel for the wonderful complimentary stay. This has not affected my opinion of the hotel in any way.
*A Note from Curb Free with Cory Lee: This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers.