At $250 a night, a BIG disappointment!!!
We stayed at the "Call of the Wild" cabin for 4 nights in July 2007. When we arrived, the property looked exactly like the photographs on the website. Not much to look at on the outside, but the inside was very nicely decorated. The beds were comfortable, as promised, with high-thread-count sheets, Ralph Lauren duvet, decent pillows. In the kitchen was a good selection of dishes, cookware, coffee maker and blender, basic kitchen gadgets. Enough to get by with simple cooking. No food is provided - you bring everything yourself, even the salt and pepper!
After settling in, we noticed the first of the many problems that plagued our stay. Dead moths and beetles littered the windowsills. The front and side porches hadn't been swept in quite a while. The water in the outdoor hot tub was cloudy, some kind of silt or sludge could be seen at the bottom of the tub, and brown foamy scum ringed the tub at the waterline. The indoor Jacuzzi was worse; the jets were super dirty with slime, which I noticed only after filling the tub and turning on the jets. Flakes of brown film were blown into the water, and floated around, then settled to the bottom when the jets were off. Yuk!!! There were lightbulbs out in the master bath and the kitchen.
During the remainder of our 4-night stay, we also discovered that the gas fireplace did not work at all, and during our stay the dishwasher stopped working (water was not coming out of the line).
Our great disappointment was that, aside from cleaning up the moths and changing out the bathroom lightbulb, NONE of the other problems were addressed adequately. Regarding the Jacuzzi and hot tub, they were wiped out, but the jets were never cleaned. Meaning, the tubs were unusable our entire stay. I personally cleaned the Jacuzzi jets 3 times, but they had obviously not been properly maintained in such a long time that the tub was still dirty after 3 thorough cleanings. Twice daily calls the the management, and a phone call to the owner, did not get the problems fixed. The owner promised to "look into the matter" with his staff and call me after we returned home, but that never happened.
The office manager did offer a free night stay for our next visit, but I don't plan on visiting any of the Watershed Cabins, ever. While they may have been extremely nice when they were new, discriminating travellers may be disappointed in the finding promised amenities that no longer work, or are not up to their standards of cleanliness.
My husband and I stayed at watershed last year and it was wonderful , We have stayed in the treehouse and it was great and also stayed in one of the on bedroom cabins We never had any problems. My husband even hit the wrong button on the tv and could not get it to work and Tim came out and reset the dish tv for us that night.
I dont think you will be disappointed
Missy in Lousisana
we have stayed with Tim (now of Watershed Cabins) numerous times over the last 5 years and never have been disappointed. The only time we did have a problem was on arrival during a storm..no electricity...and our guys were preparing for the night before an adventure race....we had pasta that we brought and were unable to serve...Tim arranged for dinner in town for us (on his dime) and the electric was on by the time the guys had to leave at 4:30am.
We are staying in Oct and Nov 2007
We stayed in Bryson Bungalow for a week in Dec 2006. This was a fantastic stay, no problems, no complaints. Everything was perfect for a romantic week away. The small hot tub was great for two people to be cozy. The area was quiet and peaceful. We will stay there again!
As the owner of Watershed Cabins, I would like to state that the Hawk's Ridge Hideaway is one of our most popular cabins (by far). I believe it is the amazing view that makes it so popular, as the other features like hot tub, cleanliness, great linens, outdoor firepit, well-equipped kitchen, etc are common to ALL our cabins.
As I don't like anyone to have a surprise when they arrive, I would like take this opportunity educate the TripAdvisor readers. You might expect me to blow a bunch of smoke on how we are better than any other cabin company and how we have the best value, and all that stuff. I do believe all of this, but I have all that on our website, if you care to read it.
Instead, I am going to do what you might NOT expect me to do: point out what people complain about with us. Since TripAdvisor readers are likely to be much more detailed as to what info they are looking for, I would like to offer you a list of some of the the areas of complaint that are the most common. I will tell you these complaints are rare, and we are, I believe, the best in the business at minimizing and dealing with these problems. (I hope you will see that some of these are fairly ridiculous and come from people who are just not familiar with the mountains):
1) "The roads are steep." - response: you can't get to the top of a mountain without going uphill, so I hope everyone sees the humor here. But we do get some comments from people who usually go to the beach and are terrified of the mountain roads. We also hear complaints that there are no streetlights and the dark roads are disturbing (I personally, will trade the ability to see millions of stars for streetlights any night of the week).Truthfully, our housekeepers and other staff visit these cabins regularly and drive the roads without incident. If you are afraid of heights, perhaps you need to be prepared that some of the roads have steep banks and might not have guardrails. I assure you that all roads to our cabins are well within, and usually exceed, the normal standards for safety of mountain roads. That being said, "one-lane with pullouts" is a common way to construct a private road up a mountain. If you have any concerns at all, our staff are extrememly familiar with all the roads to all of our cabins and can assist you at selecting a cabin where you will have no access concerns whatsoever. If you are towing a trailer or riding a motorcycle, PLEASE let us know this, as there are some units for you to avoid.... we are in the mountains, after all.
2) "The crickets are too loud." - response: I always find humor in this. First of all, they are tree frogs (usually) and not crickets, and second of all, it's the sounds of nature. Anyone see the movie "My Cousin Vinny"?? Perhaps if the noise was traffic noise (or like in the movie, a prison riot) you'd feel more at home. I hope rather that you learn to appreciate the sounds of nature, that's why so many people visit our area, and that's certainly why most of us live here. Actually, I have only received one "complaint" about this, but people do comment on it occassionally. I mention this here because I hope you all will see the humor in it.
3) "There are dead bugs in the cabin." - response: This one doesn't have a humorous side to it.... the fact is that we are in the woods and the usual construction material is log (which shrinks over time). During some times of the year, we have cleaned up enormous quantities of dead ladybugs in a few of our cabins (as cute as these little critters are, too much cute is not cute at all). One hour after this cleanup, there can be some accumulation again. We have similar problems with other critters on occasion. We don't provide daily housekeeping (most cabin rental companies don't), so dead bugs can accumulate during your stay. We face this problem only at very limited times of the year, and only in a few of our cabins, but please remeber, the bugs were here first. By the way, does anyone complain that sand blows in their room when they stay on the beach?
4) "The water smells or has sediment in it." - response: We get water from a well. It rarely smells, but sometimes the higher mineral content will have an odor. There can also be sediment in the water at times, but this is usually only noticeable when a large quantity of water is accumulated (like when filling a bath tub or a hot tub). People used to city water may sometimes mistake the sediment for dirt build-up in the lines.
5) "The TV's are complicated." - response: We supply a DVD player, a home theatre system, and a complete satellite TV lineup including premium movie channels, an upgraded sports package, and plenty of music channels. Unfortunately, we are forced to use satellite TV because cable is not available in the mountains. Many people are not familiar with the system, and to make matters worse, the universal remote controls with satellite systems don't always program to every single brand of TV and DVD player out there. Thus, it can be overwhelming with multiple remotes and an unfamiliar channel line-up (a satellite tv guide screen shows as many as 3 or 4 different ABC networks, for instance. There will be one for the eastern US, one for the west, and sometimes more than one local network.... only one of these is part of our subscription, so if you tune to one of the others, you might think there is a malfunction). Not to mention that previouis guests sometimes disconnect our cables to use their personal video games or digital cameras. We do our best to keep things simple and working for you, and we will send someone out if you can't figure it out. I wish there were more that we could do to avoid confusion, but the easiest option is to NOT offer so much technology. I choose to offer it for the enjoyment of those who will, and hope to minimize the frustrations of those who may not be used to that level and therefore cannot immediately figure out how to operate the system. It is my hope that you will come to the mountains and enjoy a nature hike, fellowship with your family or friends, good food, or any of the many other wonderful things we have to offer before you would ever want to turn on a TV. But if you are so inclined to want a TV, we have one for you (as a matter of fact, our Fontana View 3 cabin has 6 TV's in it.... I am almost embarrassed to admit this)
6) "Gas fireplace and Gas Grills" - response: This is another item that is created by the level of appointment we provide. Many cabin companies offer charcoal grills only. We feel that most people are used to cooking on gas at home and would enjoy that convenience on vacation, too. Even though we get several calls a month about the gas being "out" (there is a sign on each tank that explains that low-flow is solved by dis- and re-connecting the valve --- the problem being a buble in the gas line caused by temperature changes in the mountains, not by being "out" of gas) we still choose to supply gas grills and to include propane with our rentals. Gas fireplaces are another mystery to people who have never used them. I don't recall in 5 years when any gas fireplace wasn't operational for a guest. When we instruct the guest how to use it or show them where the switch is, they usually exclaim "oh, that was easy".
Well, these are the most common of the problems we hear about. After re-reading them, I hope you will note that they aren't all that bad. I certainly hope these don't scare you away from the mountains, as I am sure that these problems are not unique to Watershed Cabins (except maybe the problems that come with the advanced amenities we offer that most rental companies do not, like stereo systems or gas grills). I hope you will read our website in detail if you have any questions (many of the concerns we hear on a regular basis are fully covered on the FAQ page of our site). I designed that site to be honest (for instance, when there are cabins next door to each other, we promote that fact instead of trying to hide it) and helpful, even when it points out shortcomings of our cabins (like GPS guidance systems or cell phones don't always work in the mountains and therefore should not be relied upon). Part of an enjoyable vacation is having reasonable expectations. Thanks, TripAdvisor readers, for educating yourselves like this, and please know that if you come stay with us, we are commited to doing our best to make your vacation enjoyable.
Tim (owner of Watershed Cabins)
we really liked the watershed cabin we stayed in. it was treehouse b, i think. we stayed there in late april, 2008.
it was our first trip to the smokies (hiking) and we really liked the luxurious appointments and privacy of the cabin. everything we needed (really comfy bed, fireplace, dishes & everything, TV, bathtub) was there and spotlessly clean.
we didn't use the jacuzzi, so i can't report on that, but we did use everything else and we were very happy. we would definitely go back. we paid, i think, $130 a night. incredible bargain at that rate. even my husband thought so!
Wow, I'm suprised at this post.
I have stayed with Watershed Cabins about 10 times because they are quite special cabins. They are always spotless, although we have seen an accumulation of lady bugs on the windows once. (That occasionally happens at our home in Tennessee in the fall as well.)
We always use the hot tubs & never have had a problem. We love looking at the stars while soaking. I used to live in the Rockies & this area is as close to the Rockies it gets in the East.
Being called cabins is an injustice. They are more luxurious than a cabin. Leather sofas, decked out kitchens with granite countertops, and the last cabin we stayed in had a couple high def flat panel tvs.
Fancy hotels in Atlanta cost much more with less ammenities.
Has anyone stayed at the following watershed cabins-Dances w/wolves, Dream Catcher, or Moose Trax? We are tring to find out which is in the most seclude location but still is nice inside with good views.