10 Best Knoxville Area Hotels, Country Inns and Mountain Lodges

Often overshadowed by Nashville and Memphis, "scruffy little Knoxville" remains refreshingly under-the-radar. However, it is certainly a city to keep an eye on as it continues to define itself.

Those visiting the area will find that most of Knoxville's hotels consist of large name-brand chains, but that doesn't mean that some shine more than others. Budget travelers will appreciate the Holiday Inn World's Fair Park, a cut above many budget digs with amazing views of the Sunsphere and free breakfast for kids. The Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville West, Hilton Knoxville, and Crown Plaza Knoxville each offer an elegant stay in the heart of the city, while the Embassy Suites Knoxville West, is a stylish option just a short drive from downtown Knoxville.

In addition, visitors to the surrounding area will find a number of unique accommodations, including the magical Inn at Christmas Place, or the luxurious and quiet Blackberry Farm. Adventure seekers can hike through the Smoky Mountains to Le Conte Lodge, where the only way in is by foot.

Two historical favorites within Knoxville are the Maple Grove Inn, a quiet bed and breakfast, as well as The Oliver Hotel, Knoxville's only boutique property.

This list of 10 highlights some of Knoxville's stand-out properties to make planning a vacation a little easier.


Holiday Inn Knoxville Downtown
Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn World's Fair Park

This downtown Knoxville hotel is a part of the World's Fair Park and is an easy walk to Fort Kid (a large city park playground), Market Square, and the Old City district. The 293-room, eco-friendly hotel features an indoor pool with views of the Sunsphere, a new fitness center, free WiFi, pet-friendly policies, and a 24-hour business center. A great choice for families, kids eat free at the Windows at the Park restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as adult beverages in the lounge area. Several room and suite options are available at reasonable prices, including numerous breakfast-inclusive packages.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For more budget-friendly accommodations without sacrificing service and location, this Holiday Inn is an easy choice.

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Maple Grove Inn
Photo courtesy of Maple Grove Inn

This charming 18th Century bed and breakfast is located on 15 acres in West Knoxville and offers just seven rooms - making it a perfect choice for those interested in personalized service. Decorated with antiques and period furnishings, each of the rooms and suites are unique so choosing which one to stay in is half the fun. Mahogany beds, fireplaces, wicker furniture, marble baths, and flat screen televisions are just a few of the room amenities offered. Every aspect of the inn tells a story. Stroll through the grounds and sit on the porch as times passes by. A filling breakfast with fresh coffee is included.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: As one of the oldest residences in Knoxville, this B&B hasn't lost its touch!

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Airport - Tys
LeConte Lodge
Photo courtesy of Allyson Virden

Although located about 45 miles away from Knoxville, this hotel is an attraction in itself. The only way to reach the property is to hike through the Smoky Mountain National Park to the top of the mountain - which grants some outstanding views. Visitors should plan ahead, book well in advance, and be aware that the hike is not for everyone. The lodge is situated on an opening just below the summit of Mt. LeConte at an elevation of around 6,400 feet. Accommodations consist of cozy cabins with kerosene lanterns and gas heaters: there is no electricity. Hearty meals and hot chocolate are served family-style in the lodge.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: In addition to stunning views, guests of this hotel have bragging rights to claim "they hiked to it."

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Steps from the University of Tennessee and adjacent to the World's Fair Park, the Four Points by Sheraton is within walking distance to most of Knoxville's downtown treasures. The 129-room, eco-conscious hotel offers free WiFi, a 24-hour fitness center, and barbecue and beer tasting (on Wednesday nights). For dining, guests can enjoy McEwan's Kitchen, the on-site restaurant serving American fare that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three different room options are available: traditional, deluxe, and suites, all featuring the signature, "Four Comfort Bed," flat-screen televisions, and stylish decor. Attractions like the Tennessee Riverboat Company, Knoxville Museum of Art, and the University of Tennessee, are all within one mile of the hotel.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Well-appointed accommodations and an excellent location make this a favorite for visitors.

Read more about Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House Hotel →

Embassy Suites Knoxville West
Photo courtesy of Embassy Suites Knoxville West

Under the Hilton umbrella, the Embassy Suites Knoxville West is a stand out among the chain properties in Knoxville. The nightly manager's reception with complimentary beverages and appetizers is a nice touch, as is the made-to-order breakfast at Flying Spoons, the on-site restaurant that is also open for lunch and dinner. The all-suite hotel also features a fitness center, indoor pool, sauna, and whirlpool. Each two-room suite offers elegant decor, televisions, a refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave as well as free WiFi access. The hotel is located equally distances to the airport and downtown area (about a 15-minutes' drive to each).

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This elegant hotel is doing everything right and offers guests an overall great value.

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The Inn at Christmas Place
Photo courtesy of The Inn at Christmas Place

It doesn't have to be December to get in to the Christmas spirit; the Inn at Christmas Place is full of holiday warmth year round. Opened in 2007, the halls of this unique property are decked with holly wreaths and Christmas trees, with special touches like family-friendly Christmas movies, a singing Santa, and a "Glockenspiel" wooden lobby clock that plays Christmas carols. Located in Pigeon Forge (about 25 miles from Knoxville), the city is still an easy drive away. Amenities include beautiful gardens, a game room, an outdoor pool and water slide, and delicious hot breakfast that is included in the rates.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Perfect for families, the Inn at Christmas Place makes a cheerful getaway year round.

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Hilton Knoxville
Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan

As part of the the trusted hotel brand,the Hilton Knoxville is located in the center of downtown, between the World's Fair Park and the nightlife districts. The on-site Market Cafe offers traditional snacks, and a Starbucks will give guests that much-needed morning perk. Or, during the evenings the stylish Orange Martini makes a great place for conversation and cocktails. The pet-friendly hotel also features a pool and fitness center, complimentary business center and WiFi to guests. Choose from standard rooms, suites, or executive rooms, many of which have stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee River or Neyland Stadium.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Hilton Knoxville offers a well-rounded, affordable stay in downtown.

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Blackberry Farm
Photo courtesy of beall + thomas

Located about 30 miles from Knoxville at the base of the Smoky Mountains National park, this luxurious country retreat is ideal for those seeking a quiet stay outside the city limits. Situated on 4,200 acres, the farm focuses on locally-sourced food and wine and getting back to nature. Activities include yoga, fly fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking - to name a few. Chic, yet friendly accommodations range from cottages, suites, rooms, and houses with amenities ranging from fireplaces and screened porches to surround sound in living areas and personal golf carts. Dining at The Barn is part of the magic of Blackberry Farm, with fresh ingredients that are perfectly prepared.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Although it is a splurge, this one-of-a-kind lodging will be a memorable experience.

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Crowne Plaza Hotel Knoxville Downtown University
Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan

By staying at the Crown Plaza Knoxville Downtown, guests can't get any closer to the nightlife action. Situated in the center of Gay Street, Market Square, and Old City, there is excitement and things to do in every direction. Renovated in 2013, the 197-room hotel makes a great base for visitors. The elegant lobby leads to a popular bar and lounge area, as well as Mahogany's restaurant, which serves classic American fare and a breakfast buffet. Other amenities include a heated lap pool, fitness center, 37-inch LCD televisions, and complimentary WiFi. The hotel wins bonus points for being eco-conscious and pet friendly.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: With a central location, reasonable rates, and a new renovation, this is a solid overall package.

Read more about Crowne Plaza Hotel Knoxville Downtown University →

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Re-invented in 2011 as The Oliver, the 28-room hotel provides Knoxville's only boutique-style accommodations and a perfect location in the heart of downtown. With a history dating back to the 19th Century, the hotel has served as a candy store, pharmacy, and dance hall before hosting guests visiting the World's Fair. Today, it sparkles with sophisticated decor and modern amenities, including iHome alarms, marble bath vanities, down duvets, walk-in showers, and complimentary WiFi. The hotel features the Peter Kern Library, a speakeasy-style lounge with drinks named after fictional characters (and menus inside encyclopedia books). Just next door, the Tupelo Honey cafe serves up an amazing breakfast.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This class act sets the bar high for boutique hotels in Knoxville.

Read more about The Oliver Hotel →


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber