Cabin FAQ

What types of payments do you accept?

When you book via our websites, or via quote that we have emailed you directly, we accept personal or cashier's check, money order (at least 45 days prior to check in date), PopMoney direct bank to bank payment, major credit cards and PayPal. Credit card processing fee may apply for non-US issued credit cards. If you have booked via 3rd party sites (AirBnB, HomeAway/VRBO and similar) - payment types specified by that respective site.

Can we make partial/monthly payments for our reservation? 

If you have booked directly via our websites or via quote we emailed you, and have paid booking deposit, you will receive a secure payment link that you can use to make payments. Our booking system will send you a receipt for every partial payment made. As long as balance is paid in full 30 days prior to your scheduled contractual check in date, you can make as many payments as you like. You will receive balance payment reminder 7 days prior to due date. If you booked via 3rd party sites, your payment schedule will be governed by payment policies of that site. Some sites (like AirBnB or TripAdvisor) may require full payment upfront. 
I have never stayed in a vacation rental before. How is it different from staying in a hotel?

Staying in a vacation rental home provides much more space and privacy than a typical hotel. Our full kitchen allows you to prepare meals for your entire group. You and your family will also have your own private yard, hot tub and other amenities that you just won’t find in your typical hotel, such as a lot more privacy and space for you and your party, private yard, hot tub and other amenities that are not shared with anyone except your own group. Please enjoy our cabins keeping in mind following rules and guidelines:
  • Observance of house, pet and occupancy rules and common sense safety rules by you and every member of your party.
    • Ensure that you have turned the fireplace off after every use.
    • Ensure that you have fully and completely extinguished all fires in the firepit and outdoor grill.
    • Keep an eye on children as they use the hot tub or play in the yard.
  • Make sure that you have what you need for your stay - unlike a hotel where you can call front desk and they will bring it to you - there is no such service.  Please see what is provided and what to bring
  • Follow posted HVAC operating instructions to prevent damage to the system and be left in the cold (or heat) and with a large repair charge.
  • Leave the house "broom-clean" and put all BAGGED garbage in the outside bear-proof containers and LOCK them. 

​Following these rules and guidelines will help to reduce and prevent problems and unexpected or dangerous events from happening during your vacation. ​We provide check-in and check-out instructions that cover most questions you may have, as well as equipment operating instructions. If you are not clear about something - just ask! We are only a phone call or text away and are ready to answer your questions. 

I rented the whole cabin. Does it mean I can bring as many people as I like?

In short, NO. While we rent per property per duration of stay, we have strict occupancy limits. You cannot bring more people than maximum allowable property limit, and only guests who are included in the Rental Agreement can stay in the cabin, whichever is less. Limited number of day visitors can be allowed with advance permission from the Owners. The cabin utilizes septic system, and it is not rated for use by more people than maximum allowable property limit. There are also fire safety codes and insurance requirements in place that limit number of guests. Violation of occupancy and pet rules will resut in termnation of stay and forfeiture of any monies paid. Please refer to your Rental Agreement and rental policy and property rules.

Was the cabin affected by Gatlinburg wildfires of 2016? Are there burned woods around the cabin?

No, not at all. The cabin is nowhere near the burned areas. We were extremely blessed and fortunate. And we are happy to report that during our latest visits we saw affected areas greening up and coming back to life.

Why directions do not match those on GPS? Why are the roads so narrow / winding?

GPS and Google maps are often wrong in these mountains. Some roads are shown in a wrong location or misnamed. GPS may send a traveler on the road it “thinks” is there but in reality, it is a gravel or dirt road. Locals often know better way of getting somewhere whereas GPS can send you in roundabout way. So, we suggest using both GPS and directions (just ask) and not rely on GPS alone. GPS should be fine on main county roads and in town. Many roads probably
used to be old logging roads before they got paved. It makes little sense to widen some roads that only get traveled by a few people per day. But, this is a part of seclusion and mountain experience! Tip: Local courtesy is to allow oncoming car that is going uphill to pass by you first if you are driving downhill on a narrow road.

What are the chances of snow when I travel? Does it snow in the Smokies and when?

While Smokies are not the Great White North, it does snow on occasion. See our  winter travel tips . And, here is a blog post  about Winter in the Smokies.

Where do I get groceries? 

  • There are several supermarkets, the closest one will be  Food City on E Parkway in Gatlinburg (across from City Hall) - open 24 hours.
  • If you are driving through Sevierville taking Dolly Parton Parkway, there is also a Food City on the way as well as Walmart Neighborhood Market (open 24 hours).
  • Sheri's Store to Door Grocery delivery service   offers the following: 1) Scheduled Delivery – allows you to order as far in advance as you wish with a secure desired delivery date. On delivery day their driver stays in contact via text and coordinates your delivery for when you or your guest arrives at the cabin. 2) Pre-arrival Delivery – arrangements are made with us to deliver and put away the groceries before you or your guests arrive.
Firewood for the firepits?

We do not supply firewood for the firepits, guests can purchase their own. Most local grocery stores (see above) sell bundles of firewood. You are also free (at your own risk!) to pick and use fallen tree branches on the property (cutting of standing vegetation is not allowed). Please respect the neighboring properties and pick the branches only on our cabin's property. NEVER leave fire unattended even for a short time and ensure to put completely out when leaving the firepit vicinity. All our properties have garden hoses you can use to put the fire out. Observe the county fire bans!

Refrigerator not cooling?  Refrigerator cooling facts:

  • A large quantity of warm groceries placed in an empty refrigerator takes approximately 12 hours to cool.
  • Keeping the doors closes as much as possible within first few hours is helpful.
  • Cool perishable items first; Place canned drinks, watermelons, etc. in a cooler with ice and move into the refrigerator in a few hours
  • Keep refrigerator control setting on MEDIUM at all times for optimum cooling.
  • If controls are set to the maximum, defrost cycle can occure cause coil to freeze, and the refrigerator will not cool. It may take 18-24 hours to compensate for this defrost cycle, so leave the setting for both refrigerator AND freezer on MEDIUM.
Why there are so few small décor items, candleholders, knick-knacks?

Often guests’ children are not closely supervised, and those small items can be easily broken, fall or go missing. We do not put candles in the cabin because of the fire safety - when guests are on vacation, they tend to be more relaxed and less careful.

Why do we see cobwebs?

We are not sure why, but dust is very prevalent in the log homes. The cabin may have been cleaned mere hours ago, and yet there is dust again. Cobwebs are common, and they appear very fast – after all, the cabin is in the middle of woods and there are a lot of insects trying to make their home inside the cabin.

Why do we see bugs / ladybugs inside?

Insects just find their way inside no matter what we do. Even after cabin was cleaned, it takes only a few hours for bugs/ladybugs to appear. Of course, they get trapped and die inside. This is especially prevalent in the fall or spring when it gets colder outside. An expectation of completely insect-free environment is probably reasonable in a high-rise beachfront condo, not in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Ladybugs (actually, Asian Lady Beetle) are harmless if
not touched.

Wasps / carpenter bees.

Wasps try to make their nests, usually under the roof overhangs and eaves, and some get inside and die. We try to keep up as much as we can, but they are often much faster than us. There is usually a can of wasp spray provided. Maintenance can take care of wasps too. Carpenter bees (big loud black bees) are harmless to humans – they make a lot of noise and may hover around humans, but they do not have stingers. They do however damage wood by boring holes in it. They rarely get inside the cabin.

How do we access the cabin?

Once your reservation is confirmed/accepted, Rental Agreement is signed and ID provided, and balance is paid in full, you will be emailed detailed check in procedure, cabin access instructions and directions. Usually those are sent two weeks prior to your scheduled arrival (so that we do not have to resend them in case there are any changes).  

What about the wildlife?

Plenty of wildlife in the area. Rabbits, raccoons, turkeys, foxes, various birds, deer, and yes, black bears. We have never seen one "face to face", but our security cameras caught some glimpses, and couple of our garbage cans have been dragged away by bears. That is why it is important to follow the instructions and never leave food outsde, never feed the wildlife AND make sure to thoroughly lock all bagged garbage in the outdoor bear-resistant/bear-proof containers.  

Insect bites.

Compared to other locations, there are relatively few mosquitoes in the Smokies but they do appear. There can be also be chiggers - microscopic mites that only bite when they are in juvenile form. Chigger mites infest human skin via areas of contact with vegetation, such as pant cuffs or shirt sleeves and collars. They migrate on the skin in search of an optimal feeding area.  Barriers to migration on the skin such as belts may be one reason that chigger bites also commonly occur at the waist or at other areas where their migration is prevented by compression from clothing (that is why people may think they have experienced bed bug bites). A common myth about chiggers is that they burrow into and remain inside the skin - this is not true. Pronounced itching and red spots are the most common symptoms. Chigger bites themselves do not produce any long-term complications. Washing with soap and water after outdoor activity may remove any chiggers that may be migrating on the skin and prevent their bites. Likewise, washing clothing that was worn outdoors in hot water will kill any chiggers remaining on the clothing. Apply anti itch cream to the bites.

Why no certain utensil / small appliance?

Rest assured we had it stocked. However, utensils get broken or misplaced. If no one reports it missing, and cleaning crew does not realize that it is not there, it is not replenished. If you find something missing, please do let us know. We stock common utensils and small appliances. Mixer, blender, toaster, can opener, coffee maker, slow cooker and iron are standard. Other small appliances are optional and we may or may not have stocked those. We try to keep hair dryers in the bathrooms but sometimes they do disappear.

What if there is a power outage?

Power outages are quite common in the area due to the climate (high winds), location and local specifics – most power lines run through the woods and in the case of high winds or storms they can be easily damaged. Good news is that Sevier County Electric is usually fast to remedy situation. Please notify us in case of power outage and we will ensure to notify the utility operator. 

What about cell phone reception?

It depends on the provider. You will likely have good or decent reception if you have Verizon or Sprint/Boost. T-Mobile and AT&T usually have the worst reception of all in this area. For your safety and convenience, the cabin is equipped with home phone (with free local and US long distancecalling) that works on Verizon network that has 4-hour power outage backup.

Why is Wi-Fi / Internet slow?

Because the location of the cabin is so secluded, there is no cable/DSL/fiber optic service available. The only way to get internet service is via satellite, and the satellite company does not offer unlimited data. We have a plan that is sufficient to cover browsing, checking email and social media. It is not suited, nor meant for watching movies, gaming, streaming media, or downloading large files. If the monthly data allotment is used, the provider slows the speed way down until such time that service resets next month. To preserve availability for everyone, we reserve a right to block access to certain streaming and large content volume sites.

Why no Xbox or Playstation?

Because those are not durable enough for heavy use. Also, games or devices themselves can be lost or go missing. We offer a commercial style Multicade that is sturdy, durable and fun for young and young at heart. After all, most people have PS or Xbox at home – how many have a real Multicade? Multicade is anchored to the wall for your safety – do not attempt to move it. Some of our cabins offer gamepost connections to the TVs so that you can easily connect your own game. Never disconnect any existing cables/wires from TV/audio/video/sound/satellite equipment.  

Not enough ice.

The cabin refrigerator is a standard household refrigerator. It is not made to produce ice in commercial quantities like hotel icemaker. Most likely guests have standard household refrigerators at home, and if they anticipate a needing a lot of ice, they purchase additional ice from a grocery store. We suggest doing the same if you are having a large gathering. 

Do we need propane tank or charcoal to use the outdoor grill?

  • Blue Mountain Lodge is equipped with gas grill. The grill is connected to the large underground propane tank that also feeds the gas log fireplace. Propane company checks and fills the tank periodically. If the grill does not light up: 1) ensure that the valve on the line behind the grill is in ‘open’ position; 2) give it a few seconds because there may be air in the line, which needs to come out, and try to relight. 3) check igniter batteries. If everything else fails, call the owners. Please ensure to turn the grill off after use. 

Where is the remote? Remote battery low.

We have labeled all electronics and their respective remote controls to indicate which room and device they belong to. Please keep the remotes in their respective rooms, as labeled. The remotes also have labels indicating what ‘input’ should be used to watch TV. If you accidentally change the input and lose signal, please look on the back side of the device remote and tune to respective channel/signal to watch TV. Please do not unplug any cables or change the inputs on the devices. For your convenience, should you want to connect your own device, there is a separate clearly labeled HDMI outlet located on the wall under the TV in the upstairs loft/game room. We make every effort to check and replace remote batteries. However, sometimes batteries do get low. We usually keep a few spares in a small bin under the kitchen sink.

Light bulb out. What do I do?

Our housekeeping crew makes every effort to ensure that burned out bulbs are replaced in a timely manner and we use long lasting CFL and LED bulbs wherever possible. If a bulb burns out during your stay, there is a variety of common bulbs in a bin under the kitchen sink. Please only replace bulbs that are within easy reach, using utmost precaution. For your safety, please do not attempt to reach and replace any bulbs located high above that are not within easy reach. If you feel that you must replace a bulb, avoid touching bulbs with bare hands as they do get very hot. Notify us and we will have it taken care of.


What to bring



Meet the owners

I came to the Smoky mountians with a friend in 2009 for the first time during winter snowfall. It was so pretty! Living in Florida, we missed having seasons. Todd and I (Victoria) came together several more times, and we knew - Smoky Mountains was the place! We bought our cabin in 2010. For now, we are living and working in Tampa FL,  and looking forward to making Sevier county our permanent home one day. 
Photo taken day after Christmas 2010 when Blue Mountain Lodge was almost complete.

We love DIY projects, and we have restored or made many furniture and decor pieces you will see in our cabin. 

questions? just ask
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