FAQ
 

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Frequently Asked Questions:

 

  1. When is check in (check out)?
  2. What do we need to bring?
  3. Can I book online using a credit card?
  4. How do I get the cabin key?
  5. Is the driveway steep?
  6. Where's the nearest boat launch?
  7. Is there room for my boat at the cabin?
  8. Is there electricity to the dock so I can charge my batteries?
  9. Is the lake easy to walk to?
  10. Is the cabin secluded?
  11. Is it secure?
  12. May I smoke in the cabin?
  13. May we bring our pets?
  14. How old do I have to be to reserve Serenity Hill Cabin?
  15. How far is the nearest gas station and/or shopping center?
  16. What is summer pool and when does it occur?
  17. Can I rent a fishing or pontoon boat, jet skis, or a canoe or kayak?
  18. Where on the lake is the cabin located?
  19. Does the cabin have well water or municipal water?
  20. What is your cancellation policy?
  21. What is the lake level policy?

If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to call 219-363-9280 - or enter your question in the comment box at the bottom of this page.

(All links below open in a new window.)


When are check in/check out times?

Check IN is anytime after 3:00 PM (EST) on your scheduled day of arrival. You will be given a key code along with directions to the cabin at least one week before your arrival.

Check OUT is by 11 AM (EST) on your scheduled departure date.

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What do we need to bring?

Food, clothing, hair and skin care products...that's about it. We provide the coffee maker and filters and enough coffee for the first pot or two. We have small packets of salt, pepper, sugar and coffee creamer, but you will have to bring or buy your own ketchup, mustard, miracle whip, stuff like that. You also might want to bring or buy some aluminum foil, baggies and/or plastic wrap. We have a gas grill, so you don't need to worry about charcoal or fluid. Oh, and beach towels. We have plenty of bath towels, but we'd prefer they stay in the cabin. So yes, please bring beach towels to take down to the lake.

If you want to watch movies, you might want to bring some DVDs. We have quite a few here, but you might want to bring some favorites. There are also a few places within 10 miles that you could rent movies from if you want.  We also have a Playstation 3 and 2 controllers, but we only have a few games, so you might want to bring some of your own.

We provide the sheets, pillows, pillow cases, hand/dish/bath towels, soap, dish soap, laundry soap, fabric softener, and starter rolls of paper towels and toilet paper. There are also two blow-dryers in the cabin.

Bring a cell phone or phone card if you want to make long-distance calls. There is a telephone in the cabin for local calls, and also a local phone book for your convenience.

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Can I book online using a credit card?  

Yes, you can. After you fill in the form at the bottom of this page, an offer will be sent to you. There will be several links on the offer page with a few different payment options - including payment directly to our merchant service, or through PayPal.

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How do I get the cabin key?

You don't need one. The cabin has an electronic keypad. The 4 digit code will be emailed to you at least one week before your scheduled arrival date.

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Is the driveway steep?

Kind of, but it's pretty short and it's asphalt, so you shouldn't have any problems...(unless there is snow or ice on it. Then all bets are off! ;-)  Here's what it looks like from the bottom of the driveway. 

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Where's the nearest boat launch?

There are 2 boat launches within 5 miles of Serenity Hill Cabin. Indian Creek Boat Dock (865-397-7286) is the closest by water, but you have to drive 5 miles around a cove to get to it. You can launch the boat and be at the cabin within a couple of minutes. They also rent fishing and pontoon boats and jet skis, and also sell gas, oil, bait, fishing supplies, soda, beer, candy, snacks, caps, sunglasses, souvenirs, ice and ice chests.

And you'll pass Swann's Marina on the way to the cabin if you're coming from the north or west. It takes a little longer to get to the cabin by water from here than from Indian Creek Boat Dock. (It's probably about 3 miles by water.) They also supply everything you need for an enjoyable day on the water, including pontoon and fishing boat rentals.

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Is there room for my boat at the cabin?

Yes, but there's not a lot of room to maneuver on top of the hill. Even though there is space for 3 or 4 vehicles, in most cases, the parking area is not wide enough to turn a boat around. If you have a small boat (18' or less) and a vehicle with a short turning radius, AND there are no other vehicles in the parking lot, it can be done. But if you have a longer boat or extended cab truck, you're just going to have to back up or down the driveway. (You won't be able to turn around at the top.) Then, when you are ready, launch the boat at the marina, dock the boat at the cabin dock, back the trailer up the driveway into the corner, drop it in the cul-de-sac...or just leave it at the marina until you are ready to load back up.

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Is there electricity to the dock so I can charge my trolling motor batteries?

No, sorry...but we're working on it.

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Is the lake easy to walk to?

Yes, it's very easy...it's all downhill ;-) Now, getting back up to the cabin is another story! It's quite a workout - but we have a couple of benches along the way where you can rest your legs and catch your breath. 

There's a couple of switchbacks in the path to the water, so you're walking in a "Z" pattern. Here's what it looks like from over headThe first leg of the walk is down the driveway. Here's the 2nd leg that goes down to the bench. Here's the final stretch from the bench to the dock - although you can't see the dock because there's a slight bend there where the rope begins (to the right of the ATV). It's about 40 foot from where the rope begins to the dock. (Here's the final stretch from the dock looking up.)

Here's a picture of the dock. As you can see, there's a bench, swim ladder and lock box on the dock.

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Is the cabin secluded?

See this?  Thank goodness we're not in that mess! Relative to this, Serenity Hill Cabin is VERY secluded. Other than the cabin at the bottom of the hill, you'll see the top of this home from the front door of the cabin. (It's actually farther away than it looks in this picture. This overhead from Google Earth shows the distance a little better. The image was taken 4/9/2010, so the water wasn't up to the dock yet.)

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Is it secure?

Yes, it's very secure. We've never had a problem of any sort at the cabin. But the same cannot be said for a lot of cabins in the Smoky Mountains area. Luxury cabins with HDTV's, home theater systems, games, etc., have become prime targets for thieves. They've also become targets for drug manufacturers looking for a place to mix up batches of methamphetamines - creating a toxic wasteland in their wake. In order to protect our interests, and for the safety of our guests and their belongings, we've taken some precautionary measures.

The cabin is monitored by Advanced Security Alarm Protection (A.S.A.P) to alert you in the unlikely event of intruders and/or fire. (You will be given an alarm code one week before your arrival.) If the alarm is tripped, a 110 decibel alarm will sound inside and outside the cabin. At the same time, A.S.A.P. is notified. They will call the police and also call the cabin phone within a few minutes. They will ask for your name and a password (which you will not know) and then call me. They will tell me your name and after I verify you are booked at the cabin, they will call off the police. If a wrong name is given or the phone is not answered, the police will arrive. (We've actually tripped the alarm more often than all of our guests combined - mostly to test it. But I'll never forget the first time we tripped it by accident. I set the alarm before we went to sleep but forgot to tell Belinda. She opened a door about 5 AM. Talk about a rude awakening!)

The smoke detector is hard-wired and also has a battery back-up. If the smoke detector goes off, the fire department is notified immediately.

We've also mounted security cameras on the outside of the cabin facing out at the perimeter. As long as you are under the roof of the cabin (which includes all decks), you are out of range of the cameras. So if you plan on doing anything illicit, illegal, or immoral while at the cabin - please wait until you get up past the landing...(unless you're an exhibitionist or something and just can't resist...in which case, let me know and I'll make sure it gets on YouTube ;-)

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May I smoke inside the cabin?

Sorry, no smoking in the cabin. But there are ash trays on the decks and screened-in porch for your convenience.

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May we bring our pets?

Sorry, but we don't allow pets anywhere on the property. We know they are part of the family, but for the sake of our guests that are allergic to pet dander (and also for the safety and comfort of the native wildlife), we have decided on a "No Pets" policy. Stonegate Companion Animal Hospital (865-397-4060) is less than 10 miles away if you would like to board your pet during your stay. (I'll provide you with directions if you choose this option.)

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How old do I have to be to reserve Serenity Hill Cabin?

You have to be at least 21-years-old to rent the cabin - and you will be held responsible for any damage caused by anyone in your party.

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How far is the nearest gas station and/or shopping center?

Several gas stations, video stores, liquor stores, Super Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Goodies, Food City, Ryan's Buffet, Cracker Barrel, etc., are within 10 miles. And if you want to do some heavy-duty shopping, Tanger Outlet Mall and the Governor's Palace (and everything else Sevierville and Pigeon Forge have to offer) are within 30 miles.

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What is summer pool and when does that happen?

Douglas Lake is a flood control reservoir managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). As such, their main concerns are to prevent flooding downstream, and also to generate electricity for the surrounding area. But they are also concerned with recreational uses and strive to keep Douglas Lake at summer pool (990' - 994' above sea level) as long as possible. Their target dates for summer pool (opens in a new window) are June 1st through September. (Serenity Hill Cabin dock is usually floating from the 1st week of May until right around Labor Day.)

Boating is allowed on Douglas Lake year round, even though the lake level will be anywhere between 940' and 994' between Labor Day and June 1st. The cabin dock is usable when the water level reaches 985', which is usually from about the 1st of May until right around Labor Day. If you book the cabin outside of that time frame, you can still bring or rent a boat at the local marina. You just won't be able to use the cabin dock.

Here's a picture of a shallow bay  taken February 1st, 2006 (at about the lake's lowest point). Because Serenity Hill Cabin is on the main channel, this is what it looked like from the deck on February 1st, 2006. And you'll still see beautiful sunsets like this, also taken on February 1st.

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Can I rent a fishing or pontoon boat, or some jet skis?

Sure. Swann's Marina and Indian Creek Boat Dock rent pontoons and jet skis. And Mountain Harbor Inn rents pontoons, jet skis, and ski boats, along with kayaks, peddle boats and canoes. (opens in a new window.)  They're both about 5 miles away.

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Where on the lake is the cabin located?

It's located at the mouth of Indian Creek.

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Does the cabin have well water or municipal water?

The 500 gallon reserve should serve you well, unless 3 or 4 family members want to take long showers back to back while running the dishwasher and washing machine or something like that. If this describes your family, you might wanna take your shower 1st or second ;-)

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What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to scheduled arrival date will receive a full refund, minus a $50 processing fee. Cancellations within 30 days of scheduled arrival date shall not receive a refund, unless we are able to re-book those specific dates to another party. Any money held for dates that are not re-booked will not be refunded. In the event all of the cancelled dates are re-booked, the $50 processing fee will still apply. (If there is any doubt as to whether you'll be able to make the trip when the balance becomes due, we would suggest you look into purchasing travel insurance through InsureMyTrip.com or through the provider that will be offered to you during the reservation process.)

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What is the lake level policy?

Douglas Lake is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) regulated reservoir. Water levels in the reservoir fluctuate an average of 41' over the course of a year. The TVA tries to maintain a summer pool of 990' - 994' above sea level from June 1st - August 31st, although that may not always be possible - especially during periods of severe drought. The dock at Serenity Hill Cabin is fixed at 985'. Therefore, docking a boat at the cabin dock is not an option when the water level falls below 985'. Serenity Hill Cabin will not be held liable for any damage to any vessel, nor will Serenity Hill Cabin be held liable for docking fees or expenses incurred under these conditions. (The cabin dock is usually floating within the 1st week of May and usually remains dockable until right around Labor Day.)

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