Motels are gaining new respect in the era of social distancing. No longer looked down on, they have become highly sought-after destinations because of their ability to provide safe distance for travelers who are longing for an escape and the freedom of the open road.

The coronavirus has presented more than a few complications when it comes to travel and finding a place to stay. Even with a vaccine making its way across the country, safety remains a top priority as people venture out. The CDC is still advising everyone to continue practicing safety measures like wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing.

“Staying in a big hotel means walking through crowded lobbies, navigating congested indoor communal areas, and squeezing into elevators with fellow guests,” says Joseph McElroy, owner of the Meadowlark Motel. “On the other hand, at a smaller roadside motel people can drive right up to their room, which reduces their risk of exposure.”

Outdoor facing, self-contained rooms allow guests to unload their belongings right from the car while keeping a safe distance from other travelers. It also reduces the number of high-touch spots that guests in larger resorts or hotels may come into contact with. Plus, many motels – especially in tourist areas that are known for outdoor activities – have larger surrounding properties with wide open spaces to spread out.

“The Meadowlark sits on four acres in the Smoky Mountains, giving guests plenty of room to roam around and enjoy the fresh air,” says McElroy. “We have outdoor fire pits, picnic areas, family games, and fishing on Jonathan Creek.”

With a lot of people still apprehensive about flying, nearby destinations like the Smoky Mountains are great drive-to vacation options. People are starting to see the value of the classic road trip and are longing for the nostalgia of a simpler life. The Meadowlark Motel offers an upmarket twist on the roadside motel with its chic Appalachian décor. Its 34 spacious and comfortable accommodations include both traditional motel rooms as well as private cabins that offer a more isolated and residential experience. (The cabins also have private decks that stretch right out over Jonathan Creek – perfect for fishing or enjoying a morning cup of coffee.)

We go the extra mile and are committed to stringent safety policies with our “Stay Safe @ Meadowlark Initiative.” Our employees have all taken COVID-19 training courses designed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rooms are taken out of service for 24 hours after each checkout. Frequent and regular cleaning and disinfecting are a routine part of our services.

We also offer contactless food and beverage services, and Doordash and Grubhub deliver from many of our fantastic local Maggie Valley restaurants. You can find our full list of safety protocols here.

We look forward to welcoming you to our motel for a fun and safe socially distanced Smoky Mountain vacation.