A.T. Prep: Getting the Best Rate at Amicalola Falls Lodge

Only a few more sleeps until, instead of counting sheep, I’ll be counting the ponies I hope to see at Grayson Highlands as I dare to doze on the night before the start of my thru-hike. My mom (who did successfully read to the end of my Why I’m Choosing Blogging Over Vlogging blog, by the way!) has graciously agreed to captain the car for the multi-day drive down to Springer Mountain. Hurling three aspiring thru-hikers southbound in my Honda HRV is a Herculean act, as I’m sure her anxieties will not be quelled by our desire to talk trail obsessively. Thus, I booked us a night at Amicalola Falls Lodge for the night before our hike to rest and relax as we say our goodbyes.

What is Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge?

For those who are unfamiliar, Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge is a popular accommodation for aspiring thru-hikers as Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, is located just 8.5 miles away. The arches of the blue-blazed approach trail leading to the summit of Springer Mountain are in Amicalola Falls State Park. With views of Georgia’s largest waterfalls at 729 feet, Amicalola Falls are popular for both thru-hikers looking to catch a glimpse of their beauty before driving up Springer Mountain on a dirt road or for those looking to begin their thru-hike right then and there! In fact, as of 2019, the ATC strongly recommends northbound hikers to begin their hikes at Amicalola State Park. With 57 resort-style rooms in the lodge, cabins outfitted with fireplaces and satellite TV, and RV and tent campsites, there are options for everyone!

What is the Amicalola Falls Lodge Best Rate Guarantee?

After scanning the available accommodations, I was startled by an “Only 1 room left like this” bubble on my computer screen, which prompted me to book the room immediately at $228.85 total, including taxes and services. However, I noticed the “Best Rate Guarantee” tab on their website and gave it a look. I discovered that Amicalola Falls Lodge “guarantees that every hotel reservation booked through the amicalolafallslodge.com website is guaranteed to have the lowest rate publicly available on the Internet.” If a lower rate is found elsewhere for the same room type and dates, Amicalola Falls Lodge will match the lower rate or make it even cheaper (like they did in my case!).

My rate before the Best Rate Guarantee!

How to Obtain the Amicalola Falls Lodge Best Rate Guarantee!

I immediately found that Groupon was selling the same room for the same dates at $119 a night. I called the lodge to found out they despise working with Groupon specifically and was awarded a $115 a night right, including fees, for the same room just because I booked directly through the amicalolafallslodge.com website. The catch is you must contact Amicalola Falls Lodge within 24 hours of booking your room to receive the Best Internet Rate Guarantee. The room also must show as available on the listing site. The representative who assisted me confirmed the new rate directly on the phone with me and sent confirmation as soon as we hung up. He assured that most accommodations offer this best-rate match, even if not advertised. Platforms like Groupon take away control from the service providers, too. If there is a change to a reservation but it was booked through Groupon, it becomes much harder to adjust the reservation. For customer service folks, I imagine this can be frustrating!

My rate after receiving the Best Rate Guarantee!

My first experience booking accommodation on the Appalachian Trail was a success! I can only hope this level of warmth and hospitality continues. All thru-hiking veterans, what hostels and hotels did you stay at during your hike? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

Feature photo courtesy: “Amicalola Falls State Park, North Georgia” by RyanSMcKee is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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