Site Visit | Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center

By Lesley Grissum, December 16, 2013

Situated in the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, the natural surroundings of Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center make it an ideal location for teambuilding and spiritual retreats. The destination’s mission is to be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through a renewal of soul, mind and body. The property has more than 400 guest rooms to accommodate groups of all sizes. One option is the Terrace Hotel, which overlooks Lake Junaluska. Guests can kick back in rocking chairs along the lakeside terrace or take a walk through the adjacent rose garden. There are 105 guest rooms, which each accommodate up to 4. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, private baths and free Wi-Fi. There is a dining room that serves buffet-style meals for up to 350, and there are a number of lodges available to guests. Lakeside Lodge has 25 motel-style guest rooms and is located near a dining hall, a youth center and an aquatic center. Mountain View Lodge, with 42 guest rooms, and Sunnyside Lodge, with 38 guest rooms, were both renovated in early 2010. Apartment-style accommodations with kitchenettes are also available as is a campground with full RV hookups, tent sites, rustic cabins and a laundromat.

Set along Lake Junaluska, the property has no shortage of outdoor activities. The aquatic center has an outdoor pool and offers boat, canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals. Also on-site is a 3.7-mile walking trail around the lake, an 18-hole golf course, mini golf, seasonal boat rides, a playground area for children, two museums, shuffleboard and tennis courts. A children’s day camp program is available in the summer. In the winter, guests can keep the outdoor fun going on the ski slopes.

Aside from the great outdoors, plenty of meeting spaces are available. The historic Stuart Auditorium is the property’s largest space. Over the past century, it has hosted noted public speakers like Eleanor Roosevelt as well as performances by the Junaluska Singers. It accommodates 90 on stage and 50 in the rehearsal room and is outfitted with state-of-the-art AV equipment. The lakeside Memorial Chapel holds 225 and is ideal for religious ceremonies and bible studies. Bethea Welcome Center is the newest facility on-site. The 12,000-sq.-ft. multipurpose building serves as a welcome center for the region and has two meeting spaces. Larger groups can use Shackford Hall, which holds more than 650 and has 11 meeting rooms. It features a large auditorium and free Wi-Fi throughout.

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