Gary Doyle didn’t want this treasure to remain hidden.

For 20 years, RT Lodge in Maryville, Tenn., hosted corporate retreats, weddings and other events in its elegant, secluded setting next to the Maryville College Woods. But by 2016, demand had climbed high enough to justify opening the Ruby Tuesday-owned deluxe hotel and restaurant to the public.

“It seemed to us that there was a great opportunity to provide a downtown Maryville option for hotel accommodations that provided quick access to the airport and surrounding business community for those needing a home base,” said Doyle, RT Lodge’s general manager.

The Lodge began welcoming personal diners and lodgers to its restored 1930’s-era campus last August, and so far the move has been a resounding success.

“It is extremely rewarding to provide a public restaurant and hotel to individuals without the restrictions of being part of a retreat or wedding event,” Doyle said. “This diversity of group and individual venues and services we provide might drive others batty, but we enjoy the mix.”

Those services include lush accommodations featuring custom-crafted furniture in a classic lodge environment, as well as a gourmet restaurant led by Executive Chef Trevor Stockton. RT Lodge also remains a prized local destination for special events and corporate retreats.

“Our isolated location adjacent to Maryville College Woods in the middle of Maryville gives the feeling of being at a remote, natural and elegantly rustic hotel and restaurant, while being only 30 minutes from downtown Knoxville and 10 minutes from the airport,” said Doyle.

All guest rooms at RT Lodge are furnished with a king or two single beds, each topped with down comforters and made up with the elegant, country-house comfort of Ralph Lauren linens. The 60-bed lodging space is divided into two buildings, both in close proximity to the main lodge.

The restaurant, which accepts reservations Tuesdays through Saturdays, offers a gourmet seasonal menu, extensive drink list and intimate atmosphere.

Events, weddings and group retreats remain RT Lodge’s specialty. Its campus offers formal boardrooms, a laid-back fire pit and everything in between, as well as customized dining menus and the technology to facilitate productive meetings.

“For retreats and weddings there is an intimacy provided by the small campus feel to this footprint,” Doyle said. “It provides privacy from the herd when desired while keeping quick accessibility to event activity and services.”

Doyle emphasizes that while RT Lodge may be a complex business to run, it all boils down to a simple philosophy: If you provide premium hospitality, guests will become friends.

“One of the goals is to leave no details unattended, from the aesthetics and lighting, outstanding meals, warm and comfortable living spaces and accommodations, to genuine, friendly, helpful interactions with a hospitality-driven service and culinary team,” Doyle said. “If every need is anticipated and provided in a way that is above expectations, then hopefully our guests will leave here feeling better than when they arrived.”

“I had a guest relay to me a couple of weeks ago that the Lodge team was providing mission work.  Our interactions, smiles, and sincere display of warm hospitality had promoted an elevation of spirit in his group.

“That’s the kind of feedback we enjoy receiving.”

To book a stay, meal or event at RT Lodge, visit www.rtlodge.com.

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