We discovered Riverbend Lodge through AirBnB while looking for a new place to camp. We had been to a number of larger campgrounds this year, and wanted to find a spot where we weren't competing with dozens - or hundreds - of other campers for a good site. Someplace with some privacy and quiet. Riverbend Lodge fit the bill.
Riverbend Lodge is a unique mix of lodge, restaurant, bar, and campsites. The owners are working on renovating the lodge and restaurant, and they have cleared some spots on the Middle Fork French Broad River to accommodate campers. They have tent sites right on the river (more of a creek, great small falls and peaceful sounds). We have a jeep with a rooftop tent, and the site we had was spacious and felt secluded. There was a firepit at the site, and a trash can. The owners live in an RV on-site, and said that they have a second site that has power and water hook-ups for a pop-up or RV. Most of the sites are primitive. There are picnic tables at a couple of areas on the property, but our site did not have a table.
There is a bathroom for campers with a flush toilet, sink, and tub/shower. They also have a hot tub and sauna, and the use is included in the camping fee - a real bargain! Both looked new and were immaculately maintained.
We did not view the lodge rooms for rent. We did enjoy the restaurant the night we got there, the food was very good and reasonably priced for what we got. We also had breakfast the last morning there, it is only served on weekends but it is only $10 for all you care to eat, and it is served to you - not buffet style. The staff were friendly and provided good service. The owners are a young couple, working hard to improve the lodge and offer a great experience. We will definitely return to Riverbend Lodge.