Being somewhat of a road warrior, I can’t even tell you how many short trips I have made that I can’t even recall the hotel I stayed in. The reason being, they were all pretty much the same: headboard bolted to the wall, bed platforms drilled into the floor, two chairs - if you’re lucky, and a small round table that always seems to wobble. How many hotels have you stayed in that fit that description? Sky Harbor is not that kind of place! It is neither B&B or Best Western. This place takes me back to some of my most memorable early family vacations in well maintained and older family-owned motor lodges that offered many features that are likely to differ from room to room. Some might consider this a little quirky or not up-to-standard nowadays. Sky Harbor comes from a much earlier time, and earlier than late 60s I might add. I call it a comfortable room with a view and character - that I can actually afford.
The Sky Harbor Bavarian Inn is perched on a cliff overlooking Moccasin Bend on the Tennessee River side of Lookout Mountain. The approach onto Old Wauhatchie Pike en route to Ruby Falls does not prepare you for the view you get when you open the door to one of the rooms in this historic compound of cottage-like buildings with several rooms within each. The drivable part of the historic Old Wauhatchie Pike ends just beyond the property border and turns into a historic greenway owned by the National Park Service. I can’t speak to whirlpools, champagne, honeymoon suites, family cottages, and condo units that others enjoyed during our stay. I can tell you about our standard double - which we were perfectly happy with.
Our spacious and clean room had two antique double beds, wood paneling, hardwood floors, a refrigerator, microwave, a small drop-leaf dinette table, perfectly functional and quiet heating and cooling, and an updated bathroom. The smell of real wood reminded more of a state park cabin than a room in a chain hotel, but I did not see or smell mold. The mattresses are not Stearns and Foster, and the linens are not that of Westin’s Heavenly beds, but at well under $100 per night we were perfectly content to crawl under our blue flowered sheets and blanket and listen to the night sounds and the distant hum of the city below. The pool was sparkling clean, heated, and a welcomed delight after a particularly warm and busy October 1, 2006. Morning coffee in the little vending room was greatly appreciated. We brought our own coffee for later in the day. The large community patio, which is suspended over a natural cliffside rock garden, is also a good place to enjoy morning coffee or a picnic lunch.
Old fashioned screened doors open onto the best part of all: the view. Day or night, every room has a spacious and private porch with rocking chairs that offer spectacular views. Enjoy the view at the pool, patio, or your own private porch. I can only say one thing to the person who said that all they saw was a railroad and an industrial plant: your glass is half empty. Did you notice downtown Chattanooga over the hill on Moccasin bend or the riverboats heading down the river, Signal mountain in the distance, or almost all of Missionary Ridge? Yes, you can get a better view. No, you are not right on the river or on the summit. Shell out a couple of million for a house on East or West Brow on the summit of Lookout Mountain for the best views in the city. See the photos and you decide if the view meets with your approval.
THANK YOU Patsy and Steve for a wonderful weekend. You provided a much needed respite in what has been a very hectic and trying year.
- Also Known As:
- Sky Harbor Bavarian Hotel Chattanooga