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“A lost opportunity” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chattanooga Choo Choo

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Chattanooga Choo Choo
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1400 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402-4489   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #49 of 98 Hotels in Chattanooga
Oxford
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A lost opportunity”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

The idea behind this hotel is a good one. They have converted the old Chattanooga Railway Station, some adjoining buildings, and a few old train carriages (still on the rails) into a hotel and a couple of restaurants and a shop. The concept is so good that I am sure that, if someone invested a few million dollars in it, and they decided to run it with some efficiency and enthusiasm, it would be worth a visit to Chattanooga just for a stay at the hotel. Unfortunately, it is patently obvious that no such investment has taken place. The place is tired, badly in need of redecoration and definitely in need of a good clean and certainly not worth a detour. Everything about the accommodatiion suggests that no one is very interested in it. The hotel offers a couple of restaurants on site. The Garden Restaurant is situated in a huge, cavernous space which was probably the waiting room. The many, many tables, were well laid out but the place was almost completely empty and, pursuant to our policy of never eating in an empty restaurant (there must be a reason) we moved on to the Station House Restaurant next door which was packed. This place was huge fun but don’t go there if you are hoping for a quiet evening! The waiting staff also double up as singers on stage and they are good. There is also a resident group and the music is almost non-stop. The price of the meal includes an all-you-can-eat fruit and salad bar and the food was good. The waiting staff are extremely friendly, enormously good fun and amazingly hard-working and talented. We loved the fact that my 70 year old husband had to produce I.D. before he could buy a bottle of wine! The hotel is situated in the wrong end of town (be careful if you turn left out of the hotel) but the terminus of the free bus into town is right by the hotel. It is such a shame that this hotel singularly fails to realise its potential. They can’t rely on one 72 year old Glenn Miller song to bring them business for ever. We stayed there whilst on the Titan ‘Southern Sights and Sounds’ escorted tour.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
I am sorry to hear that you weren’t happy with your accommodations. Let me assure you that we have renovated every year in some fashion. I know because I do the purchasing for these renovations. Three and a half years ago, we finished a 1 million dollar plus renovation to our guest rooms and corridors in Building 3 to brand standards. We just finished another million dollar renovation to Building 2. In addition our capital plan, we spend $870,000 dollars annually on maintenance and landscaping. Thanks for your impressions; it enables me to let the public know about the complex. As I have mentioned before, the Southside of downtown (our area) has undergone a revitalization with restaurants (3), retail and housing ($300,000+ condo’s) in the last couple of years. There are 2 buildings across the street that have been purchased and will be developed in the future. There have been millions of dollars invested in our area and we are very proud of it. Thank you for your kind comments about the Station House, it’s always a hit.
Regards,
Jill Ellis Coker
Quality Assurance
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1,992 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (567)
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English first
Evansville, Indiana
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

Overall this was an amazing trip. Seeing the excitement on my 2.5 year olds face when he realized we would be sleeping on a choo choo was priceless. The room (rail car) was dated which wasn't an issue but it was in desperate need of some elbow grease. When we first got there the carpet from the door to the bathroom was wet. The tub was dark on the bottom and the tile floor had a dirty film. The room just needed a good scrub down. The air conditioner was loud but that was ok because the rail cars are thin and the air drowned out the surrounding noise. The grounds were beautiful my son especially loved the fish. We had dinner one night at the pizza restaurant. The pizza was just ok and like everywhere else could have used a good scrub down. The day bed and trundle could use new mattresses but the queen bed was comfy. The staff was excellent and even when there was a problem with my bill at check out they addressed it immediately. This trip was well worth it just to see how excited my son was over the choo choo.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thanks for your 4 Star review and I am pleased you had a good experience. Also, I am glad that you enjoyed staying in one of our signature rooms, the train cars. Children always love them. We get many similar comments from other guests. We have identified the car you were in from our PMS and it has been deep cleaned.
All the Best
Jim Bambrey
GM
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Washington, Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

My room was in Building #3. Plenty of room for solo guest,comfortable bed, nice but small balcony overlooking beautiful and functional pool (you can get away with smoking which is why I mention small balcony!) My friends in the other 2 buildings were not impressed. Property being gradually renovated but in my opinion, your stay would be most enjoyable in Building #3. Ask for that building. Great choice of dining opportunities on the premises. The Brewhouse restaurant immediately adjacent worth your time and money too. Lobby is spectacular. Some activities for kids. Easy travel to river, where most development has moved. Breakfast must be purchased from on site restaurant. Convention food typical and so-so.

Room Tip: Must book Building #3 only!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 16, 2013
Thanks for your great comments. Glad you enjoyed your room, the balcony, and other venues around our complex. Thanks for choosing the Choo Choo for your stay. We look forward to another visit real soon.
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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Brentwood TN
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

Yes, this an old, historic hotel. So, you expect things to not be a "five star" environment.

The pros:

Really neat setting. Tons of stuff to do in and around the property. Has a nostalgic feel. Room was relatively modern and clean. Staff is very friendly. I could see where it'd be fun to bring a family with young kids. Indoor pool for the winter months. Model railroad. Arcade. Access to bike rentals and shuttle buses. Very convenient.

Cons:

Not sure why all the downtown hotels are so expensive in this City. The hallway to the room had a musty smell to it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Thank you for your kind review. We do have a lot to offer on our complex. I am glad that you were able to enjoy the grounds and utilize the other venues on our property. It is wonderful to hear that your accommodations were very nice. I will share your comments with the staff. We look forward to you coming back again and again and again!
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

When you step aboard one of the historical train cars, you can't but wonder how many others rode that car during its glory days. It's the most unique stay we have had in our travels....including several island hops. And just a hundred yards away was the free electric shuttle which takes you all over downtown Chattanooga. And we would add that the "Apple Granny" served in the Garden's restuarant was amazing. It's a "must try". We will be back!

Room Tip: Secure a train car that looks into the garden. Amazing view at night.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Thanks for the Amazing review. It is nice to hear that you enjoyed staying overnight in one of our signature, railcar rooms. Thanks for your comments. Come back again soon!
Regards
Jill Ellis Coker
QA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

hotel is well maintained staff is great, security is excellent always visible. security uses golf carts to take you from your room to dining if you do not want to walk. gardens are a pleasure to walk thru. rooms are well maintained ,clean, comfortable tram is next door to take you downtown about 30 minute intervals. plenty of things to do shops, antiques, night life. you will not be disappointed with your stay

Room Tip: building 3 looks newer has an outside pool & hot tub. building 1 has indoor pool and is closer...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
What terrific comments about our hotel and staff...The guest is our main priority and I am so glad to hear that we met your expectations. We look forward to many return visits…
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

If you' re looking for a modern clean cut glass and stainless steel hotel then look somewhere else because this Hotel is a step back into History and throws accommodation in to help you enjoy that blast into the past. This hotel is a converted Railway Station, and is surrounded by rolling stock of all descriptions. Creatively railway coaches/ carriages have been turned into hotel guests accommodation and line a walkway to the restaurants for breakfast, lunches , dinner etc. The old Station's waiting rooms and buildings are guest rooms and do not impose on the original building, which retains the charm of the 1909's Railway Station, Chattanooga.
There are three separate hotel sites each with swimming pool, one of which is indoor.
Three restaurants serve good fresh food, well presented and at a reasonable price.
The staff are unobtrusive and attentive when called upon. Rooms are cleaned well and left in a good condition. There is a good supply of toiletries and coffee .( no tea) .
Keeping on with the railway / train theme there are other interesting places to visit......take a trip on The Tennessee Valley Railway, .( sometimes with steam) and a ride up the mountain with the inclined railway.

Room Tip: Go for the Railway Carriages and visit the Victorian times in your sleep.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Thanks for your 4 STAR REVIEW! I am glad that you had a great experience at the Choo Choo.. We get many similar comments from other guests. Thank you for appreciating the the history! We hope that you will come back again while visiting Chattanooga.
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chattanooga Choo Choo

Address: 1400 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402-4489
Location: United States > Tennessee > Chattanooga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 98 Hotels in Chattanooga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Chattanooga Choo Choo 3*
Number of rooms: 363
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of the South's most renowned landmarks, the Chattanooga Choo Choo opened in 1909 and welcomed thousands of travelers during the Golden Age of railroads. Today, the 23 acre complex is a magnificently restored hotel resort for visitors of all ages. The Holiday Inn Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel offers a variety of overnight accommodations, including the famous Victorian Era train rooms and luxurious suites. *Theme restaurants *Specialty shops *Authentic New Orleans trolley ride *Model railroad display *Convention Center *3 swimming pools *Tennis courts *Beautiful formal gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel Chattanooga
Holiday Inn Chattanooga Choo
Chattanooga Holiday Inn

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