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“Stay in an all metal train car in July? What was I thinking??” 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 #37 of 95 hotels in Chattanooga
Atlanta
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Stay in an all metal train car in July? What was I thinking??”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is a railroad themed hotel with choices from the more familiar and standard rooms to converted railway cars. There is a large station lobby and nice architecture details to check out in the buildings. The site itself is impressive with a selection of restaurants and shops on site with a lovely garden smack in the middle in between several tracks laden with train cars. There is some upkeep attention needed, but for an historic site of this size and scope, we were charmed. However we soon learned that staying in one of their historic train cars in the middle of July was not the best idea of our trip. We arrived around 4:30 P.M.,registered easily and made our way to our train car, finding the room extremely hot and stifling. While the air conditioner was blowing on full cool, and the bed and furniture looked inviting, the train car was essentially uninhabitable. We briefly sat down and quietly dripped sweat. We decided a better decision was to wander about the grounds (there was an astounding Lionel miniature train set in the lobby to enjoy) and let the room temperature drop. When we returned in an hour there was no discernible difference in the heat. It was oppressive. I spoke to the front desk and a helpful young woman immediately switched us to another train car, acknowledging that some of the train rooms had cooling difficulties in the afternoons. This one was better, at least bearable, but our room thermostat reading did not drop below 80 degrees until 8:30 P.M. I thought it must be broken. The room was lovely, nicely decorated in a Victorian theme. Our 10 year old loved the trundle bed, and eventually we slept well and woke to a temperature that was almost TOO cold, but the late afternoon and early evening heat of the day before convinced us to NOT book these rooms in the summer and I'd advise any readers to be forewarned. We may well return in the fall for a second visit when temperatures are more comfortable as we found the area had a lot to offer in historic sites and entertainment.

Room Tip: Stay out of the train cars during the height of summer.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, Owner at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
I am so glad that you were charmed by our facility. At times we do have some challenges in extreme heat in our railcar rooms. However, we do check all our A/C units to assure a cool room upon arrival. I am unclear as to what happened upon your arrival to your car, but will certainly address with the maintenance team. I do apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your compliments of the Victorian theme décor in the room. We look forward to your return.
Regards,
Jill Coker
QA
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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 (476)
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Kentucky
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in June for 3 nights on the train cars. The kids loved it, but the rooms were a bit worn. I was surprised that train rooms were quite large including the bathrooms. It was a fun experience, but I would hope that the carpet, peeling wallpaper and bedcovers get updated. The parking lot was easy to get in and out of. The staff was very friendly. The outdoor pool was also dated with worn towels and chairs. The girls didn't seem to mind.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
It is great to know that your kids enjoyed the railcar experience. The train cars run a very high occupancy during these months. We continue to improve our complex with capital dollars and $870,000 in maintenance and landscaping. We take your comments seriously and review our product. Thanks again for letting us know that you had a fun experience. Our CSI for July is 84%
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

I have stayed here before and have slept in better rooms. I was in building 2. The hotel rooms need major renovations including hallways. It was clean upon first look but the mattresses were not fully covered and it was very musty smelling in the hallways and rooms. Doors to outside did not shut tight. Tv was very dated. Coffee maker was not very clean with paper cups that leaked. Bathtub had a mat in it that felt unclean and was covering something unknown. I did not rest well due to the fact that i felt as if the bed and room were just not clean enough. On the good side- Breakfast buffet is good value and it is very cool to walk around the grounds and see the trains and the architecture in the lobby. Front desk help was very courteous.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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, July 23, 2013
Thank you for your continued business. I am disappointed to hear that your room wasn’t properly prepared for your arrival. We just finished finish another million dollar renovation to Building 2 one and a half years ago. 2This is not the normal level of service that we provide. We will investigate with the department head to see what happened. All of our flat screen TV’s have been replaced within the last 2 years to meet required standards. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the breakfast buffet and the grounds.
Regards,
Jill Coker
QA
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Westbrook, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We are on a month long cross country trip. This was by far the worst quality hotel we stayed in. Felt like it was a bait and switch from what was advertised . The train train station lobby is impressive and beautiful but the hotel is behind the lobby building and is dirty, musty and moldy. The hallways to the elevator to the rooms and pool. Filthy!! Plus they have huge parking lots and have the gall to charge you $6 a nite to park. Total rip off... We have stayed in all sorts of hotels this month from Days Inns to the Hilton. This was by far the worst . Buyer beware!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, July 23, 2013
I am so sorry that we didn’t meet your expectations. However, I am disappointed that we didn’t know of your concerns while you were here. We would have gladly taken care of your situation. All downtown hotels charge for parking. As a matter of fact, the other downtown properties charge anywhere from $8.00 to $15.00 per day. Also, we have 24 hour security.
Regards,
Jill Coker
QA
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Maumee, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights. Our room was a refurbished train car. Fun to try!Everything was very clean and places to eat in the area were very good. The whole place could use updating as other reviews have said. I would tell my friends to stay here for a different experience.

Room Tip: Stay in a train car!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, July 17, 2013
Thanks for your comments about a fun and appreciating the Train Car. We always love to hear that you enjoyed the many other venues at the hotel. We look forward to your return.
Regards,
Jill Ellis
Quality Assurance
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Missouri City, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We arrived into Chattanooga around five and headed to lookout mountain. By the time we finished there it was already seven o'clock. I am an avid Priceline supporter and snagged this amazing hotel at just $75 with taxes for the night. The lobby is amazing. It is an old train station and is beautiful. The hotel has three buildings and we were in the third with a pool balcony. The pool was very clean and well taken care of. They also have a "train station" of old train cars that are transformed into hotel rooms. Our room was slightly dated but very clean, large and comfy. The site has many restaurants and little shops. The food was good but pricey. It was nice to have access to all the areas right on sight. There is an original train that visitors can climb on and check out. There is also an original trolley from New Orleans that you can take a tour of the property. The property is a short distance from the many downtown attractions. This is a great place to stay especially if you have children.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, July 17, 2013
Thanks for your great 5 star review. Also, I am glad that you enjoyed staying with us and recognizing the History and comments about our Grand Dome lobby. Come back soon.
All the Best
Jim Bambrey
GM
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Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

My girlfriend and I went to Chattanooga for white water rafting (which because of the weather was cancelled) and stayed at the Choo Choo. Even though the buildings looked a little old, they were clean and tidy. There was an issue with the shower being blocked when we arrived, but this was cleaned within 5 minutes.
The hotel is more geared towards tourists, as they've got gift shops, trains to look at, and a buffet (we didn't eat there though).
Probably better for families with young kids.

Room Tip: Try and get building three, as the hot tub is close by.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, July 17, 2013
I am so glad you had nice weekend away. Thanks for the comments about responding to your room request.
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 Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 95 hotels in Chattanooga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Chattanooga Choo Choo 3*
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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