At best, you are getting a large hotel complex that offers plenty to do when you are NOT in your room: beautiful gardens, lots of history, a lovely lobby, fun gift shops, a trolley you can ride for a few dollars, things like that. You also can hop on the free electric shuttle to all the wonderful attractions downtown. The rose gardens are impressive, and the largest in the city. The fountains are really pretty, and they serve as a good distraction for children who do not want to be cooped up in their rooms. While we were there, in fact, the Lionel Train Convention was there, and they had set up quite an elaborate train in the lobby. I believe some guests thought this was a permanent exhibit at the Choo Choo when it really isn't.
The downside? The rooms are HORRENDOUS in hotels 2 and 3, and they need major renovation. We were moved from our original room because of overpowering cigarette smoke (in a nonsmoking room) to a room that was not any better in a different building, but at least it didn't reek of cigarette smoke. We were on the third floor in Hotel 3. The elevator rattles so much that we told our son it's to replicate the sound that a train makes. The sign says the elevator permit is on file in the lobby, and while I've never really paid attention to those things, I actually wonder if the permit doesn't exist because it's just that bad. Our room's A/C did not work, and the exhaust in the bathroom did not work, either. Gnats were flying all over the place in the bathroom, possibly as a result.
It took them 1 1/2 days to fix the A/C.
Do not expect a mini fridge in your room. You get a small coffee pot. No free breakfast here, either. There is a small cafe to the side of the big restaurant where you can grab a bagel or muffin if you want to avoid a big breakfast. They have a $12 buffet for breakfast in the Gardens Inn restaurant as well as a la carte. We did the cafe. Cheaper and offered what we needed. Or, just go downtown and try some of the great new coffee shops down there. Lots to choose from if you have not been to Chattanooga in a few years.
Years ago - before we were parents - we stayed in a train car and enjoyed it very much. Only drawback to that was that kids and grown ups alike would climb up to the train cars in the morning and talk about how much fun it would be to sleep in one, sometimes pulling on the doors to see if they were open. Plus, they are all out in the open, and many people bang on them as they walk through the gardens.
I am very glad I went to a site to bid on this one for WELL under the advertised price, because I would be incredibly upset if I had paid the advertised price; instead, I paid $80 less than the advertised price, which sits much better based on the value of the musty, gross room.
- 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