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“We had a nice stay” 4 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 99 Hotels in Chattanooga
SIndiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We had a nice stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2009

We just returned home from a 4 night stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, which we found to be a nice hotel. I chose to stay there due to the historical significance of the hotel. I can stay at a regular hotel anywhere. I had a smooth check-in, and Eliot was very informative about the hotel and local area, he even called the room about 1/2 way through our stay to make sure everything was ok. We stayed in building 3, upon check-in Eliot asked if I prefered one building over another. I chose building 3 to be close to the outdoor pool with the waterfall and to have an outdoor balcony. With 2 adults and 3 kids we choose a room with 2 double beds, and requested a roll a way. We found our room to be spacious even with the roll-a-way. The room did appear to be a little aged but it was very clean. The air conditioning worked well and was not noisy. There were not very many channels to choose from on the TV as several posters have mentioned, but with so many things to do in the area What are you doing watching TV? We just needed cartoons at bedtime. I was happy to find that they do have free high speed wireless. The cleaning staff did a great job each day cleaning our room and did replace any toiletries we had used. We spent each evening at the pool, visiting both outdoor pools and the hot tub. I found both pools and the hot tob to be clean, and did see the hot tub get emptied and scrubbed while we were there, The only fault I saw was that the hot tub was small (6 person limit). Some posters have complained that building 3 is far from the front lobby, but I did see many people getting rides is golf carts from staff (we chose to walk though, even with a 6 year old. It's not that far). We felt perfectly safe while we were at the hotel, and being from the country we don't normally feel safe within any "city limits", and we did see security patrolling the parking lots during the evening/early nighttime hours. We did eat at the gardens restaraunt twice while there. We had a buffet style supper which was nice. The food was good but I thought a little over priced for what they had to offer. The breakfast buffet on the other hand was excellent and very well priced. Having the shuttle that takes you to the downtown area right next door came in very handy. We didn't move our car 2 of the 3 days we were there. I will stay at this hotel again if we return to the area.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, August 11, 2009
Dear Sindiana,
Thanks for your many positive comments about our unique hotel. It sounds as if we were the perfect choice for you and your family, and that you found everything here that you anticipated.
We are a very safe complex, and I will pass your comments on to our Security Department. We hope you will be back to visit with us soon.

All the Best,

Jim Bambrey
GM
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2,114 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
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English first
Queens, New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2009

My husband was very interested in the Choo Choo but, after reading the reviews, I was VERY worried. Luckily my fears weren't completely realized although a lot of improvements in the hotel could be made.

Check-in was fairly easy- but finding our train car room, parking and transporting luggage wasn't fun. There are no parking spots reserved for the train cars so parking is not very convenient. Luckily we have wheels on our luggage, but rolling over train tracks wasn't fun. Our room was OK - after unpacking I noticed a drawer missing in the dresser and also realized that night there was no clock/radio in the room. Reported both at check-out so as not to be charged!

The Hotel-Convention Center is interesting and a great way to save and preserve a part of history. It's probably a sign of the economy - or poor planning - that its age is showing. The first night we were tired so ate in the restaurant, singing waiters were advertised and they actually helped the poor quality of the food. The breakfast buffet was average, not really a bargain. The lobby bar was very nice - a touch of old-world class but not later in the evening when shelves were stripped to be locked up because of lack of customers.

In all our experience wasn't the worse - and it was fun to say we slept in a Train Car - but we won't be back!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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ChooChoo29, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, August 11, 2009
Thank you for your comments on our hotel. As far as the train cars go, we have replaced the carpet in all of the cars in the last 3 months and the bathrooms were totally remodeled 3 years ago. The bedding in the train cars is brand new. We do use antique furniture of the era ie. Quenne Anne chairs etc. I expect should you visit in the future you would see additional improvements throughout our 24 acre property. We are glad you enjoyed the entertainment at the Station House restaurant and the atmosphere of the Victorian Lounge. Our lounge is always opened during its advertised hours and our products are locked up at night to avoid possible loss as there are no actual doors to the lounge that can be locked.

We hope you return and I would welcome a conversation with you.

Regards

Jim Bambrey
GM
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Tansz
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2009

We were in Chattanooga for a family reunion. I am sure this place was picked for it's historic train theme. My Mom and I booked 3 nights here because most family events were taking place here.

Arrival: We arrived early. Check in was 3PM. We took a redeye from LAX and got into Chattanooga around 10AM. The lobby was lovely at first glance. High ceilings and antique furniture. The tile floor needed to be replaced. The ladies room off the lobby REALLY needs to be updated. I can see where they wanted to keep the historical charm, but I don't think they have spent a penny on remodeling the lobby in 30 years.

We were greeted Andrea in the reception area. We were told check in was 3PM, but she would check us in early. She asked us to come back in an hour. As promised, she gave us keys to building 2 when we came back. The hotel has 3 seperate hotel buildings in the back, you must drive or take a shuttle to them.

The exterior of building 2 was DISGUSTING! I was ready to check out and try to get a room at the Doubletree downtown. However, our family reunion was booked there and my Mom said we should at least look inside the room first. The carpet in the hallways were heavily stained, not a good sign. We walked in the room and it was HORRIBLE!! There was wallpaper with a big rip in it. The carpet was filthy. The bathroom was GROSS! There was a mildewy smell. GROSS! I immeadiately called Andrea and asked if there were better rooms. Andrea said that we would have to wait until 3PM
I decided to check out the rest of the hotel before driving back to the lobby. I noticed building 3. There were many people with luggage heading in there. I could tell by the outside that it was the newest building. I noticed at least 4 families that were behind us in line heading to their rooms BEFORE 3PM!! The pool was full and much better than the pool in building 2

The difference between building 2 and 3 was HUGE. This hotel seemed to SEGREGATE based on race. Building 2 was below Motel 6 quality and was full of African Americans. Building 3 was a weak 3 star hotel and was occupied only by white guests. We watched the guest enter/exit buidling 3 for about 30 minutes. We checked out the pool. There was not ONE person of color in building 3! I was furious!

I went back to the reception area. Adrea was still checking in people BEFORE 3PM!! I overheard the people in front of me. They were returning guest, they were all white. They were ALL given keys to building 3 before 3PM. I am African American. Why did we have to wait an hour for a room? Why did we get building 2 (Motel Hell), and why did we have to wait until 3PM to get moved to another room? I asked Andrea these questions. She immeadiately gave us keys to building 3 and said she happened to have a room early for us after I threatened to pull our reservation and go to the Doubletree.
Building 3 was much better and cleaner. Most of my family switched their rooms to building 3 after we told them to do so. It seemed they gave us all the dirtiest rooms in building 2.

Banquet Facilites and Exterior:

The banquet facilities on the side of the hotel was wonderul. The food at our banquet was super. The courtyard is lovely and peaceful. The trolley car and the conductor was fun.

I do NOT recommend this hotel. The segregation could have been a coincidence, but I doubt it. This is not a 3 star property by any strecth.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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, General Manager at Chattanooga Choo Choo, responded to this review, July 27, 2009
Hello Tansz,
We are very sorry that your initial arrival at our hotel was not satisfactory, but it does sound as if Andrea was doing everything she could to accommodate you and your family. Your title is a bit harsh.. We have just this past year spent over $1,000,000 on renovations. We totally renovated 75 guest rooms and all corridors in one of our buildings. Also, the Victorian Lounge, Roosevelt Room and the Main Dome Lobby received new carpet , vinyl, paint and furniture selected by our interior designer. In the last couple of years, we have renovated 225 guest rooms and 48 train cars. We are committed to continued capital expeditures to make our 25 acre complex a great value for our guests.
Our lobby is on the National Register of Historic Places. We take great pride that we have changed the lobby in very small ways since it was opened 100 years ago in 1909. . We have just been accepted into Historic Hotels of America (only 200 in the USA).
What you have called segregation is a matter of coincidence. This summer, many of our family reunions (of various races) have used Penn Station as a place to gather between organized functions. Penn Station is attached to building 2 and that is why we have also blocked rooms in building 2 for these reunions. The group leader selected Building 2 for the reunion. The only factors we consider when booking an event or guest room is what is available at the time of booking and what room type will best accommodate the guest. The other guests who were checking into building 3 may have previously been booked for that building and that is why their rooms were ready prior to 3PM. We are glad that once you were checked into building 3, you did enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Our Sales Manager (Tonya Steele) visited Penn Station on several occasions and everybody was very happy. As a matter of fact, the group leader, as we speak is looking to book another group at our hotel. That confirms that we did a good job on your reunion.

I will be more than Happy to speak with you,

Regards,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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tazewell TN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2009

Called ahead to make sure there would be a train car room available, reservation desk attendant said there was plenty of room come on down. Drove 3 hours to get there only to find the train car rooms I specifically asked for earlier had been sold out, had been for over 2 weeks. NICE ... not, so we decided to just suck it up and stay there anyway. Rooms were clean, staff was nice but the rooms were outdated felt like I was in a motel or a housing project. Don't get me wrong motels are great for some, but that is not where we stay. Beds were rock hard there was no pillow top mattress on that bed. furniture was old, the air conditioner worked poorly and was very noisy ALL NIGHT. Over priced MOTEL in our opinion, really don't think it belongs with the Holiday Inn's name on it that's for sure. We will never stay there again and do not recommend anyone else staying there. Pretty bad if they have to lie to perspective guests to get them to come there. We made the best of our trip. Absolutely loved the restaurant with the singing waiting staff, it was great, well worth the wait.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 30, 2009
I am very sorry for the problems you experienced during the reservation process .

The best way to make sure that a room is available on the night you plan to stay is to make a reservation when you call to check availability. It is very possible that the train cars sold out before you arrived. I wish you had brought you concerns to management during your stay we would have addressed them immediately. It’s concerning that people that people leave and don’t give us the opportunity to resolve any issues.
As for your room, I don't know what room you stayed in? We have just this past year spent over $1,000,000 on renovations. We totally renovated 75 guest rooms and all corridors in one of our buildings. In the last couple of years, we have renovated 225 guest rooms and 48 train cars. We are committed to continued capital expeditures to make our 25 acre complex a great value for our guests.

I would be happy to speak with the guest

Regards,

Jim Bambrey
GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, AL
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2009

I attended a model train convention based at this hotel from July 6 to July 12. The extensive grounds and railroad car exhibits were GREAT! The staff was very friendly, efficient, and well focused on attending to our needs. There are a number of food venues and each of the ones we used were great tasting and affordable. The historic nature of the hotel provided a perfect setting for our convention. We had a great time - inspite of our hectic schedule.

Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
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 21, 2009
Thanks for your great comments!!!

It's exciting to hear great comments like yours ,especially when you are speaking about a group that visited our hotel. Our 25 acre complex is a versatile venue for all groups. Thanks for your great comments about the staff . They are The Best.

.Thanks again---hope to see you soon!!

Jim Bambrey
GM
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Georgia
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2009

I surprised my husband with this trip for our 9th Anniversary. This would be the first time we had taken a trip alone since our son was born 7 years ago. So I was so excited to only be disappointed and soon as we opened the door. The smell was like being in a nursing home. The furniture looked like it had just been picked up from a yard sale. The bathroom was disgusting...it was a shower you wanted to wear flip flops in for sure. The bed had some kind of blanket with plastic in it so everytime you moved or your spouse moved it woke you up. For $200 a night I expected so much more. I travel for business often and this is by far the worse place I have ever stayed. I could not enjoy Chattanooga, which is a great place, for thinking of the money wasted. The staff was great!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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 21, 2009
Thank you for your comments on your stay. I am very sorry we didn’t meet your expectations. This is how we improve our service and product to the guests. As far as the train cars go, we have replaced the carpet in all of the cars in the last 3 months and the bathrooms were totally remodeled 3 years ago. The bedding in the train cars is brand new. We do use antique furniture of the era ie. Quenne Anne chairs etc. The Department Head has inspected every one of our 48 train car bathrooms, because of your comment. We have replaced some of the tub mats and that maybe was the issue. Our train cars are very popular and we sell out of them regularly..


I hope you come back and give us another try. –

Jim Bambrey
GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

The Choo-Choo is located on the Terminal Station property. The magnificant station, itself, is the Lobby, Reception Area, several of the restaurants, and the bar. Lodging is available in nicely restored railroad cars or in regular rooms and suites located in three buildings on the campus. Being rail histroians, we have been coming to the Choo-Choo for many years to visit the rail attractions in Chattanooga; but please do not think that railroad attractions are all that this location can offer. Particularily conventient is the free electric bus service, located across the driveway, which connects with downtown Chattanooga, as well as other loctions. Chattanooga is also an ideal location for those interested in Civil War history, and the Choo-Choo is conventiently located to the battlefields.

Our room was very comfortable, with all of the amenities, associated with a good hotel. In addition, just being on the property and walking among the gardens and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of this histroic location were well worth the trip. The staff are very friendly and helpful, as well as being available when needed.

There are several restaurants on location. On this visit, we ate several nights in the Garden Restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed the buffets. Of particular note is the Prime Rib Buffet. The Prime Rib is nicely seasoned and well prepared and presented at the Carving Station.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, July 21, 2009
Thank you for your kind words about your stay here at the Choo Choo. We hear many similar comments from other guests.
We are very proud of our Historic Hotel and our 100 year anniversary this year. I will pass on the nice comments about the staff at our next meeting..

Hope to see you again soon! –
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 99 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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