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“The rail heart of America”

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Chattanooga Choo Choo
Ranked #37 of 97 Hotels in Chattanooga
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“The rail heart of America”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

This hotel is situated in the old terminus station made famous in the Glen Miller hit tune from the 1930's. It is clean, comfortable and with a good restaurant with friendly and helpful staff. The adjacent shops and "railwayana" are all worth seeing. if you want you can also sleep in one of the rail cars from that era. It is uniquely American - they have done a great job of rescuing the old station from decline and sustaining its appeal into the 21st century. Congratulations USA.

Room Tip: Try one of the old rail cars
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank denis89
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 22, 2013
It is very pleasing for us to hear your great comments. Our property does offer many unique and different venues. We are very proud of the history behind our hotel. It is certainly important to use that we have repeat guests like you. Thank you...I agree that we have friendly staff and it is great that you recognized that and let us know. It is comments like yours that keep us smiling. We look forward to your next visit.
Regards,
Jill Ellis Coker
Quality Assurance
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Asheville, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Great stay. Priceline booked this hotel for us for under $100/night. Staff was extremely helpful, clean room and clean grounds that were beautiful. My husband and I are not people who nit-pick about every little thing we can find wrong with any place we stay. If you are wanting to stay at a nice clean hotel that is downtown with friendly staff and a peek into the past this is the place for you. If you want a hotel that has the "Hilton" amenities then book a room at the "Hilton" and pay the "Hilton" prices. Will stay at the Choo Choo again when we come back to Chattanooga!
P.S. A very special thank you to Sherri in the HR department.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jess398
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
GREAT STAY is what we love to hear. Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful comments. Our goal is to be the best hospitality value in the city. We appreciate your great comments about our staff. We look forward to your return.
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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

The Chattanooga Choo Choo has a big heart and our kids (5 and 2) had a grand time. Overall, we're glad we stopped here on our way from the Midwest to Florida. The main lobby is a trip back in time, and the offbeat train-related attractions around the property were a lot of fun--climbing on an old steam engine and caboose, visiting the gardens, a few coin-op rides, and looking at various curiosity shops. Breakfast at the Gardens restaurant was copious, filling, kid friendly and pretty good.

There is a nifty short-track railroad on the property that you can ride for a couple of bucks. We were there during one of its runs; for some reason they were not accepting passengers, although the train was operating; my kids were actually pretty disappointed. The ticket seller couldn't tell us if we were going to get to go or not until literally the minute before the train took off.

The real downside of this hotel: the guest areas of the property could really use some freshening up. The hallways, pool area, and guest rooms (we stayed in building 1) are tired and more than a little dingy. I know the manager has been telling reviewers they should have called to have their room cleaned if they found it dirty--but this is the kind of dirty that can't be cleaned. Old grout and caulk, faded carpeting, a lot of scuffs, just a kind of pervasive datedness--this is why renovations were invented. If the owners have spent millions updating the property, it doesn't yet show.

So come on folks, do what other historic hotels seem to have done and bring your facilities up to date. Raise the rates a little if you have to; at the current rate, the current accommodations are not very good value. I would recommend to the management that they also find a way to open up a train car to visitors during the daytime. Unless we missed something, they are currently all used as hotel rooms or meeting rooms, so they are locked at all times.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Ferrites
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
I apologize for the problems that you experienced during your stay. Let me address your concerns:
• First of all we are glad you had fun.
• It is totally unacceptable that your room was not clean.
• The renovations that I have mentioned have been done. We will continue in the Fall with more upgrading. I’m sorry you don’t believe me, which is concerning.
• I have reviewed your comments with the respective Department Heads, so that they can take corrective action. We take your comments very seriously and it is our opportunity to improve our product and service.
• I’m sorry about the Trolley ride situation, we will check it out.
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.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
1 review
Reviewed May 17, 2013

We have guest that come from all over the world to visit. Most recently our guest from Turkey wanted to return back to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. After a 7 day stay, they are still impressed with the friendliness of the staff and how safe they felt while staying. They love the "Station House" and say it is so unique and fun, enjoying the personal touch of the waiter singing to them at their table.
Our guest did stay previously at other local hotels, but they told me they would not want to stay anywhere else but the Choo Choo when they visit Chattanooga.

Room Tip: Building 3 to be close to outdoor pool and walking distance to the indoor.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Fran J
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 5 Star review. I am so glad your guests enjoy our hotel. I see your guests enjoyed other amenities we have on the complex. Have them return any time.
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.
Oxford
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank OxfordTigger
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evansville, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jknnbs10
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank washingtonga
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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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

Property: Chattanooga Choo Choo
Address: 1400 Market St, 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 ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 97 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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