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“Improved historic hotel”

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Chattanooga Choo Choo
Ranked #38 of 97 Hotels in Chattanooga
ocala, fl
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Improved historic hotel”
Reviewed July 6, 2014

This was our second visit to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel and I really noticed a dramatic improvement in the quality of service throughout the hotel. From the front desk to housekeeping to the servers and bartenders, everyone was friendly and helpful. There are a lot of positives to this hotel – location, history, uniqueness, and a multitude of things to do without leaving the hotel. Where else can you ride a New Orleans trolley, have a drink in a Victorian Lounge, and visit a model train display without even leaving your hotel? I won’t deny that the hotel needs some cosmetic updating, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Even if you don’t choose to stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, it’s at least worth a visit on your next trip to Chattanooga.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TravelersM2M
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 9, 2014
Thanks for sharing your story with us and being a repeat customer. Also, thanks for noticing we are moving up and making improvements. Your staff comments are always welcomed; we hear this from many other guests. Our year to date Customer Satisfaction Index with TA is 82.5%
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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Fairhope, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014

I have stayed here several times over the past twenty years, gets a bit shabbier every time, but the history of the trains is great and the area is quiet and away from downtown and easy access on the trolley or the rental bikes, so I keep coming back. Just south of the Choo Choo is a street with some lovely shops, an art shop for the disabled to sell their art, a winery outlet, a Cuban restaurant, a farmer's market, etc and as for the condemned building across the street, the neon frog jumping sign is going to be refurbished. So the neighborhood is moving up, someday maybe the Choo Choo will get a facelift, too.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Weekenders36532
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 9, 2014
Thanks for the great comments about the history of our complex and 4 Star review! I am pleased that you keep coming back, thanks. As mentioned before, I have been here for 13 years, and we have renovated every guest room (363) at least once and all of the meeting space. We are planning another renovation this year.
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014 via mobile

We recently visited Chattanooga for a few days and decided to try this hotel as it looked different to the usual chain hotels. Wow does this place have character.


The hotel lobby is the old terminal building and it's amazing, behind that is the train yard/cars and gardens along with 3 motel style buildings (We stayed in block one).

This hotel had a great atmosphere with easy parking and was a good base to explore Chattanooga, with the free bus running from outside the hotel it's easy to get to the main shopping and food areas.

The hotel staff were friendly and welcoming, The restaurant pizza car was good but the only downside to this hotel was it is in much need of a make over as the rooms have a dated 70's feel to them and need modernising. We had an issue with a leak in the bathroom which we reported and was fixed promptly.

I think when this place is done up it could be a premium destination hotel, but currently it has it's issues. That said we really enjoyed our stay and would stay again.


Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Tracy P
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 9, 2014
We are very unique, thanks for mentioning it. Thanks for your comments about the staff. The building is scheduled for a redo this year. Your desire to return is what we love to hear and we hear it often.
Come back again 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.
Sevierville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014

We had two rooms in hotel #2 that we reserved online at a significant discount (40+% off) to the standard rate. The hotel itself smelled like a 1970s Howard Johnson's, a bit musty, but once you acclimated to it, it was fine. The rooms are obviously older. If you're looking for a luxury resort or a "new" hotel, this isn't it. Carpets were stained, but other than that, room was clean -- as clean as it could be, and beds were comfy. Linens were new. We were on the ground floor, with sliding doors opening to the pool area. The (outdoor) pool was FREEZING and the hot tub in the center had some funk in it. Kids swam in the pool but we stayed out of the hot tub and told them to, as well. We walked around the complex, that was fun! One of the housekeepers showed us the inside of one of the train car rooms which was awesome -- next time, we'll get one of those (if we ever go back.) My wife enjoyed the victorian gardens and the kids enjoyed the trains and arcade. We had delicious ice cream at the little ice cream shop and bought some stuff in the gift shop. We had breakfast in the Gardens -- $44 for 3 adults and two kids -- all you can eat. Then we had dinner at the Station House. Dinner was awesome, $115 for prime rib for 5, included two kids' prime ribs and all you can eat salad and shrimp. BE CAREFUL AS THE TIP IS ALREADY FIGURED INTO YOUR BILL. After that we caught the fireworks from the roof of the parking garage and then hit the indoor pool which closed at 11. The indoor pool immediately gave me a rash down "there" and the next 2 days I had to use micanozole spray to cure it -- this happens to me if a pool or hot tub isn't clean. Other than that, the stay was nice. It wasn't fabulous but it wasn't bad -- I'd definitely recommend staying at least once just to enjoy the history and charm of the complex itself.

Room Tip: Book online for better pricing, and if you eat at the restaurants be sure to check if the tip is inc...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mediarazzi
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 9, 2014
Great is hard to beat! I am pleased that the you had a great experience. Thanks for wanting to return, The Station House fee is for entertainment, which is printed on the menu, sorry you did not see it. We did not have any other issues about the pool during your stay.
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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014

The lobby is in an old historic train station, but the buildings that guests stay in (other than the train cars) are not old and historic, just old, dumpy and depressing. In Building 2 there is no ventilation in the hallways and each floor has its own unique disgusting odor. Our bedroom didn't smell very good either. Even the pillows smelled bad! There were stains on the rug and some white cruddy stuff on the bathroom outlet. No ventilation in the bathroom either. The AC was falling apart and so loud that we had to turn it off at night to sleep-there was a sliding glass door to open for fresh air, but no screen. This place is seriously in need of a make-over or maybe they should just tear those ugly old buildings down and start over.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank KathyPeters50
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 7, 2014
I’m sorry that we did not meet your expectations. I have reviewed your comments with the respective Department Heads, so that they can take corrective action. I can not find you in our property manage system? I will email you via TA, please give me a call.
All the Best,
Jim Bambrey
GM
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Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2014

(I am sitting in my hotel room, right now writing this.) We came to Chattanooga for a few nights, and we LOVE history. So when we saw online the lobby/terminal and the history. Wow, we were sold.

We get here, and the lobby is beautiful. The first room we were booked into in Hotel 3, was on the first floor, and the slider door that opens to the pool area has no lock. At all. It has a small metal "hook" keep the door mostly closed. And the bar lock on the room door is hanging by a thread.

My husband went and talked to them and they were able to change our room to one that has a semi-more secure looking slider door, as the the door itself closes and locks. We would have left then, but we had reservations on the Southern Belle to get to.

We get back to the hotel around 10:45 pm, and I notice how dark the parking areas are. Like, where's my mace dark. And there are no handicap accessible parking spots by Hotel 3 either.

Now the neighborhood leaves a lot to be desired as well - there is a burned out, graffiti covered building across the street. And if you take a left out of the parking lot, away from down town, not such a great area.

The room itself, is spacious (or sparsely decorated) there are 2 chairs, a table, two double beds, a night stand and 2 lamps. A dresser and a tv. The walls are thin. The carpet is stained. I am pretty sure I've stayed at nicer Motel 6's than this. This is not worth $150 a night plus parking and breakfast.

Beyond disappointed.

Room Tip: Pick a different hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Idontalwaystravel
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 6, 2014
I’m sorry we did not meet your expectations. Thanks for taking my call today and reviewing your visit Your first room has been inspected by maintenance and made necessary adjustments. There are ADA parking spaces between B- and B-3, I’m sorry that you did not see them. We are the only hotel in town that has 24 hour security. As I have mentioned before, the Southside of downtown (our area) has undergone a revitalization with restaurants (5), retail and housing ($300,000+ condo’s next door) 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. The future of our area has never been better. We were sold out during your visit (363 rooms). I regret you were not one of the many happy guests.

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.
Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2014

Stayed a couple nights on a family vacation. The terminal/lobby is striking, but alas is the only piece of the property not in need of attaention. Family had a great time, and we'd stay again but the rooms, outbuildings and pools are very dated. Felt like we stepped back into the 1970's, which is kind of neat in it's own way, but it all felt kind of old in a depressing way. My comment to the wife was that with a few million in renovations, the place could be a premier destination. That about sums it up. Terminal building was overwhelmingly beautiful...everything else kind of depressingly old.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeff B
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 4, 2014
Thanks for wanting to return. You are right about TLC. We have parts of the complex that are very old; however we continually make improvements on a regular basis. In addition to capital expenses, we spend $900,000 annually on maintenance (13 pp) and landscaping (4 people).
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

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 #38 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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