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Chattanooga Choo Choo
Ranked #37 of 96 Hotels in Chattanooga
Reviewed June 29, 2007

Based on the other reviews, I was very upset when I pricelined and found out the "Chattanooga Poo Poo" as someone else posted was my destination. My intention is to give just the facts and be fair in my opinion, not to pick this place apart. We stayed in building 2 which to my surprise was not as horrible as other reviews. We intended to write our review as the revolving door hotel..check in check out. We booked a three night stay. Beware if you use priceline they WILL NOT let you out of your reservation. Not even if the hotel imposes medical conditions. Upon inspection of the room we did not find any bugs. The had decorative photos of locomotives on the walls. A nice metal leg table. There was no unpleasant odor in the room initially, no leftovers from other guests ect. I did notice an indention in the wall, but it did not appear to be rotting, it seemed like it had been more of a shoddy repair then wallpapered over. We purchased a pack and play for our toddler, just so he would have a clean place to be. There was a horrible smell twice in our room like sewage, also smelled this all the time in their parking lot, and once at the Aquarium. Sidewalks smelled, in need of pressure washing. "Balcony rooftop" outside the sliding glass door gross. The third night made our barely bareable stay turn horrible quick. We arrived to find our beds made, linens changed, a STRONG airfreshner smell in the room, and my children's p.j.'s folded with their travel pillows, and toys arranged. Kudos to housekeeping. They also cleaned and replinished towels neatly. After bathing my children we began to put them to bed. Which the beds were already gross and horrible as it was. Threadbare, beverage looking stains ect. As I turned back the bed sheets to put my little one in, MUCH to my horror, there was either dried blood or bloodstains on the sheet. There is no excuse for this in any star hotel. I would like to say that the housekeeping was extremely friendly the entire visit, we often saw them in the hallway and requested items we would need at night, because we did not spend any "daylight" hours at the hotel. They were always very accommodating and never seemed as if we were putting them out. Other than the staff , this is an experience I am glad to leave behind. We enjoyed so many things about Chattanooga, just could have had a better sleep experience. I think with some SERIOUS renovating the Choo Choo could be a real nice place. We really enjoyed the model railroad museum and garden pond on the grounds.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank MySouthernCharm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,566 - 2,572 of 2,714 reviews

Reviewed June 28, 2007

This was a fun stay. The lobby of the hotel is really pretty. The hotel has three different hotels each with a pool of its own. There are also rooms that are old train cars. There are a couple of restaurants on site, although the pizza isn't that great. Definitely splure and try the Station House restaurant where the waiters sing. Really great food and entertainment! A bit pricey, but totally worth it! The hotel could use some updates as far as paint and bedding, etc. There is a free electric trolley that leaves from the hotel that can take you to closeby attractions. We stayed 3 days and didn't drive our car at all after we parked it in the lot. They also have horse and carriage rides and buffet restaurant for breakfast etc. Great place for people who have an affection for trains.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlliCatArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2007

We had a mini family reunion at this hotel. Most folks stayed in the main hotel, but one couple stayed in a train room. The train room was fantastic, albeit pricey. The regular rooms were average. The indoor pool area was a bit small and overcrowded, and it wasn't easy to walk to it from other buildings in the hotel. The lobby, a former train depot, is really quite lovely. It is worth a visit to see the architecture.

We arrived late at dinner one night at the Garden Restaurant on site. The staff forgot about us and the dinner was OK. No compensation for crummy service. This is typical of service in Chattanooga which is very spotty: some folks care about visitors and others are only working a job.

Chattanooga is fun for small kids and teenagers, and offers a great lesson in geology as well as U.S. Civil War history. The Choo Choo is reasonably close to the Chattanooga attractions, and the public (free) electric bus service is convenient. Be sure to visit the newly expanded Hunter Museum of Art (great American art), ride the Southern Belle steamboat on the river, and do the usual Ruby Falls, Incline Railway & Rock City attractions on Lookout Mountain as well as the Aquarium in town.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
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2  Thank M0ther_of_5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2007

We stayed at the Choo Choo in October 2006. It was our third stay in the last 12 years. It will probably be our last unless there is a major renovation. Rooms are run down, shabby and need remodeled. It is in a convienient location to catch the bus to anywhere downtown and a short drive to Look Out Mountain. But the hotel's late 70's / early 80's decor needs to be updated. It is a full service hotel but there are other hotels in the down town area that are more modern and convienent to the down town locations.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank HoosierTraveler28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2007

If you have kids, then sure, stay here. They'll probably love it. I've stayed a few times over the years and the main motel isn't bad. It's overpriced for the quality of the room though and the kids that work there are really really . . . ummmm, under stimulated. They're just teenagers for the most part. DO NOT stay near the indoor pool, nor would I recommend spending alot of time in it. It's waaaayyy overchlorinated, it's seriously toxic smelling in the rooms. If you swim in it, take a shower soon thereafter. We had to sleep with the heat on full blast, wet towels wedged under the door and the sliding door to the balcony wide open so we could breathe. And we're not exactly high maintenance. It's not convenience to anything, therefore, you have to eat onsite, which is OK food for a high high price. I recommend staying somewhere else (the Read House is wonderful) or there are some nice chain hotels/motels closer to downtown, so you can walk (driving in Chattanooga and parking is a pain) to the river and get to all the entertainment, the riverwalk and the good food! Tour it with the kids and call it a day. I love Chattanooga but not the Choo Choo.

Stayed: March 2005
3  Thank MorningMuffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2007

We went as a treat for a train buff in the family. Dinner in the upscale Dining Car was wonderful, great food and service. At breakfast in the garden restaurant however, the mention of an extremely soiled set of cutlery inside a (presumably) clean napkin did not raise an eyebrow or merit any comment. Wordlessly we were handed a fresh set. The garden was well maintained, the trains however could use a little TLC (expert opinion of the train buff) and for the rest of us, the regular rooms were very worn (peeling wallpaper, mouldy smell). We believe that the rooms in the train cars are in better shape but we only peeked through a window. The whole place has the atmosphere of a well-loved and now tired tourist attraction but can still be fun for a family with children or people who love trains and might be willing to overlook the shortcomings.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank ameraustrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2007

We stayed in one of the train cars and it was clean and charming. There is lots of room for improvement if they truly want it to be an authentic experience, however. The worst thing about this hotel is that the rooms not designated as train cars attract a different class of clientelle and this is in stark contrast with those patrons that are staying in the train car area (usually families with 5-10 yr old children or couples....and being that those rooms are almost $200/night, they obviously attract a higher paying crowd.) We felt as though there was an "hourly rate" crowd in the back part of the hotel and it created an uncomfortable contrast.
I have read in other reviews that the neighborhood is not good, etc. We didn't feel that way at all, the area is being restored and there is a charming coffee shop in one direction, and an excellent fine dining restaurant in the opposite direction, both less than a block away. Overall, it was a unique experience, but for good and bad reasons.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank niniandjb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 96 Hotels in Chattanooga
Price Range: $115 - $168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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