Prior to my 2002 retirement, I stayed at the Read House a number of times and found it to be a nice hotel. It seems that somewhere around 2004 it joined the Sheraton family. Sheraton runs decent hotels, and I assumed that it would be as good as ever, or possibly a little better.
In September of 2013, my partner and I took an American Queen Cruise from Chattanooga to Saint Louis that included a one night pre-cruise stay at this very hotel. Due to some rotten flying weather, we did not arrive until 1:30am. Our room was up to Sheraton standards except that the air conditioning did not work. We were so tired that we decided to crash rather than complain.
The Cruise operator had made arrangements to have the hotel pick up the passengers’ luggage in their rooms the following morning. We were told to have it ready by 8am, which we did. At 5 minutes before noon, it still had not been picked up. Since the drop dead check out time was 12 noon, we left our room with our luggage and ran all over the hotel asking employees where to take it. Each gave us a different answer or did not know. We finally got it to the right place. Everything in this hotel seemed to be highly disorganized.
Finally I must comment about the food. The cruise company had set up a meeting room for the boat’s passengers’ breakfast. It was catered by the hotel. I helped myself to a cup of coffee, a sausage patty and a biscuit with gravy. The Coffee was fine, the biscuit and sausage were room temperature, and the gravy was refrigerator cold. I decided that I would wait until lunch to eat. On the way out I stopped by to top off my coffee cup, only to find out they had run out of coffee.
By lunch time we were both hungry and went to a place in the hotel called “Porter's”. I ordered what the menu called a “pulled pork barbeque sandwich”. About 35 to 40% it consisted of a single piece of fatty pork skin. The remainder was inedible gristle. I was born in north Georgia, and spent most of my life in that region. This was the only barbeque pork sandwich I could not eat, and I had to pay $10.50 for it.
I am usually not one to complain, and generally tend to show my dissatisfaction by not returning to an unsatisfactory place. If I ever return to Chattanooga, I will find a hotel other than the Sheraton Read House and a restaurant not named “Porter's”.
It is a shame that Starwood Hotels (owner of Sheraton) allows their name on such a poorly run hotel. It is a well located, and appears to be structurally sound. I don’t have a clue as to why this historic property is so poorly run.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in downtown Chattanooga, the The Read House Historic Inn and Suites is ideally situated for business, weekend getaways, or a vacation in one of Tennessee's most historic cities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Read Hotel
- Sheraton Chattanooga
- Chattanooga Sheraton