by Kimberly Liu
In the 1970s when the Chattanooga Terminal Station was slated for demolition, a group of local businessmen became inspired by the “Chattanooga Choo Choo” theme and set out to save the terminal and transform it into a vacation complex. Four million dollars later, in 1973, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel opened its doors and became one of the city’s first historic preservation projects.
The vacation complex includes the Victorian Train Car Hotel, featuring 48 authentic sleeper cars from the early 1900s refurbished as modern day hotel rooms, and a standard hotel and convention center offering stand rooms and hotel suites. The terminal’s dome room now boasts a large dining hall and the original baggage room is now the “Station House” restaurant, featuring singing waiters and waitresses!
The “train car” rooms offer queen-sized beds, and some cars also have a daybed with a pull-out trundle bed. Standard rooms feature either a king-sized bed or two double beds, and hotel hospitality suites offer a king-sized bed, a table with four chairs, a sofa and loveseat, a wet bar, and a refrigerator. In the suites, deluxe bathrooms include a Jacuzzi and an over-sized vanity with two sinks. Of special note to families is that all suites have adjoining bedrooms available (request at time of reservation), all rooms feature free wireless Internet service.
Families will enjoy the bustling premises showcasing shops, a variety of restaurants and formal gardens as well as the outdoor and indoor pools, the later featuring an impressive four-story-high skylit dome. Trolley rides take you on an educational and entertaining excursion around the complex and for a fee, you can take a 30-minute carriage ride from the hotel to Miller Park and back. The CARTA free shuttle service takes guests to downtown shopping and sightseeing, departing every 10 minutes from the hotel lobby.
The Choo Choo is one of the few pet-friendly hotels in the downtown Chattanooga area, and the only hotel in Chattanooga with a pet running area. There is an additional non-refundable daily fee for pets.
Our Editor Loves
- Authentic Victorian train car accommodations
- Suites with adjoining bedrooms and refrigerators
- Variety of onsite dining options
by Euless M
We were privileged to come to Chattanooga to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary. Rather than stay in one of our common hotels we chose the Choo Choo for its history. They put us in a remodeled railway car that was fit for a king!
Unfortunately this hotel doesn’t cut it. Location is great and they may ultimately make something of the trains and history but it can’t mask the fact that the hotel rooms (we didn’t stay in the carriages) are very tired and no more than reasonable motel standard.
A/c is effective but the rooms desperately need decorating and cleaning. They are a good size with 2 queen beds.
Catering is very disappointing - the complimentary tea/. Coffee that is laid out in the morning in the atrium is poor quality.
generally the place needs some TLC and for $180 dollars per room I expected a lot better.
Swimming pool is small and eye wateringly chlorinated. The Forthy Monkey and Stir restaurants within the complex at least mean that reasonable quality food and drinks are available. Not worth the money.