Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (2024)

Pros

  • Historic hotel with tons of local character
  • Housed in a complex with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues
  • Contemporary guest rooms with mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs
  • Special guest rooms available in vintage train cars
  • Charming Victorian bar situated in historic train station
  • Silver train car housing 50s-themed pizza parlor
  • Chic oyster bar, casual coffeehouse, and buffet breakfast
  • Indoor pool plus small gym with cardio equipment
  • Guest laundry room and computer station with a printer
  • Downtown attractions reachable in five minutes on free bus
  • Three concert venues and on-site comedy club with bar
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

See MorePros

Cons

  • Not in the heart of downtown Chattanooga
  • Areas of hotel feel dated and/or rundown
  • Standard guest rooms lack charm, and vintage ones feel dated
  • Cramped gym
  • Breakfast and parking cost extra

See MoreCons

Bottom Line

This three-pearl hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as its lobby occupies the city's original 1909 train station. Train cars house a 50s-style pizza joint, and some of the hotel's more charactered guest rooms. There are 145 units, and decor is a mixed bag -- some are contemporary and pleasant but a bit ho-hum, and train car rooms, while charming, can feel dated. However, amenities are thoroughly modern, with flat-screen TV, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi, and some rooms have mini-fridges. The property is rundown in spots, but plays host to a slew of eateries plus entertainment venues, including a comedy club. Travelers looking for a stay that's in the heart of downtown can consider , but it lacks the historic flair.

See MoreBottom Line

Hotel & Amenities Photos

The Hotel

Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pets Allowed
  • Pool

See More Amenities

Oyster Hotel Review

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Hotel Class:Mid-Range

Scene

A historic property housed in an early 20th century train station with a fun atmosphere

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (2)

The Chattanooga Choo Choo, as it's website proudly states, is now a 24-acre complex, with the original 1909 train terminal at its heart. It's a Beaux-Arts-style building, with a brick facade, beautiful arched windows, and an enormous central dome. This spot now functions as the lobby, a renovated space that's slightly sterile but attractive, with a central skylight and modern decor. There are few clustered couches and chairs for guests to relax, but it's mostly a place to check-in and admire the architecture.

With a restaurant set in a terminal wing and some of the finer guest rooms in vintage train cars, historic charm is the selling point here, but in many spots, the hotel feels more outdated than vintage. Most of the hotel's guest rooms are in the not-so-historic MacArthur Building, situated across the rail yard from the lobby. The hotel appeals to families with train-loving kids and to railroad buffs looking to soak in the historic ambiance.

See MoreScene

Location

An easy walk to restaurants and shops, with a free shuttle to the heart of Downtown

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is on the southern end of Downtown Chattanooga, slightly outside the city center. It's situated directly off the area of Main Street lined with restaurants, and just a six-minute walk from the shops and eateries on Warehouse Row. Getting to the downtown bars, restaurants, and attractions (like the Tennessee Aquarium) near the riverfront is easy with a free electric shuttle that leaves from outside the hotel. The ride is about five minutes. The Chattanooga Convention Center is a 10-minute walk, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a five-minute drive, and Rock City, a popular regional attraction, is about a 15-minute drive. Chattanooga International Airport is roughly 20 minutes by car.

See MoreLocation

Rooms

A mix of contemporary and vintage-style rooms, with flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (3)

Most of the hotel's guest rooms are situated in the MacArthur Building, which is somewhat charmless in comparison to the hotel's vintage highlights. The rooms may lack that "wow" factor, but they're clean and contemporary thanks in part to a 2016 renovation. Blue wall-to-wall carpeting pairs nicely with sunny-yellow accent walls behind the beds, furniture is wood and white laminate, and historic black-and-white photos of trains add a little flair. Basic beige-tiled bathrooms are brightened up by teal accent walls, and they contain shower/tub combos and a stock of Neutrogena toiletries.

Rooms situated in the historic Pullman train cars are a mixed bag -- with decor that wavers between appealingly old-fashioned and downright outdated. They're smaller, low-ceilinged affairs with vintage wood furniture, upholstered armchairs, wallpapered accent walls behind the beds, and wood blinds. Guests sometimes complain about old carpeting, musty smells, or tourists knocking on train car doors. Bathrooms are basic like other units -- they're compact and functional. Train car rooms have queen beds, and units with additional pull-out beds are available, ideal for those traveling with kids.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and coffeemakers, plus irons and ironing boards. Rooms in the MacArthur building also have mini-fridges.

See MoreRooms

Features

Complex of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, but some areas are dated

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (4)

Chattanooga Choo Choo isn't just a hotel, but an historic attraction that features dining, shopping, and entertainment venues -- most open to the public. The on-site restaurants include a 50's-style pizza parlor in a train car, a coffeehouse that also serves up drinks and casual dishes, a chic oyster bar, and a charming bar situated in the main train station (aptly named the Victorian Lounge). A breakfast buffet is served off the lobby, but it costs extra.

On-site entertainment venues include Comedy Catch, a popular comedy club with an accompanying bar, and several performance venues, including Track 29 for larger shows, and the Revelry Room and the Songbirds Guitar Museum for more intimate shows. Gift shops sell all the requisite Chattanooga and train-themed merchandise. Guest can also wander the outdoor gardens in the rail yard between the train tracks, which include fountains, historic Pullman train cars (now guest rooms), a gazebo, and a giant chess set. The hotel used to run a heritage streetcar throughout the multi-building property, but it's no longer in use.

The hotel's pool is situated in a spacious room in the MacArthur Building, with a high ceiling and lots of windows, but it's dated and verges on tacky, with a faux rock mountain at one end and white plastic lounge chairs around the pool. Fitness facilities are an afterthought -- the "gym" is a windowless, carpeted room with just two treadmills, a stationary bike, and an elliptical.

The hotel has self-service laundry, a computer and printer for guest use, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Meeting and event facilities include the Imperial ballroom, which can host up to 500 guests. On-site parking is offered for a modest fee, and a free bus runs from outside the hotel to Downtown Chattanooga. Pets are allowed with a deposit and extra per-stay fee.

See MoreFeatures

Related Hotels

Budget

Chattanooga

This lower-middle-range Fairfield Inn is a good option for budget-minded travelers who don’t mind being a short drive from downtown Chattanooga in exchange for a cheaper price tag. The 90-room property offers high-quality rooms with microwaves and mini-fridges, and family-friendly features, such as an indoor…

See Review

Budget

  • Kid-Friendly
  • Romantic
  • Value

Days Inn by Wyndham Chattanooga/Hamilton Place

Chattanooga

The two-pearl Days Inn Chattanooga/Hamilton Place is in a good location for travelers using the airport, doing business at the Volkswagen headquarters, or simply passing through on Interstate 75. It’s also a short drive from the Hamilton Place mall, and surrounded by restaurants -- including…

See Review

Budget

  • Kid-Friendly
  • Value
  • Business

Chattanooga

The Hampton Inn & Suites Chattanooga/Hamilton Place is a refreshingly stylish, lower-middle-range chain hotel built in 2013. The 134-room property caters to a variety of travelers, and offers an indoor pool, a spacious gym, and free hot breakfast buffet. Small guest rooms have comfy beds,…

See Review

This Hotel Also Featured In

Weird and Wacky

Planes, Trains, and Tree Houses: 12 Weird and Wonderful Hotels

Sometimes a hotel is just a hotel — a place to rest your head and freshen up — but other times it’s an airplane with bunk beds or a lighthouse with a hot tub or an igloo with mesmerizing ice sculptures. In other words, there are hotels that are destinations in and of themselves. The…

Read More Articles

Oyster Hotel Review

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Hotel Class:Mid-Range

Scene

A historic property housed in an early 20th century train station with a fun atmosphere

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (9)

The Chattanooga Choo Choo, as it's website proudly states, is now a 24-acre complex, with the original 1909 train terminal at its heart. It's a Beaux-Arts-style building, with a brick facade, beautiful arched windows, and an enormous central dome. This spot now functions as the lobby, a renovated space that's slightly sterile but attractive, with a central skylight and modern decor. There are few clustered couches and chairs for guests to relax, but it's mostly a place to check-in and admire the architecture.

With a restaurant set in a terminal wing and some of the finer guest rooms in vintage train cars, historic charm is the selling point here, but in many spots, the hotel feels more outdated than vintage. Most of the hotel's guest rooms are in the not-so-historic MacArthur Building, situated across the rail yard from the lobby. The hotel appeals to families with train-loving kids and to railroad buffs looking to soak in the historic ambiance.

See MoreScene

Location

An easy walk to restaurants and shops, with a free shuttle to the heart of Downtown

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is on the southern end of Downtown Chattanooga, slightly outside the city center. It's situated directly off the area of Main Street lined with restaurants, and just a six-minute walk from the shops and eateries on Warehouse Row. Getting to the downtown bars, restaurants, and attractions (like the Tennessee Aquarium) near the riverfront is easy with a free electric shuttle that leaves from outside the hotel. The ride is about five minutes. The Chattanooga Convention Center is a 10-minute walk, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a five-minute drive, and Rock City, a popular regional attraction, is about a 15-minute drive. Chattanooga International Airport is roughly 20 minutes by car.

See MoreLocation

Rooms

A mix of contemporary and vintage-style rooms, with flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (10)

Most of the hotel's guest rooms are situated in the MacArthur Building, which is somewhat charmless in comparison to the hotel's vintage highlights. The rooms may lack that "wow" factor, but they're clean and contemporary thanks in part to a 2016 renovation. Blue wall-to-wall carpeting pairs nicely with sunny-yellow accent walls behind the beds, furniture is wood and white laminate, and historic black-and-white photos of trains add a little flair. Basic beige-tiled bathrooms are brightened up by teal accent walls, and they contain shower/tub combos and a stock of Neutrogena toiletries.

Rooms situated in the historic Pullman train cars are a mixed bag -- with decor that wavers between appealingly old-fashioned and downright outdated. They're smaller, low-ceilinged affairs with vintage wood furniture, upholstered armchairs, wallpapered accent walls behind the beds, and wood blinds. Guests sometimes complain about old carpeting, musty smells, or tourists knocking on train car doors. Bathrooms are basic like other units -- they're compact and functional. Train car rooms have queen beds, and units with additional pull-out beds are available, ideal for those traveling with kids.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and coffeemakers, plus irons and ironing boards. Rooms in the MacArthur building also have mini-fridges.

See MoreRooms

Features

Complex of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, but some areas are dated

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (11)

Chattanooga Choo Choo isn't just a hotel, but an historic attraction that features dining, shopping, and entertainment venues -- most open to the public. The on-site restaurants include a 50's-style pizza parlor in a train car, a coffeehouse that also serves up drinks and casual dishes, a chic oyster bar, and a charming bar situated in the main train station (aptly named the Victorian Lounge). A breakfast buffet is served off the lobby, but it costs extra.

On-site entertainment venues include Comedy Catch, a popular comedy club with an accompanying bar, and several performance venues, including Track 29 for larger shows, and the Revelry Room and the Songbirds Guitar Museum for more intimate shows. Gift shops sell all the requisite Chattanooga and train-themed merchandise. Guest can also wander the outdoor gardens in the rail yard between the train tracks, which include fountains, historic Pullman train cars (now guest rooms), a gazebo, and a giant chess set. The hotel used to run a heritage streetcar throughout the multi-building property, but it's no longer in use.

The hotel's pool is situated in a spacious room in the MacArthur Building, with a high ceiling and lots of windows, but it's dated and verges on tacky, with a faux rock mountain at one end and white plastic lounge chairs around the pool. Fitness facilities are an afterthought -- the "gym" is a windowless, carpeted room with just two treadmills, a stationary bike, and an elliptical.

The hotel has self-service laundry, a computer and printer for guest use, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Meeting and event facilities include the Imperial ballroom, which can host up to 500 guests. On-site parking is offered for a modest fee, and a free bus runs from outside the hotel to Downtown Chattanooga. Pets are allowed with a deposit and extra per-stay fee.

See MoreFeatures

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pets Allowed

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Swim-Up Bar

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Horacio Brakus JD

Last Updated:

Views: 5697

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Horacio Brakus JD

Birthday: 1999-08-21

Address: Apt. 524 43384 Minnie Prairie, South Edda, MA 62804

Phone: +5931039998219

Job: Sales Strategist

Hobby: Sculling, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Painting, Computer programming, Creative writing, Scuba diving

Introduction: My name is Horacio Brakus JD, I am a lively, splendid, jolly, vivacious, vast, cheerful, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.