Chattanooga Choo Choo

Tennessee, Deep South

The hotel

A stay at Chattanooga Choo Choo gives the ultimate insight into America’s locomotive heartland. Just a year after savvy locals saved their old train station from demolition in 1973, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But even they couldn’t have foreseen the incredible revamp to follow. Today, the historic terminal building and resident Victorian train carriages-turned-guestrooms are paired with glorious gardens and fresh new attractions. With 2 music venues and a comedy club attracting big-name acts; indoor and outdoor pools; and a collection of eateries including a 50s styled pizza car, gorgeous garden restaurant, oyster bar, Victorian lounge which transports you to the railroad glory days of the 1880s, and buzzing comedy club bar serving American-inspired comfort food, you might not find reason to use their complimentary downtown shuttle.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Close to City Centre
  • Restaurant

Where is it

An icon of Chattanooga’s historic heart, this hotel and entertainment complex is just a walk from many of the town’s top dining venues, has some of the city’s best entertainment right on site, and runs a complimentary CARTA shuttle to nearby restaurants, shops, and sights.

Hotel information

All with flatscreen TV, WiFi*, coffee maker, hairdryer, and iron and board. MacArthur Building Double Queen Rooms have a fridge with 2 queen-size beds, sleeping max 2 adults.

MacArthur Building King Rooms have a fridge with 1 king-size bed, sleeping max 2 adults. The Empress Building King Rooms have a private balcony overlooking the outdoor pool and waterfall with 1 king-size bed, sleeping max 2 adults. The Empress Building Double Rooms have a private balcony overlooking the outdoor pool and waterfall with 2 double beds, sleeping max 3 adults.

5 restaurants and bars including Gardens Restaurant (breakfast buffet), Silver Diner Pizza Car (menu includes fresh pizzas, open for dinner), Victorian Lounge (with original bar stocked with local microbrews, premium wine and spirits, and frozen drinks), STIR (fresh local food and oyster bar, artisan drinks), and Backstage Bar (American-inspired comfort foods, located at comedy club, over 18s only, open for dinner Tuesday-Friday, and brunch at weekends). Outdoor swimming pool. Indoor swimming pool (heated). Fitness room. Track 29* (concert venue for national and local acts). Revelry Room (intimate live performances for national and local acts, more than 200 shows a year). Comedy Catch (stand-up venue for national and local comedians, with dinner and post-show gatherings at Backstage Bar). Glenn Miller Gardens (tranquil spot for games of chess, checkers, and Jenga). The Depot Gift Shop (souvenirs, snacks, toiletries, and newspapers). Sweetly Southern & Artifacts (18th and 19th century gifts including Victorian and Civil War items). Downtown CARTA shuttle service (every 10 mins, to local restaurants, shops, and sights). Airport shuttle service (for Chattanooga Airport, 24-hour notice required). Laundry/dry-cleaning services* (weekdays, same day service). 

*Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (863)
  • Very good (753)
  • Average (558)
  • Poor (408)
  • Terrible (320)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wouldn't go back!

May 13, 2019 Brenda M Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, United States

My husband is a train lover so I thought it would be nice to stay a few nights at this hotel while in the area. We didn't get a train car due to the size. Our room was in the Macarthur Building. The room was just ok, could have been updated and a little cleaner. The checkin staff wasn't very friendly or helpful with information. It was nice that… Read more
My husband is a train lover so I thought it would be nice to stay a few nights at this hotel while in the area. We didn't get a train car due to the size. Our room was in the Macarthur Building. The room was just ok, could have been updated and a little cleaner. The checkin staff wasn't very friendly or helpful with information. It was nice that it was within walking distance of resturants. The beds were comfortable. There is no breakfast included. All in all, just ok, wouldn't go back again. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Not quite a train-lover's dream

May 10, 2019 Carol N

We've been wanting to go to the Chattanooga Choo Choo for years and finally made it there! I booked a train car for our room. We were celebrating a birthday and my husband loves trains, so I thought by the online brochure pictures, it would be the perfect place. Well, I was a little disappointed, but enjoyed it overall. Let me explain. We… Read more
We've been wanting to go to the Chattanooga Choo Choo for years and finally made it there! I booked a train car for our room. We were celebrating a birthday and my husband loves trains, so I thought by the online brochure pictures, it would be the perfect place. Well, I was a little disappointed, but enjoyed it overall. Let me explain. We went there May 2019. You can pull up in front to the reservation desk. After that, you are on your own....the train cars are on the back side of a the large complex. You have to go through the registration building, across the gardens, into another bulding to get the luggage cart, go get your luggage, and then walk up and down to find your car/room number. Each passenger car is divided into two rooms. Our car did not have the "platform step" so it was quite a way to hoist yourself and your luggage up the stairs. No recommended for those with bad knees or hips. The entry is the actual train car, so it is very narrow. I did like the fact that our room had a daybed and trundle. It worked our perfectly. The queen bed was comfy. The end of the car (the middle where the car is divided) is down nicely in "old time" wallpaper with nice lamps and side tables. This is where the queen bed is. However, that is the ONLY part of the room that looks nice. There was quite a bit of rust on the inside of our car. The bathroom is mininalistic, but functionable. The room where the toilet is is VERY small with no room take care of things. I'm 5' 9" and had to sit to one side because there wasn't enough room for my legs. The thing that really made me mad is that there is no insulation in the car which means when it is hot outside, so is the room. If it is cold outside, so is the room. The thermostat was not set to cool before we got there and it took HOURS to get the room cool enough to be comfortable. This was an oversite on the hotel side and they apologized, but that didn't change the fact that we were miserable and ended up going out until it cooled off. There was one fan in the room as well. I suggest bringing your own too. The mini-fridge was sitting on the floor in the middle of a wall. I must say that sleeping in an old train car is a unique experience. I understand they wanted to keep the integrity of an era gone by. BUT there should be some moderization at some point to make the experience better than expected. I was left disappointed from the customer service to the lugging of luggage to the huge step welcoming me at the room, to the uncontrollable room temperature to the small toilet. If it is raining when you arrive, plan to get yourself and all of your belongings wet! We did not have time to swim in the pool, though it looked nice. This hotel could be soooo much more if someone would buy it and make it the gem it is screaming to be. As it is now, I'm glad I went, but I won't be going back to the Choo Choo any time soon. (This review is for the train car rooms only. We did not stay in a traditional room) Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great Hotel in the Old Train Station

May 9, 2019 SavvyTraveler2525

We've stayed a few times now, once in a railroad carriage, and once in the big full-sized suite. The rooms are nice and clean, and there is a lovely in-door pool area. The staff were very helpful and informative. Lobby is very impressive and their is some old railroad memorabilia in cases to look at. There is so much history going on, and lots of… Read more
We've stayed a few times now, once in a railroad carriage, and once in the big full-sized suite. The rooms are nice and clean, and there is a lovely in-door pool area. The staff were very helpful and informative. Lobby is very impressive and their is some old railroad memorabilia in cases to look at. There is so much history going on, and lots of little shops and museums not only on site at the hotel, but around it within easy walking distance. There is also a free shuttle stop right next to the hotel to travel all around downtown. We will definitely be back! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Tired and dated

May 8, 2019 alant972 Southampton, United Kingdom

The rooms in the MacArthur building are in very tired and poor condition, and really need better sound insulation in the bathrooms- it’s not pleasant to be cleaning your teeth, and hearing next door evacuating their bowels. Yes, it’s in a prime location, but more money should be spent on decor. There are no safes in the rooms, which I did… Read more
The rooms in the MacArthur building are in very tired and poor condition, and really need better sound insulation in the bathrooms- it’s not pleasant to be cleaning your teeth, and hearing next door evacuating their bowels. Yes, it’s in a prime location, but more money should be spent on decor. There are no safes in the rooms, which I did question, as they state any losses are your fault. Oh, and beds weren’t made for 3 days- towels changed, bathroom cleaned, but beds not made? Up your game, please- it’s a beautiful site, but the lack of money spent is showing. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating fun and comfy

May 8, 2019 Terry S Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

We stayed in one of the railroad carriages, The conversion was very well done but we found in strange that the coffee machine was in the bathroom. Being tall the headroom was not great but it all added to the fun. The new addition to the rear appeared to be in good condition and the well decorated. The staff were very helpful and informative. We… Read more
We stayed in one of the railroad carriages, The conversion was very well done but we found in strange that the coffee machine was in the bathroom. Being tall the headroom was not great but it all added to the fun. The new addition to the rear appeared to be in good condition and the well decorated. The staff were very helpful and informative. We discovered, talking to the manager, the train memorabilia and the carriages require a lot of restoration work which they want some advice to get started. Thy found it interesting that I was also interested in steam railways Read less