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- Best Overall: The Read House – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The rooms are modernized, though they still retain historic touches, like black-and-white tiled floors in the bathroom."
- Best Boutique: The Dwell – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Take a step back in time at this adults-only hotel in downtown with a retro midcentury vibe."
- Best Luxury: Westin Chattanooga – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Guest rooms all offer great views of the city from their floor-to-ceiling windows."
- Best Budget: The Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel – See Rates at TripAdvisor "A social atmosphere pervades The Crash Pad, as guests often gather to enjoy themselves in the common areas."
- Best for Romance: Bluff View Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor "This inn comprises three historic homes in the Bluff View Art District, a hip neighborhood with cafés, bakeries, galleries."
- Best for Families: Chattanooga Choo Choo – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The star of the show is the 48 restored Pullman sleeper cars that have been converted into nostalgic accommodations."
- Best for Business: Chattanooga Marriott Downtown – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Everything downtown is within walking distance, but there’s also a complimentary shuttle to take you to area attractions."
- Best Nightlife: The Edwin Hotel, Autograph Collection – See Rates at TripAdvisor "This hotel is home to the popular Whiskey Thief, Chattanooga's first rooftop bar, that slings excellent, locally distilled whiskey."
- Best for Groups: Bode Chattanooga – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The best thing about Bode is that it’s not an apartment— but you can still get all the classic hotel services."
Best Overall: The Read House
A legendary property in downtown Chattanooga, the Georgian-style Read House opened in 1926, built on a site that had been home to several hotels, the earliest opening in 1847. Over the course of its nearly-100-year-history, The Read House has hosted quite a few big names, from Winston Churchill to Elvis Presley to Oprah Winfrey. Al Capone even stayed here during his federal trial in 1931 (bars had to be added to the window of his room, though they were eventually taken down — in 2004).
Today, the 246 rooms are modernized, thanks in part to a $25 million restoration that was completed in 2018, though they still retain historic touches, like black-and-white tiled floors in the bathroom. For the most modern rooms, book a stay in the Manor rather than the Historic Tower.
The hotel is popular with events and corporate guests, thanks to its large ballrooms and meeting rooms, but travelers also frequent its steakhouse, Bridgeman’s Chophouse.
Best Boutique: The Dwell
Take a step back in time at The Dwell, a luxury adults-only (well, 13-and-over-only) boutique hotel in downtown Chattanooga with a retro midcentury vibe. Each of its 16 rooms has a totally different look, but all feature bright colors, funky patterns, and exquisite mod furnishings, many of which are vintage. The top suites even feature gas fireplaces and private balconies, plus soaking tubs and rainfall showers.
Even if you’re not a guest here, you’ll want to pop by the cocktail bar Matilda Midnight, which serves up drinks like The Tower (banana-infused light rum, dark rum, lime juice, and coconut ginger syrup) and King of Cups (smoked paprika rye, blood orange gastrique, cardamom and rhubarb bitters). The bar also serves bites like chorizo mac ’n pimento cheese and a Mediterranean flatbread, as well as local Clumpies ice cream. Don’t miss the daily happy hour — it runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., even on weekends.
Best Luxury: Westin Chattanooga
Opened in 2017, the Westin Chattanooga was the first hotel to bring contemporary luxury to town. The 259-room hotel sits in a sparkling all-glass building with a copper hue — a tone that permeates the public spaces inside, too.
Guest rooms are a little more neutral, though they do take on earthy hues, and they all offer great views from their floor-to-ceiling windows. For the most luxurious stay, upgrade to a suite — there’s even one with a private patio complete with a fire pit.
As for amenities, there’s a casual marketplace for grab-and-go eats and drinks, a rooftop lounge with views of the Appalachian Mountains, a bourbon bar, an outdoor heated pool, and a 24-hour gym. The only thing missing is an on-site spa, though guests can book in-room massage treatments. T
he hotel is located in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Conference Center.
Best Budget: The Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel
You might never have expected this, but Chattanooga is home to the world’s first LEED Platinum-certified hostel, The Crash Pad. Located in the Southside Historic District, this quirky property is part-hostel, part boutique hotel, but all affordable.
The most basic rooms are your typical dorm-style accommodations with four beds (two bunk beds) per room — by no means is this a chaotic 20-person mess that you might have experienced during your backpacking-through-Europe days. There are also a handful of private rooms, which range from cozy doubles to the (relatively) massive Hemingway Suite, which sleeps four and has its own private bathroom, kitchen, and outdoor space.
A social atmosphere pervades The Crash Pad, as guests often socialize in the common areas or the adjacent Flying Squirrel restaurant, run by the hostel’s owners — guests get a discount for dining there. There’s free breakfast served every morning in the shared kitchen, and guests also have access to a small business center (two Mac computers).
Best for Romance: Bluff View Inn
Fancy a quaint, romantic getaway in the heart of the big city (or, in Chattanooga’s case, the small city)? Stay at the Bluff View Inn, which comprises three historic homes in the Bluff View Art District, a hip neighborhood with cafés, bakeries, galleries, and a sculpture garden, of course. And, conveniently, it’s right next to downtown. The main house, the Tudor-style Maclellan House, was built in 1889 and houses several traditionally-decorated guest rooms plus the honeymoon suite, which has a jetted tub in the bathroom, plus a working fireplace.
There’s also the T. C. Thompson House, built in 1908, and the Martin House, whose rooms are decorated with contemporary art. While there’s not a full restaurant on-site, breakfast is included in the rate and served daily.
But good eats are never far, here — try the Back Inn Café for elegant fine dining or Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria for more casual fare.
Best for Families: Chattanooga Choo Choo
You’ve probably heard the Glenn Miller song, which chronicles a journey between New York and Tennessee, but did you know that the Chattanooga Choo Choo is also a hotel in the eponymous city? It’s housed in the former Terminal Station, which opened in 1909, suffered a decline when passenger train travel waned in popularity but was given a second life as a hotel in 1973.
While there’s a modern section of the hotel with more than 300 traditional rooms, the star of the show is the 48 restored Pullman sleeper cars that have been converted into nostalgic accommodations — perfect for kids who love trains.
Families can stay in the cars that have a queen bed and a daybed for a little more space. There’s also an indoor pool that’s great for kids open year-round. Beyond the hotel, you’ll also find restaurants, bars, a comedy club, concert venues, a distillery, and retail shops in the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex.
Best for Business: Chattanooga Marriott Downtown
Given that the Chattanooga Marriott Downtown is attached to the Chattanooga Conference Center, it’s the best hotel in town for business travelers. If you’re attending a conference, you can simply wake up, grab a coffee at the on-site café serving Starbucks, and head to your meetings for the day.
But “bleisure” travel, a combination of business and leisure, is on the rise, so business hotels need to offer guests more than just access to meeting space and a business center. The Chattanooga Marriott Downtown also has a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor pool, and the Table South restaurant. But when you’re off the clock, you’ll likely want to head out into Chattanooga — the hotel is located two blocks off Market Street, so everything downtown is within walking distance, but there’s also a complimentary shuttle to take you to area attractions.
Pro tip: book a concierge-level room in order to get access to a special lounge with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and hors d’oeurves (other drinks cost a fee).
Best Nightlife: The Edwin Hotel, Autograph Collection
Looking to stay somewhere with one of the hottest bars in town? You’ll find that at the Edwin Hotel, an Autograph Collection property. Located between the Bluff View Art District and the Tennessee Aquarium, this hotel is home to the popular Whiskey Thief, a rooftop bar (Chattanooga’s first) that slings locally distilled whiskey, locally brewed beer, and delicious bar bites late into the night. It’s incredibly popular with locals, so be prepared for a bit of a wait to get into the bar on weekends. Want a more low-key night? The downstairs coffee shop, Provisions, serves wine and beer at night and offers live music.
Beyond its drinking dens, the hotel is a stunning boutique property with rustic-chic decor in the public spaces, 90 swanky-meets-vintage guest rooms, a fantastic art collection, and a top-notch spa. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center, plus an outdoor plunge pool with impressive city views.
Best for Groups: Bode Chattanooga
Rather than booking individual rooms in a hotel for your group trip to Chattanooga, why not enjoy a three-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen? Bode Chattanooga offers 54 apartment-style accommodations ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, each decorated in an industrial-loft style with high ceilings, white walls, and exposed brick. But the best thing about Bode is that it’s not an apartment — you can still get services like housekeeping, and you also have access to the shared facilities in the Hub, like a grab-and-go market that also serves light bites, a bar, a ping-pong table, and even a coworking space if you’ve got to get some work done on the road.
There’s also a concierge service to help you plan your itinerary while you’re in town. Bode Chattanooga is located right in the heart of downtown, two blocks off of Market Street and a short walk to happening East Martin Luther King Boulevard.