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abram May 8th, 2010 07:13 PM

location for Chattanooga hotel
As I start my research, it looks like we'll want to do things downtown and at Lookout Mountain. Is one area better than the other for a hotel? Or should we not stay in either area? There also seem to be hotels near Hamilton Place and the airport. What area would you recommend and why? Thanks!

jent103 May 8th, 2010 09:31 PM

I'd stay downtown. There's no reason to stay out by Hamilton Place unless hotels are just that much more expensive - it's a suburb, and you'll be closer to attractions including Lookout Mountain from downtown. Plus downtown is a fun area, and you'll be close to the aquarium (which is great) and the rest of the riverfront.

abram May 8th, 2010 10:07 PM

That's just the kind of information I was looking for--thanks! Downtown it is.

padams421 May 9th, 2010 06:58 AM

Jent103 is correct. Also, there are a couple of motels up on Lookout Mountain along with the tourist attractions but it is mostly a residential neighborhood (a nice one, my BIL lives there). You should stay downtown.

abram May 9th, 2010 08:58 AM

I'm considering the Staybridge Suites because we like having a kitchen and it's inexpensive. They call them selves DT--is 1300 Carter a decent location?

jent103 May 9th, 2010 10:35 AM

I'm pretty sure my dad has stayed there quite a bit - if that's the same hotel, it is a good hotel (my parents are in Knoxville but he worked on a long-term project in Chattanooga with TVA, so he was there for the entire work week for about two years - apparently it got to the point where the staff would ask for updates on kids and grandson :) ). In terms of location, though, you could find somewhere more central, I think. It's kind of a trek to the aquarium, riverfront, etc. However, there used to be an electric bus or trolley - somebody who's been downtown more recently than I have can probably speak more to that. Just depends on how badly you want a kitchen and if you want to be able to walk to things.

abram May 9th, 2010 11:33 AM

jent, you're right--we have to weigh having a kitchen vs location. Is the Holiday Inn Express at 402 W. MLK a better choice?

jent103 May 9th, 2010 04:51 PM

I just talked to my dad and asked him about both places. The Staybridge is geared toward business travelers - a lot of people come in to work at TVA and other businesses (Dad said he's been hearing German a lot there due to the new Volkswagen plant). It's a fine hotel conveniently located to TVA and the convention center, but not to the tourist attractions. There is a free shuttle, but you have to walk a block or two to get there and Dad says he wouldn't recommend doing that at night due to some panhandling. (I know some people don't care about panhandling, others feel unsafe in that environment - just depends on your comfort with it.)

He had similar concerns about the Holiday Inn Express on MLK - it's even further from the shuttle, and again he wouldn't want to walk that distance especially at night. He did say that the Holiday Inn at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo is right next to the shuttle. If the price there is more within your budget than anything closer to the river, it would be fine to catch the shuttle there. (I would check out reviews on TripAdvisor first, though - I feel like I've seen feedback about that hotel here that wasn't great, but I may be wrong.)

Google Maps said there's a Courtyard by Marriott and a Hilton Garden Inn closer to the riverfront - have you checked out either of those?

abram May 9th, 2010 07:12 PM

Is the shuttle essential? We'll have a car, so I hadn't thought that being on the shuttle route would be all that important. But I've been wrong before. The Hilton Garden Inn is almost 40% more than the other two, and the Courtyard by Marriott is over 50% more.

I really appreciate all the thought and effort you and your Dad are putting into helping me.

Samsaf May 10th, 2010 03:50 AM

abram, I'm originally from Chattanooga, and we get back there several times a year. I would definitely stay near the Aquarium (probably either the Marriott Courtyard or the Hilton Garden Inn). It's nice to be near everything. You could check to see if the Lookouts will be playing while you're there; they have a fairly new stadium.

cd May 10th, 2010 04:49 AM

abram, we were in Chattanooga for one night last year and stayed at the Sheraton downtown, It is a good hotel and the Porter Steakhouse was very good for dinner. What I remember however, is that downtown was deserted. We arrrived before dark and I really wanted to walk and see a few sites and there were none, and I would not of felt comfortable walking. I think we would have been happier near the river.

radiomixme May 10th, 2010 07:24 AM

there is a marriot property all the way downtown near the aquarium. i cannot remmember what the name is. just check for it. the end of downtown near the restaurants and aquarium is very safe. there will be more action on the weekends, but it is a family destination so late night is not really an option. there are also a few bed and breakfasts in the area, that are pretty nice.

jent103 May 10th, 2010 07:36 AM

Regarding the shuttle, people who have been downtown more recently than I have may be able to be more specific. I assume there is some parking near the aquarium, but my general preference (not just in Chattanooga) is usually to keep the car parked at the hotel and use public transit when I can. If nothing else, I'm almost certain you'd have to pay for parking by the riverfront, so if you go a couple of days you've just added more to your budget. So for me, either staying within walking distance of the attractions or near a shuttle stop is attractive.

abram May 10th, 2010 09:31 AM

It looks like it's time for me to decide exactly what we're going to do in Chattanooga--that will help narrow the hotel location. We won't be going to the Aquarium--we've seen enough of those.

abram May 10th, 2010 10:26 AM

OK, I think we'd be interested in the African American Museum at 200 E MLK, the Houston Museum at 201 High, the Hunter Museum at 10 Bluff View, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo at 1400 Market. What impact does that have on where we should stay?

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