Combining small-town charm with some big-name attractions (one of the nation’s best aquariums, a comprehensive museum of American art), Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a great place to spend a weekend exploring. Here’s our take on one of its more recent hotel additions, which is situated in a rapidly transforming new neighborhood.
Budget Level: Upscale ($150-$300/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (259 rooms)
What You Need to Know
On approach, the Westin Chattanooga is hard to miss. Why? It’s gold. Very, very gold. You’ll see the reflective surface of its tower from blocks away. Inside, though, you’ll find upscale digs that aren’t ostentatious. Minimalist contemporary design is balanced by some nice touches, like a fireplace and a floor-to-ceiling growing “green wall.” Rooms are spacious and straightforward and of course include the amenities that fans of the Westin brand love — namely, the ultra-comfortable Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Showers.
Families, friend groups, and couples make up the crowd here, and you’re likely to encounter activity in the lobby, especially around the fireplace and at the bar, throughout the day and early evening. A warm approach from the staff, whether at the front desk or at the valet stand, is typical not just of the property, but of the city.
Who Will Love It
If Westin hotels are your go-to, you’ll find a great example here. Likewise, this is the perfect place to stay if you’re interested in exploring Chattanooga’s West Village, a walkable neighborhood that’s becoming a city hot spot.
Who Might Not
If you need cutting edge design, there are hipper properties in town that can serve you better.
The heated rooftop pool is the best relaxation spot at this hotel, and makes it worth a stay all by itself. Serene and smartly designed, with the hotel’s glimmering facade as the backdrop, you could easily spend a day here hunkered down in a cabana. There’s also a rooftop bar with views of the city.
Rooms have robes, the aforementioned Heavenly Beds and Showers, and supplies to make coffee and tea. Wifi is free for SPG loyalty members, though you’ll need to pay extra for high-speed service.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
You’ll pay local taxes and fees on your room rate. Valet parking costs $15 per day.
How to Get a Deal
The latter part of the year, after school’s back in session, is a great time to find deals in this kid-friendly city. Look for hotel rates to drop to about $170 per night from September to December. Rates jump up to about $200-$210 in spring and summer. You can also take advantage of AAA and senior discounts, as well as packages on the hotel’s deals page.
In the Neighborhood
Chattanooga’s West Village is a small alcove of downtown, and the Westin is situated right at its heart. Outdoor markets, sculpture displays, nighttime festivals and events, a laser show or a car exhibition — you’ll find it all here, all year long, and right at the Westin’s doorstep. Ask the hotel concierge to keep you updated on any happenings during your stay. You’ll also want to check out some of the neighborhood’s lauded restaurants, including Citron et Sel, which serves Central and South American-inspired cuisine and has a library of tequilas. Alimentari Cucina e Bar, meanwhile, specializes in modern takes on Italian dishes and cocktails. They also offer well-priced specials at lunch. Or, drop into Dorato, right inside the Westin, for Southern classics. You can also order from an abbreviated menu at the lobby bar.
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. A ride-hailing service will cost about $20.
The Bottom Line
At the Chattanooga outpost of this mainstay brand, you’ll find the best of two worlds — a consistent, comfortable hotel stay in a fun and funky neighborhood.
Published online on November 15, 2018: Written by Laura Motta