Thursday, June 26, 2014
Don't stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
For the second year in a row, Miss D. and I are staying at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, where LibertyCon is being held. Also for the second year in a row, I'm already infuriated with the hotel.
Last year we had a catalog of errors and problems, ranging from an elevator that didn't work properly, through plumbing problems in the bathroom, extremely uncomfortable mattresses, and a carpet that looked suspiciously like it hadn't been properly deep cleaned for a very long time. (When you daren't walk on it barefoot because your feet end up stained, that's a bad, bad sign.) All this while being charged well over $100 per day as the 'special convention rate'. It wasn't worth half that amount.
Yesterday we arrived and checked in, only to find out that neither of the key cards we'd been issued worked in our room's door. We had to stand around in the corridor until a hotel employee (who, to be fair, did his best to be helpful) arranged to change us to another room, let us in with his master key card, and had new door cards delivered to us. Unfortunately, the new room proved to have problems of its own - the paint on the ceiling over the shower is cracked and peeling, there's mildew in the corners, and the tub and surrounding enclosure have clearly been modified and repaired over the years, resulting in unsightly patches. To cap it all, the shower curtain rail is rusty.
Paying over $150 a day (by the time all charges and taxes are included) is frankly ridiculous for such a low-quality room and the sort of problems we've encountered two years in a row. No matter that LibertyCon will be held in the hotel's conference facilities - this is completely unacceptable. I could pay less than a third of this room rate somewhere like a Knights Inn, or slightly more than that at a Motel 6 or Super 8, and get a far cleaner and more comfortable room - not to mention one where everything works!
I can only suggest that if you need a hotel room, or want to hold a convention in Chattanooga, TN, you should avoid the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel like the plague. I'll be making that point to the organizers of LibertyCon as well; and if we come to next year's LibertyCon, I'll be looking for a more comfortable place to stay from which to commute to the convention.