Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Sheraton Read House Hotel Chattanooga

By S. Marie Vernon
July 30, 2013
The Sheraton Read House Hotel is a unique hotel located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It is one of the city’s greatest architectural landmarks and a timeless masterpiece of history that offers a perfect setting for today’s business meeting, convention, conference, family reunion, wedding, vacation or a simple weekend get-a-way.  This charming, elegant and historic old hotel is now franchised by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, a member of the Sheraton Family, a family that places strong emphasis on superior service, satisfaction and comfort for each of their guest.  Here, they offer a four-star hotel experience that combines the nostalgic charm and hospitality of yesterday with the modern conveniences and amenities of today.  A stay at The Sheraton Read House while visiting Chattanooga is truly a unique experience and one not soon forgotten.
The first hotel to occupy this site was built in 1847 and known as the Crutchfield House.  In 1863, the Crutchfield House was converted into a hospital as the Civil War ravaged Chattanooga.  The hotel survived the war only to burn to the ground in 1867.  This gave way to the present day hotel which opened in 1926 designed in a Georgian style brick and terra-cotta building that climbs ten stories with an elaborate lobby and bejeweled Silver Ballroom that exudes class from an era long past.  The high ceilings glisten with original Waterford Crystal chandeliers and mirrors recessed into massive arches.  The grand lobby has tall columns with carved and gilded woodwork and marble inlaid flooring that shines like glass.  Lavish, luxurious and extravagant there’s no doubt about it!  Once the choice of the elite, many presidents and famous people have stayed here, yet, today Sheraton has made The Read House the personal choice of the every-day, yet discriminating, traveler or business person.  With its antebellum charm and warm hospitality, to visit The Sheraton Read House is to fall in love with it. 
   The Sheraton Read House Lobby from the Sheraton Photo Gallery
The Hotel has 241 spacious rooms for its guest with Sweet Sleeper Beds that offer the most in comfort.  There is 17,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space that’s perfect for catered events and the hotel has been catering social events for eight decades.  In addition to meetings and conferences, family reunions and weddings can become even more special when experienced in this elaborate setting, especially the Silver Ballroom and the Courtyard designed for the ultimate presentation.  Whatever your occasion, the Sheraton staff can help you pull it off in style.
Located inside the hotel, Porter’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily, and is famous for their mouth-watering steaks and seafood.  Also inside, Starbucks coffee is fast and convenient for those on the go.  And, the kids will love the dog can vacation with them, but do contact the hotel first as some rules will apply.  For the dedicated, there’s an indoor heated pool and a core performance 24-hour fitness facility.   And, this hotel offers, friendly and fast, valet parking for a reasonable fee.  It is 100% non-smoking and you never pay for high-speed internet.  
  The Sheraton Read House Silver Ballroom from the Sheraton Photo Gallery
Officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Sheraton Read House will honor the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, in the fall of 2013, offering Civil War Commemorative Packages that will include tours in horse drawn carriages.  It’s a must to reserve rooms early since the hotel is often booked to full capacity.  During the Civil War, the hotel served as a hospital and so will add a museum to display its Civil War relics to reveal even more about this fascinating time in history, including accounts of a ghost that may live in room 311 and another on the 4th floor.  Since the War, the hotel has entertained many dignitaries and celebrities including Jefferson Davis, Winston Churchill, William McKinley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Truman, Richard Nixon, Al Capone, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan and more recently, Oprah Winfrey (she asked for room 311, by the way).  But, today The Read House invites you to be their honored guest and add to their rich and long-standing history.  
In 2012, The New York Times named Chattanooga, also known as The Scenic City, one of 45 top cities to visit, worldwide.  Only four locations were named in the United States, the other three are in California.  Travel and Leisure Magazine named The Scenic City one of their five “Next Great Escapes” and says Chattanooga is a “Cultural Find.”  Southern Living says, “Chattanooga is one of the most family friendly, outdoorsy spots in the South.  Debra Warren, Director of Sales at The Sheraton Read House said “the terrain, the landscape” was captivating to her and one of the big draws to the city itself.  And, she says “Chattanooga has it all, the downtown area, the Tennessee River with the riverboats, Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and Rock City and easy access into the city from all directions.”   
And, why do I love The Sheraton Read House some have asked?  Well, let me explain.  I lead a double life, working full-time and moonlighting as a writer and professional reviewer as often as I can.  Writing is my creative passion.  I live in Jacksonville, Alabama, a small town surrounded by Birmingham Alabama, Atlanta Georgia and Chattanooga Tennessee.  I enjoy getting away for the weekend, and for me Chattanooga is my most fun get-a-way location and The Sheraton Read House is one of my favorite hotels.  What I love best is how the city makes it easy to get around and The Read House makes my stay delightful.  Most cities I visit in Alabama, Georgia or Florida, I am forced to drive my car to the main attractions and hotel quality will vary.  Once I’m checked in at The Read House, the valet parks my car and I never see it again, until I leave.  I usually walk the seven or eight blocks down to the river, to the Aquarium, or to the Art District or to any number of restaurants or special music events that might be in town.  There’s one caveat: the traffic signals - they change too quickly and you don’t have time to get across the street before they change again.  If I don’t feel like walking, I can, conveniently, rent a modern city bike for only $6.00 per day and turn it in at my destination, no problems, except for those changing lights!  And, best of all there is the free Electric Shuttle.  I can hitch a ride on the Shuttle and go anywhere in the city.  I especially like riding it to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and The English Rose Tea Room.  The Read House has its very own Shuttle stop so I can get on right in front of the hotel.  It makes the whole experience just awesome!
As much fun as downtown Chattanooga can be, The Read House has so much to offer you almost don’t need to leave the hotel to feel like you’ve had a great vacation.  Sometimes I meander about enjoying the grandeur of this marvelous place.  I grab a glass of merlot, slip up to the mezzanine, find a comfortable spot and pretend I’m the pianist sitting at the baby grand below, creating a crescendo for those still coming and going.  What more could one need to recharge?  It's truly rare to find such elegance in a hotel coupled with outstanding service and yet still feel so very casual, laid back and comfortable while you are there.  The Sheraton Read House has become a beloved, favorite hotel to me because it has so much to offer and it does not disappoint.  
See the Sheraton Website and Photo Gallery for more information and exciting photos at
For Groups and Family Reunions contact Christi Baggett at
For Catering and Weddings contact Catering Sales Manager, Cristi Davidson, at


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