When you think of the 1920’s you think of larger than life characters like those in the story “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Flapper dresses, men and women drinking gin, smoking cigarettes and dancing the nights away.
Well my travels took my to Chattanooga, Tn this past weekend to stay in The Read House.
Following the burning down of the original inn on the site the Old Crutchfield House in 1857 The Read family built a new hotel The Read House Hotel opened on new years day 1872.
With it being in the heart of downtown Chattanooga The Read House has had many famous visitors over its history. Oprah Winfrey, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill, as well as the infamous Al Capone who stayed in room 311 and until the renovation in 2004 still had the custom iron bars on the rooms windows. This room is also well known for its rumored haunting by a woman named Annalisa Netherly.
In august of 2016 The Read House was purchased by the Avocet Hospitality Group of Charleston, SC and began a 25 Million dollar renovation of the hotel that as of my stay is only partially complete.
But lets talk about the hotel, The renovation has been a very thorough one returning the hotel to the grandeur of the roaring 20’s. Upon my checking in the doorman opened the large wooden doors for me while wearing a bowlers hat, as well as a coat and tails.
As I passed through the grand lobby of marble and wood I saw a bar off to the side as a waitress attired in a flapper dress, bright lipstick and a headband and hairstyle right out of The Great Gatsby.
The front desk staff were friendly, informative and efficient. The bellman also attired in a vest and bow-tie carried my luggage to my room ensuring that I had no questions or concerns.
The room was stunning, I had booked a king bed room for this stay and when I first entered the room i found myself in a small foyer with a beautiful little couch. To my right was a very spacious bathroom that while beautifully modern still felt classic with the black and white floor tile and subway tile on the walls.
Around the corner was the main room, with the usual hotel room amenities, a small writing desk and chair, a large TV and a bed with a beautiful headboard. Photos on the wall were inspired by the 1920’s time period and I had a view looking down on the busy street below.
The hotel had a turn down service that I came back to the room later to find they had turned down my bedding, added a bit of chocolate and lowered the blinds in the room to block out light.
Through out my stay this past weekend, any time I saw the bellmen, valets or desk staff they were always eager to help, asking if I was enjoying my stay if there was anything they could do to make it better and amazing always remembered my name. That was something that made me feel like I was staying at a 5 star resort! Such little things really stood out for me.
In my travels I stay at a lot of hotels and I can say with out a doubt that this is the best experience i have EVER had at any hotel I have stayed in. I cannot recommend the staff at The Read House enough. And the hotel itself is simply stunning with the many little details they have added during the restoration.
The only thing missing is a speak easy hidden behind the phone booths.
To learn more about The Read House visit www.thereadhousehotel.com
And if you are close enough or just passing through I highly recommend a stay.