Thursday, October 31, 2013

2013 Road Trip With Carol, Part 2: Chattanooga, TN: Delta Queen Hotel


Sunrise at the Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee

My mother, Carol, and I are on a road trip that takes us through North Carolina and Tennessee.

In Chattanooga, we stayed at the Delta Queen Hotel, permanently moored on the Tennessee River, alongside the pleasing Coolidge Park with its fountain, walking/biking trails, and green space.

People who reconstitute historic structures can go so many ways to salvage a place. There's renovation, preservation, reproduction, rehabilitation, and conservation. A few days earlier, we'd lunched at a "historic" restaurant in Kentucky that still held its plantation-ish exterior, but its insides had drop ceilings, ersatz colonial-style "chandeliers," mediocre local wall art, and institutional-grade carpet.

What a difference between that and the Delta Queen Hotel!

Our room at the Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee


The room, albeit tiny, felt luxe.  Looking out the window onto the river reminded me of the luxury of lying back and watching the full moon on that overnight train trip Sandy and I took from Batumi to Tbilisi.

Outside our room at the Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee


The interior, common areas of the boat glowed with the ambiance of early-20th century salons. Sofas, game tables, dressers, low lighting, tray ceilings, wainscoting.



Common area, Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee


On the deck one can rock slowly into a meditative state while boat traffic floats or zooms by, while walkers and bikers cross the pedestrian bridge, while cars and trucks thrum over the other bridge. Looking across the river is a bank of new construction that is reminiscent of Dutch or Eastern European waterside apartment buildings.


One of the decks, Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee


On a clear night, the stars compete with the lights on the bridges.  

 

View from the deck, Delta Queen Hotel, Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee


People who love the Delta Queen had to have played a part in preserving what made it the Delta Queen when it was in its prime. Beautifully done.

Gifts like this - being able to spend the night on a historic riverboat at a price that is affordable for many - don't last forever. I wouldn't delay in spending at least one night here in the near future.

Some notes:

  • The hotel is not accessible for the wheelchair-bound. I don't know if there is an accessible sleeping room for individuals who have other kinds of access issues. 
  • There is pretty good wifi available in the common areas, including on the deck.
  • No TVs or phones in the rooms. There are a couple of TVs in the lounge. 
  • Parking is a pretty far piece from the boat, so pack lightly for your stay and leave the bulkier stuff in your vehicle. 
  • The location of the boat is fabulous - on walking trails and near restaurants and night life. 


A slide show:






#30

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