Photo by Dave Flessner / The Chattanoogan Hotel and conference center at 1201 Broad Street is joining the Curio Collection by Hilton and has added the High Rail rooftop bar.

Two years after acquiring the Chattanoogan hotel and conference center in downtown Chattanooga, the new owners say they are completing the renovation of the 199-room complex this fall, adding a rooftop bar, revamping the restaurant and cafe and becoming a Curio Collection by Hilton franchise.

"The extensive renovation has transformed the landmark hotel, channeling local roots and displaying the use of organic materials and industrial influences of the Tennessee region in our hotel landscape," said Patricia Martinez, the general manager for the 19-year-old hotel complex on Broad Street.

Earlier this month, The Chattanoogan added a High Rail rooftop bar on its second floor overlooking the plaza between the hotel and its nearby parking garage. The new 120-seat bar, which is open Wednesday through Sunday nights starting at 5 p.m., each night, features a regionally inspired food menu of starters, handhelds, flour and fire (pizzas) and desserts, as well as signature cocktails, wine and 20 local beers on tap.

Within the next month, the restaurant on the lobby floor of The Chattanoogan Hotel, formerly known as the Foundry, will reopen as Rustica offering rustic Northern Italian cuisine. The hotel facility also is adding Stills + Mash to welcome guests at the hotel's main entrance with a bourbon focus and local-inspired food offerings. A new cafe known as Noogans will feature a variety of the best local coffee roasters.

As part of the hotel renovation, the Spa at The Chattanoogan Hotel also has been moved to the first floor and expanded to a full-service facility, including six treatment rooms to pamper guests and locals alike.

The changes were made by Ascent Hospitality, a Buford, Georgia-based hotel chain that acquired The Chattanoogan in October 2018 for $27 million from the city of Chattanooga.

The city built the hotel and conference center, which includes 7,752 square feet of ballroom and conference meeting space, in 2001 to help attract more business conferences and meetings, beyond those booked at the larger Chattanooga Convention Center just two blocks away.

The Chattanoogan was not previously affiliated with any national hotel brand, but the new owners have become part of the luxury hotel franchise by Hilton known as the Curio Collection.

The Curio Collection by Hilton includes 91 luxury hotels around the country and aligning with Hilton will provide guests access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and Money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.

"We are excited to align with Hilton and to welcome all guests, near and far, to enjoy our carefully curated and intentional space offering a variety of experiences sure to increase curiosity and ingenuity," Martinez said in an announcement of the new brand on Thursday.

Ellen Peavy, director of sales at The Chattanoogan, said the hotel has remained open through the renovation and the coronavirus pandemic this year, although most of the conference center and the restaurants have been idled since March due to cutbacks on conventions and meetings and the renovation work on the complex. Each of the rooms has also been revamped as part of the year-long project, Peavy said.

"It's obviously been a challenging year with most meetings and events canceled, but we've competed most of the renovation now and are hopeful of business coming back, especially in the second half of next year," she said.

The renovated space hosted a small wedding reception last weekend, she said.

The new hotel look was inspired by the outdoor attractions and natural setting surrounding the Chattanooga area and was designed by Carver and Associates, Peavy said.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340