South Side's Crash Pad Is Like a 4-Star Hostel

Jul 24, 2013

The Crash Pad isn't exactly what that term might lead you to expect. Located off Main Street on the fashionable south side of the city, The Crash Pad was originally intended as a cheap place for the rock climbers coming to Chattanooga in increasing numbers to stay (relatively cheaply) for a night, but to almost everyone's surprise it attracts as many tourists in the Summer as it does climbers, cyclists and back packers in the Fall and Winter. 

It was constructed from pre-formed concrete slabs that were trucked in and welded on the site which might lead you to expect an austere bunker, but it's not. The architect who designed The Crash Pad put in big windows every few feet and used lots of wood to soften the exterior. The result is a kind of Zen-like simplicity.

The Crash Pad looks and feels like both a four star hotel and a hostel. The lobby has a full kitchen and a lounge area. Guests can store their food in the refrigerator and eat breakfast at the bar. That part looks and feels very much like a hostel. But through the door are rooms that can only be accessed with an electronic pass key. Some are single rooms simply furnished with a double bed and a very modern wash basin. They approximate a four star hotel room without the mini bar and big screen television. The other rooms have two sets of bunk beds set up like the sleeping quarters on a train--basically a kind of four star hostel.