Chattanooga’s Boutique Hostel: The Crash Pad

CrashPhoto by Kelsey Snell

Staying at a fancy hotel can be thoroughly decadent and oh-so fun, but most of the time you just need a clean place to stay. Leave it to Chattanooga, one of the South’s most rugged and eco-progressive cities, to raise the bar on budget lodging. In the mix of the galleries and lofts in the revitalized Southside arts district is The Crash Pad, a two-story modern hostel that appeals to even the pickiest of travelers.

Opened last year by three rock climbers who moved to ’Nooga for its renowned climbing locations, The Crash Pad welcomes all travelers, but its an ideal basecamp for adventure-sports enthusiasts—the owners share a wealth of knowledge on the area’s outdoor scene, and The Pad is located within easy access to great climbing, biking, and hiking spots.

Originally, the site was going to be a communal campground, but the guys opted to go brick-and-mortar to provide the affordability and camaraderie of a hostel with the cleanliness and style of a boutique hotel. Guests find common ground as they see a helmet in hand or muddy trail-running shoes by the bunk. The hostel’s welcoming staffers are just as apt to share their favorite views or bouldering spots, as they are to recommend the best brunch in town—Southside’s Bluegrass Grill, of course.

You’ll get complimentary breakfast every morning (including fresh-baked breads from neighboring Niedlov’s Breadworks, and robust coffee from Greyfriars Coffee & Tea Co.); free Wi-Fi; and if you’re lucky like we were, a little boxed wine happy-hour later on.

The Crash Pad maintains its pledge to be “an uncommon hostel” with a focus on eco-conscious construction, design, and operation. The building was designed to fit the requirements of LEED Platinum Certification, and details like using reclaimed bike parts in construction and locally made concrete counters and sinks by Set In Stone set the Pad apart from common hostel set-ups.

Super bunk accommodations ($27/night), come with an under-bunk locker, privacy curtains, and a full set of clean linens. For a more private experience, book one of the six rooms ($70/night), which come with a handmade queen-size bed and sink.

BunkBunk accommodations/ Photo courtesy

Private room accommodations/ Photo courtesy


Book at The Crash Pad when you visit Chattanooga for the Riverbend Festival next week. The nine-day music festival (June 8-16) features bands like The Band Perry, Goo Goo Dolls, Eric Church, and Foreigner.

—By: Kelsey Snell

 Related Links:
Southern Living: Chattanooga Weekend Guide
Southern Living: Shop Chattanooga’s Warehouse Row
Southern Living: Tennessee’s Best Burgers
Southern Living: Five Ways to Stay Cool in Tennessee






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