Throughout my travels, I’ve slept a lot of places. My tent has been pitched on plenty of plots of land, and then there have been the less dignified nights snoozing at truck stops or sleeping in my hatchback in Walmart parking lots.
I ain’t too picky when it comes to catching a few hours of rest.
During the summer’s final hoorah, a climbing trip to Georgia and Tennessee, I was spoiled with the most wonderful accommodations I have ever experienced during an outdoor adventure: The Crash Pad hostel in Chattanooga. I’ve been dying to check out this innovative lodging venue designed specifically for adventurers, but wasn’t able to make it happen until I won two free nights during their Ultimate Adventure contest – then it was game on.
After a hot and sticky day climbing at Rocktown, Niko and I drove up to Tennessee and made our way to Chattanooga’s charming Southside neighborhood. To my delight, The Crash Pad sits just around the corner from one of my favorite landmarks in town, the flashing signage from the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.
Immediately upon walking into the hostel, I was greeted by the hostel’s directors of all things awesome, Al and John. They were as stoked to meet me as I was to finally meet them, and they totally made me blush with compliments about The Morning Fresh. Those fellas know how to woo a lady!
We checked in, and then got a little tour of the hostel. The cozy bunk area offered sturdy beds with great privacy curtains, and tons of outlets. Seriously, +100 for the abundance of outlets all over this hostel. We wandered towards our private room, and were instantly impressed by how perfectly simple the set-up was.
Just a big bed (with all linens provided), a little shelf with an alarm clock and lamp, a bright window, and a sweet modern sink. What more could you need? Everything was in pristine condition, and I loved the no-fuss, no-frills feel.
Bonus points: The property had recently broken ground on a new bar/restaurant, to be named the Flying Squirrel, which will make it nearly impossible to ever leave this pleasant plot of land. While it was a slight bummer for me wanting to take lots of pictures of the hostel’s exterior, I am elated to see that The Crash Pad’s success story is adding a new chapter – especially since it involves beer.
Basically, I am smitten with The Crash Pad.
Al and John are hands-down some of the coolest dudes in the ‘Noog. They were impossibly charming, taught us all about the word “hyphy,” always had something positive to say, and have some pretty damn good taste in music, too. These non-Tennessee natives shared our enthusiasm for climbing, and were eager to offer beta and suggest routes for me to hop on at nearby crags.
As for my favorite features of the building?
I suffered from major kitchen envy while munching on Niedlov’s artisan bread and sipping on specially brewed Greyfriar’s coffee at The Crash Pad.
What a kitchen! Basically everything made of wood in the hostel was crafted by Matt Sears of Haskel Sears Design, from the gorgeous bar to our room’s bed. We all loved the customized countertop inlaid with climbing pieces created by Set In Stone; how often do you see that? Top it off it a customized rack of spices, the most efficient dishwasher I’ve ever witnessed, plentiful cooking supplies, and awesome recycling options – this kitchen was a dream.
We easily spent the majority of our time at The Crash Pad hanging out in the communal kitchen area.
It was a major bummer when the time came for us to check out on the way to our final day of climbing in Tennessee, but I consoled myself with a snazzy new mug emblazoned with The Crash Pad’s logo. Before checking out, every patron should be sure to sign the guestbook and add a pin to the big map above the computers! See that giant thumbtack over Tallahassee? Yeah, that’s all me.
PS: I totally stole one of your spoons by accident.
Expect a package in the mail soon with a replacement! Oops.
With a price tag of $27 for a bunk, and $70 for a private two-person room, staying at The Crash Pad isn’t going to be an affordable option for me every time I come to Chattanooga – but much like dinners at Terminal Brewery, I’ll be looking for any excuse to splurge and make a return visit. If you have the cash, the plentiful amenities, unparalleled hospitality, and killer location make The Crash Pad 100% worth the money.
Thank you Al and John for a phenomenal experience at your wonderful little slice of Chattanooga lovin’. Niko and I were raving about you both (and your outstanding hostel) for the entire drive home. We can’t wait to return, and definitely look forward to checking out The Flying Squirrel next summer!