Luxury Lodging at the Lookout Mountain Bed & Breakfast
Story by Lyda Kay Ferree, The Southern Lifestyles Lady. Photography courtesy of the Chanticleer Inn Bed & Breakfast.
Perched high atop Lookout Mountain (pop: 5000 year round) sits the Chanticleer Inn Bed & Breakfast, which combines the ambiance of yesteryear with the comfort and amenities of today. It is the ultimate in mountain southern hospitality, just 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. Located at 1800 feet above sea level, The Chanticleer Inn Bed & Breakfast, which has been a proud member of the Select Registry since 2003, sits with distinction high atop Lookout Mountain on a beautiful plateau that borders Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.
Built in 1927 and operated as a B&B since 1930, the inn underwent extensive renovations in 2002 and in subsequent years. Its hospitable new owners, Michael and Teresa Turner, purchased the inn in January of this year. The Turners moved to Lookout Mountain from Atlanta. “We looked at 10 or 12 properties of various styles,” said Michael. “In the end we decided on Chanticleer because it is two hours from Atlanta, a good location, great surroundings and activities. We thought it was a perfect fit for us!”
The Inn and the 17 guest rooms are nestled around the Inn’s courtyard, swimming pool, fire pit and Bocce court. All rooms have a private bath, individual central heat and air, DVD player, flat screen TV with cable, and Wifi covers the entire property. Some rooms also feature a private patio, fireplace and/or whirlpool or steam shower.
My guest cottage had an English cottage exterior, but the interior has a Country French influence. The coziness of my guest room was welcome on a dreary, rainy day. It is decorated in pale greens and reds, and the furnishings include a King bed with a carved mahogany headboard, hardwood floors, bedside tables, upholstered chairs, and a writing desk in a nook.
Upon opening the door to my charming room I immediately saw (and enjoyed) a bag of decadent French macarons in the middle of the bed beside Chanticleer, the plush toy rooster. (Chanticleer means rooster.) A lovely vase of seasonal flowers was another special touch. In New Orleans we call these surprise gifts lagniappe meaning “something extra.”
I visited the dining room of the charming inn where I enjoyed delicious pumpkin bread (See recipe), homemade cookies, fresh fruit, hot tea and coffee. Desserts, cookies and seasonal drinks are served each afternoon and evening. I enjoyed the warmth of the fireplace on a chilly, rainy afternoon.
That evening my companion and I drove down the mountain to the Bluff View Art District, a favorite attraction in past years. First we visited Rembrandt’s coffee shop with its assortment of coffee and European pastries. Then we dined in the Bluff View Art District at the popular Tony’s restaurant, with its variety of Italian favorites.
On my next trip, however, especially in inclement weather, I will stay on Lookout Mountain as by the time my dinner guest and I drove back to Chanticleer Inn on Lookout Mountain it was raining, dark and stressful with the tremendous amount of downtown construction. It would have been more relaxing to stay on Lookout Mountain and dine at The Canyon Grill or order Mr. T’s Pizza delivered to my door.
With the pitter-patter of rain falling on my roof, I read and slept soundly, a rarity in my busy over-scheduled world.
Lookout Mountain Recreation & Attractions
Seven states are visible from Lookout Mountain: GA, TN, KY, VA, NC, SC and AL. The inn is five minutes from Ruby Falls, Incline Railway and Point Park. For the adventurous, there are numerous local nature trails and historic parks for hiking and biking.
Point Park: The Battles of Chattanooga: next to Point Park and on same road as Incline Railway
Scenic Views (5-minute drive from Chanticleer Inn unless otherwise specified): Covenant College, Point Park, Sunset Rock, Eagles Nest, Hang Gliding Park and Craven’s House.
Hiking: Point Park, Sunset Rock, Glen Falls, Reflection Riding, Cloudland Canyon and Guild Trail.
The following rainy morning on the sun porch I enjoyed a complimentary full breakfast featuring juice; coffee; avocado toast with a perfectly prepared poached egg; fresh fruit; and sweet breads and cakes prepared daily. (The hot entrees change daily.) Weather permitting, the patio would be another delightful breakfast spot.
Following breakfast I sat near the inn’s fireplace leisurely sipping hot coffee while scanning scrapbooks about the history of the inn, and I thumbed through a notebook of area restaurants. Then I browsed in the inn’s tiny (but charming) Hen House Gift Shop.
According to Michael Turner, owner of the inn, the busiest season at the Chanticleer Inn is July/August, October and December. The inn offers several packages including a Garden Lights Package at Rock City across the road from the inn (Guests describe Rock City’s holiday lights as spectacular!; visit www.rockcity.com), and a Be My Valentine package for a romantic getaway. Guests may pre-order chocolate covered strawberries, boxed chocolate truffles or fresh seasonal flowers.
I did not want to leave Chanticleer Inn, but I was on a tight schedule. However, I took time to drive around the village to see the lovely mountaintop homes; churches; shops like Mountain Memories and Lookout Mountain Pottery; Market on the Mountain, a deli and wine shop; and two restaurants: Café on the Corner and The Canyon Grill; and Mountain Escape Spa.