HOW MANY ROOMS? 291 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: A happening pool deck in the middle of Buckhead’s glittering skyline makes this the perfect weekend retreat. Shopping and dining abound, and business travelers have a host of services at their fingertips.

PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $118.

CONTACT: W Atlanta-Buckhead, 3377 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30326. Phone +678-500-3100. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/atlbw-w-atlanta-buckhead/

WHERE IS IT? In the center of Buckhead, this hotel is within walking distance of fantastic dining and shopping at two of the region’s best known, high-end malls. The drive to the airport can take around 30 minutes, but MARTA stations are an option in the neighborhood making it easy to reach midtown or downtown easily. Rely on the W Insiders (concierges that are well-connected with the neighborhood’s latest happenings).

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The snazzy lobby welcomes arrivals into a remade space with bright colors, individual reception desks, and plenty of living room-style seating ideal for working or chatting with friends. W is known for its live music or DJ-fueled entertainment events centered around themes like fashion and design often hosted in its lobby, and this property is no stranger to the action. Georgia artists have lent their talent to the public areas and guest rooms. If you want to document the experience, snap a picture at the W photobooth in the lobby, which you can then share via social media channels (how W, right?). Better yet, take a photo in front of the lobby mural, which can be synched up with the hotel’s own Instagram account.


ROOM FACILITIES: New headboards, furnishings, and fabrics are part of the recent overhaul throughout the hotel. Damask wall coverings are part of the artsy theme. My room had an entertaining view of the pool deck and skyline. I really liked that bottled water is provided in each room free of charge. Cozy bedding features thick duvets, bedside power outlets, and a stack of pillows. Bliss Spa toiletries line the marble vanities in bright bathrooms. Showers have exceptionally strong pressure. Several suites (four WOW suites and one EWOW suite) up the ante when it comes to living space including some with a dining room and even a bathroom with a two-person shower. Previously, rooms had unsightly air conditioning units attached to the wall; those are now long gone!

RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Rooftop Whiskey Blue is a neighborhood staple with both indoor and outdoor seating areas and panoramic views of Buckhead. Take note of the colorful murals created by local artists. The cocktail menu is innovative, but local beers are especially popular during big sporting events. Cook Hall is the lobby-level restaurant with views of the active street. Here, three meals a day are served with modern American fare including plenty of great Southern favorites. A bar and lounge at one end of the lobby handles light bites and drinks.

LEISURE FACILITIES: Modern equipment packs the fitness center, but it’s the pool deck that is the main draw on weekends. Lounge chairs, shaded seating, and weekly DJs make this a lively place to spend the afternoon when the sun shines the most on the pool. A surrealist, pop-art mural covers one side of the pool area. The Larry Loudmouf character in the mural is a city staple and featured in street art found all around Atlanta.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES:
Free wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel, and computer stations provide connectivity. Several meeting areas provide both indoor and outdoor space for both corporate and social gatherings.

VERDICT: This is an example of $20 million well-spent as the décor is edgy, contemporary, and fresh. The Buckhead location assures this is a destination for both leisure and business travelers looking for clever design and hip surroundings.