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Downtown Atlanta: What you need to know, where you need to stay

A typical view from a guest room on the 57th floor of the tallest hotel in the Southeast: The Westin Hotel in Downtown Atlanta.
A typical view from a guest room on the 57th floor of the tallest hotel in the Southeast: The Westin Hotel in Downtown Atlanta.
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Vacationers planning a trip to the capital of Georgia need a hotel that will meet all their needs, especially if they plan to visit downtown Atlanta, where CNN, Coca Cola headquarters, the Georgia Aquarium, and Philips Arena are located. So the Atlanta Top News Examiner decided to check out the competition on June 8 and report back to readers planning a day trip or a little longer stay. And here's the results.

Westin Peachtree Plaza Manager Marvin Jolly treats guests like royalty, ensuring they will return.
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The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel wins hands down, as it is the most conveniently located of the overnight accommodations if you are looking for a five-star experience in the heart of the bustling city. And if it is skyline views that you want, you can't get much better than a room on the 57th floor (but you can have a room as high as the 70th floor, if you want).

For a 360-degree view there is always the Westin's famed Sundial Restaurant, which sits high atop the hotel, slowly rotating diners in order to give them a complete view of the city from all angles (north, south, east and west) as they dine on sumptuous fare.

That view, come July 4th, will be one of the most coveted to get, so you better make reservations now if you want to be sitting at eye level with the fireworks displays being propelled from down below. You can bypass the traffic jams and the crowds to eat in leisure as you are entertained with the colorful once-a-year fireworks display. And you can expect service akin to what any celebrity might receive, as the Westin boasts a slew of employees all bent on making your stay an exceptional event.

Manager Marvin Jolly proved to be quite helpful to this writer when it came to a snafu about parking (my faux pas, not his), and Westin employee Philip Kimbrough didn't think twice when asked to escort a guests' luggage directly to the registration desk, rather than the usual procedure for delivery. And when the hotel says you can just push "zero" on your phone and get express service, they really mean it. And that goes for just about anything you want, whether it is extra hangars, bathroom amenities or more, and they always say "It's my pleasure to serve you."

Activities going on in the city that never seems to sleep right now include Downtown Steak Week being held June 9-15, according to Creative Loafing. And on June 21 the famed Beatle Paul McCartney will grace the city himself (you just know where he is going to stay, right?). Sir McCartney will be performing at the Philips Arena, but don't get your heart sold on a ticket at this late stage, unfortunately. Although, you never know, the Westin concierge just might be able to get you one?