By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor
If you’re a savvy leisure or business traveler seeking acclaimed accommodations centrally located in downtown Atlanta, look no further than the Hyatt Regency Atlanta--a historic property that recently completed a $65 million renovation that has made the property more elegant, and relevant, than ever.
During my recent stay, it was readily evident that the property-wide transformation refreshed many key facets of this landmark 1,260-room hotel, including its interior design and décor, public and guest-only amenities, and the reinvigorated spirits among the staff at all levels who clearly strive to ensure each visitor’s stay is a pleasant one. Beyond the copious number of business guests this hotel hosts, these broad-based enhancements and its close proximity to noteworthy points-of-interest have also made the Hyatt Regency Atlanta a popular destination among those seeking a memorable vacation or weekend getaway.
The multi-million dollar makeover of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta shows at every turn. Most spectacularly, upon entering the grand lobby you’ll find yourself inside the architectural marvel of a 22-story atrium, the likes of which you won’t find in any other hotel in the world. Indeed, as you enter the hotel from the valet area, your breath is taken away by the vast height of the atrium punctuated with gorgeous architectural elements, including the famed glass elevators and majestic “Flora Raris” metallic art sculpture. As you work your way toward the lovely wood-fabricated pod-style desks offering guests a more personalized check-in experience, your eye is drawn to the back wall custom-designed from brass key fob replicas from the original Regency Hyatt House era. This “old made new again” sensibility honoring the hotel’s past is weaved throughout the property’s thoughtful décor.
From there, to get to your room, you’ll take a ride in one of the hotel’s original glass elevators that’ll give you a bird’s eye view of the expansive lobby and, as you rise within the twenty-two floors, the beautiful geometric architectural elements of the building’s interior. All of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s rooms and suites have undergone renovation, including 727 Atrium Tower guest rooms that now showcase some of the industry’s most energy-efficient solutions available, such as motion sensor lights and low-flow commodes. There are also 26 Respire hypo-allergenic rooms as well as 58 suites/parlors. In each room, guests now enjoy such design features as signature carpet design inspired by the towering sculpture in the Atrium Lobby, new wall coverings and drapes, and sleek, modern furnishings as well as great technological features like a 37-inch, LCD flat-panel televisions with HDTV channels and iHome Dual alarm clock radio. Also renovated is the Regency Club, which has doubled in size and connects to 33 remodeled Club guest rooms. Of course, business travelers and groups are further drawn to the property’s 180,000 square feet of ballroom, exhibit, meeting and hospitality space as well as the revamped meeting rooms with enhanced technology.
Beckoning guests out of the comfort of their rooms are the hotel’s enticing on-site dining options—Sway and Twenty-Two Storys—that are anything but your typical hotel eatery. First, there is Sway, a lobby-level restaurant that focuses on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to present a nostalgic Southern-style menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seatings. Signature dishes include Southern Vegetable and Dumplings, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Georgia White Shrimp N’ Grits. And, take note: you might find it hard to resist Sway’s all-you-can eat pie buffet. Overseeing this restaurant is an award-winning Chef, Martin Pfefferkorn, who has also added special gluten-free and vegetarian options to the menu. Here patrons partake in a full bar and extensive wine list.
In addition to Sway, there is the laid back lounge vibe of the beer-themed restaurant and bar, Twenty-Two Storys, also found on the lobby level. This menu is also crafted around fresh, locally-sourced ingredients courtesy of Chef Pfefferkorn. Although this venue is quite large, it systematically fills up and exudes a lively, energetic atmosphere that makes it a draw even for locals and those staying at other nearby hotels. Some of Twenty Two Storys’ delicious beer-infused dishes, which incorporate products from some of the best local breweries, are appetizers like Beer Cheese Nachos and Georgia Brown Ale Cheese Soup as well as entrees like the Hefeweizen Steamed Brats and Kraut, Stout Braised Short Ribs, Sweet Water Beer Battered Fish and Chips and Beer and Honey Glazed Salmon. Beer even shows up on the dessert menu in the form of the 420 Beer Float. Other food items include a Build Your Own Burger menu that makes it easy to mix and match proteins, cheeses, and toppings. If you are true beer aficionado, you’ll definitely want to reserve one of the two booths that have your own personal beer taps allowing you to be your own bartender. As you eat and imbibe, be sure to peruse the restaurant’s décor that features items from famous guests, amusing facts, and historic milestones from the iconic hotel’s forty-year history.
Since no vacation or getaway is complete without seeing a few sights, leisure travelers flock to the Hyatt Regency Atlanta as it provides easy access to a myriad of notable attractions and annual events. Among others, the hotel is just a few steps away from Centennial Olympic Park, which houses the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights with the College Football Hall of Fame now in development for a 2014 expected opening. Also close by is the famed Atlantic Station shopping mecca and the Georgia Dome where the 2013 Men’s Final Four will be held in March. The hotel is also conveniently located to take advantage of the city’s numerous neighborhood festivals, including the Inman Park Festival (April 26-28), the Dogwood Festival (April 19-21), the Atlanta Pride Festival (October 12-13) and Cabbagetown’s Chop and Stomp (November 2).
To further entice travelers to come visit sooner than later, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is offering some great packages and incentives. One I particularly love is the “When I Grow Up” package for families who are visiting and vetting Atlanta-area colleges.
In all, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is a hotel for movers and shakers who have high expectations of their accommodation and also want unencumbered access to the best downtown Atlanta has to offer.
"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***