For a luxury experience with useful business amenities, the Ritz can't be beat. The size of the rooms are comparable to other downtown properties, but with business-minded touches such as a valet complete with shoe shine, bedside USB ports, and a desk with AV connections for in-room presentation prep. Try the on-site AG and its Southern-accented steakhouse specialties like she-crab soup, roasted chicken breast and pan-seared salmon. The eatery's terrace is one of downtown's few outdoor dining spots. MARTA's Peachtree Center station is nearby.
YOU SHOULD KNOW For a hotel that's already expensive, there are some annoyingly pricey add-ons. Wifi is an extra fee of $14.95 per day unless you're a Ritz-Carlton Rewards member and valet parking costs $45 per night (there's no self-pay option).
444 guest rooms and suites are elegantly appointed with plush 400-thread-count linens, marble-floored foyers, down pillows and 55-inch high def flat screen TVs (in Deluxe rooms). Expect evening turndown service, great views of the Atlanta skyline and separate living room and bedroom spaces in suites.
Wellness-focused guests should consider a room on the Wellness Level, where amenities include yoga mats, foam rollers, stability balls, PURE air purification, iHome Zengergy light and sound therapy machines, healthy snacks and drinks for purchase in the Honor Bar, complimentary daily access to 191 Resolution Fitness gym and more.
Marble bathrooms include Asprey toiletries, luxurious rainshower heads and thick terry cloth robes.
Take a moment to admire the gorgeous flower displays on the main table in the center of the lobby underneath the sparkling crystal chandelier before making your way to Lumen Lobby Bar. The decor of the bar is decidedly funky and contemporary (unlike the more traditionally styled guest rooms) with bright pops of magenta, silver metallic curtains and beaded light fixtures. Pop by for signature cocktails starting at 2:30 p.m. (be careful with the Lumen Punch, their version of rum punch), small plates and dinner plates served after 5:30 p.m. There's also live music Tuesday through Saturday.
The on-property fitness center is well-equipped with weight machines, various styles of cardio equipment, free weights, medicine balls, stability balls, bottled water, fruit, chilled towels and fruit-infused ice water. If all that's not enough for you, you can pay a $10 fee for access to the luxury 191 Resolution Fitness club for classes, complimentary workout attire and trips to the steam room and sauna.
AG is where to go for all five meals of the day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, express lunch and dinner. The menus all feature southern-inspired, modern American dishes. Think buttermilk pancakes with bourbon apple compote in the morning, a shaved beet salad with honey whipped goat cheese and mixed greens for lunch and honey roasted duck breast with seasonal root vegetables for dinner. A grab-and-go breakfast alternative is Jittery Joe's for micro-roasted coffees and breakfast sandwiches, and in the evenings the space transforms into Mercato for Italian flatbreads, antipasti and international cheeses.
Start the evening with a drink at Lumen Bar, where there's a list of more than 10 signature cocktails, and a wide selection of wines, bourbon, single malt scotch, whiskey, cognac and draft and bottled beers.
The MARTA Peachtree Center station is a less than one-minute walk from the hotel, for easy access to popular areas like Midtown and Buckhead and for quick access to the airport. The hotel itself is in a pretty sweet area of downtown, with major attractions like Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, World of Coca-Cola and the Center for Civil and Human Rights all within walking distance. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance as well.
Take a 4-minute walk to The Food Shoppe for takeaway Creole specialities like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish bisque and Louisiana favorite Community Coffee. For lunch or dinner, try Taqueria on Broad for burritos, empanadas, and of course tacos including brisket, fish and tinga (5-minute walk).
Red Phone Booth is a swanky speakeasy where guests enter through, you guessed it, a London-style red phone booth (2-minute walk) but you'll have to ask the Ritz Concierge for the password. Polaris, the rotating bar and lounge atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta offers handcrafted cocktails and panoramic views (4-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
While the Ritz offers the best when it comes to top-of-the-line service, great dining options and luxurious accommodations, it does lack key amenities in relation to other five-star properties in Atlanta. The lack of a pool and spa are noticeable, but if your trip is for business (and you probably wouldn't have time to use the pool or spa anyway), you'll enjoy the downtown location, 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space and full-service staffed business center.