I recently completed a 3-night stay at the W Atlanta – Midtown. This was not my first stay at the hotel, and I have reviewed it previously. But given the time that’s passed since that review, I thought it would be nice to give you an update.
The hotel is located in the trendy Midtown section of Atlanta. I typically use Atlanta’s rail system, MARTA, for transportation to/from the airport, and this visit was no different. Although located in Midtown, the closest MARTA stop for this hotel is actually the Arts Center station. From there, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to the hotel.
Arriving at the hotel, I was warmly greeted by bell staff stationed out front, and offered assistance with my luggage. I politely declined and proceeded to the front desk. The front desk representative was wrapping up with a customer just as I walked in, so I had no wait for check in. The gentleman working the desk was very courteous and professional, noted my Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, and that I had several prior stays at the hotel.
The only wrinkle in the transaction was once again caused by my Chase Corporate Card. For the second time in 30 days, my card was declined when attempting to check into a hotel after purchasing a MARTA ticket at the airport. The front desk rep was even kind enough to offer to call on my behalf, but I told him I’d handle it as another guest was waiting behind me. A phone call resolved the issue in a few minutes, and my card was working again, allowing me to complete check in.
My 23rd floor “Spectacular Room” was a typical W room with modern furnishings, 37″ LCD TV, a comfortable king bed, and an awesome view of Atlanta’s great skyline. The desk area is well lit, comfortable and both wired and wireless internet are provided for a pricey $14.95 plus tax. (Note: If you only need to do a quick email check, take advantage of the complimentary wireless internet in the public areas of the hotel including “The Living Room.”)
The bathroom was large, and equipped with a great walk-in shower that I can only describe as very “Euro-trendy.” I’m sure there’s an actual name for the design, but I know you won’t be disappointed.
I noted on entering the room that the air conditioning vent had a bit of a rattle when air was flowing through. I thought about trying to ignore it, but I knew that come bedtime, things like that tend to keep you awake. I called the Whatever / Whenever desk where the very nice person apologized profusely and said they’d send engineering right up. Within 5 minutes, a technician was knocking on my door. Turns out some insulation had gotten loose inside the vent, and that was causing the rattle. Big time MJonTravel gold stars to the hotel for taking care of that super quickly!
The hotel is equipped with one of the better gyms I’ve seen at any hotel. It has a W-esque name: Sweat. There’s enough cardio equipment that I’ve never had to wait for a machine, and there is plenty of strength training equipment too. Cardio machines are wired with cable, like a good gym should be, so bring your earbuds.
Not much of an opportunity to use the pool in January, but it is a nice one. Here’s a link to the hotel’s website with a description.
Around the Hotel
There are a number of restaurants within a short walk from the hotel. Two of my favorites happen to be very close by. Shout is just around the corner and serves up great food with a menu as varied as sushi to tapas to pretty darn good steaks. I’ve tried a little of everything, but this week, I went for the double grilled pork chops. If you don’t have a problem with pork, I recommend you try them! Just across Peachtree St from Shout is another great restaurant, TAP. Great beer AND great wine, great food, great vibe.
The dining highlight of my trip however, was Tamarind Seed Thai Bistro. I’m not the biggest Thai food fan on earth, but I don’t mind it. I’ve been thinking about trying this restaurant since my first trip to the area a couple of year’s ago, and one thing I’ve always found there was a crowd whenever I passed by. Now I know why. I had the shrimp and scallops. Sounds basic, but it wasn’t. This was inspired Thai food served by gracious hosts. Give it a try if you’re ever in the area.
The W Atlanta – Midtown is also home to a great restaurant all its own, Spice Market. I didn’t visit this time, but based on past experience, dining here is worth the visit. Biz travel tip: Dining alone? Take your laptop and dine at the bar. You can access the hotel’s wi-fi and get a little work done too.
My favorite place for a cocktail after work, or a night cap is none other than the hotel’s Living Room Bar. Grab a seat at the bar, or ensconce yourself in one of the comfortable couches, and enjoy a drink and the great W scene. This week I actually got a little work done in “The Living Room” where the wireless internet is complimentary.
There is no in-room coffee, but the W Atlanta – Midtown serves good coffee (as opposed to the typical in-room swill at more mundane hotels) in the lobby. I like to work out early, and by the time I’m done, the coffee is usually set up and ready to go. Grab a cup on the way back up to the room and enjoy it with the morning paper.
Every employee of the hotel that I passed in the hallway, lobby or anywhere went out of their way to smile and say hello. Even the morning front desk clerk made a point to say good morning when I passed by on the way for coffee. It was like they’d been trained by my favorite cruise line on how to treat people. Maybe life in DC has jaded me to the point that I notice the least bit of “niceness,” but I thought everyone did a great job of having that little “W” edginess about them while somehow managing to be pleasant at the same time, and I liked it.
The Bottom Line
If you couldn’t tell, I like this hotel a lot. For whatever reason, I’ve been trying to stay very close to my Atlanta work site lately. That has it’s good points, but I think staying at a hotel I actually like means more to me. For future trips to Atlanta, you’ll find me at the W Atlanta – Midtown. See you there. And don’t forget to register for Starwood’s first quarter bonus promotion.