My recent trip to Atlanta required that I be in the office a bit earlier than usual, so I elected to stay within walking distance rather than bunk at my usual haunt, the W Atlanta – Midtown. The Embassy Suites Atlanta – Centennial Olympic Park was a perfect choice for my business needs. As you probably guessed, the hotel overlooks Centennial Olympic Park and is steps away from CNN Center, World of Coca Cola, Phillips Arena, and other downtown attractions.
I checked in around 5:00PM and found the desk staffed by two attendants. Both were occupied, but I was the only person waiting. I was called forward in short order, and was assisted by a friendly member of the hotel staff who had me on my way to the room in minutes. My HHonors VIP Gold status was not verbally recognized at check-in. I was presented with a blue card which is required to be shown at the evening manager’s reception and morning breakfast.
I spent the week in a pretty nice two-room suite on the 7th floor. A letter from the hotel manager thanking me for my patronage and noting my choice of HHonors VIP benefits was waiting on the coffee table. The room was well-equipped and offered the standard set of amenities one expects from Embassy Suites including a refrigerator and microwave. Televisions in both the living room and bedroom were flat screen and offered a pretty broad choice of channels. The hotel advertises only wired internet access in the guest rooms, but I had no problem at all picking up the wireless signal that is offered in the public areas of the hotel. Internet access is $9.95 per day, but I received it free of charge as I have chosen internet access as my Gold VIP benefit at Embassy Suites. The bedroom was equipped with a king size bed and offered a view of Centennial Olympic Park and the downtown skyline.
The hotel has a large outdoor pool area and hot tub. Believe it or not, it was almost warm enough for a swim on my first night in Atlanta! The fitness center is part of the pool area and is equipped with all the basics one needs for staying in shape. However, the cardio equipment appeared to be “well-worn” to put it mildly. Nonetheless, it worked!
The manager’s reception was pretty standard Embassy Suites fare, and the complimentary breakfast is served in the Ruth’s Chris restaurant adjacent to the main atrium/lobby area. Free booze always tastes great, but I did not partake in the breakfast this trip so I can’t speak to the quality.
You don’t have to walk far for dinner. The atrium/lobby happens to be home to one of the three Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses in the Atlanta area. I don’t often get the opportunity to eat steaks like those served at Ruth’s Chris so I decided to dine there one night. My ribeye was cooked to perfection, though I’m admittedly not a huge fan of the heavy emphasis on butter favored by Ruth’s Chris. I prefer a little more natural flavor in a steak. But believe me when I tell you I didn’t send any back!
One block from the hotel, you’ll find a great sports bar, Stats. This was my second visit to Stats, the previous one being for a private party, and I looked forward to returning. The menu is not overdone, and the beer is cold. Most importantly, the bar is equipped with about 40 bazillion televisions so you won’t have any trouble locating the game you want. Interestingly, Stats is part of the same restaurant group as another favorite of mine, TAP, which I’ve mentioned before. I enjoyed the grilled chicken sandwich with fries, and washed it down with Smithwick’s Ale on tap.
Located in the lobby of Embassy Suites’ sister hotel the Hilton Garden Inn, you will find a spanking new Legal Sea Foods. Legal is only a block away from the Embassy and is a nice option if you’re in the mood for oysters on the half shell. Bar service was good, and the bartender happened to be from Boston, Legal’s home. The restaurant has a very trendy decor, and so does the Hilton Garden Inn for that matter. Looked interesting enough to entice me to stay there sometime in the future. The oysters were fresh, and my salad was good.
During the week I enjoyed a quick after work cocktail with a colleage at Thrive. Trendy doesn’t do this place justice. See the pictures for yourself. My colleague and I were the only two people in the place, but it was early. Thrive offers several appetizers during happy hour for only $5 dollars each. Worth a stop if you’re nearby.
The Bottom Line
The Embassy Suites Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park offers the right combination of amenities and location that make it an easy choice if you have business in downtown Atlanta. The hotel was modern and well-maintained. Staff I interacted with were polite and helpful. I plan to stay again. Better yet, this hotel is participating in the current Hilton HHonors double points promotion I posted about recently.