I recently completed a 4-night business-related stay at the beautiful W Atlanta – Downtown. In my many visits to Atlanta, the stars simply never aligned with my schedule and their room rates until this past week. Not to mention, I’ve grown kind of comfortable with my usual Buckhead or Midtown stays. But the time had finally come, and I was pleased to be staying at the hotel, and I’m even more pleased to report that I had a very enjoyable stay! The hotel was simply phenomenal.
I’m a believer in public transit, and a frequent customer of Atlanta’s MARTA rail, so that was my mode of choice for this trip. The hotel is about 2 blocks from MARTA’s Civic Center rail station. You could also walk to the hotel from the Peachtree station, but be prepared for a longer walk. The hotel is located in what appears to be an area that has had a lot of development cash expended on it. Lots of new buildings.
When you enter through the main doors you have a choice of turning right to head to the lobby Living Room bar or left for the welcome desks. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about the lobby that struck me as a little more “cool” than I was used to…..if you can imagine that. In any event, there was no wait to check in and I was ably assisted by a very friendly staff member who did a great job of appearing to be genuinely pleased to welcome me to the hotel. There was the usual discussion about the hotel, Platinum amenities (points baby!), and etc. I also got the best news I’d had in a while. I’d scored a Platinum upgrade to a WOW Suite. It was going to be a good week.
Well, they don’t call it a “WOW Suite” for nothing, because “wow” was the first thing I said when I walked in. In short, the room was just about damn awesome. Actually, it wasn’t just about ….it just was. And large. A large dining table greets you upon entry and there is a large coat closet to the left of the door. Beyond that is a large living area with 2 sofas and chairs completely surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. My view was oriented north towards Midtown, but it was great.
Passing into the bedroom, I was struck by how dark it was, but after a bit of fumbling I finally figured out how to turn on all the lights! It wasn’t exactly blinding, but at least I could see…..and what I saw, I liked. A chaise lounge was by the door with a great view of the city and the desk area was large. The bedroom was equipped with a 37″ LCD TV (as was the living area). If I had a complaint about the room, it would be that the desk area simply did not have enough light or power outlets. I could live without the outlets, but light…..I need a lot of it to work. Of course, I doubt that most people who book a room like this care! It didn’t help that the weather was overcast for the first few days of my trip so there was no real natural light to help. By the way, there’s wireless internet and I found it to be pretty speedy throughout the week. The comfortable king bed was like all W beds….awesome! I slept great every night of the week. There was plenty of closet and other storage space and a nice laptop safe as well.
And then, there was the bathroom built for 2, complete with large walk-in shower and double vanity. Seriously, the bathroom, while laid out in a long and somewhat narrow way, seemed almost as large as my first apartment.
Around the Hotel
The fitness center, SWEAT, was very nicely equipped with several cardio machines and very nice weight lifting equipment. It was always in use during my visits, but not overly subscribed. It’s on the 16th floor, along with the pool, WET, and the Bliss Spa. The 16th floor also serves as the dividing line between the hotel from ground level to to 16, and private residences from floors 17 and up. There is a nice-looking bar area at WET but it is unused in the cold weather months. I’m going to look forward to staying at the hotel again during pool season.
The big bar scene spot at the hotel is called Drinkshop. I never made it there, but I’m sure it’s pretty typical W cool. The hotel’s restaurant is BLT Steak, and you know I made it there. I’ve always heard good things about BLT Steak, but have never had the opportunity to dine there. I rectified that by heading there for dinner on my first night in the hotel. I enjoyed a nice salad followed by the bone-in ribeye accompanied with cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” I’m sure they didn’t call it that, but that’s what they are! No matter, my meal was just terrific. It’s easy to see why BLT Steak has been mentioned so positively by friends who’ve dined there. BLT was the highlight of my dining for the week. There are a few restaurants very near the hotel, and many more just down Peachtree Street. One night I walked across Centennial Olympic Park all the way to CNN where there are a lot of restaurants as well. There are lots of possibilities, and there’s always the Acura service to drive you if you aren’t in the mood to walk.
I really enjoyed this hotel’s living room lobby bar area as well. Most nights during the week I concluded my evening there with my laptop. Wireless internet is free in the lobby by the way.
The Bottom Line
I thought the hotel was just fantastic. Of the 3 W Hotels in Atlanta, this is the only one that was built from the ground up to be a W. I don’t know if that’s part of the hotel’s appeal to me or not, but I really liked the way the property was designed. Every staff member I came into contact with was beyond friendly, never failing to greet me as I passed by the front desk each morning in search of coffee. The W Atlanta – Downtown gets the MJ on Travel seal of approval. I’ll be back, and if business takes you to downtown Atlanta, don’t hesitate to consider this fabulous hotel.