Seasoned travelers expect a certain level of service (for the price) in European and Asian Capitols and in U.S. cities like New York, Chicago, San Franciso - but Atlanta?
So many things about this excquisite property seem foreign for a city that has a reputation for having a meltdown over a little ice on the roads. For one thing, the standard rate of $400-plus a night - even on an "off" day in February! I'd expect to pay that maybe in NY or San Franciso, but Atlanta? Work was footing the bill, so I didn't object... Once you approach the front entrance, you realize this is no ordinary hotel for Atlanta - or anywhere, for that matter.
Even the Dowager on Downton Abbey would be pleased by the grand entrance and the level of service.
Brooke, my cheerful and excellent front desk person, greeted me with a genuine smile - She then passed me off to my friendly bellman/butler who informed me about a nightly champagne toast at 6pm (complimentary) and told me about lots of other extra features. He also demonstrated the very cool television screen inside one of the mirrors above a sink in the lux bathroom - That way, you can watch ESPN or the BBC while shaving! The room, which was no doubt one of their smaller, more "affordable" ones, still featured a marble foyer, giant tub along with a European toilet that allows you to do a "half" flush for number 1 and a "full" flush for you know...
The Concierge and his assistant were both extremely professional, helpful and polite and the driver of the house car was friendly. He will take you within about a mile of the hotel in a discreet black Mercedes instead of some giant limo or Maybach, There is so much to see and do near the hotel that this is very helpful.
I can easily see people feeling like this was the best hotel they'd ever enjoyed.
Only because I've had the privelege and luck to stay at quite a number of top-tier properties do I make the following observations about some "hiccups"
1) There was no bottle of water in the house car - I started to get a coughing fit and could've used some water which has always seemed to be standard in house cars.
2) The business center (I think they call it the library or study), was small with just one or two computers - In comparison, I've seen some other business centers that offer both Apple and Windows computers to accomodate serioius busines travelers.
3) While the computers in the business center were free - along with printing - the in-house high-speed Wi-Fi was an asstoundng $19.95! Granted, the standard speed - which is good enough for emails - is free - but I'm sorry: if I had been paying the about $500 for a room - I'd be livid. That's just tacky.
4)The room service menu was very small, with the expected hefty prices. Instead, I walked across the street and helped myself to the largest deli buffet I've ever seen at the Whole Foods market - I had dinner and a scrumptous dessert for what a dinner roll and coffee would have cost at the St. Regis.
5)The fitness center is adequate but they have those weird new Precor elipticals instead of the standard ones that you see in most gyms.
6) Less than a block from the hotel sits one of the best museums in Atlanta - The Atlanta History Center - which features a major Civil War exhibit and houses the city's collection of artifacts and memorabilia from when they hosted the Olympics, along with a cool Golf museum and one dedicated to folk art. but when I asked one of the valet's what I might see if I were to take a walk - he just mentioned the malls and some nice scenery. Luckily, I walked in the direction of the scenery and found the museum on my own.
7) It is about a 20 minute brisk walk to the closest MARTA station (light rail from downtown and the airport). When I called, the operator had said it was close - about a half-mile. But I'm guessing it was more like a mile. I didn't mind and enjoyed the walk along PeachTree, but some visitors may be frustrated - especially since you walk past the Grand Hyatt and lots of other perfectly accpetable hotels before you get to the out-of-the-way St. Regis.
Again, these are all REALLY picky things - I easily would rank the St. Regisl in the Top Ten hotels in the U.S. - If you can get work to pay for it, or you're enjoying a beneficial exchange rate - it's worth the splurge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the exquisite enclave of Buckhead, The St. Regis Atlanta stands out as an impeccably groomed AAA Five Diamond boutique hotel resort with unsurpassed pampering in a grand location. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The St. Regis Atlanta Hotel Atlanta
- St Regis Hotel Atlanta