by Julie Hostetter
The Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead boasts an ideal location in the heart of Atlanta’s trendy affluent neighborhood of Buckhead. The community has gone through a renaissance as more and more high-end stores and restaurants have opened, making this prestigious neighborhood the shopping and dining mecca of Atlanta.
Originally built in 1990 as Hotel Nikko, the Japanese-inspired hotel created a 30-foot cascading waterfall and Japanese Zen Garden just outside the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the lobby. When the Hyatt took over the property in 1997, the breathless beauty of that creation was left in tact for guests to still enjoy. Today, it’s an oasis of relaxation and meditation amidst the 50-plus high-rises that decorate the surrounding landscape. The impressive outdoor pool shares a space with the Japanese garden, creating a peaceful refuge for relaxing at the pool. However, the Hyatt did renovate the existing 439 guestrooms for a fresh, new look.
Our Editor Loves
- Idyllic waterfall and Zen garden
- Seasonal heated outdoor pool
- Kid-designed menus
- Connecting Rooms
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
With 439 guestrooms, offering over 120 doubles, including 21 suites and 69 Grand Club accessible rooms, there is a perfect option for any need or budget. All of Hyatt's accommodations offer a Roomlinx SmartTV, complimentary guestroom Wi-Fi, in-room refrigerator, a full marble bath and great city views. Plus, parents will love the nice big bathtub and separate shower and the interactive TV stocked with kids' movies. But it's what's not stocked that parents will love, too -- the refrigerator. While many hotels stock the only fridge with overpriced drinks, the Hyatt purposely leaves the fridge empty so you can freely stock with your own family necessities like bottles, fruit juices and milk. Parents can easily request a crib or rollaway from the front desk, so no need to drag your Pack 'n Play. Four-legged children are welcome, too.
The standard rooms with king or double bed options offer beautiful views of Stone Mountain, downtown Atlanta or even the hotel's tranquil Japanese Zen garden. The 400-square-foot accommodations offer 32-inch, flat screen HDTVs and an iHome stereo with iPod docking station.
If you sometimes feel the family gets too close for comfort on trips, consider booking one of The Grand Club rooms as an added value during your stay. The 400-square-foot rooms offer those same amazing views and amenities as the Standard option, plus access to the hotel's private lounge, featuring continental breakfast, hors d'oeuvres and a dedicated Grand Club concierge. It's a great place to rest up after a day of shopping or for teenagers to get a little "me time" while relaxing and watching TV or playing on their iPad. It's also a good respite for when the kids are napping, and one parent can get away to watch TV, relax, or have a snack. It's probably best to flip a coin on this one, as we don't want to start any family squabbles.
Looking for the best view? These Corner King, High Floor King and High Floor Double rooms offer an additional window for soaking in the sights and 450 square feet to spread out and relax.
Suffer with allergies? Then be sure to request these rooms designed to provide a better night's sleep. These rooms undergo an additional six-step process to reduce airborne irritants and particles, which includes an air-purification system and treatment of all fabrics.
This Americans with Disability Act-compliant guestroom features one king bed and an accessible tub, as well as other helpful features such as closed-caption television, cordless phone and easily accessible climate control.
Another great option is the 1,240-square-foot Luxury suites that showcase views of Stone Mountain and Atlanta's cityscape. The suite includes a kitchenette, where you can order dinner at your request. Additional benefits include a Jacuzzi tub and a guest bath and a separate living room. Other suite options include the Executive, Governor and the expansive Presidential suite with a whopping 2,500 square feet of space.
We came in off the plane late. Our room wasn't available as they had rented it to someone else I guess. So they gave us a suite. It was my wife's birthday and, being a gardener, I wanted her to have a garden view for the days we were their. That didn't happen because of the room mix up.
The room was clean and meticulously kept although some of the furniture and trim was a little worse for ware. The amenities were plentiful and the internet service very good.
I actually like the Hotel. I was just a bit flustered that they didn't keep our room for us. That is why the star rating is not a 5. The fact that the hotel is older doesn't really bother me. A building can't stay new forever.
I ate breakfast at the coffee bar. Just oatmeal; but it was prepared with the utmost of care. They even had almond milk to put in it.
I'd stay here again but I'd make sure they know when I'm coming in so they hold my room.
Awesome service. Superb staff went above and beyond at every turn to make sure our needs were accommodated. Rooms were immaculate. Bartenders were top notch! Highly recommend staying here to be pampered
Family fun at the Hyatt revolves around three places -- the pool, the gardens and the dinner table. The spacious outdoor pool is heated, which can extend its use in spring and early fall, but despite the fact Atlanta rarely sees snow in the winter, Jack Frost still makes a visit to the city. Seasonally, the pool is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and also offers a pool bar for poolside snacks and drinks. There is no lifeguard on duty, so children of any age are required to be accompanied by an adult when swimming. The concierge staff is available, should you need pool amenities such as swim goggles or suntan lotion.
Adjacent to the pool is the hotel's acclaimed Zen garden, considered one of the most unique hotel attractions in Atlanta. The feng-shui escape is popular with all ages, as guests explore the beauty of nature among the towering giant skyscrapers. Part of the garden is the impressive waterfall that can be seen from both the comfort of the Onyx Lounge or Cassis Restaurant.
As for family area attractions, you'll not want to miss LEGOLAND at Phipps Plaza, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the Atlanta History Museum in the Buckhead area. And remember, the Hyatt is 2 blocks away from the MARTA station, where all the downtown Atlanta attractions, like the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola museum, await.
Serving breakfast and lunch, Cassis is the main restaurant in the hotel and specializes in contemporary American dishes. The Hyatt chef and staff has created a delicious menu focused on offering healthy food for families by combining portion control, natural organic ingredients, reduced sodium and reduced additives. Most impressive is its new kids menu "For Kids, by Kids." The Hyatt has partnered with Haile Thomas, who hosts Kids Can Cook and promotes healthy eating, as well as iconic health foodie Alice Water, to ensure a menu that is both healthy and tasty for kids to enjoy. All menus are rotated seasonally to ensure the freshest offerings.
Adults, too, will benefit from all the healthy options. The hotel's Executive Chef partners with the Peachtree Road Farmer's Market to ensure the healthiest local ingredients. Everyone will enjoy the breakfast favorites, including everything from eggs Benedict to Southern style delicacies like stuffed French toast with Georgia peaches. For lunch, a variety of appetizers, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and chef specialties await, from a black bean and quinoa burger to maple wood planked salmon. And for dessert, sample a taste of Atlanta from an old fashioned Coke Float or share a slice of Georgia Peach Cobbler.
Onyx at the Grand
Ideal for cocktails and dinner, Onyx at the Grand takes over the impressive lobby with the dramatic waterfall cascading just outside. There are specialty drinks for mom and dad and great flatbreads and other European-style dishes for you to choose from. And like Cassis, the For Kids By Kids cuisine is available. The kids' menus are full of a variety of flavors, and have been taste-tested and approved by kids, so your child will eat like royalty. Your prince or princess will savor jumpstarts like waffle dipping sticks with peanut butter, maple syrup and fruit sauces, gluten-free blueberry cinnamon French toast, or a chance to pick two options to try from Fun Fuel, such as zucchini fries and apple berry pecan salad. For the Main Event portion of the menu, a turkey burger with fresh fruit is a refreshing option or your kids can get creative and compose their own salad or hot dish with ingredients like gluten-free pasta, quinoa, kale and brown rice. If you are lucky, they may just find a new healthy food that they will love for a lifetime.
Onyx Coffee Bar
For a snack on the go, check out the Onyx Coffee Bar, where you can pick up a Starbucks coffee for yourself and light fare, such as breakfast foods, sandwiches and salads for your little ones. To keep up those healthy options, the coffee bar also offers vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options. Be sure to check what weekly specials are going on at the coffee bar when you arrive. And since it's open from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily, you'll have the freedom to grab a bite whenever hunger strikes you.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The concierge will be happy to help recommend children's services, such as babysitting, or help you plan the perfect itinerary, customized to the age of children in your party. The hotel also goes above and beyond when helping guests with disabilities and the staff is available 24 hours if families need any assistance.
If your pet needs any special attention during your stay, the hotel staff can provide your pooch with hypoallergenic pet beds, food bowls, welcome treats and even an in-room Doggie Menu.
The Art of Smart Timing
While weekdays in Atlanta are bustling with business travel, the weekends are rife with families enjoying the host of tourist destinations the city offers. Summer and the holiday season, and school breaks tend to be the most popular times for families to visit the Big Peach and staying on the weekend will keep you from paying the high business rates found during the weekdays. One caution about the weather: Atlanta isn't called Hotlanta for nothing. Try to avoid the dog days of summer, typically July and August, and consider planning your trip during the milder weather, typically in spring or fall. When is the best value? Christmas break, when the bustling city slows down to a stroll and the cost of hotel rates and special packages comes down. The holidays are a particularly great time to visit Buckhead, so you can enjoy the luxurious shopping at Lenox Mall, Phipps Plaza and the new outdoor avenue shopping at The Shops of Buckhead.
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is roughly 20 miles away from the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) provides bus and rail service in the Atlanta area. Guests can catch the MARTA rail directly in the airport Domestic Terminal at the end of baggage claim. Visitors should take the train North to the Buckhead Station. Although car rentals, Uber, and airport shuttles are also readily available at the airport, it is best to take MARTA to avoid long traffic delays, which are unfortunately commonplace in Atlanta.
If you brought your car with you, the hotel offers both valet and self-parking. But if you are without a set of wheels, no worries as the Hyatt provides a complimentary car service for a 2-mile radius so you may explore the area's shopping and restaurants. The car service runs every day but is subject to availability. Taxis and MARTA are also easily accessible from the hotel.
For Mom and Dad
If you need a massage or perhaps a relaxing repose in its wet and dry spa sauna, head your way to the fitness center for a bit of rejuvenation from your travels. Massages are made available by appointment only, so be sure to contact the front desk before you arrive to assure availability. The exercise equipment will sync with your smartphone or Apple devices, so you can rock to your personal workout playlist with ease. One of the most popular features in the fitness center is the "Lifescape Course," which allows you to travel the world virtually while running or biking through interactive settings from California and France to the mystical charms of New Zealand. Gym access is 24 hours a day, so you can easily squeeze in a visit during your stay.
Be sure to contact the concierge to help set up babysitting services so you can enjoy the mingling nightlife that Buckhead has to offer.