by Wendy Irvine
A stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead assures an exciting — yet chill – experience in Atlanta. The property sits amid the wealthy Buckhead community — long considered the “shopping mecca of the Southeast” — and holds its own in this chic universe just fine, thanks. When you first drive up to the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, you’ll be astounded by the immense outdoor chandelier that umbrellas guests stepping from their cars. And its beauty is just the first of many jaw-dropping chandeliers and other features that wow guests throughout the property. The lobby chandelier is equally immense and glitters in clear and lavender crystals. Corridors, dining spots, and even elevators are adorned in the gorgeous light fixtures.
The property boasts 510 opulent rooms with over 50 luxurious suites, an entire floor of wellness rooms and suites that are adjacent to the hotel’s full-service spa, Italian marble bathrooms and — most importantly for the kids — a large indoor pool that presents dive-in movies on Saturday evenings. The Concierge Level Lounge offers five sophisticated dining presentations throughout the day and evening, and The CafÃ© restaurant serves incredible meals.
Your Question: Do I need to protect all the finery from the kids? Our Answer: Good manners are always smart, but Ritz-Carltons across the planet are known for fussing over families.
And if your itinerary includes pulling the kids out of the property’s indoor pool — good luck with that — and showing them around Buckhead, several kid-approved venues sit near the Ritz-Carlton. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center, an upscale AMC theater with reclining leather seats, and Build-A-Bear beckon from inside the stunning Phipps Plaza that sparkles in (more) chandeliers and glass elevators across the street from the Ritz-Carlton.
Our Editor Loves
- Indoor pool with dive-in movies
- Extravagant concierge level dining
- Elegant spa
- Connecting Rooms
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The South is known for encouraging folks to "sit a spell," but we doubt even Scarlett encountered such decadent surroundings. The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead offers a total of 510 glittering guestrooms and suites. In fact, the property boasts more luxury suites than any other hotel in the city!
Each room and suite comes with 400-thread count cotton linens and many rooms give you the choice between one king bed or two doubles. Cribs, rollaway beds and connecting rooms are available in most rooms and suites. Rooms feature a 37-inch, high-definition TV with an impressive cable package including HBO, Disney and radio stations. A DVD player and an iPod docking station with a remote control are also part of the fun. Rooms sport a digital safe, an Italian marbled bathroom with a rain-style showerhead, a lighted makeup mirror and a hair dryer. Bathrobes are also in each room and a high-end coffee machine is available for that important jumpstart in the morning. If an empty fridge would be a lovely sight, request one before you arrive and it will be sent to your room at no charge. All rooms come with evening turn-down service, and of course many feature lovely views of the city.
Offering a spacious 360 square feet and a choice of three different views -- panoramic, interior, or city -- the Deluxe room is available on all floors and comes with a choice of one king bed or two doubles. Because of fire hazard rules, two double beds in a room can't also hold a cot. But you can request two double beds and a playard for a child 2 and under, allowing a family of five to fit.
Executive Suite (city or interior view)
This lavish 720-square-foot room type sits on floors 10 through 16 and 20 through 22 and comes with a king bed and a pull-out sofa in the large living room. A 42-inch, flat-panel TV is in the living room and a 37-inch TV is in the bedroom. Any Time Check-Out on Sunday (by 4 p.m.) is a fabulous feature for all suites (excluding Club Level Suites). A half-bath is just off the foyer.
Buckhead Suite (city view)
The Buckhead Suite boasts 1,080 square feet of space, with a glittering view of the city from the 20th floor. The suite delivers a separate living room, bedroom, and a dining area with seating for six. There is a king bed is in the bedroom and a sofa pull-out is in the living room. A half-bath sits next to the foyer. The shower comes with a rain-style shower head, wall-mounted body jets and a handheld sprayer. The adjacent soaking tub is huge and a separate half-bathroom is also on hand.
The two Presidential Suites sprawl on the 16th and 17th floors and are masterpieces offering a spacious 1,440 square feet with a separate living room with a pull-out sofa, bedroom with a king bed, formal dining with seating for eight (and place settings for eight), butler's pantry (with separate entry) and a spacious executive study with additional seating. A full bar beckons parents with bottles of vodka, bourbon, beers and wines. A half bath is next to the foyer.
A kitchenette has a mini-fridge, microwave, and Nespresso machine. The main bathroom is drenched in marble, with a walk-in shower with a rain-style shower head, body jets and an adjacent soaking tub. High-definition flat-screens abound (42 inch in living room and 37 inch in bedroom). Club Lounge access depends on your full suite package, so be sure to ask.
The Ritz-Carlton Suite
These two incredibly huge suites boasts a regal 1,800 square feet of space, with sweeping views from the 21st and 22nd floors (the property's highest). You'll walk into the opulent interior and discover an enormous living room with a pull-out sofa, a bedroom with a king bed, formal dining with seating for eight, an adjacent butler's pantry (separate service entry), a cozy library, and a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, microwave, Nespresso machine and place settings for eight.
Entertainment includes a Steinway grand piano, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 9000 audio system, and a billiards table. Two full marble bathrooms will wow with a walk-in shower with a rain-style shower head, jets and an adjacent soaking tub in each. A half-bath sits next to the foyer.
Upgraded amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary Club Lounge access, a fully stocked bar with bottles of vodka, bourbon, beers and wines, and anytime check-out on Sundays.
Located on the ninth floor Spa Level, the one Wellness room and two Wellness suites continue the relaxing spa experience into your guestroom accommodations. Each room or suite features everything that the regular Ritz-Carlton rooms and suites enjoy, along with Tempur-Pedic bedding created to respond to your body's shape, weight and temperature for unparalleled support. Oversized, 100-percent Turkish towels are in the marbled bathroom, along with a signature spa bathrobe made with a super-soft microfiber lined with cotton.
You'll also receive first access to spa appointments, discounts on treatments and a consultation with the Spa Concierge to select the perfect spa treatment for you. Wellness guests also receive a late check-out at 4 p.m. to extend your stay by a few precious hours.
The Wellness guest room and two Wellness guest suites include the following:
Wellness Level Deluxe
The Wellness Level Deluxe room offers 360 square feet with either a city or interior view. Request a king or two double beds. An air filter for cleaner breathing and a sound machine for quieter sleep are both featured in this room. You'll also find in your room: a yoga mat, blocks, meditation books and DVDs for Pilates, yoga and meditation.
Wellness Level White Lotus Suite
This 720-square-foot room of loveliness comes with a city view and a closing door between your bedroom and the spacious living room, a spin bike, a stand-up desk, and juice upon arrival. The bedroom boasts a king bed and a cool cocoon-like hanging chair. The living room has a pull-out sofa and a large flat-screen TV. The suite is lightly scented with aromatherapy. The large marble bath provides both a rain-style shower head and an oversized soaking tub.
Wellness Level Jasmine Suite
Say "ahhh" to a meditative suite layered in relaxation. The Wellness Level Jasmine Suite is accented in pale sky blue and delivers 720 square feet with a city view. The full bedroom features a king bed and a living room with a pull-out sofa. The Jasmine Suite is arranged with relaxation in mind, giving you a soothing electric fireplace in the living room with a hidden flat-screen TV. The large marble bath has a separate rain-style shower head and an oversized soaking tub. A singing bowl alarm clock will awaken you peacefully and a touch of aromatherapy keeps the room filled with a spa-like scent.
by Vanessa H
Excellent service and great rooms. First time in Buckhead and glad we chose this hotel. We felt at home great checkin and checkout experience. Everyone was extremely friendly in all department. It was very up to standards. Rooms were so clean I want to thank housekeeping as they do a great job.
Will definitely recommend! Hope to be back soon!
by Mike M
There are a plethora of hotel options in Atlanta, I'd recommend finding accommodations elsewhere. This is the type of place that will nickle and dime you for movement on the snack tray, yet when the power goes out (for hours), will not even entertain having a conversation with the guests. Recent reservations a few weeks back and the power was out for hours, the pool and gym was closed for renovation and we were not made aware when booking, and have not been able to speak to anyone in a leadership role at the hotel about this. Over the past few weeks, I have made numerous calls, left messages, and sent emails and told management would "call me back" yet nothing. Guest Services has nothing more than an unsympathetic 'tough luck' response. Reached out directly to Director level management at the hotel and not even an acknowledgement.
I have been polite, I have not asked for anything other than to talk to someone. This place will not spare 5 minutes to chat with a guest over a negative experience.
The gym is a nice-to-have, but electricity is a basic necessity. If this hotel does not even have the common courtesy to acknowledge multiple phone calls or emails regarding a necessity that would deem a property uninhabitable, how do you think they are going to treat your request for turn down service or go out of their way to celebrate a significant event.
There are a dozen other hotels in the immediate vicinity, I recommend you find lodging elsewhere.
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead is drenched in kid-friendly fun, thanks to the impressive pool and several activities. It would be a breeze to pack the kids' bathing suits and not leave the property for an entire weekend.
The Ritz-Carlton shows dive-in movies for the kids year-round on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. A giant screen seemingly appears out of nowhere over the second-floor pool and kids can lounge in the pool while watching "Despicable Me," "Finding Nemo" and the like. In the summer, movies are often shown on Friday evening, too. Popcorn is complimentary.
Lolling beneath an enormous skylight is the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead's warmer-than-expected indoor pool. This sizeable saltwater pool has lanes for swimmers, room for couples, and plenty of space for kid-play. And don't let the word "saltwater" cause concern. A saltwater pool has about 1/10 the level of salt that the ocean delivers, giving you softer water and less chlorine to sting little eyes. A large veranda sprawls parallel to the pool. On sunny days, sink into a chaise and peruse the poolside menu for snacks and drinks. The pool is open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Ritz-Carlton's ninth-level spa offers manicures and pedicures for the kids when accompanied by an adult -- a fun bonding experience.
Very Important Kids (VIK)
Upon arrival at the Ritz-Carlton, kids will find a space just for them to check-in. They can fill out fun paperwork that they get to keep. To the left of the adult check-in desk is cider for everyone to enjoy on the weekends.
The lobby is the site of a lavish display of glass containers brimming in candy (appears at about 1 p.m. throughout the day and evening) and kids will be delighted to find Rice Krispie Treats in the CafÃ© and The Lobby Lounge.
Ritz Kids' Activities include a plethora of excitement including pool basketball, pool treasure hunts, cotton candy in the lobby and more. Ask for a Ritz Kids' Activity schedule when you arrive.
Tip: Create an exciting discovery for your kids by ordering a complimentary, colorful kid-sized tent and helium-filled balloons (for a fee) to be placed in your room or suite before arrival.
Family Getaway Package
The Family Getaway Package gives a value deal by delivering overnight deluxe accommodations, breakfast for two adults and two kids in The CafÃ© (or delivered by room service), four tickets (two adult, two children) to LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza or four tickets to AMC Theatre at Phipps Plaza, Rice Krispie Treats at the CafÃ© and The Lobby Lounge and overnight valet parking.
Located on the 18th floor is a little slice of heaven overlooking Buckhead. If you're staying on the Concierge Level (floors 17 through 19, or have been given access to the Concierge Lounge), smile because a sleek dining experience is headed your way.
Offering five meal presentations including breakfast (7 to 11 a.m.), a light lunch (noon to 2 p.m.), afternoon snack (2 to 4 p.m.), a light dinner (5 to 8 p.m.) and an insanely fabulous dessert display (8 to 10 p.m.), prepare to be stuffed. You'll find a stunning buffet loaded in elegantly presented small plates. Breakfasts are actually quite large. Light lunches includes rolls, cheese, chicken truffle on crostini, and so on. Dinners wow with beef wellington, salads, and so much more. Drinks -- cocktails (Buckhead Cosmo dazzles), wines, and beers -- are included in the price. And kids thrill to pull a soda from the beautifully stocked fridges. If the kids get bored, point them to the far end of the room, where a set of board games await.
Ready for a premium culinary experience? The CafÃ© sports a clubby atmosphere drenched in cafÃ© latte and espresso accents and lots and lots of bling (gorgeous chandeliers).
At breakfast on Sundays, you'll have the tough choice of selecting either an a la carte meal or the wondrous Sunday Brunch. The breakfast menu brims with fresh fruits, eggs, meats, excellent coffee, and sparkling wines. The incredible Sunday Brunch includes traditional eggs Benedict, an omelet station, meats, insanely rich muesli parfaits and more. If you've arrived for lunch, you'll be pleased to find a tasty menu that includes chicken, seafood, and upscale sandwiches. For dinner, you might start with an apple salad (dressed with candied pecans and cider vinaigrette) and have beef tenderloin for your main course. Desserts include a crÃ¨me brulee, a Ritz-Carlton chocolate cake soaked in Grand Marnier, black bottom cheesecake and more. The CafÃ© has an impressive kids' menu that includes smoothies, pancakes, grilled cheese, seared salmon and kid-sized desserts.
Breakfast is 6:30 to 10 a.m., Tuesday through Friday; on Saturday and Sunday, it's served until 11 a.m. Sunday Brunch begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, dinner begins at 6 p.m. and finishes at 10 p.m. The CafÃ© is closed for dinner on Sundays and Mondays. Reservations recommended. High chairs await the little ones.
The Lobby Lounge
The incredibly cozy Lobby Lounge is an ideal spot to chill in sumptuous surroundings. The Lobby Lounge offers several dining experiences. In the morning, the space is an ideal spot to relax with the newspaper, a roaring fire, a cup of coffee and a pastry. The coffee nook is open in the mornings.
In the afternoon, a traditional English-style afternoon tea is served with light sandwiches, tarts, scones and cookies, along with luxurious teas and sparkling wine. Afternoon tea is available Thursday through Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and is accompanied by a pianist.
Throughout lunch, dinner and into the late evening hours the Lobby Lounge is ideal for enjoying appetizers, entrees, and sushi along with cocktails ("mocktails" for kids), wine, Champagne, cognac, and aperitifs all while being entertained by a live jazz trio. The Lobby Lounge is open for food service Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. On Sunday, the Lobby Lounge menu is available from noon to midnight.
Room service is available 24 hours a day and catered by the renowned CafÃ© restaurant.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Basic Wi-Fi is $12.95 and high speed is $16.95 (Ritz-Carlton Honors Members automatically receive complimentary high speed Wi-Fi and all guests are encouraged to join).
The business center has two Apple computers, one Windows computer, and a printer. The copier is office-quality and does just about everything you might need except make coffee. Located on the lobby floor. Open 24 hours a day.
The property has a full-service fitness center that sits adjacent to the swimming pool and whirlpool. Over a dozen cardio machines, weights, towels, cold water, disposable earphones and a scale assist in creating a great workout. The locker room has upscale showers, a sauna, and lockers that deliver a spa-vibe. Open 24 hours a day.
Gift Shop (The Boutique)
Located in the lobby next to the front desk, the Boutique sells many luxurious items including makeup, Ritz-Carlton shampoo and conditioner, greeting cards, aromatherapy sticks, and Ritz-Carlton logo items. Magazines and snacks are also available.
Same-day dry cleaning services are available Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and a complimentary shoeshine can be requested each evening. One-hour pressing is available daily until 8:30 p.m.
Check-in is at 3 p.m. and check out is at noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
Buckhead is a wealthy uptown district of Atlanta that sprawls over about a fifth of the city. It is home to many corporate conferences, so busy times begin in the fall and extend into the spring. Summer can be quiet for Buckhead, making it a great time to visit.
Buckhead summers are hot and can experience rain (the hotel staff pass out umbrellas on rainy days). Fall and spring both explode in seasonal beauty. Winters can range from warm to snowy.
The world's busiest airport -- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International - is about a 30-minute drive to the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead with no traffic. No worries about the airport causing you extra stress. The Air Transport Research Society has given the Atlanta airport the "Efficiency Excellence" award for 12 years in a row.
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead offers valet parking at $36 per night. An independent self-parking lot -- Monarch Plaza Parking -- sits directly behind the Ritz-Carlton and is $17 a night.
The Ritz-Carlton also offers complimentary car service that chauffeurs you within a 2-mile radius. Call the night before to make a reservation. Car service is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For Mom and Dad
If you get an evening a deux, head for the Ritz-Carlton's Lobby Lounge, where you can sink into a cocktail and soak up the live music. Jackets and upscale dress are suggested in the evenings. Not in the mood to dress up? Cocktails and small plates are served whirlpool-side on the second floor. You might also consider reserving a couple's massage at the spa (50-minute or 80-minute session).