by Lissa Poirot
If traveling with a teen who may or may not want to be traveling and may or may not want to be seen with you, consider a stay at the uber-trendy W Atlanta Buckhead and score some points. The hotel feels a bit like a nightclub when you enter, with pulsing lights and music, and rooms with names like Wonderful, Fabulous, Spectacular and Wow. The hotel is centrally located in Buckhead, Atlanta’s stylish and luxurious neighborhood, and conveniently located within steps of Lennox Mall and Phipps Plaza, with tons of stores in which to burn a hole through your wallet. At the end of the day, head to the hotel’s rooftop bar and let your teen feel like he or she is one of the city’s celebrities, too cool to hang with the likes of regular folks down on the street.
Our Editor Loves
- Hip, stylish hotel teens will love
- Rooftop lounge
- Heated, outdoor pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Rooms are equipped with iPod docking stations, a media library, 37-inch or 42-inch flat-screen TV's and an in-room safe with charger port. Internet access is offered at a daily fee, and guests can request a Pillow Menu to choose the pillow style of their liking.
Cribs and rollaway beds are available for those traveling with the younger set.
W has some funky names for its guestroom styles: Wonderful, Fabulous, Spectacular, Wow and even Extreme Wow. The most basic rooms are Wonderful, Fabulous and Spectacular, which range from 291 to 310 square feet and do tend to feel a little small, even with a desk and sitting area. The rooms feature open bathroom concepts, where toilets tend to be exposed and stand-up showers are enclosed by glass. You may prefer to book your teen(s) in a separate room. Rooms provide an option of two double beds or a queen or king bed.
Suites, as well as they should be, are larger. The Wow Suite is 582 square feet in size and features a separate bedroom and living room with wraparound sofa. The Extreme Wow suite is 873 square feet and features a separate living, dining and bedroom space.
I have stayed at this W several times before. The renovations are great and the staff is very friendly and accommodating, and the room was clean and comfortable. That has not changed.
However, I AM seriously concerned about the level of training for the staff. As a petite female traveling alone -- this was all the more concerning. As I was completing the check-in process AND after the clerk handed me my keycard with room number,, I asked when the bellman would be bringing my bags up. The clerk replied that it would be soon, and added the question: "Room 425, right?."
I know this is a HUGE no-no regardless of who the guest is, but it is especially concerning for a female traveling alone.Now granted, there were only 3-4 people in the lobby within earshot -- but that should not matter. Staff should NEVER say the room number aloud out of concern for their guests' safety.
While I believe this to be an honest mistake, it's a reflection of a lack of adequate training on the part of a high-end hotel. This major concern is the basis for my lower rating. Having this experience makes me wonder in what other aspects security training is lacking. Although I enjoyed the stay overall, I'll think twice before going back by myself, if at all.
I stayed here for one night on a business trip and I was very impressed with the accommodations. This place has a downright swanky vibe to it - see the live jazz trio that was in the middle of a set when I strolled in around 6pm on a weeknight. The lobby area was bustling with activity, as was the rooftop deck/bar area. If you're into the mingling scene, this hotel has you covered - it seemed very popular. Check in was smooth with excellent desk service.
The room was what I've come to expect from these upper-middle echelon Marriott properties in Atlanta - really cool decor, well-lit, clean, functional - this one checks all the right boxes. I have an irrational aversion to shower/tub combos in hotels, so I was pleased to find a nice walk-in steam shower here - nice towels too. The room itself - booked as a "Wonderful" King room - felt big; plenty of room for the king bed, a nice sized breakfast table and chairs and at least a good 5 feet from the foot of the bed to the opposing wall.
The location is excellent. I'm in Atlanta a few times a year and this was my first time staying in the Buckhead area, as I usually opt for Downtown. Tons of mid/high-end shopping and restaurants within a short walk and even though it's a high-traffic area, I'd consider it to be very pedestrian-friendly.
So why not 5-stars? The parking situation has me scratching my head. For some reason, this hotel only offers valet parking, to the tune of $40/night. The part that gets me is that the uncovered lot they park your car in is literally right behind the hotel; you can see it from where you drop your car off. I'd imagine this is because they want to restrict parking to hotel guests only, but couldn't you just add a gate or something? And if you absolutely must do the valet-only thing, is $40/night really reasonable?
At the end of the day, this was a pleasant stay at a very nice hotel - and that's considering that I didn't even take advantage of the mingling opportunities abound. I'd recommend this spot for everything from business to romantic getaways and everything in between.
The Living Room is a lobby lounge, open from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. It features Internet service, board games, books and a DJ, and may be the spot to be for your teen.
If not the lounge, certainly the fourth floor, infinity-edge, heated, outdoor swimming pool will do. It is open from dawn to dusk, about 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., year-round, weather permitting.
The W features two restaurants. Whiskey Blue is the hotel's trendy rooftop restaurant with an oversized outdoor terrace overlooking the city. The restaurant is owned by the Gerber Group -- as in Rande Gerber -- as in Cindy Crawford's husband and George Clooney's whiskey partner (makes it cooler in your teen's eyes, unless they roll their eyes and tell you Gerber, Crawford and Clooney are all old people, but at least you'll think it's still cool)! The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
For all-day dining, visit Cook Hall, which provides American fare daily. Breakfast is offered from 7 to 11 a.m. with a special Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch and dinner are offered daily, closing at 9 p.m. on Sundays, 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 p.m. on weekends.
The Living Room
The Living Room also offers light fare and is open from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Pets are welcome at the W, receiving custom pet beds, food and water bowls, pet toys, turndown treats, cleanup bags, pet-in-room signs, litter boxes, kitty litter and dog walking services. Pet fees include a $25 room charge and a $100, non-refundable cleaning fee.
W is known for its Whatever/Whenever service. Whatever you can think to ask for, whenever you want it, just ask. The hotel will do everything in its power to get you what you wish for (at a fee).
A small fitness center overlooks Peachtree Street with LCD TV's, iPod docking stations, free weights, yoga mats, weight machines, treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines.
Internet access is $10.95 per day.
The Art of Smart Timing
Atlanta's southern location makes it a year-round destination. Mild winters can result in snow and ice in January and February, which the city is not adept to handle and streets and attractions will close. In the summer, Atlanta temperatures can reach into the upper 90's. The best time to visit the city is during its long, flower-filled spring or it's even-longer and more climate-friendly fall.
You'll need a rental car to get around Atlanta, which is a large and sprawling city with many of its attractions spread across various regions. When driving, take I-85 from the airport north to Georgia 400, which has an exit just a few blocks from the hotel. If flying into Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Buckhead can be reached by car or the train system, which connects directly to the airport. Valet parking at the hotel is available for a daily garage fee.
For Mom and Dad
Whiskey Blue and the Living Room are open late. If kids can watch themselves, or you can secure a babysitter, enjoy late-night cocktails and music -- there is a DJ at the Living Room.