30326 Travel Guide
In Atlanta, eight luxury hotels opened in the past four years. Needless to say, tourism has been on fire in Hotlanta! Rosewood's Mansion on Peachtree's debut was promising though it ceased operation in May. Apparently, brand loyalty is especially huge in the deep south and, considering Rosewood was a relatively a newbie, the brand didn't catch on. So Mandarin Oriental Group decided to save ship, immediately taking over the property with a seamless transition.
Six months later, Mandarin is still captain of this prime piece of real estate in Buckhead (an affluent neighborhood), retaining all original structures but giving the property some major trademark MO influence. But, brand name aside, are they offering a better product?
We recently checked out Mandarin Oriental Atlanta to compare it with the former Rosewood Mansion On Peachtree.
We wanted to know, who is the fairest Southern belle of them all?
Here's yet another hotel that's playing off the success of the erotic E.L. James novels, Fifty Shades of Grey,-- W Atlanta in Buckhead , who is offering up its own Fifty Shades of Stay with two different packages. And just in case you happen to live under a rock, characters in the Fifty Shades of Grey novel participate in bondage, dominance and other naughty adult-themes.
The press release promoting the deals promised that you’ll be able to get your own naughty release from either package. How? Well. both packages include a copy of the novel, a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année Rosé, and a stay in an Extreme WOW suite (to get your WOW on) but the first package--at a cost of $3,240--includes a helicopter ride with a luxurious car ride to and from the airport, (sadly, Christian Grey does not pilot the chopper for you), a diamond tennis bracelet, a consultation from a personal shopper, and lacy lingerie, and a silk-eye mask for the turn-down service.
We told you back in March how Mandarin Oriental hotels will manage the Mansion on Peachtree in Atlanta. Well, now the deal is done. The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta is in effect and we are ready to report some of the changes around there, starting with the spa.
Formerly called 29 Spa, the Spa at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta has changed up its treatment offerings to include an Oriental essence massage and a Peaches and Cream treatment with cream, peach oil, and a red clay scalp massage. (We love the way the Mandarin gave that treatment a local focus.) Other Asian touches are also on the horizon like the Mandarin Oriental foot ritual which goes a little something like this:
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Atlanta Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Rumors / → All Tags
After playing coy with us the other week, Mandarin Oriental Hotels has now officially confirmed that they will be taking over management of the Mansion On Peachtree in Atlanta's posh Buckhead neighborhood.
Starting May 2012, the 127-room hotel will be rebranded as The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. The 25 luxury residences attached to the hotel will also undergo a name change to the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Previously, the hotel was managed by Rosewood Resorts.
So far it doesn't look like much will be changed inside the hotel, although the Atlanta SkyRise Blog did report that Del Frisco's will take over the restaurant spot in the hotel which once belonged to Craft from Top Chef's Tom Colicchio.
We'll keep you posted on anything more we hear with the MO ATL but as always, if you've got some scoop, send it to us!
Hotel Rumors / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Atlanta Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / → All Tags
Way back when in 2007, we reported that luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental, was thinking about opening a hotel in Atlanta. The place would be a new build, featuring 200 hotel rooms, 70 high-rise condos and 11,500 square feet of retail space. Ah...the pipe dreams of good old 2007!
Then the economy collapsed and whatever plans the MO had for ATL were promptly shelved. But now, nearly five years later, MO might be trying again, albeit a little more cautiously.
We just wrote about Hotels Doing Good yesterday, but you know the saying: When it rains, it pours goodwill! Today brings us word of another good cause, one that begins in your hotel bathroom. Specifically, with your soap. Perhaps you pay that bar of soap no mind, or maybe you (cough, cough) try to use just one bar and pilfer the other for your own bathroom. Regardless, if you leave a used bar of soap behind, it gets thrown out by housekeeping once you check out.
Not any more. Enter the Global Soap Project, an initiative started by Derreck Kayongo, a former refugee from Uganda, who first came to the U.S. 15 years ago.
We spin you right round, baby, right round. Sorry, for the shakiness at the beginning of the video. The room was a little cramped.
We got a room on floor 10 - just two levels under the Whiskey Blue rooftop bar – and overlooking the Financial Center. It wasn’t the finest view we’ve ever had, to be fair, but we won’t blame the hotel for that.
W have done quite well with the layout – it wasn’t the biggest room you’ll get, but lots of white and an open plan bathroom meant that it didn’t feel cramped. Note: we were staying on our lonesome so the open plan bathroom wasn’t a problem – had we been in a pair, it might have been an issue. But the nice guy at check in had given us the option of a room with a separate bathroom, so don’t lose too much sleep over that.
Have we mentioned before how much we like Hotwire? Well today we’re saying again because we got a smoking deal with them the night before last.
We were passing through Georgia and instead of staying in another B&B with too-thin walls or a motel where strange men phoned our room in the middle of the night, we thought we’d get some sleep in a proper hotel in Atlanta. And seeing as W has no less than four hotels in town, we thought we’d try one out.
We've already griped about the insane parking fees at hotels and now we have another reason why we should just avoid hotel parking altogether. Or at least, self-park our own cars.
The owner of a $284,000 Lamborghini left his whip in the care of the valet at the Intercontinental Buckhead but when he went to check-out the car was missing. It wouldn't turn up for another month. From WSBTV News:
Eric Vargosko said he learned that his car was missing from a valet lot at the Intercontinental Hotel when it came time to check out.
“They looked for the car for about an hour, and the manager told me the car was missing -- they did not have the car,” Vargosko said.
The Atlanta luxury hotel market is booming, with 10 new properties underway. While most of these are still a few years away, early 2008 is the date for The Mansion on Peachtree (above), the St. Regis, Buckhead and two W Hotels.
Besides the Starwood properties, Hilton and the Mandarin Oriental will open their upscale hotels in the future, adding, in all, 1,600 new luxury rooms to the city. One wonky market analyst doesn't think that's a problem:
I don't think that it shows the consumer has been underserved as much as that the amount of demand for high-end products has continued to grow.
The Mansion is perhaps the most interesting property, since Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has only 15 properties world-wide. (Their flagship is The Carlyle in New York.) Seven more are set to open in the next three years in places as varied as Telluride, Costa Rica and Dubai.
[Ed. Note: A reader submits his Hotel Hell, courtesy of the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Ga., where an expensive GPS system was stolen from his car while it was parked in valet. As always, this is one person's unique experience.]
My wife and I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel and although the room was pricey, the service and amenities were wonderful. We were having a great time until we checked out and found that my $1,000+ GPS unit was stolen from our car while in the care of their valet parking service. There was no forcible entry. We were told by the hotel concierge that the valet service was responsible. When we asked to speak to the hotel manager, the concierge called the person in
charge and that person told the concierge to "get rid of us"!
After two weeks, the valet service offered me 25 cents on-the-dollar for
my trouble. When I told them it was an insult, they withdrew the offer
and sent me a letter saying they were not responsible for loose items in
the car. I am in the process of recovery through legal means and it looks like we are headed to Civil court.
· Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta Reviews [TripAdvisor]
Business travel writer Chris Barnett has delivered a glittering review of InterContinental Buckhead, InterCon's two-month-old business class addition to Atlanta, Georgia's hotel scene. With striking attention to the value of guest services and a few innovations like the swank new cognac-pushing X.O. Bar, the luxury hotel chain and manager Ronen Nissenbaum have made the Buckhead an area hot spot.
Despite what seemed like a packed house, there were six people at the front desk, so no one waited in line. The clerk flashed a genuine smile, looked me right in the eye and gave me the warmest welcome yet and checked me in an about 90 seconds. A bellman was summoned who took the bags, and he introduced me by name to a nearby concierge - another thoughtful touch - and gave me a brief verbal tour of the hotel before taking me to my room.
Old World service like this at $299 on weeknights and $199 on weekends begs to be experienced. Other features include reasonably-priced Parisian fare, excellent extra services and perks for a $50 ticket into Club InterContinental, and 24-hour access to a posh, wireless-quipped business center for $10.95 a day (no, the wireless service in the rooms is not free). Barnett's room was large and lush, with highlights including a whirlpool bath and complimentary DIY coffee.
It's not quite as cheap (by our standards) as Barnett thinks it is, but it still sounds almost too good to be true. If any of you readers stop in Atlanta, give the Buckhead a look-see and let us know what you think!