Over the last decade or so, W Hotels have established themselves as, well, the hotel for cool people. There is not a cool bone in my body, so when I stumbled on a great deal for last weekend at the W in Buckhead, my main concern wasn't if I'd like the hotel, but rather if the hotel would like me. Combine that with the fact that Buckhead is the cool part of Atlanta, and I was getting hit with a double whammy of coolness which I severely lacked. It wasn't long after we arrived that I realized these concerns were not only unfounded, but that I had actually returned home.
We arrived around 1pm, and after five hours in the car we were thrilled our room was available for check-in. The agent informed us we had actually been upgraded to a "Spectacular" room, which meant we were on a higher floor, and would receive bottled water and turndown service. We made our way to our room on the 7th floor, and promptly laid down for an afternoon nap.
The rooms at the W carried all of the amenities of a modern luxury hotel. Flat-screen TV, the W signature bed, a wet bar area, and premium toiletries in the bath. The immediate impression, however, is that the rooms of this W are not designed for shy couples. The bathroom affords very little in the way of privacy, with a pocket frosted door being the only separation between the bedroom area and bath. This isn't a problem for an old jaded married couple like ourselves, but would definitely add an additional level of awkwardness the morning following a casual hook-up.
The common areas of the W are designed to welcome guests to simply hang out. The lobby is aptly named the "Living Room," with comfortable couches throughout, accompanied by books and even board games. I love hanging out in hotel lobbies, and it was great to find a property where my taking a nap on the couch was actually encouraged.
Keeping with the comfortable theme of the Living Room, the pool area, known as WET, embodied the same "stay awhile" approach. WET is on the roof of the 4th floor and offers a great view of the Buckhead area. The customary poolside loungers were accompanied by two comfortable cabanas with couches and chairs, and unlike many hotels with cabanas, the use of these was free.
As you may have noticed, in maintaining their coolness factor, few things at the W carry their traditional name. Rooms aren't "standard, superior, or deluxe." They're "Wonderful, Spectacular, and Fabulous." The ATM is called "Bucks." The gym is called "SWEAT." Elevators..."Lifts." Guest Services...."Whatever-Whenever." Bathrooms..."WC." Apparently cool people like cool names, and the W is happy to oblige.
The W Buckhead also features two hot spots in Atlanta for dining and nightlife. Their restaurant Market is the creation of acclaimed chef Jean Georges, and while we didn't experience it for ourselves, we had an amazing visit at his other, and more popular restaurant in Atlanta, Spice Market (more on that later). As for nightlife, the W's Whiskey Blue is incredibly popular, and like the Living Room and WET, is inviting with countless lounges both inside and out. I was hesitant to visit Whiskey, again due to my lack of coolness, but we had a fantastic time, and didn't feel out of place at all, even with a B- list celebrity in the couch next to us. It's worth noting, and though not surprising, you'd better bring your wallet and prepare for it to be much lighter after leaving Whiskey....
Of all the features of the W, the absolute best in my opinion is the Acura Car Service. In a nutshell, the hotel's private driver will take you free of charge (gratuity suggested) anywhere you'd like to visit within a 3-5 mile radius of the hotel. The distance seemed to vary depending on what driver you spoke to, but this service proved very valuable during our stay. The Acura Car is not available all hours, and is first come first serve, but a private car sure beat a cab. This service alone will draw me back to W's in the future, with it being available at many of their properties across the States.
Overall, there was very little fault to be found with the W in Buckhead. Literally the only disappointment from our stay was that the turndown service never came at night, but it's hard to complain about not receiving a service I hadn't paid for in the first place. If you're looking for a good nights sleep, the W may not be for you, with Buckhead's nightlife meaning many late night returns and noise in the halls. But if you're looking for a great hotel with excellent service, that's cool but not too cool, then the W is likely a perfect fit.
I definitely feel cooler having stayed there....
Enjoy Your Stay