Location. Location. Location.
This was all I had to consider when it came to picking a hotel for our stop in Atlanta. It had to be convenient to MARTA, the start of the Peachtree Road Race and the July 4th festivities at Lenox Square. There are plenty of hotels that fit this description, but only one has the Heavenly Bed...The Westin Atlanta at Buckhead.
We originally booked our old friend the W Buckhead next door, but I had a hard time stomaching their rate which was 70% higher than what we paid last year. So I decided to give a new service called Backbid a try, and they came back with a very favorable rate at the Westin for consideration. Staring at a big chunk of savings and a Heavenly Bed, there really wasn't much to consider.
Having left for the airport at 4am for our Florida flights, I was more than a little cranky and definitely needed a cat nap. The Westin won the spontaneously created "Hotel of the Year" award by having a room available for check-in at 8:30 in the morning. After grabbing a Starbucks at the coffee shop downstairs, and taking a moment to admire the atrium lobby - I have a big soft spot for those - we headed up to our room on the 8th floor.
|Hello Heavenly Bed...|
In addition to the oh-so-Heavenly Bed, the room featured the accompanying Heavenly Bath - bless you double showerheads - although the bathroom seemed to lag behind the rest of the hotel in terms of updates. The first model of push button telephone was on display by the toilet, as well as a speaker for the TV by the sink, both of which I'm sure were hi-tech in 1986.
|Not sure if two showerheads offsets the rest of it...|
We also had a great view overlooking some of Buckhead and downtown Atlanta in the distance. I discovered quite by accident, however, the need to keep the sunshade down at all times. That is, unless you like giving a show to any voyeurs in the surrounding buildings...
|Hard to see in the picture, but that's my reflection in the middle.|
Since "Hotlanta" was living up to its nickname, a dip in the indoor pool was added to the itinerary. Unfortunately it was a bit cold even after a long day outside in the heat, so I opted for another iced coffee instead. And don't worry, I never once considered taking advantage of Westin Workout.
Just as we had expected, the location of the Westin was absolutely perfect for the next day's festivities. I had a perfect viewpoint of the starting line for the Peachtree Road Race right out front of the hotel, and enjoyed watching the 60,000 crazies torture themselves.
The big surprise, however, was just how awesome the hotel would prove to be for the July 4th celebration next door. While wandering the hotel earlier in the day, I discovered an outdoor terrace on the 4th floor, which had a perfect view of Lenox Square. Not being one for crowds and heat, I commenced to selling MJ on the idea of hanging out here instead.
We claimed a corner of terrace real estate around 5pm, and settled in for the fireworks which were scheduled at 10. Yes, I hate crowds that much. We passed the time playing cards, ducked under a small overhang when a rainstorm passed through, and even had some room service delivered there for dinner. The investment in time paid off, because we had the best view in all of Atlanta for the fireworks.
While the hotel overall was great, I had one gripe with the Westin during my stay...internet. There is not a kilobyte of free internet to be found at the Westin Buckhead.
This has turned into a ginormous pet peeve of mine over the years, because so many hotels have come to embrace some form of complimentary access, be it in the lobby or elsewhere on property. I sent a Tweet to the hotel asking about this, and it was suggested I sit in the lobby and try to tap into the Wi-Fi from the Palm Restaurant. Sorry, but stealing a connection from a restaurant in your building isn't a solution. The Westin Buckhead was my 9th hotel in 6 weeks - all of equal quality or better - and they were the only one without free internet. Does it sound like this bothered me?...Good.
|A pedestrian bridge Downtown had free Wi-Fi, but it's $10.95 at the Westin|
This small gripe aside, we really had a great stay at the Westin Buckhead. The staff was excellent, and the hotel was everything I've come to love about the Westin brand. I have a feeling we have found a new home for our annual trip to the Peachtree Road Race. And as an FYI for anyone planning to watch the fireworks from the terrace, I've called permanent seat back on the far left table.
Enjoy Your Stay