Hitting the capital of Georgia for business or pleasure? (For the latter, check out our list of the 20 best things to do in Atlanta). Our guide to the best hotels in Atlanta will put you smack-bang in the center of the neighborhood you need to be to take those meetings in the day, get your fingers dirty at the city's best BBQ restaurants at night, and ogle some of the best graffiti in America in between. These hotels combine grand ole Georgian charm and history with the best in contemporary amenities.
Best hotels in Atlanta
The classics never go out of style, and there’s no more classic hotel in Atlanta than the Georgian Terrace, which is in the National Register of Historic Places but still manages to maintain a glamorous flair of modernity. Having hosted the official gala for Gone With the Wind (whose author Margaret Mitchell grew up just one block north), the style and charm of this early 20th-century hotel remains intact through impeccably cleaned marble flooring, a scenic rooftop pool, a penthouse-level workout center, the two-story Livingston Restaurant + Bar, and the subterranean Edgar’s Proof & Provision cocktail lounge—get daily bartender offerings like a barrel-aged mixed drink or punch concoction among arched exposed brick walls. The ability to cross the street and see a show at the Fox Theatre, or take a brisk walk eastward to Ponce City Market or any other Midtown attractions is a major bonus.
Bed-and-breakfasts aren’t as popular in Atlanta as in other large cities, but the elegant Stonehurst Place ranks highly based upon location and the fact that it’s a 19th-entury mansion, furnished with contemporary décor and modern, original museum quality artwork from Andy Warhol and glass artist Dave Chihuly – all from the owner’s personal collection. Three of the six rooms are suites, and all rooms feature eco-friendly amenities like solar-heated water and organic bath products. You also receive complimentary Wi-Fi and high-speed internet, free parking, plus daily beverages and breakfast provided at no added charge.
Paces Ferry, which is home to the Governor’s Mansion, Pace Academy and various mega homes that symbolize old-money Atlanta, is not a place where people with money need to prove anything. The AAA Five Diamond St. Regis falls in line with the community mindset, with its upper-crust service standards that include the St. Regis Butler (a personal liaison who will arrange the entire day based on your personal shopping, sightseeing, dining and entertainment preferences) and 24-hour private dining. Be there at 6pm for the nightly champagne sabering on the fourth floor, and take every minute available to lounge at the 40,000-square-foot Pool Piazza, which gives you the choice of relaxing in the Jacuzzi, sharpening your aim in the billiards room or being served from the poolside bar as you sink into peppermint-striped seating. If nothing else, it is a testament to the quiet power and style of true wealth over flash.
Starting at $150 per night, it’s hard to beat the Ellis’ value and proximity to the revitalized Downtown area. Whole floors of the hotel are dedicated to separate guests’ experiences. Allergies are a big challenge in Atlanta, particularly during the spring, so hit the Fresh Air Floor, which has air-purified rooms and an always-running air-filtering machine in the hallway. There’s a Pet-Friendly Floor for owners of cats and dogs under 30 pounds, and there’s even a Women’s Only Floor, where female guests pay an extra $20 nightly fee to receive a gift bag of L’Occitane toiletries, a miniature replica of a painting, and access to luxury pampering rooms.
The impressive quality and sophisticated appeal of the Downtown Ritz-Carlton has proven more than resilient against the changing backdrop of Atlanta’s Downtown district. You barely step outside the hotel to enter the north/south MARTA train line, and ground transportation will get you to the Georgia Aquarium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Georgia World Congress Center and other convention-centric nearby landmarks in less than five minutes. The recently updated Southern steakhouse AG (formerly the Atlanta Grill) has modernized its menu offerings with locally and regionally sourced provisions, and the impeccably maintained wood and marble accents remind you of the brand’s well-known commitment to excellence, whether you’re enjoying the standard rain showerhead and Nespresso® coffee in your Deluxe Room, or tinkering with the grand piano inside your 1,320-square-foot suite while staring out into the dramatic view of the skyline.
This independent boutique hotel manages to maintain a mellow subtlety while providing an intimate feeling of comfort and sanctuary. Weather permitting, you’ll want to spend time in the enclosed outdoor courtyard enjoying a drink from the hotel’s Studio Bar & Cocktail Garden while admiring the fire-pit-crowned water fountain and other design aspects of the 92-year-old building’s Spanish-Mediterranean decor and surrounding flora. A great place for weddings, the 750-square-foot Cocktail Garden’s pavilion can be set up for A/V needs, tuned for climate control and covered in the event of rain. Other hotels may be your optimal choice if you’re just looking for a heads-in-beds experience; the Artmore is better for those seeking urban oasis with easy access to the culture of Midtown.
Built right in the middle of Midtown, Loews arrived in Atlanta in 2010 with a super-modern design that gave the neighborhood a taste of New York, Los Angeles and other more heavily populated metropolitan cities, without losing sight of its location. The hotel’s 26 floors accommodate guests as well as major annual events such as the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival; an outdoor patio places you in the middle of multiple mirrored-glass buildings for an awe-inspiring view. Dine on small plates of cured meats at Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar, and enjoy a variety of local craft beers or classic cocktails from sazeracs to the Maynard Side Car, named for the former Atlanta mayor.
The Glenn is known for its giant SkyLounge rooftop bar, which sits in the center of Midtown and offers an uninterrupted view of Atlanta’s urban forest. The Downtown location is perfect for visitors attending concerts or sporting events at Philips Arena, but the coordinates of this hotel are special for reasons of historical significance as well. Named for Atlanta’s 31st mayor, John Thomas Glenn, the building arrived in 1923 and replaced the home of a Confederate army major whose home was spared during the famous Atlanta fire that decimated much of the city during General Sherman’s march. The limestone façade and terra cotta detailing at the base and top floors add style to what appears to be a somewhat brutal exterior, but the bright, leafy colors found inside the rooms, and dimmed lighting that provides a subdued mood upon entry, offer a timeless welcome to the city and historic neighborhood.
The comfortable walking distance to Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza is a key draw to the big-spending, powerful guests who choose the Mandarin Oriental. Rooms range from around $530 to over $6,000 for the three-person Mandarin Suite (you’ll need to contact the hotel for rates on the Family Room), and you’ll have an idea why with rare-air views of the Buckhead skyline and panoramic Atlanta-at-large, which blend into the residential design—a hybrid of plush carpeting, sparkling marble, polished wood and ornate floral curtains. Hit one of the 13 spa rooms for single customers or the marble bath and twin massage beds in the couple’s suite, then take laps in the 60-foot indoor pool before heading downstairs to enjoy equally high-grade steaks and seafood at Del Frisco’s Grille. It’s Buckhead, after all.
Luxury and comfort are the modus operandi of Atlanta’s Four Seasons, where impeccably mannered doormen greet you at the entrance, which leads to a grand carpeted staircase that makes it immediately clear you’re a different kind of VIP here. There are 10 soundproof spa rooms for those seeking an escape, 180 acres of greenspace within a minute’s walk, a 4,500-square-foot fitness center with steam room and sauna, and 244 rooms, including five suites ranging from one-bedroom to Presidential, which boasts gold-toned hues from candelabra to the headboard on your bed, and gives a panoramic Midtown view from its 19th floor location. Don’t leave without having the exceptional brunch.
Want more? Find Atlanta attractions
You probably know that the best attractions in Atlanta involve its status as a mecca for hip hop music, home to a burgeoning movie scene, ground zero for chaotic traffic (we're looking at you, snow storm of 2014) and as the U.S. capitol of unparalleled heat. But what you may not know is that the Georgia capital is a highlight reel of the best parts of the American South, and that’s where we’d like to enlighten you. From Southern-style restaurants to eclectic BBQ finds and some of the most entertaining festivals across the country, you're in for a wild ride when visiting town. Here’s a compilation of places that show off the city’s hospitality, southern fried tendencies and rich history. Explore the various eateries, shops and attractions to visit that aren’t all dive spots, but are far enough off the beaten path to make you feel more like a local than a tourist. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Atlanta