The W Atlanta Downtown: Atlanta's Hippest New Hotel

The W Atlanta Downtown hotel, one of the city's "happening'' new hotels, is located at the northern edge of Atlanta's downtown district. Nearby attractions include the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca-Cola and the Fox Theatre. All of downtown and Midtown Atlanta's sites are only minutes away. The hotel is easily accessible from the Interstate 75/85 Downtown Connector. MARTA, Atlanta's public transit system, has a train station about one block away.

The W Downtown, which opened in January of 2009, is intended to bring a new type of guest to the downtown area. The Atlanta Business Chronicle says, "Even as [other] brands ... continue targeting distinguished business and leisure travelers, ... [the W is] producing a product with more flirt and fashion than butlers and valets.'' Their intended audience "is the more technologically savvy (and fashion-conscious) Generation X traveler.'' The hotel's 237 rooms, which are available in several sizes, all come with DVD and CD players, the W Signature Bed with luxury comforters and linens, bathrobes, Bliss Spa bath amenities, wireless high-speed Internet access, a work desk and many other up-to-date features. Larger rooms and suites offer more luxuries, such as multiple-person walk-in showers, wet bars and dining areas.

The W Downtown's other features include:

The hotel's trademarked SWEAT Fitness Center, providing cardio and weight machines, free weights, yoga mats, boxing stations and small exercise apparatus. Personal trainers are available.

The WET outdoor heated pool, featuring an infinity edge and poolside bar.

The Living Room, a lounge and bar with board games, Internet access, books and fashionable cocktails.

DRINKSHOP, a bar that W calls "Atlanta's first-ever haute cocktail beverage program.'' The bar has already become a destination for Atlanta's trendiest young people.

A Bliss Spa offering massages, facials, manicures and pedicures and waxing.

A fully-equipped business center, open 24 hours a day; a car service that is complimentary within a two-mile radius of the hotel; and W's Whatever/Whenever Service, a concierge service that will fulfill any of their guest's needs.

Dining at the W Downtown is provided by BLT Steak, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says of BLT, "The room has the markings of a great Midtown Manhattan restaurant. It's small, with ... slick dycor. ... It offers fat juicy steaks, pretty signature cocktails, towers of perfectly fried onion rings in tiny cast iron skillets and waiters affably milling through tables as if ice skating.'' The restaurant also offers decadent desserts and an extensive list. Also available in the hotel is the W Cafy, which provides coffee and light fare all day long.

The W's meeting space is small but unique to the W chain. The hotel only has 8,900 square feet of space in eight rooms. The largest area, the Great Room, can accommodate 250 guests banquet-style or 350 reception-style. All spaces come with cutting-edge technology. W services include Recess, special experiences designed to give long meetings an entertaining break, and Sensory Set Up, which provides music, aromatherapy, candles, games or other creative touches during meetings.

Internet reviews of the W Downtown are mixed; they vary greatly according to the age of the guest. Younger visitors looking for fun love the hotel. One woman exclaims, "The staff is super friendly. ... The environment is warm and ... full of great convo. And the layout and dycor ... O lawd. Fabulous.'' Older, more sedate business travelers are more skeptical. Everyone agrees the hotel is very stylish, but the noise and raucous parties are too much for some. One calls it "the Four Seasons ... for 22-year-olds.'' Almost everyone appreciates the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. The conclusion seems to be that if you are young and hip and like to party, the W Downtown is the place for you. If you prefer a quieter, more business-like atmosphere, you may want to find somewhere else.

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