Wylie Hotel impresses as an escape!
Sometimes, Buckhead and Old Fourth Ward seem worlds away. The two neighborhoods are, in fact, a mere 6 miles apart. I arrived at Wylie Hotel on Ponce de Leon Avenue, a stone’s throw from Ponce City Market, and was greeted in the lobby by what I can only describe as the modern millennial aesthetic: a pleasant mix of pastels, jewel tones, curved lines and historical references. The lobby is small but inviting, setting the tone for my stay.
Wylie Hotel’s specific history is one you could only find in Atlanta, and it’s peppered throughout the building in touches small and large. The 111-room boutique hotel once housed an iteration of MJQ Concourse, a prominent nightclub whose current version is just up the street, and Mrs. P’s Tea Room, one of Atlanta’s first LGBTQ+-friendly bars with performances by the city’s drag pioneer Diamond Lil, in its basement. It was also once home to an early 20th-century hotel called the Garner-Wallace Hotel, among other things. Almost 100 years of history are touched upon with the name of the current restaurant and bar, Mrs. P’s, and framed artifacts such as old hotel keys, postcards and covers of 1960s’ underground newspaper The Great Speckled Bird sprinkled throughout the guest rooms and hallways.
I stayed in a king suite, a delightful two-room space that includes a separate living area. Design elements include curved pink armchairs, board and batten in a dusty blue hue, and whimsical touches such as curtain knobs in the shape of a woman’s hand.
Some of the hotel’s biggest draws include access to everything around it. Within walking distance is Old Fourth Ward Park, Ponce City Market, the BeltLine, numerous bars and restaurants and Piedmont Park. While the physical positioning of the hotel might entice guests to leave the building, the rooms are worthy of some serious luxuriating, thanks to sumptuous bedding and tons of Instagram-worthy design moments.
Downstairs, the intimate Mrs. P’s connects to the street-front patio. Southern classics such as pimento cheese and a fried chicken sandwich sit alongside classic charcuterie platters and burgers. The drink menu is playful and innovative, offering a Mexican Hot Chocolate (tequila, espresso, cocoa and Kahlua whipped cream) and Cabo San Lucas (tequila, habanero, strawberry, lime). The night I dined, service was a little disjointed due to a large private party on the patio, but I was happy to spend time people watching the eclectic groups.
The hotel wants guests to feel like it’s a home away from home, and that concept was revealed serendipitously when a television actor (incognito in a face mask) came down asking for a drink during my time at the bar. He apparently had been living at the hotel during the filming of his show. While chatting about his time in Atlanta coming to an end, he said to the bartender, “I’ll miss this place.”
STORY: Lauren Finney Harden
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