Refresh your mind and body at the Loews Atlanta Hotel—a chic, urban oasis
By Joanne Hayes
On my bucket list, I imagine a week at a spa retreat, à la Canyon Ranch. Cell phones and electronics disallowed; hours of yoga, reading and healthy cuisine. During this daydream, reality hits. Son in high school, husband traveling on business, a world of deadlines. Sigh.
The next best thing: a staycation with almost all the required elements. For this, my husband and I head to Midtown’s Loews Atlanta Hotel, home to the internationally renowned Exhale Spa, for a Friday night check-in. Our lovely room, with beautiful marble bathroom, glass shower and soaking tub, awaited us. Once settled on the 25th floor, there was barely a sound from the traffic below. We took a deep breath, called the space a “no-cell-phone” zone, and started to unwind for a precious 24 hours.
First, a visit to Exhale on the seventh floor. The 20,000-square-foot spa accommodates individuals or groups for facials, massages, acupuncture, energetic therapies, body scrubs, detoxing, waxing and nail services. It also boasts a robust fitness program of Core Fusion Barre, Yoga, Bootcamp, Cardio, Core Cycling classes, and a large mind-body gym with top-of-the-line cardio and weight equipment.
My spa therapist, Meredith, worked her magic on me with the Fusion Massage, combining flow technique with deep pressure. Afterwards we spent a few minutes in the detoxifying coed hammam (like a Turkish bath), preparing mentally for the challenging advanced yoga class an hour later. Taught by regular Exhale instructor John Merideth, who is also a teacher trainer at Atlanta Yoga School, the intense practice brought me much-needed mental clarity and worked my physical strength.
Body and mind in the right place, we headed back to our room to share the Pinot Noir and locally produced CalyRoad cheese the hotel laid out for us, before pampering ourselves with intoxicating BVLGARI toiletries. (Note to self: Find out where to buy these products.)
At 8 p.m. it was time for a chef’s tasting at Eleven, where the lively bar scene was filled with locals and visitors, while bartenders served up hand-mixed cocktails, local microbrews and artisanal wines—all set to DJ tunes in the background.
Eleven is known for its small and medium plates, which encourage sharing and offer lots of options. Many ingredients here are sourced locally, from providers like Flat Creek Lodge, Sweet Grass Dairy, Fairywood Thicket and The Spotted Trotter.
We shared a charcuterie platter served up by Executive Sous-Chef Chris Espanol: a simple romaine and shaved Georgia apple salad; grilled octopus; lamb corn dogs with yogurt tzatziki and crushed mint pesto; lobster steam buns; petit filet mignon with colossal crab meat, asparagus and crème fraiche. Then came desserts: spiced carrot cake with cinnamon caramel and passion fruit pineapple sorbet; and strawberry shortcake. More than satiated, we were ready to retire.
Waking up refreshed the following morning, we enjoyed a beautiful breakfast buffet, which alone, makes a Saturday morning visit to the Loews worthwhile. Fresh fruit, steel-cut oatmeal, yogurts, bagels, omelets and Seattle’s Best coffee are just a few of the items served.
After fitting in another yoga class before noon checkout, we left Loews feeling completely relaxed. This modern, yet charming, luxury hotel in the heart of Atlanta—with superb customer service and attention to detail—was a perfect choice for an urban getaway.
Simply Buckhead is an upscale lifestyle magazine focused on the best and brightest individuals, businesses and events in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Chamblee. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the magazine serves as the authority on who to know, what to do and where to go in the community, and its surroundings.