The recently rebranded Waldorf Astoria affords a luxury stay smack in the heart of Buckhead
STORY: Jill Becker
The old adage “the only thing constant is change” has proven true for one upscale Buckhead hotel property. What began as the Mansion on Peachtree back in 2008 became the Mandarin Oriental in 2012 and late last year became the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead. In all of its iterations, it has been a popular intown stay for luxury-seeking Atlantans, and I visited recently to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
As you pull up to the 42-story hotel’s circular entrance off Peachtree Road, then make your way past the flower-filled foyer to the art decoinspired reception area, you’ll notice that the overall appearance of the hotel remains largely the same, but signature Waldorf touches have been added throughout. “As the first Waldorf Astoria property in Atlanta, it’s important to bring in fresh and exciting options for guests, while distinguishing our hotel from its predecessor,” says general manager Kerry Hing.
Some of the most exciting changes have come courtesy of the new executive chef, Christophe Truchet, who oversees everything from the in-room dining to the menu at The Café & Bar restaurant. The Waldorf Astoria brand is known for its food—it is credited with originating eggs Benedict, red velvet cake and the Waldorf salad, to name a few—and Truchet has upped the hotel’s culinary game by introducing a Sunday brunch buffet (said to be the only one at a Buckhead hotel), an afternoon tea service, and new power lunch and three-course dinner menus. “We wanted to create a culinary experience that embodies the standards and ideals of the Waldorf Astoria brand while drawing a connection to the region’s flavors and Southern inspirations,” says Hing of Truchet’s gastronomic vision.
New experiences and services are forthcoming at the spa as well, but in the meantime, there’s much to enjoy at the 15,000-square-foot retreat, including luxe treatments such as the Peach Indulgence, a nearly two hour long pampering session that starts with an all-over body scrub and ends with a relaxing scalp massage.
A trip to the spa might just be warranted after working up a sweat at the fitness center, which includes everything from stationary bikes and a steam room to a full-on yoga studio complete with exercise videos you can cue up on the big screen. The indoor saline pool is worth a visit whether you want to swim a few laps or just relax in a lounger as you gaze out on the hotel gardens. The accommodations at the hotel start at an ample 482 square feet and feature spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and deep soaking tubs, so you may never feel the need to leave our room’s cozy confines.
Many of the larger suites have their own private balconies where you can take in the hustle and bustle of the street below while sitting back with a cocktail and room service, all the while reminding yourself that your relaxing getaway was just a quick hop, skip and a jump away.
WALDORF ASTORIA ATLANTA BUCKHEAD
Award-winning writer and editor who has penned stories for CNN, Woman's Day, Good Housekeeping, and dozens of other outlets.