BACK­GROUND

Business Traveler (USA) - - TRIED & TESTED -

One of my fond­est travel mem­o­ries ever is zoom­ing to the top of the Peachtree Plaza in its glass­fronted el­e­va­tor shortly af­ter it opened in 1976. This dis­tinc­tive 73-story cir­cu­lar tower has been, al­most from day one, the defin­ing sil­hou­ette on the At­lanta skyline.

How­ever it’s also an ar­chi­tec­tural child of its era, mean­ing plenty of glass and con­crete. That might have been the height of chic 40 years ago, but such aus­tere aes­thet­ics have less ap­peal to­day. Thus Starwood has put the prop­erty through a mas­sive bot­tom to top makeover, com­pleted last year. The lofty cir­cu­lar lobby re­tains its grandeur, but has been soft­ened with or­ganic shapes, wood and nat­u­ral stone. Seat­ing is clus­tered into com­fort­able‘gath­er­ing spa­ces’ and a 5-story na­ture-inspired mu­ral graces the stark con­crete core. The over­all im­pres­sion is a de­light­ful blend of 1976 modernism with 21st cen­tury warm and invit­ing.

In the heart of down­town At­lanta, the Westin is con­nected di­rectly to the colos­sal 7-mil­lion-square foot Amer­i­c­as­Mart and the his­toric 200 Peachtree build­ing. Also less than a mile away – an easy walk, but an eas­ier ride on the down­town At­lanta Street­car – you’ll find such at­trac­tions as the Ge­or­gia World Congress Cen­ter, Cen­ten­nial Olympic Park, CNN Cen­ter and World of Coca-Cola.

The prom­ise that the ho­tel makes in the lobby is more than ful­filled in the com­pletely ren­o­vated gue­strooms. Westin Peachtree Plaza is a cir­cle, so ev­ery room has a more or less spec­tac­u­lar city view – the higher you go, the more spec­tac­u­lar. They all have gen­er­ous work desks, Westin’s Heav­enly Beds and deluxe baths. Re­fur­bish­ment in­cluded up­dated cli­mate con­trols, sleek con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings and plenty of ecofriendly fab­rics and fin­ishes. In-room WiFi can be had, but for a fee ($14.95 a day).

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