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).