Hotel Group: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (a subsidiary of Marriott International)
Hotel Category: Tier 2
Hotel Status: Gold Elite (second highest)
Booking Type: American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
Room Type: Deluxe King Room & Executive King Suite
Date of Stay: November 2017
The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta is in a prime location downtown. It’s close to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Phillips Arena, Georgia Aquarium, and the MARTA Peachtree station.
This property is one of only a few Ritz-Carltons that doesn’t offer either a pool or spa. They do, however, offer a fitness center and three dining concepts. This is news to me because no one ever mentioned it during check-in, but they do offer guest access to a nearby fitness club for, as they put it, a nominal fee. There is no mention of this fitness club having a pool, so I think all hope is lost if a pool is something you are after.
The property has 444 rooms, including 22 suites.
When booking, be aware they have a 72-hour cancellation policy. This is 24 hours more than Marriott’s typical policy of 48 hours. This is a terrible rule that this Ritz-Carlton should be ashamed of. It’s just not friendly to the guest. They will try to spin it and say it’s helpful to guests booking last minute, but this is not a boutique hotel. They have over 400 rooms so having this long cancellation time is just a way to make more money. I would advise only booking this property last minute.
Overnight valet parking is $45, which is standard for an upscale hotel in Atlanta.
I booked through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts. I have covered this program several time in the past but, as a reminder, here are the benefits for booking with them.
I booked a Deluxe King room for $159 + tax. I thought this was a steal, considering the unique property amenity was a $100 food credit plus a $60 credit for breakfast.
The valet guys immediately greeted me when I pulled up to the hotel. The reception desk is just to the left when you walk into the lobby. LaSandra assisted my check-in, and she was a pure delight. She upgraded me to a Deluxe City View–one of the perks of AmEx FH&R–which was going for $189 + tax. I inquired about getting a suite but at a $100 extra I decided to pass. She also offered Club Lounge access for $100, which I declined.
There are two other ways to enter the building, one being from the neighboring building. You walk through a stunning entryway that leads you by Lumen Bar.
The other is the entrance for restaurant AG. You enter into a small foyer with stairs leading up to the restaurant or stairs that will take you down to the lobby.
The lobby and public spaces are chic and luxurious. The dark wood and marble floors really make for a beautiful lobby. One unique thing they do here is offer a complementary candy bar in the lobby. I’m sure it’s big hit with the kiddos.
After I had visited my Deluxe King room, I noticed some things that were not up to par. The coffee pods were half missing and it was littered with crumbs, the vanity chair had several noticeable stains on it, and the bar menu had writing on it. Of course, these are all small things but at a hotel with such high standards, it should never happen. Housekeeping did a terrible job getting the room ready. I wasn’t going to say anything but when I was coming back from getting a drink at the lobby bar, laSandra asked how everything was. After I told her about the mishaps, she was sincerely unhappy to hear those things, so she immediately upgraded me to the suite I had asked about earlier for free. I had already taken my photos of the room, so I will be showing you two rooms.
Room One (Deluxe King City View)
The deluxe rooms come in at 334 sq ft. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
A couple of things need to be mentioned. First off, the alarm clock is for an iPhone 5. Does anyone use an iPhone 5 anymore? Secondly, the TV is way too old and way too small to be in this room. The deluxe rooms really need a refresh.
Bathroom One (Deluxe King City View)
The bathroom is advertised on their website as having a rainfall shower head. This was not a rainfall shower head.
The toiletries are your standard Ritz-Carlton brand Asprey Purple Rain and the hairdryer is a ProVersa by Jerdon. This may be the first time I’ve seen one of these. I definitely can appreciate the concentrator attachment.
Room Two (Executive Suite)
Now for the room I actually stayed in. It clocks in at 646 sq ft with a bedroom and living room separated by French doors.
It’s obviously a better room and not only because it’s a suite. The bedroom TV is newer and it doesn’t have the outdated alarm clock by the bed. If you look on their website, they say the Executive Suites come with a dining table that seats four. As you can tell this room did not have that. In addition, the chain on the door was broken. This should never happen.
The premium wi-fi was solid in both rooms.
I was much more pleased with this room than the other. It felt more like a Ritz-Carlton compared to the other that felt like a Marriott room.
Bathroom Two (Standard Suite)
The suite had 2 bathrooms. The smaller one was near the entrance and the master bath was in the bedroom.
The marble master bathroom came with a walk-in shower and a soaking tub.
I almost forgot to mention the bath towels are really nice, huge, and plush but the robes are one-size-fits-all. Not good, I’ve had better robes in a Hyatt Place.
The fitness center is small. If there were more than five people in here it would feel crowded. I really expected a bigger and nicer fitness center considering it’s one of the few perks the hotel offers, but I suppose they make up for this by offering access to the fitness club close by.
There is a locker room inside the fitness center that includes a steam room and sauna.
For a gym that was lacking in features the locker room really brought it up a couple of notches.
As I was exploring the hotel, I ran across the business center. They offer not only access to computers but a range of services including notary public, postal service, translator, fax and copy, and overnight delivery and pick up. It’s on the same floor as the meeting rooms. As with most of the public spaces here, it was elegantly decorated.
They offer three dining options not including room-service. There’s AG, a steakhouse focusing on southern local ingredients; Lumen Bar in the lobby with cocktails, small plates, and live music Tuesday-Saturday; and a breakfast spot named Jittery Joe’s, offering coffee and pastries.
The first place I visited was Lumen Bar, just down the hall from the reception desk.
I had a couple of beers here just to check out the menu. They have several signature cocktails with one being a smoky manhattan. My Editor-in-Chief was less than thrilled when I showed him the video of the bartender making it, but I thought it was a cool process. I suppose it’s not for everyone. (Editor’s comment: quit with the theatrics, just make me a Manhattan)
The bartender provided me three different bar snacks: a mix of nuts and crackers, some delicious popcorn, and BBQ chips.
Here is the menu for Lumen Bar.
I’m a big fan of the bar area. The design was beautifully done and Teddy, the bartender, was great.
Directly across from Lumen Bar, Jittery Joe’s is open 6am-1pm on weekdays and 7am-1pm on the weekends.
Next up is restaurant AG. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I ended up using my $100 food credit here for dinner and ate breakfast here before I left.
I started my meal with she crab soup 9/10. Then, as an appetizer, I ordered squid ink tortellini with Maine lobster 9/10, and for dinner, I did something I normally would never do, and that is order the chicken. I’m glad I did because it was fantastic 9.5/10. The pimento cheese butter and rolls were off the charts also.
For breakfast, I had the pig & grits with a side of chicken sausage and a glass of grapefruit juice. The pimento cheese grits were a little runny for my taste but everything else was delicious.
Here is the menu for dinner and breakfast.
I had two really good meals at AG. I would recommend this place even if you aren’t staying here. I would note the steak prices are high, considering only one of them is USDA Prime.
Last but not least is a sample of the room service menus.
I’ll give service a 9.2/10. The receptionist LaSandra was great in making sure I was happy with my room. The valet guys were helpful and prompt, and the waitstaff in Lumen Bar and AG were all really good. I was only here for one evening but the only thing I saw that was not up to standard were the few mistakes housekeeping made on my first room.
If I knew I was booking a suite I would stay here again, but if it were just a regular room, I think I could find a better room elsewhere in the city at the same price point. There’s truly nothing special about the standard rooms. Their cancellation policy really rubs me the wrong way and the lack of a pool and spa may deter me from staying here again. I can’t say if I would recommend it or not. I hope this review helps you make a good decision on whether or not it’s right for you.
Have you stayed here, what are your thoughts?