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Categorised in: Travel News
Okay, Atlanta, we think the coast is finally clear for you to come out now. We know a winter with historic snowfall and random days with 30-degree swings might cause pause, but the weatherman has assured us that there’s a steady stream of clear, comfortable days approaching.
One thing we’ve noticed with the seasonal changes: as the mercury spikes, so too does the number of openings around town. Read on for Forbes Travel Guide’s seasonal guide to Atlanta, a spring shower of places to go and things to do we have forecasted for foodies, travelers and staycationers.
Look in any direction around the metro area and you’ll see an exciting new hotel project blooming. Downtown, The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta is undergoing a massive renovation that wraps up at the end of the year, but you can get a sneak peek: several floors of refreshed guest rooms are ready for you to check in.
The brand’s longest-operating hotel is injecting classic accommodations with a modern look. The hallways and rooms have greens inspired by Piedmont Park and steely purples and silvers take their cue from surrounding buildings. Bathrooms are bathed in soft blue and lavender hues and have inlayed-lit mirrors.
The cranes have been busy near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Solis Two Porsche Drive opened in November. A brand under the respected Capella Hotel Group umbrella, this first Solis property is driving to be the premier hotel option for business travelers staying near the airport, which sits a comfortable eight minutes from the lobby.
And while its biggest draw may be convenience, the 214-room hotel that overlooks the 1.6-mile track at the Porsche Experience Center proves to be quite the charmer, too. Bedside lighting is shaped like a car muffler. Headboards have been laser-cut into images of car rims. Colorful murals of vintage Porsches line the walls in public spaces. It’s a minimalistic marvel of sportiness and sophistication. Plus, it’s the site of the only Porsche boutique that’s open to the public.
Apron, Solis’ signature eatery, welcomes everyone who has a taste for light Mediterranean fare (see: grilled branzino or potato gnocchi). And on the eighth floor, you’ll encounter the aptly named Overdrive Lounge, which opened in early April. Head here for dynamic views of Porsche 911 GTS’ hairpin turns, planes landing on the runway and sips of the rum- and peach-infused Pecan Dandy.
Another new in-town gem is The Whitley, A Luxury Collection Hotel, which rebranded from The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in December. (Fun fact: more than 230 employees from the former hotel elected to stay on with The Whitley, thus helping the transition go even more smoothly.) Though the 507-room property is aiming for a full renovation over the next year, there are already exciting examples of the direction it’s planning to go. Trade Root is the March-opened restaurant where you’ll find chef Marc Suennemann’s fun, flavorful takes on Moroccan-spiced salmon, braised lamb shanks and other global goodies.
Not a two-minute drive from The Whitley is Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. While far from a new addition to the city’s hospitality scene, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star escape is trumpeting a overnight package that will lure you in for a spring visit. The Distinctive Atlanta offer grants you elegant accommodations, daily breakfast for two, a promotion-filled The Shops Buckhead Atlanta global access card and tickets to the Michael C. Carlos Museum, one of the city’s most underrated attractions.
Pizza isn’t the first dish you think about in Atlanta, but if The Local Pizzaiolo has its way, more people will start having margheritas on the mind. The January-debuted spot has already become one of our favorite Westside hangouts due to its fresh ingredients and distinctive preparations — the Montanara’s dough is flash fried before the mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce are lovingly placed atop it. Sprinkle in cute shelves of take-home goods and a delicious array of gelati and you have yourself a recipe for a wonderful outing.