Travel

By Kimberly McDonald

One step inside the new InterContinental Hotel in Atlanta’s fashionable Buckhead (recently ranked as one of the top ten US communities) and you know you’re in five-star hands.

I arrived late in the evening, after a delayed flight and the joys of rental car hell. But once in the capable hands of the staff of Atlanta’s InterContinental, I truly forgot about the hassles of airport travel.

I was treated with true southern hospitality with the finishing polish of world-class service. The check-in process was efficient, and the staff were just about the most friendly and helpful I’ve ever experienced. In this 21-story, 424-room high-rise just off of Peachtree Road they made me feel as if I were the only guest.

The hotel lobby is an open and inviting space. It is an expanse of unaffected luxury. There are intimate seating areas. Groups of people congregated as they milled back and forth from the bar area. I saw a couple of local celebrities that evening, including Jane Fonda.

Back in the comfort of my own room, I took some time to explore. Although I have to say that the standard rooms are small, the space is well appointed and the furnishings sophisticated. The bathroom boasted a gorgeous soaking tub and a separate shower, and the overall feel of the space was one of absolute serenity and gratification.

I decided to have a late night supper with a friend at the hotel’s own Au Pied de Cochon, a reasonably priced French-style brasserie. This is the premier American venture for Les Freres Blanc, a high-profile French restaurant group. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and “after dinner.” It offers outside seating in appropriate weather as well as private dining and a private chef’s table, where clients can enjoy a behind the scenes look at how the kitchen is run. Next, I crossed the marble walkway to the hotel’s famous bar. A jazz trio happened to be playing that evening! I enjoyed the live music with a Cognac, the house specialty at the XO Bar.

The hotel also boasts the first ever US venture for Australia’s Jurlique skin care. Jurlique manages the spa, fitness center and pool and offers signature facials, massages and other fabulous skin care treatments. They also have a retail area where guests can take home a little slice of Jurlique heaven. The state of the art health club has a limited number of memberships available to local residents, and is open to all hotel guests.

As if this isn’t enough to send you into sensory overload, the hotel hosts a permanent art collection consisting of 25 works from prominent artists. Guest rooms feature works by Rocio Rodriguez, a well known Cuban born artist who now resides in Atlanta.

Ronen Nissenbaum, general manager, and his staff have truly captured the perfect mix of international flair, southern hospitality, and resplendent serenity. Without compromise.

For more information on the InterContinental Buckhead, log on to http://www.intercontinental.atlanta.ichotelsgroup.com or contact them directly at 404.946.9000.

Originally published March 2005
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