North of Atlanta, South of Charlotte, Center of Southern Hospitality.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta, recently treated to a $2.6 million renovation makeover, brings several initiatives and innovations to the Atlanta area that were first tested at the Charlotte Marriott City Center.
If you’ve been to the North Carolina hotel, elements of it are instantly recognizable in the Georgia property. If not, you’ll still appreciate the modern transformation of the Alpharetta hotel: The new public spaces on the main floor feel open and airy, crisp and clean, welcoming and fully functional.
The entire first floor of the hotel is now a beautiful, functional modern space. The lobby has an inviting, open “Great Room” concept, with flexible new multifunctional seating areas. The bar and restaurant areas flow together and offer a variety of seating options, along with plenty of electrical outlets if you need to recharge. There are private rooms big enough for galas or business meetings, small enough for a poker game or a tea party, all flexible enough to accommodate gatherings of nearly any size and style, with neutral gray-based décor that will complement whatever color scheme you want to bring in. There’s also a new business center, gift shop, and fitness center.
The new color scheme feels fresh and clean, certainly more contemporary. Some meeting rooms have a “Mad Men”-era vibe with Midcentury Modern-style furniture. The only place to see remnants of the former bright burgundies and golds is in hallways on guestroom floors, but the guestrooms themselves and the public spaces are now shades of gray with blue and/or green accents. It’s lovely and restful, befitting a hotel.
“We’re excited to finally introduce our transformation to guests,” said General Manager Debbie Niswonger in a press release. “Our goal was to cater to the ever-changing needs of those staying with us while still staying true to the unique characteristics of Alpharetta. We’ve accomplished that and more by creating more open, collaborative spaces for guests to enjoy.”
“This reminds me of Charlotte Marriott City Center,” I mentioned to Niswonger while she gave me a tour of the first floor renovations.
“That is the ideal,” she said. “This is the execution.”
The Alpharetta property transformation incorporates successes from the Charlotte experiment, including the open restaurant space and its renewed emphasis on local dining.
Previously a steakhouse named Vidalia’s, the on-site restaurant and bar concept has been renamed 19 North, which honors the original name of what is now better known as Georgia State Route 400 that passes nearby.
Regional dishes feature fresh ingredients sourced from top-quality local farms like Springer Mountain Farms and White Oak Pastures. The goal is to offer foods that out-of-town visitors might most want to enjoy while in Georgia, such as shrimp & grits and fried chicken, alongside American favorites like roast pork chops and smoked salmon—but all prepared with a compelling twist with the hopes of luring local diners into the dining room as well.
Don’t miss the Savannah Honey Fried Chicken starter, which coats juicy meat in a lip-licking yummy balance of sweet and spice. The shrimp & grits pair soft, stone ground grits cakes flavored with hot tomato, jalapeño, and cheddar with Florida pink shrimp plus a sweet gravy that incorporates some Southern Comfort. The Niman Ranch pork chop is grilled to perfection and served with creamy Southern mac and cheese plus green beans. The fried banana split is a decadent way to quash any lingering hunger.
Handcrafted cocktails are given the same attention as the food, highlighting local beers and spirits like Old 4th Ward Vodka and Gin as well as Oak & Armour Apple Brandy. Several featured cocktails are named for local people or places—like Alpharetta, Windward, Milton, 400—adding to the homey feel of the place.
Most impressive, though, are the friendly staff members who strive to make you feel welcome and your stay comfortable , whether you’re visiting for a meal, an event, or an overnight.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
- On-site bar and restaurant
- Fitness center now boasts the newest equipment and technology including a Peloton bike; also find free weights, treadmills, a stair stepper, and an elliptical
- Business center
- Indoor pool available year-round; outdoor pool available seasonally
- Odds of Encountering Children: Possible, but generally low on weeknights during the school year when business travelers outnumber leisure guests. But very high on Friday and Saturday nights when the hotel hosts birthday slumber parties with an “American Girl” theme.
Located in the heart of Alpharetta’s Windward Business District off Georgia State Route 400, Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta is the only full-service hotel in Alpharetta, Georgia. It is approximately 30 miles north of Downtown Atlanta.
Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta
5750 Windward Parkway
Alpharetta GA 30005
– Photos courtesy Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta and 360 Media for hosting my visit.