This grand classic hotel is an Atlanta landmark.
Another great answer to the question of where to stay in Atlanta GA.
By Hope S. Philbrick
The oldest operating hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, has hosted presidents, iconic writers and movie stars, housed a dance studio and provided a stage to legendary rockers.
Time to add your name to the guest list.
Since it opened on October 2, 1911, The Georgian Terrace hotel is where to stay in Atlanta GA. The guest list reads like a historical who’s-who including dignitaries like President Calvin Coolidge, Charles Lindbergh, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and President Jimmy Carter among others. The property has also hosted lavish events, most notably the Gone with the Wind premiere party.
Designed by William Stoddard in the Beaux Arts style as a Southern interpretation of a Parisian hotel, the 107-year-old building impresses with towering ceilings and marble staircases. It’s so stunning it’ll take your breath away. Plus, it overlooks one of the most historic corners on Atlanta’s famed Peachtree Street. Stay here and you can walk out the front door to visit the Historic Fox Theatre or explore Midtown and Downtown Atlanta.
A grand old lady not too shy to admit it, The Georgian Terrace has had some work done over the years. In 2009 an $11 million renovation was completed in the public spaces. In 2016 hardwood floors, new tile and marble were installed in guest bathrooms, plus new furnishings and soft goods were added in guestrooms. The hotel is currently updating the hallways on guestroom floors, with new carpet, new paint, new lighting fixtures, plus new furniture near elevators. This project began in December 2017; work is currently underway on the third floor and is expected to be finished this month.
Part of Sotherly Hotels since 2014, the hotel offers 326 guestrooms that range from petite standards to three-bedroom suites and penthouses with kitchens and laundry facilities—ideal for a longer-term stay (and, since so many movies are filmed in Georgia, I’m guessing these suites are popular among stars). Whatever size your room, sleep here and you’ll slumber with history atop a cozy pillow-top mattress and between super soft 300-thread-count sheets.
Eat & Drink…
Great dining options abound in Atlanta, but guests at The Georgian Terrace need not leave the property to enjoy two of the city’s best.
Livingston Restaurant + Bar has a swanky ambiance that’s matched by the stylish menu. This is a place where you can dress up—really dress up, even a tux and ball gown would not overwhelm this architecture (though less formal attire is perfectly acceptable). Designed by Puccini Group, the space integrates historical elegance with contemporary elements like white leather, sleek marble and a warm textured palette. The dramatic two-story dining room offers views of famed Peachtree Street and the iconic Fox Theatre through floor-to-ceiling windows. Chef Mark Breault’s innovative American menu consistently impresses and offers a menu flexible enough to satisfy whether you seek cocktails and nibbles or a multi-course meal. Trust the bar to make a great version of whatever cocktail you may crave. On the food menu, don’t miss the bourbon glazed shrimp starter. A creative twist on shrimp & grits, the dish pairs that scrumptious bourbon-glazed shrimp with pimento cheese, grit cake and green onion: the result is serious yum. Braised short ribs and southern-fried chicken are popular entrée options for good reason.
Edgar’s Proof & Provision isn’t quite a speakeasy but it can feel like one since the self-proclaimed community drinkery is semi-hidden down a set of marble steps. The Georgian Terrace’s basement was transformed from a storage space into this bar with a welcoming Southern vibe and casual setting. The menu of snacks, sandwiches (including a “game-changing grilled cheese”) and French Bread pizzas is casual and playful, with innovative interpretations of classics like deviled eggs, hummus, and chicken & waffles. No detail is too small in Chef Mark Breault’s pursuit of perfection: nearly everything on the menu is made from scratch. Bold flavors are consistent across the food and drink menus. Artisan wines and craft beers are available but it’s the creative cocktails that most impress—including some that are barrel aged on site. With high quality at value prices, this is the sort of place where you’ll want everybody to know your name.
10 Fun Facts…
The Georgian Terrace’s PR folks recently shared 10 of the coolest things about the hotel, and we think you’ll find them as interesting as we did:
1. When it opened on October 2, 1911, the Parisian-inspired hotel built by native Atlantan Joseph F. Gatins attracted 5,000 Atlantans eager to get a first look at the marble columns, murals, gardens and a costumed orchestra of musicians from Spain.
2. As Atlanta’s premier destination hotel, The Georgian Terrace Hotel was able to charge top prices for its enviable amenities when it opened. Single rooms with a private bath went for $2.50 to $5 per day, while single rooms with running water went for $2 to $3 per day.
3. From 1919 to 1923, a Georgia Tech student named Arthur Murray began teaching ballroom dancing in a studio at the hotel. His classes became so popular, Murray was featured in Forbes magazine with the headline “This College Student Earns $15,000 A Year!” As the founding father of American dance schools, Murray would go on to teach millions to dance via his Arthur Murray Dance School locations across the country.
4. In 1921, Calvin Coolidge made the hotel his headquarters while finalizing a speech addressing the Southern Tariff Congress at the Tabernacle downtown.
5. When the Fox Theatre opened in 1929, one of Atlanta’s oldest hotel-theatre partnerships was born. Over the decades, The Georgian Terrace Hotel has fed and hosted thousands of performers booked to play on the Fox Theatre stage, including Walt Disney, who paced nervously in his hotel room prior to the 1946 premiere of “Song of the South.” When members of the Metropolitan Opera stayed at the hotel and performed at the Fox Theatre, a red carpet was rolled across Peachtree Street for them. Today, Livingston offers a prix fixe theatre menu for Fox patrons.
6. On a tour to find Southern literary talent in 1935, Macmillan book editor Harold Latham met with an Atlanta Journal reporter named Peggy Marsh, whose professional byline was Margaret Mitchell. In the lobby of The Georgian Terrace Hotel; she shared a manuscript for a sprawling civil war epic she was writing. A few weeks later, Latham sent Mitchell a telegraph, offering a $500 advance on the book plus a 10 percent royalty on the first 10,000 copies sold. Four years later, the hotel played host to “Gone With the Wind” star Vivien Leigh and her husband Laurence Olivier, Clark Gable and his wife Carole Lombard and Olivia de Havilland when the film held its world premiere in Atlanta.
7. From 1974 to 1978, the grand ballroom was transformed into Atlanta rock promoter Alex Cooley’s Electric Ballroom concert venue. Fleetwood Mac, The Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Tom Waits, Patti Smith and Kiss were among the first to entertain Atlanta rock fans there.
8. In 1981, the then-70-year-old hotel closed to the public. Many of the same fans who helped save the Fox Theatre from the wrecking ball six years earlier mobilized and saved the hotel. In 1986, The Georgian Terrace Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
9. In 2009, as part of an $11 million hotel-wide renovation, Livingston Restaurant + Bar debuted. The hotel rests on the site of the former home of Livingston Mims, the 37th mayor of Atlanta. The restaurant was named after Mims, who was renowned for throwing lavish social gatherings at his residence.
10. The Georgian Terrace’s ballroom was a stand-in for the Plantation Oaks Country Club party scenes in the 2011 big screen comedy “The Change Up” starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. Livingston, meanwhile, was the location for a restaurant scene in 2013’s “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd and “Identity Thief” starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.
The 10 facts above were compiled from “Atlanta & Environs, Volume 2” by Franklin Garrett, “New Georgia Encyclopedia,” “Celestine Sibley, Reporter” and the Sibley memoir “Turned Funny.” The “10 Fun Facts” press release arrived via email courtesy Melissa Libby PR.
- 96 standard rooms and 230 suites
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Check-out by Noon
- Bathtubs have been replaced with step-in showers in many guestrooms
- Rooftop pool
- Fitness center open 5 a.m. to Midnight
- Complimentary coffee maker and supplies (including ground coffee) in all guestrooms; the Buffalo Bayou Coffee shop is also on site
- Two on-site restaurants: the swanky Livingston Restaurant + Bar and cozy Proof & Provision
- Valet with in-and-out privileges or self-park; there’s also a public garage around the corner
- Located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, attractions and sites are within convenient walking distance; the historic Fox Theatre is across the street
- There is no airport shuttle service; however, MARTA trains run from the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Midtown (if you prefer terminal to door transport, hire a cab)
- Children are permitted at this hotel, however, it’s more common to see business travelers and even celebrities than families
- If you’d like a room with a view of The Fox Theatre, make your request when booking a reservation; the hotel will do its best to honor such requests but cannot guarantee it
- 24 hour security
The Georgian Terrace
659 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
– Photos courtesy The Georgian Terrace and © HSP Media LLC; click on any individual image for credit details for that photo
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 The Georgian Terrace for hosting my experience.