If I were King of the World, or at least Undersecretary of All Things Travel, I’d mandate that every airport with more than one terminal have a hotel close enough that you could order a gin and tonic from the terminal and be in the lobby before the ice cubes melt.
I’ve spent way too much time researching hotels close to airports for those trips where you have an early-morning flight, or just need a place for a few hours before catching your flight. The greatest place I’ve seen is the Amsterdam Schiphol YOTEL, located inside the security area. Atlanta has somewhat an equivalent, with Minute Suites on Terminal B, where you can rent a room by the hour, perfect for a long layover but not where I’d want to hang out for an evening.
Yet here was Atlanta, with the world’s busiest airport, and the closest hotels were a shuttle or taxi-ride away. Until now.
The awesome Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway has recently opened adjacent to the airport. And it’s not just another airport hotel. My husband and I spent a wonderful night there recently prior to a morning flight to Colorado. We only live about 25 minutes from the airport but this hotel is so lovely and convenient, it’s like getting a jumpstart on your vacation.
Yes, it’s got the usual hotel amenities, but here are the five reasons I’d put Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway in a class by itself:
1. Proximity and convenience to the airport. Walk out the front door of the hotel, turn right, ride an elevator up a floor and jump on the SkyTrain. These people movers run about every three minutes, and in less than five you’re at the airport. Take one stop the other way and you’ll see the gigantic new rental car facility – very Jetsons. Too bad you can’t rent aerocars there. And the Marriott also has deals for parking – you can leave your car here and avoid those other lots that require tracking down a shuttle on your return.
2. Champions, the sports bar in the hotel. Now I’m not a sports bar kind of gal, but this ain’t Scruffy Uncle Pete’s beer-swillin’-cussin-refs sports bar. This place is upscale and sophisticated and actually serves really good food. The giant soft pretzel with Samuel Adams cheddar cheese dip alone is worth a return trip. Of course you’ve got the usual sandwiches, wings and burgers, but you can also get teriyaki salmon, lemon chicken or a filet with grits. Beer lovers will marvel at the 60+ beers available.
3. M.I. Greatroom, which is what they call the large lobby area to the right when you enter. Here is the big bonus for women travelers – you can hang out here, enjoying free wi-fi, and breakfast, lunch or dinner, and not feel like Woman Alone at Bar. It’s a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere and you can order food by the time you need it, a concept that would crush the soul of European travelers I imagine – 5-, 10- or 20 minute fare.
4. The rooms. The rooms are gorgeous, with refrigerators, LCD TVs, and my favorite feature – a swivel work desk with plug-in-panel technology and a safe just for your laptop. The hotel has 385 rooms, which you may expect to be quite noisy considering that more than 2500 flights a day take off and land close-by, but we didn’t hear a thing.
5. Fitness facility and pool. No dark, smelly closet with dilapidated equipment here – this brightly lit space encompasses a lovely pool and well-equipped work-out rooms with views of trees and grass.
2020 Convention Center Concourse, Atlanta, 30337, 404-763-1544