We strolled into lunch on the cushy newly laid acres of carpet to the uplifting sounds of a gospel group joyously belting out “Oh Happy Day.” Indeed, it was a happy day at the opening of the brand-new Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown.
Hey, any opening these days is something to cheer about, but this gorgeous new hotel is particularly exciting. It’s the first new-build hotel for Loews in five year, which operates 19 properties in the U.S. and Canada.
As I stood there on blocked-off 11th Street in the warm March sun with hundreds of other folks waiting for the pre-lunch ceremony to begin, I thought about how much this area had changed. Back in the day, people came to Midtown for a different kind of fun, generally illegal. Wanted to find hippies or drugs in the sixties in Atlanta? Right on 14th Street. These days if you’re cruising around Midtown, you’re most likely looking for a parking spot for a hot new bar or restaurant.
After a rousing song by a marching band, the crowd heard remarks from Steve Selig, Mayor Kasim Reed and Caesar Mitchell. Then gazillionaire Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Corp, was on hand for a few words. The sweetest ones to my ears were that “travel and tourism are at the forefront to create jobs.” Can I hear an amen to that?
Then we all piled into the brand-new hotel to view the soaring lobby ceilings and the glowing white check-in desk, a feature I appreciate because sometimes you can’t tell whether you’re heading to check-in, the concierge or the bar.
En masse, we rode up the brand-new elevators to the huge ballroom where we enjoyed a delicious lunch of beef short ribs and grilled sea bass. The dessert, a strawberry shortcake wrapped in white chocolate, presented a bit of a challenge to eat but unlike desserts I dub NWTC (not worth the calories) was worth the effort.
The hotel officially welcomed their first guests on April 1.
Here are some fast facts on Loews:
• It is located on the east side of Peachtree Street, in the block bordered by 11th and 12th streets. Not on the west side as I thought and explains why I couldn’t find the parking lot.
• The hotel has 414 rooms, including 44 suites. Each room comes with the “Ultimate Doeskin” robe by
Chadsworth & Haig. I have no idea what that is, but it sounds lovely doesn’t it?
• The signature restaurant, bar and market are all named eleven – presumable for its location at Peachtree and 11th Street. Seems the name Peachtree is already being heavily used.
• Meeting/event space can accommodate up to 1,580, or approximately .001 percent of the Justin Bieber Fan Club.
• STK, Manhattan’s hot steak house, will open here, reportedly in September. Tagline – “Not your daddy’s steakhouse.” Let’s hope it does better than the ill-fated Maxim Prime, which was some also referred to by the same phrase. Seems that Maxim was nobody‘s steakhouse, and closed quicker than you could say medium rare.
• Loews loves kids and pets and features special treatment and deals for both.
Just a few words on eleven, which also opened April 1. The concept is light cooking, Mediterranean- style, under Executive Chef Olivier Gaupin served in a casual setting.