Friday, September 29, 2017

Mid-Century Themed "The American" to Debut Next Month in Downtown Atlanta

Downtown Atlanta will soon welcome back an old friend.  The Americana Motor Hotel, which brothers Dr. Marvin and Irving Goldstein first opened at 160 Spring Street in 1962, is Atlanta’s longest continuously operating hotel.   The hotel will celebrate its Grand Reopening next month as The American, a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.  

The American is still under wraps, literally
LEGACY AMH B LLC, an entity majority controlled by Atlanta-based Legacy Ventures, purchased the hotel in August 2015 for about $31.6 million according to Fulton County tax records.  Until late 2013, the hotel had been a Marriott flagged hotel, but had most recently operated as the DoubleTree Hotel Atlanta Downtown.  In the late 90s and early 2000s the hotel was a Wyndham hotel.  The Best Western flagged the hotel in its early days and a number of other brands have been associated with the hotel in-between. 

A press release from May 1999 indicates that Wyndham Hotels & Resorts spent $25 million on their renovation, a figure that was heavily exaggerated according to those familiar with the work Legacy recently completed.  Since purchasing the hotel in 2015, Legacy has spent about $16 million in common space and room upgrades.  

According to a release obtained by ToNeTo Atlanta, "Interior designers thoughtfully revamped the 315 guest rooms as well as the public spaces with chic, mid-century d├ęcor for a thoroughly modern yet retro design."  The hotel's lobby now includes mid-century modern (MCM) inspired furniture, lighting and other decor in an effort to blend elements of the hotel's historic past with the present.  
The hotel as it looked in the 60s
When the property opened in 1962, it became Atlanta's first integrated hotel and hosted civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who stayed and organized there. The fact that the Americana Motor Hotel was integrated also impacted Major League Baseball.  The Milwaukee Braves reportedly decided to move to Atlanta in 1966 because the hotel could house other integrated baseball teams.  The hotel also hosted Presidents Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, and music icons James Brown and Elvis Presley. 

Now renovated guestrooms feature retro Igloo mini fridges while the pool features an Airstream camper turned cocktail bar.  

The hotel also features a new restaurant, The Cloakroom Kitchen & Bar, which, like the hotel, follows the MCM theme with period style furniture and lighting as well as menus presented as dossiers, a giant map of the Cuban Missile Crisis and other complementary artwork and decor.  The bar, which features six TVs in a retro-looking case, will reportedly feature the popular CNN series "The Sixties" on at least one screen.   

Amazingly, the hotel maintains a boutique-like aesthetic while still being a DoubleTree branded hotel.  

The American Hotel is centrally located in downtown Atlanta, minutes from Centennial Olympic Park, AmericasMart Atlanta, Philips Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The hotel's renovated lobby 

Rooms booked directly from the DoubleTree by Hilton website average about $200 or so for weekend stays next month.  ToNeTo Atlanta checked availability for January 8th-16th, 2018, when Atlanta will host not only the College Football Championship game (1/8) but also The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market (1/9-16) and found The American, like many hotels, already sold out.  
Downtown Atlanta has welcomed a number of new hotels in recent years, via conversions in many cases, where new brands entered the market by re-flagging and or converting existing properties. 

David Marvin, Founder & President of Legacy Ventures, has assembled a sizable collection of hotels, especially in Downtown Atlanta.  Legacy's Luckie Marietta District includes Hyatt House, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and The Glenn, an Autograph Collection (Marriott) hotel.  Legacy also owns the DoubleTree Atlanta Northlake Hotel, a property that operated previously as a rundown Radisson hotel, then was heavily renovated and became a DoubleTree flagged property in 2004. 

The AC Hotel Atlanta Downtown, a Marriott brand, opened earlier this spring on Andrew Young International Boulevard in place of a property that had most recently operated as a Holiday Inn.  

Home2 Suites, a relatively new hotel from Hilton Hotels, opened at 87 Walton Street last summer in a heavily renovated historic building.  

In 2014, Aloft Atlanta Downtown debuted on Ted Turner Drive in a property that before then been a Days Inn.  

ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported in May that The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead would be re-flagged this year.   Earlier this month, the news was confirmed with the announcement that the hotel will become "The Whitley," a Luxury Collection hotel as of November 15th. 

Do you prefer "boutique" style hotels or classic "name-brand" hotels?  Where is your favorite downtown hotel?  Do you stay in Airbnb properties when given the choice or do you still prefer hotels?

Please share your thoughts below.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The paradox of the nostalgic progressive, that prefers an Airbnb property in a well gentrified neighborhood. Decisions, decisions