The St. Regis Atlanta Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The St. Regis comes in at the top of our list for many reasons, but above anything else, it is the most beautiful property in Atlanta. This grand, French Baroque-inspired resort, located in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood, wows guests upon entrance with an elegant lobby -- complete with glimmering chandeliers, high ceilings, beautiful artwork, and a refined aesthetic that nonetheless refrains from feeling stuffy. The luxurious vibe continues throughout the property: Not only does it feature a beautiful outdoor pool piazza, a spa, and sophisticated dining options, other star-treatment perks include free transportation within a two-mile radius. And the stately rooms have lavish marble bathrooms with TVs embedded in the mirrors. It's pricier than other options, but it's not hard to see why.
Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Like all Mandarin Oriental hotels, this Buckhead property delivers utmost luxury -- but as a boutique property, it offers a more intimate vibe than others, with classic Southern decor and flower-covered grounds. The spacious, high-tech rooms -- featuring comfy beds, separate showers and soaking tubs, and elegant furnishings -- are the main draw here, but there's also a wonderful spa (a destination for locals), a great indoor lap pool, a bright fitness center, a casual but stylish restaurant, and a lounge overlooking the beautiful gardens.
The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 441-room Ritz-Carlton Atlanta is one of the most luxurious hotel choices downtown, and offers big rooms with plenty of natural light, as well as modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. The warm, Art-Deco-inspired room decor is luxurious, but most bathrooms have shower/tub combos (no separate tubs). The property does deliver the top-of-the-line service travelers expect from the Ritz brand, as well as impressive features -- a sleek lobby, a trendy bar, a fine dining restaurant, a pool, and a full-service spa.
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The outstanding service and glamorous design at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead fall in line with customer's expectations of this luxury brand. Property highlights include a big indoor pool, a high-end cafe, an ornate lobby, and a regal dining room. There is also an on-site spa and a well-equipped fitness center. The 517 rooms are mostly luxurious, with bright bay windows, iPod docks, plush linens, and warm colors, but feel slightly dated, with popcorn ceilings and run-of-the-mill wood furniture, and they're a bit less chic than those at the downtown Ritz.
InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 422-room InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta is classic and elegant -- from the bright, grand lobby with fireplaces and marble columns to the upscale and comfortable rooms. Marble bathrooms in all rooms offer soaking tubs and separate showers (putting this hotel above the Ritz), and upper-level rooms have great skyscraper views. The restaurant specializes in southern cuisine, and many restaurants and bars are in easy walking distance from the excellent Buckhead location. The hotel also features a (small) outdoor pool, a luxurious, organic spa, and a solid fitness center.
Loews Atlanta Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 414-room Loews Atlanta hotel brings style and luxury to Midtown. Rooms are bright with floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious bathrooms have soaking tubs and TVs. Upscale amenities include a modern spa and fitness center along with a swanky cocktail bar in the lobby. Convenient dining options range from an innovative restaurant to a gourmet snack bar, but many restaurants and bars are in walking distance as well. Wi-Fi is available for a fee and parking is pricey, although free transportation is on offer within a three-mile radius in a stylish Audi Q7. Though some may prefer the Loews modern (if a bit sterile) look to that of the Ritz or Four Seasons, the Loews's lack of a pool pushes it to the bottom of our list.
Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The 244-room Four Seasons Atlanta certainly looks grand -- the exterior and entryway have the scale and decoration one would expect from a southern Four Seasons. The rooms, however, leave a bit to be desired. They are pleasant enough and have some of the bells and whistles expected at a property of this price point (down pillows, plush bathrobes, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks), but decor is generic, the bathrooms are quite small, and Wi-Fi comes with a fee. The rest of the hotel, though, is more in line with its five-pearl status: There's a lovely indoor saltwater lap pool with Jacuzzi and free poolside chilled towels, ice water, and Evian spritzes; a well-outfitted, modern fitness center; an acclaimed restaurant; and a full-service spa.