Best places to stay in Atlanta for business and pleasure
The capital of Georgia State is one of the largest cities in the southeast of the United States.
No wonder you may find difficult to understand what are the best places to stay in Atlanta, which area works best for your kind of trip.
This is a city famous for business travelers, with so many conventions and head offices (Coca Cola is probably one of the most famous brands in the world based in Atlanta).
And talking about business conventions, if that is the reason for your trip, book well in advance. Leave it to the last minute and you will find it hard to organize a room.
But it’s not all about work. In fact, Atlanta has so many great attractions, like the World of Coca-Cola, Legoland, the unique Georgia Aquarium and so much more, making the city a great destination for a family or a romantic breakaway.
Atlanta has been mentioned a few times as an unsafe city, but honestly, it does not differ much from other US cities of a similar size.
There are neighborhoods that may be dangerous, mostly because of drugs and criminal gangs, but stay clear of those areas and you will be safe.
In this post, I will talk about the 5 best areas to stay in Atlanta, with pros and cons for each one. Moreover, you will find a few suggested hotels, hand picked to provide the best and safest experience.
Without further ado, let’s have a start
Best places to stay in Atlanta – In a nutshell
If you are running out of time, here below are 5 great accommodations with a short description. However, keep reading below for more options and a more detailed description of each neighborhood.
- St. Regis Atlanta ($$$$) for a lux experience in Buckhead, one of the quietest neighborhood of Atlanta. Read more below on Buckhead
- Hotel Clermont ($$-$$$) for the great nightlife, both at the rooftop bar and the other places around the trendy Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Read more below about Old Fourth Ward.
- Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast ($$-$$$) for the unique experience in a historical house right in the heart of Midtown, probably the best area to stay in Atlanta overall. Read more below about Midtown
- Hilton Garden Inn ($$), in the heart of the city, a stone away from everything in Dowtown, at an unbeatable price. Just 30 minutes from the airport. Read more below about Downtown.
- Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel ($$$), right next to the Cobb Galeria Center, the perfect spot if you are attending a convention there. You can read more below about other options in the Cumberland area.
- Do you want to go straight to your hotel? Pre-order an airport transfer that will wait for you directly at the airport. So easy.
It is time to go deeper into the 5 areas
Midtown is the best place to stay in Atlanta because:
- it offers a nice mix of attractions and local life
- there are plenty of art related activities, from museum to theaters
- there is a wide choice of accommodations
- there is a wide choice of cafes, restaurants and bars, including a few clubs, but nothing crazy
- Gold and Red lines connect the airport directly to Midtown
- it is the best place to stay in Atlanta for couples looking for a mix of local culture, entertainment and local cafes/bars/restaurants
- it works so well also for family with kids that want to have more of a relaxed time, enjoying the city in a chilled out way (Piedmont Park is a great spot for kids)
- It works well for 2 or more nights in Atlanta
The weakest points:
- Midtown is a wide area and the Gold and Red stations may be 15 or more minutes from the accommodation, making the trip to the airport a challenging one
- this area works so well for travelers but it may be not ideal for a business trip
Art beats through this city’s heart.
You can feel the energy from the Fox Theater and the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, to the Ferst Center for the Arts in Georgia Tech’s campus.
Live music venues throughout the year, food and art festivals and exhibits – Atlantans know how to live it up.
For meals, you’re spoiled for choice, especially with Southern and soul food – from Mary Mac’s Tea Room to the South City Kitchen.
Burgers at Vortex Bar & Grill, the Negril Village that gives you a Caribbean vibe – including live music as you dig into your meal – it’s all here.
There are plenty of places to visit in Midtown, including
- the Atlanta Botanical Garden with its 30 acres of outdoor gardens;
- Piedmont Park that gives you picturesque views of the Midtown Atlanta skyline and hosts large annual event like the Atlanta Dogwood and Jazz Festivals, plus the Screen on the Green;
- High Museum of Art featuring architecture by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, as well as classic and contemporary art.
- Alliance Theater that has produced dozens of World Premieres;
- the Center For Puppetry Arts that has been a family-favorite since the 1970s;
- the Museum Of Design Atlanta that’s all about design – from architecture, industrial and product development to furniture, graphics and fashion;
- and The Federal Reserve Bank Museum that takes you through the history of money, from barter trade to the modern age – including how baking in America has developed through the centuries, as well as diving into the Federal Reserve’s role in the U.S. economy.
Midtown is a great place to stay because it has it all. It works so well for couples as well for families traveling with kids.
Here below are three selected accommodations that work so well for a stay in Midtown, nearby the main attractions but still, so quiet to spend a great night sleeping
You get to wake up to a daily gourmet breakfast in this secluded B&B – where even special diet arrangements can be made.
The hosts take the extra step with finer touches to make the stay warm and relaxing for guests.
Cozy beds, clean rooms, the modern antiquity ambience – it all comes together to put you in vacation mode.
It’s close to the city’s sights and sounds, which makes moving around easier.
Each room comes with its flat-screen cable TV, DVD player, towels and linen, as well as daily maid service. Parking is free,but spots are limited.
Here you have a 4-star hotel with spacious rooms complete with touches like a minibar, flat-screen TVs in the bedroom and bathroom, a gym that comes with a steam room, all through to an on-site restaurant where you can grab your meals.
Want some extra pampering? Then get the services at Exhale Spa.
Quick lifts going all the way up to the 21st floor make it convenient to access the different rooms and services, the front-desk is open 24/7 to address your needs and queries, the lobby itself is relaxing, and Loews Atlanta Hotel is also a pet-friendly establishment – so you can bring your pup along for the vacation.
A vacation in a 5-star hotel, complete with its full-service spa to spoil yourself, a luxurious health club to tone those muscles, an indoor pool and sauna, all through to an on-site restaurant serving delicacies.
The suites are large and well furnished, and include a sitting area and a marble bathroom – which has both a bathtub and a glass-enclosed shower.
There’s a lovely valet service, check-in and check-outs are seamless, and the courteous staff keep the premises well-maintained – to make your Atlanta stay relaxing and comfortable.
This is one of the best hotels in Atlanta.
Downtown is the best place to stay in Atlanta because:
- it is next to the main iconic attractions of Atlanta, like the Aquarium or the World of Coca Cola
- it is walking distance to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, perfect if you have an event there
- Downtown offers probably the best value for money accommodations in Atlanta
- there is a good choice of cafes, restaurants and bars, with some of the mainstream names
- you will be at the airport in 20 minutes (Gold and Red lines)
- it is the best place to stay in Atlanta for a short stay (1 or 2 nights) being so close to the airport
- it works so well if you are after a main event or attraction, usually organized in Downtown
The weakest points:
- if driving, parking may be a problem, try to get it as part of the accommodation
- it lacks a bit of character
Downtown is always rife with activity. From the inspiring attractions and hotels that are a short walk from each other, visitors up and about all through the year, and sporting events to get your thrill on – it’s all here.
So what awaits you in Downtown Atlanta?
First, there’s the Centennial Olympic Park that hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and now has plenty of activities for visitors – from hopping on the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel that towers nearly 20 stories high, to playing at the Fountain of Rings.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium holds sporting events throughout the year, and you can also check out the Georgia Aquarium with its sharks, stingrays, and exhibits from the ocean world.
Finally, take a trip to the World of Coca-Cola to experience more about the history of the brand, as well as tasting a few samples of course.
It’s not just about the big sights, though.
A tour through the smaller neighborhoods will bring you up close and personal with their characteristic charm.
These are the likes of galleries and public art in Castleberry Hill and the performing art venues in Fairlie-Poplar district – and while here be sure to catch independent plays from the Theatrical Outfit at The Balzer Theater at Herren.
There’s also Sweet Auburn that takes you on a walk through America’s civil human rights history.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Sweet Auburn and the area has made great strides in paying homage to the icon.
Here below you will find 3 great options for a stay in the Downtown area.
Right at the heart of Atlanta city, the central location of the Hilton Garden Inn puts you within walking distance of the local attractions we’ve mentioned above – including being right next to the aquarium.
Your stay here is designed to add spice to your trip, whether it’s the gourmet dining at the 2 on-site restaurants, taking a dip at either the indoor or the outdoor swimming pools, keeping up with your cardio at the gym, or just enjoying the spacious rooms.
Most of the visitors check into this hotel because of its location – it’s actually just in front of the Olympic Park.
The rooms come with pretty nifty features including a smart fridge, a desk with power converters and even in-room video games.
They also come with the standard flat-screen TV, microwave, and refrigerator- though having just one window in the room can be a drawback, as well as the rather small size of the rooms. You get free WiFi all across the property.
Convenient valet parking, noise buffering in the rooms that keeps out hallway noises, a hotel bar from where you can grab a wide range of drinks – these all contribute to making your stay at the AC Hotel worth it.
Here you get a ‘home away from home‘ experience, while remaining a walking distance from Atlanta’s biggest attractions – and the MARTA public transit system is also right across the street.
The condo is a 1-bedroom property, with a TV that has cable channels, a kitchen packed with all the equipment you need to make your meals, a dishwasher and microwave, as well as a washing machine to handle your laundry during your vacation.
You can choose anywhere between a short one-night stay to over a month in this fully furnished rental.
Old Fourth Ward is the best place to stay in Atlanta because:
- it has some of the most beautiful bars and restaurants, full of character
- it is ideal for a romantic getaway, where you want to relax but still have a wide options of cafes for breakfast/brunch and a good choice for the night
- you are looking for a boutique stay, possibly even an Airbnb style place (check out this Luxury 1BR with rooftop access)
- it is a great area to stay in Atlanta for 3 or more nights
The weakest points:
- it is not well connected to the airport, you would need to change two lines, at least. Plan a 50-60 minutes trip
Strolling around Old Fourth Yard gives you the opportunity to explore some of the most historic and trendy sights in Atlanta, as well as hidden gems that will need your keen eye to pick out.
For starters, Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in this area, so it’s no surprise that there is a 35-acre National Historical Park named after him, complete with a rich history of the American Civil Human Rights Movement.
This kind of tour will not be complete without a stop at Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. King was baptized, ordained and continued serving as co-pastor with his father) and the King Center.
While here, be sure to pass by the Ponce City Market that was once a Sears, Roebuck and Co. warehouse, and is now a 2.1 million-square-foot property with shops, bars, restaurants, food courts and rooftop amusement park.
Atlanta’s own Old 4th Distillery is here as well, a relatively new establishment – having been opened in 2014, where you will find your whiskey and cocktail delights.
More of a beer person?
Then Three Taverns Imaginarium is your go-to spot, with the brewery, even showcasing its experimental drinks.
Caffeine lovers, on the other hand, will be at home at Chrome Yellow Trading Co. where you can grab a brew, or Con Leche in Reynoldstown for a more intimate setting as you down your coffee.
Air conditioned guest rooms with 24/7 assistance from the front desk, flat-screen entertainment in each room as you relax from your Atlanta tours – this is what awaits at Hotel Clermont, together with an on-site restaurant
Cozy beds with plumped up pillows for the nights, a roof bar where many like to party, the staff bringing on their Southern hospitality – it all contributes to giving you a lovely stay.
You can opt for double or quadruple room options, or check into the suites. The hotel has been stylishly set up, with its theme in line with the building’s history.
Parking is available on the premises
Get that homely feel on your Atlanta vacation in this luxurious apartment.
The balcony gives you lovely views, and the condo has been well decorated – with the host even providing a gift bag for guests checking in – with thoughtful items like conditioner, gel, extra toothbrushes, and even lint rollers.
While here, you have a fully equipped kitchen to prepare your meals, a dishwasher, washing machine, and fridge, all through to entertainment facilities including a flat screen TV.
Proximity to local attractions is a plus, such as the Ponce Market being a brisk 8-minute walk from the accommodation. Guests here have access to the skyline rooftop.
Buckhead is the best place to stay in Atlanta because:
- it offers the best shopping and outlet experience in Atlanta
- you will find some of the most luxurious and personalized hotel experiences in Atlanta
- it is next to the Atlanta History Center and Legoland Discovery Centre
- easily accessible by car
The weakest points:
- it is a long way from the airport. Budget at least a 1-hour trip or even more.
- it is 30 minutes to the Downtown area, in case you have an event there or you are planning to visit the city
The who’s who of Atlanta frequent this affluent spot, and you can tell by the architecture and landscape, fine dining options, and high-end shopping outlets.
The Swan House is the main attraction in this neighborhood, with its gardens, terraces and artfully decorated interiors making it a go-to choice for corporate events, celebrations, and all sorts of receptions.
It’s part of the Atlanta History center, with the center itself being 33 acres of sprawling exhibits, and historic houses that showcase the lives and times of the Southern affluent.
On your tour here, check out Buckhead Village District, which is a mixed-use development that’s a favorite for locals and visitors alike, that’s full-on the Southern vibe, from the shopping to the culinary outlets.
Head to the Legoland Discovery Centre, including a 4D Cinema, for the interactive rides. You can even get to test out race cars.
Buckhead is also home to the largest city park in Atlanta – Chastain Park, complete with tennis courts, playgrounds, a swimming pool and jogging paths, and not to mention Chastain Arts Center that’s set in buildings dating back to the early 1900s.
The St. Regis is one of the best luxury hotel in Atlanta.
For an unforgettable stay book here one of the suites, that comes with a great view from the balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the interior space in natural light, a marble bathroom and even a full-service spa.
There’s even an on-site wine room, tea room, a bar with live music in the evening, as well as the iconic 40,000-square-foot Pool Piazza, with its fountain and poolside cafe.
The management also adds personal touches in the room, such as champagne and strawberries to welcome guests. You can even get a personal driver to chauffeur you around.
Wake up to a breakfast at Cassis which is sourced from locally produced ingredients, dig into your lunch as you overlook a Japanese Zen garden, grab a hand-crafted cocktail at Onyx, and take a dip in the seasonal outdoor pool – you get it all here at the Grand Hyatt.
What about the guest rooms?
Well they come with standard features like a flat-screen TV and iHome with docking station, as well as features to make your stay stylish – like that marble bath.
Some of the rooms in the Grand Hyatt are hypoallergenic, catering to the more sensitive guests.
Cumberland is the best place to stay in Atlanta because:
- it is next to the Cobb Galeria Center, perfect if you have a convention there
- it works so well if you have a business trip and plan to visit one or more of the businesses in the area
- great value for money accommodations when there are no conventions
- easily accessible by car
The weakest points:
- it is a very long way from/to the airport. Budget more than a 1-hour trip by public transportation and around 25-30 minutes by taxi.
- it is around 45-50 minutes to the Downtown area, 30 minutes to Midtown by public transportation
Cumberland is an edge city around 10 miles northwest of Atlanta Downton.
This area has gone through a massive change in the last 50 years.
The Cobb Galeria Center was built towards the end of the last century and it quickly became one of the most important convention centers.
Moreover, other head offices of companies like the Home Depot, The Weather Channel or Travelport moved to Cumberland, which suddenly became an important commercial office district.
The main reason to book your accommodation in Cumberland is, of course, business.
You can always make your way down to Midtown or Downtown, but the trip alone will take 40 to 60 minutes.
Hotels in this area cater mostly for business travelers.
Here you have a 4-star hotel with air-conditioned rooms equipped with the expected features like a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, bed linen and towels, to nifty ones like a safety deposit box for your precious items.
The front desk staff are always available to address any issue, and the management ensures the premise is kept in clean condition.
While here, you get to start your day off with a hearty breakfast buffet. ATM and concierge services are also available, as well as access to the hotel’s fitness center.
Each guest room comes with its refrigerator, a work desk and cozy couch, TV with cable channels, free WiFi and an en suite bathroom complete with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
The outdoor pool is well maintained, and you have plenty of meal options available in the on-site restaurant.
Guests at the Hyatt Place have also access to a shared lounge and fitness center. Free parking is also available, with easy access and exits.