W Hotels Unveils Escape and Indulgence in Atlanta's Vibrant Downtown, with the Opening of the New W Atlanta-Downtown and the Residences at W Atlanta-D

Developed by Barry Real Estate, W Atlanta-Downtown Introduces Atlanta's First BLT Steak and DRINKSHOP, a Cool Signature Cocktail Bar by New York-based Master Mixologist Sasha Petraske and a Private Helipad for Guests on the Go

April 09, 2009 // Franchising.com // New York –– W Hotels Worldwide, the hotel category buster and industry innovator, proudly unveils the new W Atlanta-Downtown and The Residences at W Atlanta-Downtown. Ideally located in the heart of Atlanta, W Atlanta-Downtown offers a whimsical wonderland of nature-inspired design, setting the stage for the perfect escape in Atlanta's bustling Downtown business district. Owned and developed by Barry Real Estate, W Atlanta-Downtown provides a full contemporary lifestyle experience, featuring 237 stylish guest rooms, 74 branded residences, three destination bars including DRINKSHOP from New York-based master mixologist Sasha Petraske, the W living room bar, and WETBAR, the Atlanta debut of chef and restaurateur Laurent Tourondel's BLT Steak, a glamorous zero-edge pool, signature Bliss® spa, state-of-the-art SWEAT® fitness facility with panoramic city views, more than 8,900 square feet of ultra modern meeting and event space, and the ultimate in Whatever/Whenever by way of a private helipad for guests on the go.

"We are excited to continue to strengthen our presence in the international hub of Atlanta as we unveil W Atlanta-Downtown, a leading example of the W brand's contemporary and cool lifestyle," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "W Atlanta-Downtown mixes escape and indulgence with playful design in the heart of the city's bustling business district."

Designed by award-winning architects Pickard Chilton, with interiors by Toronto-based design firm burdifilek in collaboration with HKS Hill Glazier Studio, W Atlanta-Downtown blends organic architectural elements with contemporary design to create a playful and energetic ambience. The hotel's sleek interior is enhanced by the use of clean lines, sultry textures, rich tones and eye-catching sculptural elements. A forest-inspired wall and curved seating provides intimate conversation nooks in the signature W living room, while a sleek 22-foot water feature emits a calming cascade, culminating in a luminescent onyx reflecting pool.

"We're thrilled to bring to Atlanta and to Allen Plaza the city's first and only newly constructed W Hotel and private Residences," said Hal Barry, chairman of Barry Real Estate Companies. "W Atlanta-Downtown will offer guests and exclusive residents the absolute finest in accommodations, amenities, guest services and many other luxuries. The project is truly a capstone to Allen Plaza, the vibrant new cityscape that is transforming downtown Atlanta."

The opening of W Atlanta-Downtown introduces DRINKSHOP, Atlanta's first-ever haute cocktail beverage program. Developed in partnership with critically-acclaimed New York-based mixologist Sasha Petraske, whose Manhattan and London versions of Milk & Honey forever changed cocktail culture, DRINKSHOP is already one of the coolest destinations in Atlanta. DRINKSHOP transfers the ingredient-focused sensibility of the kitchen to the bar, utilizing fresh ingredients and a selection of specialty ices to create the ultimate in cool cocktails. Bottles arrive at guest tables frozen in solid blocks of ice accompanied by freshly-made mixers such as strawberry lemonade, spicy homemade ginger ale, raspberry-rickey soda, and freshly made mojito mix. At DRINKSHOP, Petraske has tailored the haute cocktail concept for the Southern palate, focusing on classic Southern cocktails that use brown spirits. DRINKSHOP is complimented by two additional cocktail destinations within the hotel, including WETBAR, situated next to the hotel's glamorous zero-edge pool featuring panoramic vistas of downtown Atlanta, and the W living room bar, offering the perfect place for guests and locals to mix, mingle and sip cocktails.

The new BLT Steak at W Atlanta-Downtown represents the Atlanta debut of passionate French-trained chef and cosmopolitan restaurateur Laurent Tourondel's modern American steakhouse. Serving a range of American classics prepared with a French twist, BLT Steak provides the perfect backdrop for a business lunch, dinner or stylish soiree. The restaurant also offers 24-hour in-room dining to hotel guests, ideal for late-night munchies or a relaxed afternoon snack.

W Atlanta-Downtown features 237 stylish guest rooms, including 16 Studio Suites, three WOW Suites and one Extreme WOW Suite, richly appointed in shades of mulberry, teal and deep indigo. Designed to seduce the senses, the rooms are enhanced by a fusion of custom carpeting, soft linens, Makassar wood furnishings and glossy acrylic accents. All guest rooms feature W Hotels' signature Munchie Box (W Hotels' re-interpretation of the traditional hotel Mini Bar), as well as a flat-screen LCD TV and MP3 player docking station and Tivoli radio as part of the hotel's in-room entertainment options.

The hotel's 16th floor boasts a suite of inspiring and indulgent experiences including a state-of-the-art SWEAT® fitness facility and Bliss, New York's hottest spa. Expected to emerge as the city's top choice for high-profile meetings and parties, W Atlanta-Downtown features more than 8,900 square-feet of ultra-modern meeting and event space, including eight multifunctional meeting rooms equipped with the latest wired and wireless technology. In addition to these exceptional amenities, W Atlanta-Downtown also features a WIRED Business Center so guests can stay connected on the go, as well as the W brand's signature Whatever/Whenever® service promise, offering guests and residents whatever they want -- from tickets to the hottest show at Philips Arena to private jet service from PDK – whenever they want it, as long as it's legal.

W Atlanta-Downtown is the fourth W Hotel to open in this vibrant city and the latest to join W's growing North American and global portfolio following recent openings in Minneapolis and Scottsdale, as well as Hong Kong and Istanbul. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011 in vibrant primary destinations around the world, from Paris to Milan, Barcelona to London, Santiago to Vieques Island, Dubai to Doha, Hollywood to South Beach, and Shanghai to Bali.

W Atlanta-Downtown is located at 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30308. For reservations, call (888) 627-8187. Ideally situated in Allen Plaza, the prestigious center of the city's vibrant financial district, W Atlanta-Downtown offers guests and residents easy access to leading cultural, entertainment and shopping attractions including the CNN Center, Philips Arena, Georgia Dome, Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola.

About W Hotels Worldwide®

W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 28 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of "Wow." Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design and passions around fashion, music, entertainment, design, architecture, pop culture, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern living, reflected in the brand's sensibility to a holistic lifestyle experience with cutting-edge design, contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous nightlife experiences, and signature spas. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Downtown New York, Santiago, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. In Europe, W Hotels have been announced in Athens, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Milan, Paris and St. Petersburg. In Asia, W has announced properties in Bangkok, Guangzhou, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama. In Africa and the Middle East, W has announced properties in Marrakech, Amman, and Dubai. W has plans to open W Retreats in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as W Hotels' first ski retreat.

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