by ANNE BRALY
Marriott’s Autograph Collection of hotels, such as Hotel Colee, Buckhead’s newest boutique hotel, are distinguished from other Marriott properties by their distinct design and hospitality that leaves a lasting imprint. Each one is a product of passion and its founders’ vision, making every Autograph singular and special.
“Hotel Colee is no exception,” says General Manager Alan Rae. “Here, owner Woodbine Development Corporation and operator Practice Hospitality, aimed to create nothing less than the feather in Buckhead’s cap.”
Whether visiting the multi-faceted city or unwinding for some much-needed R&R, this urban oasis offers all of the amenities you’d expect from any Marriott — and more.
The hotel opened in Winter 2020, replacing The W hotel in Buckhead. The 12-story property is tucked into an area surrounded by taller buildings that all work together to create a lovely skyline view – particularly after the sun goes down when the glass-fronted buildings reflect twinkling lights bouncing from the area’s tall buildings.
Photos by Anne Braly
It’s All In The Name
“Colee” is an Irish name that connotes energy and celebration, both of which one experiences when walking through the doors of this exciting new property.
A recent multi-million-dollar makeover has reimagined the hotel, creating a decor that makes you go “hmmmm.” Barber chairs, colorful hats? What’s it all about?
It’s a play on Southern culture and traditions, says Alan Rae, Colee’s general manager.
In simple terms, it’s an area where the unexpected is expected with design elements that include vintage barber chairs and a wall filled with colorful women’s hats, both of which represent change.
“Hotel Colee is all about encouraging guests to embrace their essence, feel their best, and go ahead and put on that statement piece,” Rae says.
For generations, Southerners have gone to look and feel their best. The man responsible for the lobby’s design, Andrew Alford, evoked this tradition, but, Rae adds, it’s more than just a social media moment or a place for pop-up retail happenings.
“The space is a subtle homage to the role barber shops and beauty parlors serve as centers of community and culture,” he tells.
There’s an infinity pool on the hotel’s fourth-floor, midlevel rooftop, and though the pool is not heated, the pool deck is open year-round. On nice days, it’s a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a drink while taking in the views.
Colee’s position within a couple of minutes walk of Lenox Square mall and Phipps Plaza makes it the ideal place to stay to get your shopping fix. Or stay on property and take the glass elevator high above the city to the rooftop bar for cocktails and dinner at Whiskey Blue with its glittering skyline backdrop.
The hotel is very close – within easy walking distance – of the MARTA station, making access into Atlanta easy if you want to visit the fantastic Georgia Aquarium, World Of Coca Cola and other attractions. No worries about Atlanta traffic or drinking and driving if you decide to make an evening of it in the city.
After a big dinner in places like Two Urban Licks with its energetic vibe on Atlanta’s Beltline and some of the best smoked meats you’ll find in the city, or dinner in the hotel at Whiskey Blue, make the fitness center your next stop. It’s open 24 hours, so no excuses.
It’s one of the best fitness centers I’ve experienced in any hotel with three rooms of equipment that include a punching bag to practice your boxing moves, weights, rowing machine, multiple treadmills, and an area well-stocked with towels, earbuds, and a water fountain with hot and cold water — everything you need for a good workout. The bathroom also has a scale — but after those big dinners you may want to forget about that.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Guest rooms — all 291 of them — are modern and comfortable with soft shades of red, black, and grey with lighting one can adjust to set the mood. Amenities range from premium bedding to designer toiletries, hairdryers, and a bar area with mini fridge — and a small closet with bathrobes in case you’ve forgotten to pack your own.
Padded headboards offer a soft place to rest your head as you read or watch TV in bed — a pleasant touch for an afternoon break. Or relax on the comfortable window seat and look out over Buckhead while you enjoy your morning coffee made in-room in your Nespresso machine or from the lobby bar where coffee ad-ins — more than just cream and sugar — are available.
Where To Dine
While Colee is within walking distance of numerous restaurants, Colee itself is a dining destination. In addition to the lobby bar that serves as the main hub for breakfast and, in the afternoon, small bites and creative crafted cocktails, there’s Whiskey Blue, the piece de resistance of dining at Colee.
It’s more a bar than restaurant, but it’s the view up on the roof that, at dark, is captivating. If the weather’s nice enough, grab a table on one of the large porches with tall tables and comfortable sofa seating. Inside seating is the same and floor-to-ceiling windows bring the view inside.
Whiskey Blue’s bar menu, as the name itself reveals, places a strong emphasis on top-shelf whiskeys — dozens of them. Choose your favorite from a list that includes Bulleit, Angels Envy, Elijah Craig, Woodford Reserve, and others. Food offerings include sliders with fries, wings, and other typical bar fare, but also items like Nashville Hot Cauliflower — cauliflower tossed in hot sauce and topped with pickled onions and yogurt-ranch sauce. Really yummy. Or side your Manhattan with a slice or two of margarita flatbread.
As for the final dining venue at Colee, room service is back after more than a year due to COVID 19 putting a halt to in-room dining in hotels around the world. Not only does room service offer convenience, but it’s also the ultimate in social distancing. It can’t be stressed enough the welcome return this is for the hotel industry.
Hotel Colee is located at 3377 Peachtree Road. Find it online at www.hotelcolee.com