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THE CANDLER HOTEL, ATLANTA

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/1/22

The opulent, white marble ascends into the Atlanta skyline and stands in juxtaposition from the beautiful blue of the daytime sky. There’s a quintessential permanent red carpet with the nicest doorman that opens the heavy, brass doors into the striking lobby. Straight ahead is a bank of brass, original elevators that have a sign above them that says, “next car.” You can lounge on the circular sofa and watch the people come and go from the elevators or stare in awe at the large, sweeping marble staircase where you’re greeted with a marble lion and paired with one of the most beautiful chandeliers in all of Atlanta. Welcome to the beautiful, Candler Hotel.

On the other hand, where you go to check in is modern and warm with blues, purples, and huge, round lights that protrude from the ceiling. It almost has an art deco feel to it. Then, nestled on the end of the lobby in the corner, is their amazing in-house restaurant by George. From the mind of Hugh Acheson, it’s a spot to relax for a drink at the large bar or to grab some dinner or brunch in the stunning dining room with juxtaposing wood, white, tables, and soft textured seating in green and a variety of colors that add warmth to the cool marble pillars.

Heading up the elevator, we stayed in a King room on the 14th floor. Upon entering the room, to the left was a posh seating area with a black leather chair and gorgeous green velvet couch. On the other side of the room a large window with floral curtains, let’s in light from the large, sweeping window with some stunning Atlanta Skyline views. And let’s not forget the lush, King bed that’s just as beautiful as it is comfortable and adorned with the Candler Hotel logo. Rounding the corner is a sprawling bathroom that’s almost all marble and right above the toilet is a picture of the Candler Hotel when it was the Coca-Cola building.

Beyond the beauty of the hotel is the history! It was built by Asa Griggs Candler in 1906 and became the Coca-Cola headquarters soon after. So, beginning as a historic building for one of the biggest brands in the world, for years it was offices for Coca-Cola and morphed into offices for many others. This is where my story comes in. I worked for an advertising company called Galaxy Advertising from 2000-2002. It was located in this very building, The Candler Building. For years, I rode up and down the elevators that look the exact same, and I love they left the old building registry. The company went out of business, so it isn’t on the current registry, but having so much history with the building, being there for 2 years and getting my feet wet in advertising makes this building extra special for me. Plus, to see it transformed it to such a beautiful hotel makes my heart happy.

Something that floored me about The Chandler Hotel was the impeccable service. If you want to be waited on hand and foot and treated like royalty, this is where you go. The doorman is always friendly and anticipate getting your car from the valet without even asking. The concierge is the nicest person, he gets you whatever you need to make your stay as wonderful as possible. The front desk crew are overly accommodating and helpful at every turn. We can’t say enough about the treatment at this amazing hotel.

Last but certainly not least, when you come to the Candler Hotel make sure to make a reservation for dinner at by George. As we mentioned, it is a beautiful restaurant, but what we’d like to rave about is the food! We got the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop and the Lamb Chops. First, the pork chop is thick cut, tender, and bone-in with a sweet peach barbecue glaze with a bed of bright and earthy Brussels sprouts. Then, they have a to-die-for lamb chop that’s fall off the bone tender, with a tangy and tempting horseradish infused mashed potatoes and tender asparagus. Either way, you’re in for a treat.

We also had bread service with some amazing, cheesy, grilled cornbread. The chef surprised us with a complimentary charcuterie board with meats and cheeses. To accompany the food we got a fantastic cocktail, the Inside Kick. It’s floral up front with a boozy, cardamom kick on the end. The cognac and cardamom are great compliments. They also have a great wine selection, and we tried the Pinot Grigio. To end the meal, we enjoyed a pair of cakes, chocolate and red velvet (off-menu)! Tasty red velvet with juxtaposing layers of cream cheese icing and chocolate cake. Then, chocolate cake with a chocolate glaze, creamy, cool ice cream and a lot of glorious ganache.

If you stay for brunch, by George also has some great options to get your day starting off right. They have staples like Chicken and Waffles that were savory and crispy diced chicken up front and sweet and buttery waffle on the end. A great flavor combo with the salt and savory of bacon, as well as the silky smooth maple syrup! Then some new favorites, like the Eggs in a Nest. It’s savory eggs your way with an earthy, crunchy, buttery vegetable hash and tasty vegan sausage. We got our eggs over medium! A good option for vegetarians/vegans.

Whether you are looking for a Staycation to explore your city within steps of popular attractions like The Aquarium, The World of Coca-Cola (fitting right?), Centennial Olympic Park, and more. Or if you’re coming from out of town to explore Atlanta, this is the spot to stay. It’s perfect location to everything and even off property, you can find great food and drink options just down the street. Enjoy your stay.

Hogansville: Relax in Luxury at The Grand Hotel

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/14/21

Only about 40 minutes outside of Atlanta, there’s a cute, small town that boasts a gorgeous Grand Hotel downtown opposite from some small shops, a hometown pub with food and beer, a pizza joint with slices and wings, a market, coffee shop, and a cool little driving range and bar, a short walk away. Hogansville is a small town has all the small town feels and the most charming people you’ll ever meet. We didn’t meet a stranger the entire night! It’s where stories from veterans, movie industry people, factory workers, and farmers all intermingled to create a patchwork of small-town American Life. Phones don’t work very well here, so it was refreshing to get out and actually engage people and learn more about this town and their way of life.

Back at our hotel, stepping into the Grand Hotel, your immediately greeted with a beautiful blue couch with an original, ornate chandelier hanging in the middle of the warm, wood room. The fireplace and mantle sprawl on the opposite wall as the paneling leads into the hallway and the rich, wood stairs lead up to a common room upstairs surrounded by guest rooms. Couches, tables, lamps, inhabit the common room, a spot to relax and chat with your neighbors if you will. This hotel only has about 9 rooms, and is very affordable for a weekend getaway out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Entering room 2 with an actual key, it’s like staying in another era, a quieter, simpler time where people sat and chatted in their seating area, warmed by the fire, and turned in when the sun went down. This is how The Grand Hotel feels. In our room, you’re immediately in a sitting room with a small desk and decorative couch. To the left is the gas fireplace that emits a warm glow that you can see through the opulent stained-glass window. On the other side of the wall is the bedroom with it’s own fireplace, a large, comfortable king bed, and it’s private door to the wrap around balcony outside.

Coming back down the maze of stairs, you can either go straight into the chess room or travel to the bottom and turn left you’ll immediately move into the 1890 Room. An evening cocktail spot adorned with a beautiful fireplace, it’s very own stained-glass window, and a large piano in the corner. The bar turns out classic cocktails that fit into the hotel’s 1900s feel, like Call Me Old Fashioned with it’s bourbon and booziness, or the 1890 Sour that’s sweet and creamy, to The HVLLE, a classic Tiki cocktail with tons of coconut. If you’re hungry, they have tapas like an amazing charcuterie board stuffed with 4 meats, three cheese, and all the essential accoutrements! They also have fresh empanadas brought in from Atlanta. Even if you just want to grab a beer, that’s on the menu! The bartenders are friendly and enjoy telling stories!

Down the street from the hotel, is Drive Bar. Owned by James, a Navy Vet, is THE spot to try the latest, local craft beer, and hang out in the bays and hit some golf balls. Almost like a small-town top golf, golf aficionados or friends that just like some friendly competition gather to enjoy the company, the beer, and play one of the many games they have online. They use top golf technology for smaller markets and driving ranges so you can see how far your ball goes and can compete with others on a myriad of games like who can drive it the farthest or hit a target. They are by the hour, affordable fun with a great selection of beers from everyone like Line Creek to Wild Leap and food trucks at night for hungry customers.

Other things to do in Hogansville is the Pub for a burger and a wide selection of drinks, there is also Karvela’s pizza where you can grab a slice for lunch or wings, Brett from Drive Bar said, “you can’t do Hogansville without going to Karvela’s.” After a fun night listening to stories, sipping on cocktails, and eating wonderful food, we headed back to the traffic and busyness of the city. We won’t forget Hogansville, though. It’s a great little town to get away from it all.