Gilded Age grandeur meets trendy design
While many of Atlanta’s architectural gems have been bulldozed over the years, the Candler building is an exception, turned into a hotel in 2019. The offices were originally constructed for the Coca-Cola magnate Candler family. Walking into the lobby feels like falling through a portal to a forgotten time in the city, where I might run into these Gilded Age barons rushing to an important meeting.
The Beaux Arts accents have been maintained from its 1906 construction, including the grand crystal chandeliers, the Tiffany glass windows and the slightly creepy marble winged lion statue. On a previous visit, I saw a photo shoot happening on the staircase, as it’s a popular spot for weddings, but during my stay, it was quiet.
Despite the grand appearance of the lobby, the Candler isn’t stuffy. The lobby and guest rooms lean into the modern design trends with iron fixtures and pink marble surfaces. The lobby itself is not much of a hangout, more for guests waiting to check in, but is a nice place to wait for your Uber.
The original elevators still have the signs marking where people like Johnnie Cochran had their offices and where Central Bank & Trust had its headquarters. The bank branch is now the hotel’s restaurant. There’s also a lounge space that I had to myself with framed black-and-white photos and floor-to-ceiling windows to people-watch.
Steps away from top attractions and meeting spaces
Downtown Atlanta is popular with the meeting and first-time crowds, who are often here to see spots like AmericasMart and the Georgia World Congress Center. The hotel’s convenience to these places is one of the biggest perks, located a short walk down Peachtree Street from the MARTA rail line at Peachtree Center as well as the buses that connect the city. Georgia State University’s campus is also steps away, spread throughout various downtown buildings, as are countless restaurants. If you need a dose of green space, Woodruff Park is across the street.
While you’re staying at the Candler Hotel, you have the below options close to you. If you plan to check out the city, see our best things to do in Atlanta guide.
- Many of the restaurants in this area are chains, but there are some local spots as well. Highland Bakery is an Atlanta-based company with breakfast all day and decadent desserts. Located in the Peachtree Center shopping plaza, Aviva by Kameel is frequently cited as one of the city’s best restaurants, serving Mediterranean cuisine.
- When you want a taste of the city’s nightlife, skip the Times Square-type atmosphere of parts of Peachtree Street in favor of quieter spots. Red Phone Booth is a popular speakeasy and cigar bar attached to a pizzeria. Atlanta has one of the original Trader Vic’s franchises, located in the Hilton. Sidebar is a laid-back sports bar with TVs and pool tables. Bustling Edgewood Avenue is also a short ride away.
- Centennial Olympic Park was the hub of activity during the 1996 Summer Games and now hosts concerts and other events. On the opposite end is SkyView, a glass pod Ferris wheel with views of the park and skyline beyond. It’s also next to the Tabernacle, a storied music venue set in a former church.
- The top attractions and museums are also in this area, a short walk away, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium and the College Football Hall of Fame.
- Sports fans are close to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to Atlanta United soccer and the Atlanta Falcons football teams, as well as State Farm Arena, the home of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.
- Catch the Atlanta Streetcar or walk to historic Sweet Auburn, the neighborhood where Martin Luther King Jr. lived. You can pay your respects at his tomb or see the house he grew up in. Don’t miss the Municipal Market, the city’s historic market-turned-food hall, and Refuge Coffee, a company that hires refugees and immigrants.
Simple but trendy rooms with chic design and downtown views
The Candler Hotel has 265 pet-friendly guest rooms and suites, most with city views. The king- or queen-bed rooms have heavy-draped curtains with a floral motif and flat-screen televisions that wouldn’t look out of place in a design magazine. Rooms also have a mini-fridge, espresso machine and a small dining area. The marble bathrooms have luxury toiletries and glass-encased showers. Some also have large soaking tubs. Free Wi-Fi is also available.
Hearing- and mobility-accessible rooms come in king and queen bedding arrangements with city views. Accessible suites are also available.
The Candler’s room types include:
- King Bed: The standard rooms have the amenities listed above and large beds.
- King Deluxe City View: These rooms are the same as the standard king but have improved views.
- Queen Beds: The standard queen version has two beds instead of one.
- Queen Beds Deluxe City View: Just like the king version, the two queens also have view options.
- King Bed Deluxe Suite City View: Everything’s bigger in the suites, including the televisions, bathrooms and seating areas. There are also even more windows for soaking up those city lights.
Dine at a top Atlanta restaurant without leaving the hotel
If you need to get your workout in during your stay, the Candler has a well-equipped fitness center with weights, ellipticals, treadmills and a rowing machine. The business center is open 24 hours a day if you need to use the computers and printers before an early meeting. Parking is $45 for valet and there is no self-parking option, but there are an abundance of parking decks nearby with often cheaper prices.
By George is the Candler Hotel’s restaurant, located in the flatiron side of the building in the former bank space. Gone are the desks and tellers, replaced by sleek banquettes and dim lighting. It has large windows for people-watching and marble columns that break up the space, as well as a backlit bar if you just want a cocktail.
Helmed by “Top Chef Masters’” Hugh Acheson, the restaurant gets its name from the building’s architects, George Stewart and George E. Murphy. It’s open for breakfast, dinner and brunch with a rotating menu of globally inspired favorites like avocado toast, roasted chicken with salsa verde and the Southern-style patty melt.