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After staying near the Atlanta airport our first night before visiting an awesome aviation museum (SEE: 3 reasons why the Delta Flight Museum is an avgeek must-see), my son and I grabbed an early dinner and then hopped on the metro toward downtown. We’d stay at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown for our next two nights in Georgia’s largest city.
Arriving at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown
Stepping off at Peachtree Center, we walked the few blocks to The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown. There are several reasonable hotel options in different major chains in downtown Atlanta. Given that I have a good number of Hilton points and award rates were good, I’d picked this one based on the location and reviews. I burnt 70,000 Hilton points for our two nights, getting an average 0.51 cents each. The hotel is technically in the DoubleTree brand, even though that isn’t apparent in the name.
The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown is very close to Centennial Olympic Park, and the location provides great access to downtown Atlanta attractions. This can be said about a fair number of Atlanta hotels, however, so it isn’t especially unique in that regard. What may be unique is that the front entrance is decorated with a car.
We entered into a nice lobby that is modern but still holds some of the features and look of a historic hotel. The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown is designed in a “pop retro style”, incorporating elements of past decades but also remaining modern.
The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown has a great history. Originally opened in 1962, it was the first “integrated” hotel in Atlanta (read: not segregated). The hotel was originally owned by Dr. Marvin Goldstein, a dentist who saw Dr. King’s kids as patients. The hotel has undergone a $16 million renovation, adding a modern feel but keeping nostalgic touches from the mid-1900s.
Check in was quick at the front desk, but we had one funny moment. The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown has some themed suites, including one of James Bond. While making the reservation, I added a note on a whim that said “please place a signed photo of James Bond on the nightstand.” This was my first time ever adding a silly request like this, and I wanted to see if the hotel would come through.
I could tell the lady was reading my note right after she pulled up our reservation. She chuckled and said that they had a suite with a Bond theme and she’d see if it was available. I could tell they’d failed the photo, so I’m 0/1. But maybe this would score an upgrade? This was honestly not at all my intent.
We were (of course) sent off with the “famous” DoubleTree cookie. Fine, I’ll admit it. This is the real reason I booked The American. 😉
Our Sweet Suite Upgrade
She wasn’t kidding about the upgrade. We were bumped up from a standard room to a very nicely appointed suite with a truly separate living area from bedroom. Room 759, to be exact.
Note the picture above the wall. At least they picked the original (and arguably best) James Bond from the silver screen.
I’m not a huge Bond fan, but I’ve seen a few of the movies and thought it was cool that The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown has a few themed suites like this. While the car out front might slightly resemble James Bond’s Aston Martin, the model in the room was the real deal.
There is the man himself. Let’s hope the gun is just a model. It would be slightly disconcerting to have a real firearm available to anyone who entered the hotel room. Theming the room with a character from the 60s and 70s fits right in with the rest of the retro feel of the hotel.
Even the modern mini-fridge had a totally retro look. I’m always pleased when I find nicer hotels that still provide these to guests. My wife and I found they aren’t always standard in Europe (or you have a minibar instead), which can be a pain when generally buy perishable food you plan to store.
We had been given a king suite, which was the same as the original room type I’d booked (it was 3,000 points per night cheaper). I’d planned to ask for a room with two beds, but having a sofa-bed in the other room would work well enough.
Or would it? Even though we had a perfectly good sofa-bed available, my son refused to sleep on it. He made this instead.
Yeah. That looks comfy. But when you’re seven, you can sleep anywhere. Which is why I make normally make him sleep on the sofa-bed anyway. Somehow he slept just fine here.
The desk is located in the bedroom section of the suite.
The bathroom was clean, modern and nice and had a great glass shower. I vastly prefer a tiled shower over a shower tub combo.
The view from our room decent, although the other end of the floor would probably have a view of the park. Still, no complaining here. The upgrade was amazing.
A note on the coffee table. My son insisted the sling at the end of the table is a seat. Luckily, it went to the floor. He is a bit bigger than a book or magazine and could have broken it.
All in all, the suite was fantastic. Given that I no longer hold Hilton Diamond status, it is beyond what the hotel is even obligated to offer, per Hilton policy. Much appreciation to the front desk for this one!
As a Hilton Gold member through holding the Hilton Ascend card (though it’s been canceled for a few months), we were given vouchers each morning for breakfast. The breakfast area is separate from the other hotel restaurant, although both go by the name The Cloak Room.
I haven’t stayed at too many DoubleTrees (maybe 4?), but it is the nicest breakfast among those at which I’ve stayed. The breakfast is a buffet with a good variety of options, and the presentation is nice.
The staff kept everything very clean and tidy, and items were never empty. A very well run breakfast. The restaurant was never busy, though, so I’m sure that helped some.
Overall, it is a very nice buffet.
You can also order a la carte, if you wish. This is the menu available in our room for room service. I’m not sure if the same menu is available downstairs, but I’d imagine it is. I’m not sure on the price for the buffet, but given the other prices, I’d guess it’s $15-20.
Free breakfast is my favorite benefit from maintaining Hilton Gold status, and the primary reason I hang onto a Hilton Ascend American Express card. We end up using this benefit at least a couple times per year, it pretty much pays for itself.
Pool and other facilities
The pool at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown is located on the ground level, same as the lobby and restaurant. If you walk through the lobby past the elevators toward the back, you’ll head straight to it. Having kids has taught me that the pool is the single most important element of any hotel (SEE: “All I want is a swimming pool and a waffle maker”). It doesn’t matter if you have to sleep on the floor…the hotel must have a pool. Otherwise, it’s not worth a nickel.
We enjoyed the pool our first night at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown. It’s not very large, but there was hardly anyone else out there during the hour we were swimming. Note the Airstream trailer in the corner.
There is a nice second part of the lobby sandwiched between the pool area and the breakfast restaurant.
Near the front desk there is a small market in case you’re in need of a drink or a snack.
Proximity to Atlanta attractions
Although there is no shortage of hotels in close proximity to the major Atlanta attractions clustered around the Centennial Olympic Park, The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown is one of the closest. It’s a two block walk to SkyView Atlanta and the park.
We spent most of our time in downtown visiting the Aquarium, the World of Coca Cola, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. The Atlanta Children’s Museum is also super close. We walked everywhere in downtown. More on all we saw and did later.
Issues with our stay?
Not a one. Our stay at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown was excellent.
The only thing I feel compelled to note is the fact that there is a very large HVAC unit outside the window several stories below. While the noise from this was noticeable, it wasn’t especially loud and didn’t impact our sleep. I’d be a bit more worried if we were several floors down and right next to it.
Given the location, value for the points, and awesome upgrade, our stay at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown is one of the best I’ve had within the Hilton chain. We thoroughly enjoyed the proximity to downtown Atlanta attractions and the comfort and character of the hotel. If even in Atlanta again, we’ll be back!
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The name of the style that the hotel has kept with the “mid-1900s” is called Mid-Century Modern.
Many years ago, that hotel had what was considered the best Presidential Suite in Atlanta although I think it was called something else.
The suite was in a scene from the movie Sharky’s Machine in 1981.