The word “staycation” rose to popularity in the early aughts, earning a spot in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2009. The idea of vacationing in one’s hometown remains alluring, as it requires less pre-planning than a typical trip and virtually no travel. It also allows you to experience your city like a tourist, tasting and trying all the things you’re typically too busy to enjoy. The newly redeveloped Phipps Plaza has quickly become a popular spot for an Atlanta staycation. It’s easy to see why: Just drive to the back side of Phipps, toss your keys to the Nobu Hotel valet, and forget about Atlanta’s legendary traffic the rest of your stay. Situated on the former site of Belk’s department store, Phipps Plaza’s newest wing includes Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, Life Time Buckhead at Phipps Plaza, and Citizens Market Atlanta. You can swim, eat, shop, and even take a Pilates Fusion class without returning to your car.
Nobu Hotel and Restaurant are owned by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Meir Teper, and the actor Robert De Niro. The restaurant, a sleek and sexy sushi spot with locations across the country, often books up months in advance—but tables by the bar are available first-come, first-serve. The hotel has 152 guest rooms, a rooftop bar and lounge, and a penthouse “villa” where Usher recently christened the grand piano.
Across the street, Life Time Buckhead offers one-day guest passes to its “athletic country club.” Order a smoothie, take a fitness class, book a massage, or head to the Rooftop Beach Club with cabanas and a full bar. If you work up an appetite, Citizens Market next door is the food hall of the future, with nine options ranging from ramen to burgers to shawarma. An indoor/outdoor bar juts onto the “green,” where people play cornhole and listen to live music.
Even though they sit in the heart of Buckhead, Phipps Plaza’s newest offerings feel blissfully tucked away. The area is a great spot for a last-minute romantic getaway or simple mid-week reset. The word “staycation” has been popular a while, but with options like this, it’s still very much on trend.