Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood has plenty of luxury hotels, but the newly opened Kimpton Sylvan Hotel stands out. For one thing, it’s a stylish example of adaptive reuse in a landscape crowded with new construction. For another, it’s a hotel where locals actually turn up. They come for the see-and-be-seen restaurants, plus the rooftop bar—another Buckhead rarity.
Situated in the bones of a 1950s-era condominium, the 217-room hotel proves that fresh paint, a modern portico, and retro-chic signage can utterly transform a building. Inside, the decor showcases vintage furniture, leafy plants, and contemporary art. The midcentury-modern design scheme extends to the outdoor pool with its low-slung rattan furnishings and sleek wood patio.
While the design is clever, it’s the hotel’s food and drinks that have Buckhead talking. Willow Bar, a sprawling garden lounge just off the lobby, offers patio beverages (sangria, cucumber spritzes) and shareable plates (like a fried-chicken picnic basket with all the fixings). The Betty, which fittingly looks like a place Don and Betty Draper might have dined, is a spot for icy martinis, $169 porterhouses, and cigars on the patio. The ninth-floor rooftop bar, St. Julep, is known for its panoramic views, weekend dance parties, and playful cocktails named after Outkast songs (“Hey Ya!,” for example, is a citrus daquiri).
INSIDER: Brandon Chavannes, executive chef at the Sylvan Hotel, shares three Buckhead faves
The Iberian Pig
“I’m really stoked about this restaurant’s Buckhead location—it’s a really comfortable atmosphere. I love the pork cheek with truffle and egg.”
“It’s great people watching. Sometimes I get a little cocktail at Le Bilboquet and watch everyone walking around doing their thing. It’s an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.”
“In terms of getting together with friends for drinks, this cool little sports bar has a great patio and an eclectic group of people.”
This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of Southbound.