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.”
“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.