While the holidays are a peak time to travel and spend days off from work with family and friends, for many it’s also an important time of self-reflection and preparation for the new year. If you’re focused on the latter, sitting in that same old chair in your same old place with the same old surroundings doing the same old thing, inspiration may come slow, which is why I’m a fan of using this time of the year to have a staycation.
Taking a couple of days to experience a new environment in a familiar setting might be exactly what you need to get your creative juices flowing so you can map out a game plan for 2020 in peace and quiet — and, depending on the location, luxury. A new year doesn’t have to mean you’re looking to make a major change, but taking a break from the mundane and exploring parts of your city — and yourself — that you haven’t been in touch with lately can totally change your perspective and even give your life more purpose. I recently got the chance to stay at the newly opened Candler Hotel in downtown Atlanta, and if you call Georgia home then I recommend you call to book at least a one night staycation in this luxury dwelling.
From the moment you step inside the restored Candler Building you are surrounded by opulence. As you walk to you hotel room, a massive original chandelier from the building which was built by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Griggs Candler in 1906 greets you to the right. Bright gold elevator doors to the left offer just a hint of what’s to be expected inside one of the Hilton Curio Collection hotel’s 256 guest rooms and suites.
The art deco glamour doesn’t stop with the lobby of the 17-story building either. Upon reaching your floor, you step out of the elevators into a gorgeous rotunda with marble walls and intricately patterned floors that only build greater expectation for your personal accommodations.
You have a number of options when it comes to booking a room or a deluxe or regular suite at The Candler. All rooms come with HDTVs, mini-refrigerators, work desks and laptop-sized safes, but since staycations are synonymous with relaxation, I recommend a King Suite which has a separate freestanding soaker tub. Balmain soaps and shampoo only add to the luxury experience — and The Candler’s pending Diamond status, being the first hotel to carry the high-end brand in its bathrooms.
The rooms and suites, which have optional city views, will likely be among some of the largest you’ve experienced in your travels, particularly for a large metropolitan city like Atlanta. The separate desks and seating areas in the suites give the room more of a home feel and provide space to handle business while allowing the bed, with its plush linens, to serve as the nightly oasis for rest that it should.
If discipline doesn’t come easy to you and you’re worried you’ll waste your staycation watching “Real Housewives” marathons and ordering room service — which, if you do, I’m not mad at you — The Candler has a bit of a fix. A large library provides a cozy space for reading and journaling as you look out onto the city streets through the original Tiffany window panes which have been a part of the building since 1905. A low-lit boardroom also makes for a quiet work space to brainstorm and innovate in an open area, and a business center is available on site for any printing needs. If you’re the type who does her best thinking on the treadmill (or a Peloton bike), you’ll be happy to know there’s a fitness center inside of the boutique hotel as well.
The great thing about a staycation at The Candler is that you can stay inside of the hotel and have everything you need, including a fine dining experience. Former “Top Chef Master” contestant Hugh Acheson operates the By George restaurant which serves classic dishes with a French influence. Named after architects George E. Murphy and George Stewart who designed the original building, By George is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, beginning at 6:30 am and closing at 10:00 pm. The hotel’s management is also hoping to turn the original vault from the bank into a private dining room for a party of six-eight guests — something to keep in mind should you want to return for a Girlfriend’s Getaway.