Duck out of the city’s chaos and into a calming, urban oasis at Loews Atlanta Hotel.
On my bucket list, I imagine a week at a spa retreat, à la Canyon Ranch. Cell phones and electronics disallowed; hours of yoga and reading, plus plenty of healthful cuisine. During this daydream, reality hits. Son in high school, husband traveling on business, a world of deadlines. Sigh.
The next best thing? A staycation with almost all the required elements. For this, my husband and I head to Midtown’s Loews Atlanta Hotel, home to the internationally renowned Exhale Spa, for a Friday night check-in.
Our beautiful room, with its marble bathroom, glass shower and soaking tub, awaited us. Once settled on the 25th floor, there was barely a sound from the traffic below. We took a deep breath, called the space a “no-cell-phone” zone, and started to unwind for a precious 24 hours.
First up: a visit to Exhale on the seventh floor. The 20,000-square-foot spa offers facials, massages, acupuncture, energetic therapies, body scrubs, detoxing, waxing and nail services. It also boasts a robust fitness program of Core Fusion Barre, Yoga, Bootcamp, Cardio, Core Cycling classes, and a large mind-body gym with top-of-the-line cardio and weight equipment.
My spa therapist, Meredith, worked her magic on me with the Fusion Massage, combining flow technique with deep pressure. Afterwards we spent a few minutes in the detoxifying coed hammam, preparing mentally for the challenging advanced yoga class an hour later. Taught by regular Exhale instructor John Merideth, who is also a teacher trainer at Atlanta Yoga School, the intense practice brought me much-needed mental clarity and worked my physical strength.
Body and mind in the right place, we headed back to our room to share some Pinot Noir and locally produced CalyRoad cheese.
At 8 p.m., Saltwood’s lively bar scene was filled with locals and visitors, while bartenders served up hand-mixed cocktails, local microbrews and artisanal wines—all set to DJ tunes in the background. Saltwood, known for its Master Chef of France-designated Executive Chef Olivier Gaupin’s love of charcuterie, features locally sourced ingredients from The Spotted Trotter, Benton’s, Sweet Grass Dairy Farm, CalyRoad Creamery, and Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee.
Dinner options include Southern Paella, Alabama Grass Fed Ribeye, Cornbread and Apple Stuffed Southeast Farm Pork Tenderloin, along with healthy choices such as the Farro Bowl with crispy Brussels sprouts, tofu, kale chips, and toasted peanut and curry dipping sauce.
The Sunday brunch with its Bloody Mary bar is a treat, and the weekday lunchtime is bustling, with the main attraction Salad Bar. Grab a mixing bowl, load up all the ingredients you desire – veggies, dried fruits and nuts, grilled meats, exotic specialty salts; the chef tosses it with your favorite dressing (the homemade Green Goddess is a favorite) plating it to-go or to sit-down. The latter includes hand-cut potato chips with just the right amount of sea salt; addicting for sure.
Waking up refreshed the following morning, we enjoyed a beautiful breakfast buffet, which alone, makes a Saturday morning visit to the Loews worthwhile. Fresh fruit, steel-cut oatmeal, yogurts, bagels, omelets and Seattle’s Best coffee are just a few of the items served.
After fitting in another yoga class before noon checkout, we left Loews feeling completely relaxed. This modern, yet charming, luxury hotel in the heart of Atlanta—with superb customer service and attention to detail—was a perfect choice for an urban getaway.
STORY: Joanne Hayes
Loews Atlanta Hotel and Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar
1065 Peachtree Street N.E.