ATLANTA—Here, in the Dunwoody section of Atlanta and in view of its company headquarters, IHG is heralding a new take on the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand at its flagship property—Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia. Hotel Business was invited to the hotel for a firsthand look at all that’s new.
It took a reimagining to bring all of the facets to life, propelling forward the brand’s guiding principles of enabling guests to work, play and relax—all in one space. Upon entering the lobby, the innovative design by The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry rises up to greet you. It feels upscale yet relaxed, and there are touches of mid-century modern flair with very up-to-the-minute offerings, such as nuanced spaces that allow for interconnectivity and flexibility.
“In the new, modern lobby design, there are clusters of comfortable seating areas, places where people can work, relax and kick back or whatever they need to do,” said Gayle Weiss, director, brand marketing & commercial performance, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. “It’s about really upscaling a lot of new details for the brand—even our concierge desk with the new wood and marble top. We are rethinking the way the brand really should come to life. Crowne Plaza was ready for a boost.”
While many are racing to innovate, Crowne Plaza is already there with its patented “guestroom of the future,” dubbed the WorkLife Room, which was developed as part of its Crowne Plaza Accelerate program in 2017.
The breadth and depth of this project is squarely focused on responding to the needs of travelers and making sure locals feel comfortable as well. Everyone is welcome.
“We have a ton of meeting space in this hotel—32,000 sq. ft.—and we have the largest ballroom in the North Atlanta area at 12,000 sq. ft.,” said Weiss. “We have two studios that are bookable by the hour for meetings, or you can dine or use it as a living room. These spaces also have integrated power. Food can be delivered to these spaces 24/7, so think about renting it for watching your favorite NCAA college basketball team during March Madness.”
It’s not just another source of revenue; it’s a way to connect to the larger community.
“You can book this whether you’re staying at the hotel or not. It’s a living room, a space to be creative and provides a more flexible meeting space,” she said.
A hotel is for sleeping, too. Guestrooms feature angled beds and headboards for a cocooning effect that aims to provide a more comfortable night’s sleep. Another addition to the brand’s sleep program is a new amenity kit outfitted with a cleansing wipe and lavender-scented spray as well as toiletries by Beekman 1802, a farm-inspired skincare company.
Keurig coffeemakers are in every guestroom, and brands on offer include Lavazza (caffeinated) and Newman’s Own (decaffeinated) coffee options.
Crowne Plaza also reinvigorated its F&B program with a restaurant and bar menu program designed to help the hotels deliver a consistent, upscale experience. However, many of the brand’s properties, including Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, opt for a unique restaurant offering.
“According to one of our studies, we found that after day three of eating healthy, guests want a hamburger or a grilled cheese sandwich. The new menu has a nice blend of indulgent to healthy fare, but everything you need is balanced. There’s also an option to add in localized favorites,” she said.
At the flagship property, the three new F&B concepts were created in partnership with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and are led by Chef Gentempo: Parkwoods, a full-service new American restaurant, serving up slow-cooked barbecue ribs and chicken-fried oysters; Lightwell, an all-day café offering Italian-inspired fare; and Backyard at Parkwoods, an outdoor beer garden with local brews and shareable snacks.
“We’re doing the basics really well and offering a lot more,” she concluded.