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Atlanta Business Travel Guide

Doing Business in "the ATL"

Atlanta's metropolitan area, the ninth largest in the United States, is a major business and transportation hub

The Best Hotels, Restaurants and Activities for Atlanta Business Travelers

In addition to being a cultural and lifestyle capital, Atlanta is a major business city and a transportation hub between the Southeast and Europe and between the Southeast and Africa. Today, the metropolitan area hosts the headquarters for myriad corporations, among them CNN, UPS, AT&T Mobility, Newell Rubbermaid, Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin UPS, Delta Air Lines, Turner Broadcasting and Home Depot. Six of those are Fortune 100 companies. International conglomerates such as Siemens, headquartered in Munich, Germany, are found in Atlanta, and that's just one of 1,250 multinational corporations that have a presence here. The country's fourth largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies and three-quarters of the Fortune 1000 firms have operations in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Atlanta, considered an alpha-world city, is the tenth largest cybercity in the U.S. with more than 126,000 high-tech jobs.

As a result of the Metropolitan Statistical Area's spread, business visitors may find themselves heading to one of Atlanta's ten core counties depending on their operations, or may find themselves as far afield as any of the 28 counties that constitute the metropolitan area. Software, for example, is concentrated in south Gwinnett County, while financial services and advertising are centered in Buckhead, the city's most upscale zone. Business travelers will find no shortage of well-appointed hotels, good dining options and leisure pastimes to relieve boardroom stress.


Facts to Know Before You Go — Atlanta Business Travel


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Map:
 
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) | Airport Map by

Transportation

Rental Cars: At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you'll find all the major national automobile rental companies. But look off-site for some of the less expensive ones that do business off-airport, as many arrange to pick up customers at the airport. Atlanta's interstates and secondary roads jam at busy times, but they're still the most efficient way to access far-flung destinations. In addition, Zipcar has locations around the metro Atlanta area inside I-285 (the Perimeter), chiefly in Midtown and Decatur.

Public Transportation:
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) operates buses and trains throughout Fulton and DeKalb Counties. MARTA trains go directly to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. To board a train, you must acquire a reloadable BREEZE card for $1, which you may buy at the airport or from the machines located in the front of each station. Riders may elect to use the BREEZE card on buses or pay in cash, but you must have exact change for the $2 fare. For more information on MARTA, visit www.itsmarta.com

Gwinnett County Transit, Cobb Community Transit and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) also use the BREEZE card.  Cobb and Gwinnett bus systems tie into MARTA at specific points. GRTA is a partnership with thirteen regional counties as well as state and federal governments. Its Xpress buses, which also tie in to selected MARTA stations, may also be useful for the business traveler. Cherokee Area Transportation System (CATS) ties into the MARTA Civic Center station; Cherokee is one of the twelve metro counties served by Xpress.

In addition, a free bus service, "The Buc," runs every eight to twenty minutes on weekdays (holidays excepted) from the Buckhead malls and the Lenox and Buckhead MARTA stations to various points in Buckhead, and on Sat. every 30 minutes.

Taxis and Shuttles: The flat taxi rate for one person from the airport to Downtown is $30 and to Buckhead $40, although not all parts of Buckhead lie in the flat-rate zone. In addition, numerous shuttle companies serve Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Fees vary but shuttle services typically cost $16 to Downtown, $18.50 to Midtown and $ 20.50 to Buckhead per person. To outlying towns south of the airport, such as Peachtree City or Fayetteville, shuttles may cost $52.50 (cash) for 1-2 persons, and $10 per additional person. In addition, many hotels provide complimentary shuttle service for their guests, so inquire of your hotel if it has such a service. Limousine services also are available at higher prices.

Media

The city's chief daily newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, covers business news, while the weekly The Atlanta Business Chronicle goes into depth in business matters. Monthly Georgia Trend covers the state in business news, but is focused on the state's capital. Atlanta magazine, a monthly glossy, delves into local topics. For after-business information, pick up a copy of Creative Loafing, a free publication available in kiosks at restaurants and entertainment venues. It also publishes articles on matters of local political and economic interest. Atlanta Intown Newspaper is a free community monthly publication covering business as well as culture and people. In addition, there are several foreign language newspapers, including long-published Mundo Hispánico. Atlanta Chinese News, Korea Daily and The Korea Times are also published regularly, reflecting the strength of these two communities in metro Atlanta.


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Where to Stay — Atlanta Business Hotels


The Ellis Hotel
176 Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-523-5155
www.ellishotel.com


A luxurious yet reasonably-priced room at The Ellis Hotel

A historic property built within the shell of the former Winecoff Hotel, which burned tragically in 1946, The Ellis Hotel provides moderately priced but luxuriously styled accommodation immediately adjacent to a MARTA subway stop (the Ellis Street exit, Peachtree Center Station). The tenth floor is reserved for female guests, who will find upgraded amenities and enhanced entrance security. The hotel is well attuned to the business traveler and provides a business center and workstations in each room. The restaurant and bar are comfortable and intimate places for after-work relaxation.

Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
75 14th St., NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
404-881-9898
www.fourseasons.com



Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta in Midtown is popular with both celebrities and the business set

Atlanta's Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown is as popular with the business set as it is with celebrities. Sweeping vistas and well-worked marble and stone surfaces shape its grand entrance, whose massive grand staircase leads to Park 75 (the hotel's fine dining room), a terrace and bar, perfect for post-business gatherings. There's a 24-hour business center. After-hours, enjoy the chlorine-free sea-salt pool. Near the fitness center, the pool terrace has its own sun deck. Trainers are available, and should you forget your gear, the hotel offers disposable swimsuits and stocks workout attire. A spa offers massage and other treatments. Complimentary health-focused refreshments are offered in the fitness club and in the spa. The full-menu room service is available 24 hours. Leisure services include a complimentary town car (drop-off only within six miles of the hotel). Nearby Atlantic Station, replete with numerous retail outlets, restaurants and movie theaters, is a popular draw. The Four Seasons is walking distance from the Woodruff Arts Center (with performances on most nights), the 14th Street Playhouse and a host of popular restaurants.

The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead
3434 Peachtree Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
404-237-2700
www.ritzcarlton.com



An elegant suite at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta

Business and celebrity travelers to Atlanta make this luxury hotel their home away from home. The wood-paneled, art-filled public and private spaces are refined and elegant, yet, thanks to warm but correct service, never seem stiff or formal. Small, informal business gatherings around glasses of wine or tea in the afternoon are commonplace in the hotel's lobby bar. The Café, located on the same level as the lobby bar, is the hotel's all-service restaurant. The hotel offers international currency exchange services (maximum $100), courier services and a seamstress on duty. The concierge is able to supply guests who forgot to bring their adapters, batteries or cell phones. For relaxation, the hotel offers a fitness center, indoor pool, steam room and whirlpool. Nearby shopping at four malls is accessible on foot.

TWELVE Centennial Park
400 W. Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
404-418-1212
www.twelvecentennialpark.com


Rooms at the TWELVE Centennial Park hotel offer dramatic views of the Atlanta skyline

Floors seven to sixteen of this magnificent modern hotel house 102 one- and two-bedroom suites, many with dramatic views of the city's skyline. All suites come with complete kitchens equipped with full-sized appliances. The business traveler also has an in-room computer and work surface, flat-screen televisions and complimentary Wi-Fi in addition to a business center. Luxury finishes, a steak and sushi focused restaurant (ROOM) and a small, competently run bar are available for unwinding. The restaurant also has two private spaces for small business dinner meetings, as well as well-equipped meeting rooms.


See our list of Atlanta/Georgia's 10 Best Business Hotels

Where to Dine — Atlanta Business Restaurants


Aria
490 E. Paces Ferry Rd. NE

Atlanta, GA 30305
404-233-7673

Contemporary
17/20
$$$$$

Aria's menu menu plays with regional dishes and home-style cooking

Vibrant and stylish, the restaurant sets a distinctive course for dining in otherwise rather traditionally decorated Atlanta establishments. Chef Gerry Klaskala knows how to set dining on its ear, and has been doing so for many years in Atlanta. Local touches appear in such signature dishes as the Vidalia onion soup with white truffle oil. Signature dishes include a warm lobster cocktail and slow-braised Niman Ranch pork shoulder. Pastry chef Kathryn King turns out sweet delights that amaze and satisfy. Wine service is impeccable, and the offerings are stellar. An ideal spot for celebrating a good week of business or for gathering clients for a pampering session might be the four-person private dining spot in the wine cellar.


Bacchanalia
1198 Howell Mill Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
404-365-0410

Contemporary
17/20
$$$$$

Bacchanalia is a standout among fine dining restaurants in Atlanta

James Beard award-winning chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison continue at the helm, keeping Bacchanalia at the top of Atlanta's fine dining scene. From the foie gras to the Valrhona chocolate cake, dishes are the zenith of luxury. While the dining room itself can become fairly high energy, a small private dining space makes private parties for a dozen or so guests much more intimate. For larger affairs, the 75-seat Quinones Room at Bacchanalia specializes in multi-course, fixed-price dining. The extensive, adventurous wine list offers many choices by the glass and the half bottle.



Miso Izakaya
619 Edgewood Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
678-701-0128

Japanese/Small Plates/Sushi
14/20
$$$$$

The dining room of Miso Izakaya in Atlanta, Georgia

Hong Kong-born chef/owner Guy Wong grew up in Sandy Springs, a suburb of Atlanta, and studied cooking in Japan. His attention to detail, playful gifts at creating inventive dishes, extraordinary drinks list (with premium sakes and other fine libations) and the relaxing atmosphere of his hip establishment make this a good choice for a getaway-from-it-all lunch via a short taxi ride or an after-work decompression session.


Restaurant Eugene
Aramore Condominium
2277 Peachtree Rd. NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
404-355-0321
Contemporary/Southern
17/20
$$$$$

The stylish bar at the Restaurant Eugene

Linton Hopkins, a native Atlantan, has crafted one of the most soothing dining environments in the city, and the food he serves in it, along with his wine list, makes for an all-around perfect dining experience, especially for business purposes. Gather clients and make this one a must-stop to enjoy his re-workings of Southern classics such as perfect fried chicken, and international dishes, such as sweetbreads with wild mushrooms or white gazpacho with olive oil ice cream and microgreens. On Sunday evenings, his Sunday Supper menu reprises the local classics in a three-course fixed-price menu. Lauded for the kitchen's attention to detail, Restaurant Eugene (named after Hopkins' grandfather) makes the bread, the maraschino cherries and the bitters for the drinks. The wine list is smart and well-chosen. Celebrate the deal or clinch it in this refined atmosphere with some of the most professional service in town.


Off the Clock — Atlanta Business Entertainment


Eddie's Attic offers great live music from both local and touring acts

Eddie's Attic
515-B N. McDonough St.
Decatur, GA 30030
404-377-4976
www.eddiesattic.com

Grab MARTA east to the Decatur station and walk a few blocks to one of the metro area's most worthwhile music venues, founded in a former department store. The place has nurtured many a rising star, among them Decatur's own Indigo Girls. The 21-and-over club showcases a wide variety of contemporary music. Food service offers some tasty morsels, sandwiches and salads.


The stage at the Punchline in Atlanta, Georgia

The Punchline
280 Hilderbrande Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30328
404-252-LAFF (5233)
www.punchline.com

Although at some distance from the city, requiring a taxi, the Punchline is Atlanta's longest-running comedy club, and well worth the ride. Headliners have included major national acts, and there is a light menu of burger and sandwich type fare. But you don't come for the food.

 

Live music at the Tabernacle

Tabernacle
152 Luckie St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-659-9022
tabernacleatl.com

Formerly a church, Tabernacle was built in 1910 and lay vacant from the mid-1980s until 1996, when the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta saw it brought back to life as a performance venue known as the House of Blues Club. Today, music fills its rafters once more, and the place is popular as a corporate event site. The entire club is non-smoking.


Osteria 832 at the Virginia Highland Shopping Area

Virginia Highland Shopping Area
Corner of Virginia and N. Highland Avenues
Atlanta, GA 30306
www.virginiahighland.com

This intersection is the heart of a vibrant neighborhood whose early twentieth-century residential architecture has been upgraded and updated by waves of in-town pioneers. Visitors will find numerous good restaurants and interesting shopping, making a day spent in the area a worthwhile adventure. In addition to art galleries and antique shops, a vintage-style hardware store is a prime address for woodworking devotees. Having a rental car notwithstanding, it's advisable to take a taxi to the district and back to your hotel as parking is very difficult.


The Whole World Improv Theatre offers laughs from local acts and touring troupes

Whole World Improv Theatre
1216 Spring St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
404-817-PLAY (7529)
www.wholeworldtheatre.com

Improvisational theater is the main stage focus. Another smaller stage, called "The Third Space," features scripted plays throughout the year, some of them original material. Whole World Theatre also hosts visiting and small local companies in performance. The normal schedule is Thurs.-Sat., with start times on Thurs. at 8 p.m., Fri. at 9 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Sat. Ticket prices are substantially less expensive if you order online or over the phone. (Author: Jane Garvey)



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*Aria photo courtesy of George Sanchez

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