We did not go all out for the holidays, so we didn’t have that intense shopping and cooking frenzy. But, we did live through 2014, which included sending a son off to college, work challenges, health issues, financial concerns as well as plain old everyday life. To say we were stressed is an understatement.
So, what to do? We decided to try the staycation. We knew what we wanted. We didn’t want to drive, and we wanted to be in the heart of the action -- which meant shopping and great dining options. The JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead at Lenox Square fit the bill.
We took MARTA and crossed the street into the large and warm lobby. On Friday nights, guests are greeted with cheesecake pops. The inviting lobby also includes the Nox Creek Cafe for fresh Starbucks and free WiFi. Throughout the day and night people were relaxing on the plush sofas and sharing lunch, dinner and cocktails at the Nox Creek Lounge.
The JW Marriott Buckhead has 367 guest rooms that offer luxury bedding and postcard perfect views of downtown. As we were there on a Friday night, we also had a great view of rush hour traffic. We didn’t exactly enjoy the misery of the drivers, but we sure were glad we were at the Marriott watching rather than participating.
Our room offered two beds with luxury bedding, a 37-inch LCD HDTV and a grand marble bath. Bring bubbles because the bathtub is made for soaking. We settled into our room and tried to remember what it was like to relax. We got in bed, turned on the NCIS marathon and picked up a magazine. Within half an hour we were in a deep sleep that could only be interrupted by our son wanting to exercise.
Fine, we walked to the third floor fitness center, and he did the treadmill while I started, reluctantly, on the bicycle. I don’t know what happened. Within 10 minutes I was cycling away, remembering what it was like to have endorphins rush my body. After half an hour I was pumped up, started working on the machines and was so proud of myself that I resolved to start exercising in the new year.
A quick shower and we went to the pool, which will take your breath away. The pool is about as big as a football field. Up a few stairs was a large hot tub that went to work on sore muscles. Then we made a quick trip to the sauna and we were ready to keep the night going. We were also impressed that both the pool and spa had machines so that handicapped persons could use the facilities. Score one for sensitivity!
The JW Marriott is the only hotel connected to Lenox Square so we didn’t even have to go outside to indulge our need for retail therapy. Our shopping was made even easier since we had the legendary JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Shopping Vacation Package, which included our deluxe accommodations, complimentary valet parking, breakfast for two, as well as discounts at Macy’s, a $25 American Express gift card and a $25 Buckhead Nights dining card. When you add up the cost of your room and the extras provided you will realize that this is the shopping deal of the year!
We thoroughly shopped Lenox Square, and I have to say that an extra enjoyment was knowing that we were literally steps away from our hotel. It was such a breeze!
Perhaps our hardest decision was where to dine, and we used our Buckhead Nights dining card at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Did it matter that it was a couple of blocks away? Certainly not. Our hotel driver took us to the restaurant and then picked us up. Now that is a personalized luxury service that we all deserve. A nightcap at the Nox Creek Lounge topped off a perfect day.
The next morning we were back in the gym, did our knee exercises in the pool and pampered our hair with a moisturizing hair treatment while in the sauna.
Let’s see. After 24 hours, I was in great spirits. Depression gone. Knee felt better thanks to the pool and spa. I was well rested, and I had quality time with my son by simply goofing around. There is something to this staycation idea -- especially if it’s at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead. Count on seeing me at this fabulous hotel for some relaxation and pampering at least on a quarterly basis. I need it.
Mary Welch is a veteran journalist who writes about travel, lifestyle and business. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Fulton County Daily Report and Family Vacation Critic.