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Buckhead hotel nurtures Asian roots
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
September 19, 2012 10:31 AM | 2201 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta hotel in Buckhead is located at 3376 Peachtree Road.
The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta hotel in Buckhead is located at 3376 Peachtree Road.
More than four months after taking over the Mansion on Peachtree, the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta hotel in Buckhead is still settling into its role as a new, but established, luxury destination.

General Manager Robert Lowe said at a media event Thursday the latest addition to the 50-year-old brand’s 44 international locations is still creating its own identity.

“Slowly but surely we are introducing concepts,” he said about “little touches” like weekend entertainment, brunch and art exhibits from Midtown’s Bill Lowe Gallery, no relation to the Buenes Aires, Argentina, native.

Food and beverage concepts are ongoing “question marks,” Lowe said, but likely will not include celebrity chefs.

“We like to take our time, gathering thoughts and talking to guests,” he said. “We need to understand where we are and where we want to go. There is no deadline, per se.”

The property has not had a grand opening yet, waiting until mid-October when the dust settles from construction of a Del Frisco’s Grille location on its Peachtree Road frontage in the previous Craft space.

Other areas changing identity are the former restaurant Neo, now the hotel café and bar, and 29 Spa, now simply called The Spa.

“It’s a journey,” spa Director Gretchen Vandergrift said about customized visits, which have been 65 percent booked by local residents. “It’s not just about time on the table.”

True to the hotel chain’s Hong Kong roots, the spa features welcoming and departure rituals, a yin/yang consultation form and aromatherapy based on traditional Chinese medicine.

Lowe said the Orient infuses the ambience and service of the hotel.

“We ask for your shoes and give you slippers,” he said of an Eastern custom. “We use bamboo in our décor. Our staff uniforms have an Asian collar. We have a new product, Shanghai Tang, in our guest rooms.”

Its 127 rooms and suites loom over Buckhead in the community’s second tallest building, said Marketing Manager Barry Belcher.

“Every room has a view. Every room is fabulous,” he said. “It has luxury without coldness.”

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