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Hotel Highlights

  • Small-scale intimacy in the big city
  • Daily home-made cakes, and breakfasts worth shouting about
  • Eagerly eco: all water is rain, solar-heated or recycled

Overview

Stonehurst Place is a 19th-century artwork-filled inn on a (requisitely tree-lined) residential street in midtown Atlanta. Original fireplaces, grand open-plan rooms and stone porches have had a few modern touches added for good measure: leather headboards, taupe tones and gleaming hardwood floors.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Stonehurst Place with us:

A tray of Southern treats, including candied pecans and cheese straws

Facilities

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Stonehurst Place hotel – Atlanta – USA

Need To Know

Rooms

Five, including three suites.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 4pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $189.00, excluding tax at 16 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

There might not be a spa, but in-room massages, manicures and pedicures can be arranged at the click of a frazzled finger.

At the hotel

Free WiFi, book/CD/DVD library and parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock with alarm clock, mobile phone charging station, Corian showers and Gilchrist & Soames bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We like the peace of upstairs: plump for either the Master Suite for its sloped ceiling, sleek wooden floors and bed, fireplace and spa tub in its own angular alcove, or the Gables up in the eaves for its contemporary leather headboard, worn wooden beams and ecclesiastical window. There’s also a shower that will really drench you (it’s got three heads).

Packing tips

A tipple or two for nightcaps by the fire; board games to play on the porch.

Also

There’s a Pampered Pooch package for dogs: for US$100 a stay, they’ll be supplied with a bed, food, water bowl and freshly baked doggie biscotti.

Children

Over-12s are welcome.

Eco‐friendly

Crusader credentials include recycling everything, using solar-heated, rain and recycled water, and paper bottles for toiletries.

Food & Drink

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Stonehurst Place hotel – Atlanta – USA

Hotel Restaurant

There’s no restaurant, just a dining room where an indulgent organic breakfast is served on gold-rimmed china. The fare’s more than your usual ham ’n’ eggs – banana nut bread, fresh strawberries with whipped cream and lemon bread and baked pears with cinnamon raisin toast, all home-made by the innkeeper, Caroline.

Hotel Bar

There’s no bar but guests are welcome to bring their own alcohol and enjoy it wherever they like. Tea, coffee, iced tea and lemonade are also laid out.

Last orders

Breakfast is on offer from 7am until 10am. Help yourself to Caroline’s cake at any time of day.

Room service

None.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Mrs Smiths, long skirts to swoop along the polished wooden floors; Mr Smiths, should do their best to be as refined as Rhett.

Top table

Take afternoon tea out on the front porch.

Local Guide

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Stonehurst Place hotel – Atlanta – USA
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Along with Piedmont Park, Atlanta’s Botanical Garden is right next door to the hotel. The house where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind is down on Peachtree Street (+1 404 249 7015; www.margaretmitchellhouse.com).

Local restaurants

Two blocks away, pop to Nonna Mia (+1 404 532 2815; www.nonnamiaatlanta.com) for some low-key Italian classics, including all the pizzas and pastas you’d hope for. Nearby, there’s One Midtown Kitchen (+1 404 892 4111; www.onemidtownkitchen.com), where American-inspired Italian dishes, such as wood-grilled hanger steak with parmesan fries, are on offer. South City Kitchen (+1 404 873 7358; www.southcitykitchen.com), on Crescent Avenue Northeast, dishes up fine southern fare, such as shrimps and scallops with creamy grits, seafood jambalaya and buttermilk fried chicken. Creative Mexican cuisine (and guacamole made at your table) awaits at Zocalo (+1 404 249 7576; www.zocalocreativemex.com) on 10th Street Northeast. Two Urban Licks (www.twourbanlicks.com; +1 404 522 4622) at 820 Ralph McGill Blvd is set in a revamped warehouse, and has an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work. Wood-fired meat and fish are the specialities, cooked with a lightness of touch: lamb lollipops served with grape jam and goat cheese; scallops served with smoked gouda grits and a tomato broth.

Local cafés

Chocolate Pink (+1 404 745 9292; www.chocolatepinkcafe.com) on Juniper Street makes the prettiest cupcakes around.

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Princely Piedmont Park

Stonehurst Place

923 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4108, United States

Planes

The nearest airport is Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, 11 miles away. From London, KLM (www.klm.com) and British Airways (www.ba.com) fly direct from Gatwick and Heathrow.

Trains

The Marta (www.itsmarta.com) underground will get you around the city’s main sights; the nearest stop to the hotel is North Avenue. There’s also an Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) station on the Northeast Expressway, which serves other US cities, including New York and Washington DC.

Automobiles

You’ll find Stonehurst Place in midtown Atlanta, close to Piedmont Park and the city’s botanical garden. There’s free parking at the hotel.

Reviews

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Stonehurst Place hotel – Atlanta – USA

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

‘Atlanta, an art Mecca?’ I said to Mr Smith, wrinkling my nose in skepticism. ‘Darling, this time I think your aesthetic GPS is off – Atlanta’s all business. But this Stonehenge Inn we’re staying at – odd name, isn’t it? – looks pretty plush.’ ‘It’s Stonehurst Place, dear, and my GPS is fine. You’ll see.’ I&rsquo…
Read more

Stonehurst Place

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

‘Atlanta, an art Mecca?’ I said to Mr Smith, wrinkling my nose in skepticism. ‘Darling, this time I think your aesthetic GPS is off – Atlanta’s all business. But this Stonehenge Inn we’re staying at – odd name, isn’t it? – looks pretty plush.’

‘It’s Stonehurst Place, dear, and my GPS is fine. You’ll see.’

I’ve driven through Atlanta many times, but never stopped to explore the city, assuming it was just a corporate headquarters park – the Braves, Coca-Cola, CNN – just as Orlando is one for theme parks. But Mr Smith is an avid art collector, so I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, while playing the reluctant sidekick.

We arrived on an unseasonably cold day, and relied on the car’s GPS to get us to Atlanta’s Midtown, which from the highway appeared to be a district of high rise commercial buildings. ‘That Bank of America building looks artful,’ I said to no one in particular. But it was I who was surprised when Mr Smith turned into a quiet tree-lined neighborhood of vintage homes, among them Stonehurst. Built in 1896, it sits atop a small rise, and is reached by a dramatic stone stairway flanked with rosemary and lavender bushes, now clothed in winter grey, but fragrant as ever.

We began to thaw under the warm welcome we received from the innkeeper, Caroline, who at once offered to have the fireplace in our room lighted. The entire house has an air of upscale vintage glam: chandeliers, antique furniture, and dark hardwood floors leavened by small modern touches, one mark of an experienced and creative interior designer in my book.

I always say that a bathtub should be large enough to swallow the stress of the day, and the one in our room could easily remove a week’s worth. ‘There might be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them,’ I said to Mr Smith, who had often heard me utter this pet quote (Sylvia Plath actually said it first) in hotel rooms. He knew it meant that my mood mercury was rising.

Mother Nature herself could not have made the house more eco-friendly – organic biodegradable bath products, plush bamboo towels, water-filtration system, even solar paneling. The owner had gone to as much trouble to minimise the inn’s environmental impact as the eco-hotel we had just been to in Costa Rica. Only Stonehurst comes with pampering flavored guilt-free.

That night we stepped out onto the front porch, built of muscular grey stone blocks, for a view of the city skyline, then went to meet friends at the trendy Two Urban Licks, a tapas-style restaurant with an open kitchen in the middle of the dining room.

The next morning, peeking above the 1,000 thread-count cotton sheets, I whispered, ‘hello tub.’ But the scent of a savory breakfast soon trumped the prospect of an hour-long bath, so I vanished into the shower, one of those spa-type wonders clad in Corian and with multiple showerheads. With the light shining through the windows and hot water cascading from overhead, I felt like I was showering outside in a summer rain.

Breakfast is an even greater delight here: robust coffee, fresh juices, bruleed grapefruit with cinnamon, fresh baked banana bread and blueberry scones with lemon curd, cheese-and-chive egg soufflés garnished with tomato and asparagus, both drizzled in a balsamic reduction.

The gourmet breakfast set the tone for the day, which included a walk to Piedmont Park, site of the springtime Dogwood Art Festival, and a good, long wander through Stonehurst looking at the owner’s private art collection, which is displayed throughout the house. That evening we met friends at Flip, a retro-chic burger boutique owned by Richard Blais, who has appeared on Top Chef: Chicago and Iron Chef America. Blais is blazing a new trail for the hamburger, having helped invent the restaurant’s artisan burgers (Ossobuco, Korean BBQ, and the Po Boyger) as well as liquid-nitrogen frozen milk shakes with out-there flavors (fois gras, pistachio and white truffle, and Nutella with burnt marshmallow).

After dinner, Mr Smith and I had a triple date with Picasso, Monet, and Renoir at the High Museum of Art, which is not far from Stonehurst, and we also took in the museum’s Dali ’Til Dawn exhibit.

On our last morning, we indulged in another gourmet breakfast, warmed ourselves by the fire, and took one last rain shower before heading home, narrowly missing the snowstorm that shut down the airport. ‘If only we had to fly to get home,’ I said. ‘Then we could have been snow prisoners at Stonehurst for another day or two.’ I had a crush on the inn, on Atlanta, and a renewed one on Mr Smith for not saying, ‘I told you so.’

 

 

The Guestbook

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