There’s no denying it: The Glenn Hotel is pretty sexy.
That the Atlanta Marriott property can exude this vibe in rooms that most American travelers would generously call small is a testament to good design executed with a bit of a knowing wink.
In my seventh-floor abode, a peekaboo window in the shower overlooks the bed (oh, behave, there are blinds). Gauzy orange drapes on the main windows and a leatherlike headboard say boudoir more than bedroom, as does the red curtain in the foyer that hides . . . the closet and the safe. Instead of regular tumblers, a pair of martini glasses sits with the ubiquitous ice bucket. Me-ow.
Even the toilet, set at a 45-degree angle in the bathroom corner instead of flush against the wall, seems possessed with a certain raffish sensibility.
I choose to ignore the sad-looking ceiling tiles in the entryway, because I’d rather give in to the seduction. The faux grass in troughlike structures along the baseboard in the halls that I breeze past on my way to the rooftop bar is equally incongruous, though. Edgy design doesn’t always work, I suppose.
The alluring mood falls back into place at the bar. The setting sun begins to cast a golden glow over downtown Atlanta and the natty crowd perched here, cocktails in hand.
And then I realize that I’m so hungry that I’d never be able to hold one of those cocktails. Illusion broken.
After dinner, I admire the more practical aspects of my room. I’m first drawn to the mini-refrigerator, blessedly free of overpriced snacks. I gratefully wrangle my leftover-filled pizza box into it. The space also puts into practice several forward-looking design strategies that a Marriott executive recently told me about. There are no nightstands, just a floating shelf on each side of the bed. The closet door has been replaced by the aforementioned curtain, easy to push to one side so that you never lose sight of your belongings. And instead of a large hinged door that would awkwardly block access to either the foyer or the loo, the bathroom is accessed via a sliding pocket door.
Also, as I confirm with guest services, the two bottles of water staged with the martini glasses are free. Free! So is the WiFi. Hallelujah.
It’s apparent that just as much thought has gone into training the hotel staff. The front-desk clerks are impeccably polite, and the fresh-faced valet parking attendant kindly suggests that I move to a different spot to stay out of the sun while he fetches my car. (When I ask him whether the hotel parking fee grants in-and-out privileges, he jokingly answers, “Only on Wednesdays.” I’m not immune to the charm offensive.)
Sadly, my love affair with the Glenn is only a one-night stand. But if I ever find myself back in Atlanta, I’ll be ready for a second date.
110 Marietta St. NW
Rooms from $129.
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