The Kimpton brand is known for unique hotels and restaurants with a “laid back and original luxury” atmosphere, and the new Kimpton Sylvan Hotel in Buckhead Village is no exception.
The vibe is palpable before you even walk through the doors. The Kimpton Sylvan is an adaptive reuse of a 1950’s residential building, and isn’t some kitschy caricature of “mid-mod” design. The hotel feels fresh and contemporary, while sourcing inspiration and aesthetics from the original mid-century modernists. I was excited to see The Sylvan for myself after seeing articles about the development of the property.
I met general manager Tristen Haas in the living room of The Sylvan for my private tour. That’s right- not the lobby, but the living room. That distinction was my first indication that Mr. Haas and his staff want their visitors to feel right at home.
The Sylvan is the third hotel opening Mr. Haas has overseen for the Kimpton chain, and it’s easy to see why the company puts their faith in him. His knowledge of every aspect of the hotel is extensive, and his pride in the finished product is obvious and well-deserved.
The name “Sylvan” is derived from the Latin word Silva, which means forest. Foliage and nature are a big part of the hotel’s design. For instance, there are huge oak trees on the hotel grounds and multiple planters built into the interior spaces. There are touches throughout the hotel that are designed to evoke the natural world and align with Atlanta’s reputation as the “city in the forest”.
Meet at the Sylvan
The Kimpton Sylvan has 4,200 square feet of indoor meeting space, including a 2000 square foot ballroom that can be split into two smaller meeting spaces. The ballroom features details like elegant light fixtures and patterned wallpaper that are stylish, yet subtle enough to go unnoticed if you were hosting a work conference in the same space. I was particularly impressed with the smaller meeting room that can be set up for cocktails, dinner or a larger conference table. In this age of teleworking I think it’s a good idea to make note of cool places in town where you can host a meeting now and then.
Willow Bar and the roof-top lounge, St. Julep, will open on March 24. Willow Bar dives deep into the natural aesthetic with its outdoor seating and backyard garden party feel. A meandering path leads to separate patios with different seating options like tables and chairs or wicker sofas. Willow Bar will offer a veggie-centric menu along with lighter wines and cocktails. There are trellises and vines throughout the space that will eventually grow into a restaurant that feels like the building itself is part of nature.
I was disappointed when Mr Haas took me to the roof to see the St. Julep lounge, but only because I wasn’t allowed to make any photographs! This place looks like fun from the moment you step off of the elevator. The design features a custom terrazzo bar and an overall explosion of color throughout. In warm weather the big roll-up doors will erase the line between inside and out. On the balcony you’re treated to a beautiful hand-painted mural and skyline views from both sides of the roof. St. Julep will feature specialty drinks along with food that’s easy to eat while you walk around and mingle.
The Betty is the Kimpton Sylvan’s classic supper club, and it is a place to see and be seen. The bar overlooks the main area and makes you feel like you’re on a theater balcony watching to see who’s who in the dining room below. Mr. Haas told me that The Betty was designed to be a more refined dining option for the modern day Don Draper, and I’d say mission accomplished. The dining room features lots of deep rich colors, blue velvet banquettes, and lots of playful details. The bar features classic “spirit-heavy” cocktails with a modern Sylvan spin. The dinner menu includes creative elevated versions of classic fare. For instance, beef stroganoff made with American Wagyu beef cheeks.
In conclusion, Kimpton makes a point to design hotels that fit into the neighborhoods they’re a part of. It’s clear that the restaurants at the Kimpton Sylvan are welcoming places for locals to dine and hang out. By creating spaces like this, Kimpton allows their hotel guests to participate in the local culture by inviting the local culture to the property.