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by Kate Mulcrone | October 01, 2012
Picture Perfect
Photographer Chris Hornaday chronicles the lesser-known sights of his home city at squidoo.com/hidden-savannah
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Atlanta
Early this year, the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead completed a $12 million renovation of all 371 guest rooms and suites. The project also refreshed the lobby, restaurants and concierge lounge. All rooms now feature new décor and furnishings, marble bathrooms, wireless Internet capabilities and high-definition televisions. The hotel also added 2,300 square feet of meeting space, for a grand total of 23,300 square feet.

Attendees now can use their wireless devices freely at the Georgia World Congress Center. Provided by the facility's telecommunications supplier, CCLD Networks, the wireless Internet access is available in all lobby areas and lounges, and at Starbucks and restaurants throughout the center.

The 502-room Meliã Hotel Atlanta has newly renovated its 25th-floor event venue, Sky Twenty Five. The space offers impressive 360-degree panoramic views of the city. In total, the property has more than 31,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the 6,120-square-foot Georgia Ballroom.

The Hyatt Regency Atlanta last year completed a $60 million renovation. Improvements were made to the hotel's 1,260 guest rooms, main ballroom and meeting space. The entryways, lobby and lobby bar of the property also were revamped. The hotel has 180,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 403-room Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway recently was awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for a number of innovative sustainable features. For example, the hotel now uses 30 percent less water and 28 percent less energy than a typical non-LEED-certified hotel. In addition, 20 percent of its supplies are sourced from within a 500-mile radius. New hybrid rental cars are available to guests, and premium parking spaces are offered exclusively for low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles. The hotel has a total of 21,000 square feet of meeting space and is connected to the 400,000-square-foot Georgia International Convention Center by a covered walkway.

Mandarin Oriental, AtlantaThis past May, the 127-room Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, opened in Buckhead, one of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods. The property features more than 6,500 square feet of meeting space in six rooms holding a total of 200 people, as well as a 15,000-square-foot spa, an indoor lap pool, a fitness center and two restaurants. The hotel is a 35-minute drive from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport  has completed $5.4 billion construction project that expanded, repaired and upgraded various sections of the facility. The $1.4 billion Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal opened in May, and Concourse E will see a 900,000-square-foot expansion that will add 10 new gates and 1,100 new parking spaces. With a new total of 40 international gates, airlines will be able to introduce new routes and relieve the congestion in the other five concourses.

In June, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights broke ground on the edge of Centennial Olympic Park. The center, slated to open to the public in 2014, claims it will be first venue in the world where visitors can learn about the tumultuous history of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as contemporary human rights movements and how they are all connected. The building will have an as yet unspecified amount of space for events and seated dinners; stay tuned for details.

Atlanta's popular College Football Hall of Fame will relocate to a new $50 million multilevel facility adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center. The new 50,000-square-foot hall is expected to open in fall 2013 with a multitude of exhibits and a giant outdoor screen for viewing games.

Meeting Hotels
 Among downtown properties are the 1,663-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis; 1,260-room Hyatt Regency Atlanta; 1,242-room Hilton Atlanta; 1,068-room Westin Peachtree Plaza; 1,067-room Omni Hotel at CNN Center; 760-room Sheraton Atlanta Hotel; 444-room Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, and 312-room Atlanta Marriott Downtown.

In Midtown, major properties include the 435-room W Atlanta Midtown, 252-room Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, and 191-room Wyndham Midtown Atlanta.

In Buckhead, meeting hotels include the 553-room Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead; 438-room Grand Hyatt Atlanta; 422-room InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta; 367-room JW Marriott Hotel Buckhead Atlanta; 151-room St. Regis Atlanta; and 127-room Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta.

In Perimeter Center are the 495-room Crowne Plaza Ravinia and 400-room Marriott Perimeter Center.

Near Jackson-Hartfield International Airport are the 638-room Atlanta Airport Marriott and 387-room Renaissance Concord Hotel.

For a more complete list of area hotels, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Centers
Georgia World Congress Center; exhibit space, approximately 1.4 million square feet; number of meeting rooms, 106; (404) 223-4200

AmericasMart Atlanta; exhibit space, 800,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 41; (404) 220-2686

Georgia International Convention Center; exhibit space, 150,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 10; (770) 997-3566

Taxes
Room tax, 7%; sales tax, 8%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venue
The High Museum of Art on Peachtree Street, renowned for its collection of classic and contemporary art, has several venues available for meeting and events. Among these are the Renzo Piano-designed Margaretta Taylor Lobby, which was built in 2005 as part of the museum's expansion. It can hold 650 guests for a standing reception and 400 for a seated meal. The museum's signature Richard Meier-designed Robinson Atrium also is available for private events for up to 350 attendees. The outdoor Sifly Piazza can accommodate 500 attendees for a standing reception or 150 seated banquet-style. (404) 733-4924

Contact
 
The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau,
 (404) 521-6600