Openings: New Thompson Hotels in Atlanta and Austin
Above image: Thompson Buckhead
On January 5 The Washington Post reported that 1400 flights were cancelled due to Omicron concerns, a day after it had made known that 1300 had been cancelled for the same reason. (Though as of January 13, Delta Airlines posted on its website that there would be fewer such cancellations, due to the supposed diminishing impact of the virus.) So it’s particularly impressive that Thompson Hotels is continuing apace with their intrepid expansion plans, having opened in San Antonio, Savannah, Hollywood, and New York (Central Park) in 2021, while the early days of 2022 finds them having already just debuted the Thompson Buckhead and the Thompson Austin, with Denver coming in February.
Buckhead is, of course, Atlanta’s poshest neighborhood, already home to a St. Regis, a Waldorf Astoria and a JW Marriott. But Thompson hips things up a bit via this stylish new 201 key hotel, with interiors by Dallas’ Studio 11 Design. Rooms are done up in cool earth tones, with dark wood Chevron patterned floors, marble mosaic-tiled bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows framing the handsome surrounding skyline. Signature suites boast soaking tubs and spa-inspired steam showers.
There’s a swanky little lobby bar with a cozy living room vibe and globe chandeliers, and at Dirty Rascal chef Todd Ginsberg oversees a kitchen serving up Italian classics like fettucine con fungi, lobster frutti di mare and chicken scarpariello in classy surrounds.
But the hotel is notably also part of a new program intriguingly titled Culture Lives Here, which reminds why Thompson is definitely not the St. Regis or Waldorf. Indeed, a collaboration with local artist Huelani Mei Foglemen of Hue Designs has netted a collection of eight original sculptures placed around the hotel which reference the symbol that was custom created for Dirty Rascal, meant to convey the sense of mischief that foxes are so well known for. Don’t be surprised if you also find his image stamped on the ice cubes in your cocktail.
In Austin, the CLH collab is with Mills Miller’s whole-plant hemp venture MINERAL. With the goal of normalizing the use of hemp for wellness and self-care, the new Thompson will feature the brand’s “SLEEP” sublingual at night, and “BALANCE” during the day at several key spots around the property – so guests can sample at their leisure.
The hotel itself, scheduled to open later this month, will feature 212 uniquely stylish rooms (cast concrete walls, leather furnishings, terrazzo tiles, graphical stone mosaics), as well as generous placement of greenery in the public spaces. Up on the 4th floor Wax Myrtle’s Pool Club has private cabanas and daybeds, a game room, and an acoustic stage for live performances.
But most exciting are the epicurean offerings by celeb chef Mashama Bailey, who was the 2019 James Beard recipient of Best Chef in the Southeast – and whose Savannah restaurant The Grey has been reinventing the cuisine of the American South to rapturous reviews since debuting in 2014. At their new Thompson restaurant Diner Bar, she and partner John O. Morisano will marry Port City Southern cooking with regional Texas ingredients and flavors, while the Grey Market will be something of a hybrid of NYC bodega ethos and classic Southern lunch counter vibes.