Kimpton Sylvan Hotel overview

An Adaptive Reuse Hotel Embraces Atlanta’s Tree Canopy

New York–based interiors firm Goodrich transformed an unremarkable mid-century building Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood.

What used to be an unassuming mid-rise tucked away in the tony Buckhead neighborhood has been resurrected as a swanky lodge that endeavors to embrace the Atlanta metro’s “city in the forest” nickname.

The new Kimpton Sylvan Hotel, located on the community’s bustling East Paces Ferry Road, was spawned from the bones of a drab 1950s residential structure. After a complete reimagining, the nine-story, I-shaped building features 217 high-end guest rooms, more than 4,000 square feet of meeting and event space, three food and drink options—one, of course, on the roof—and a new pool deck. Kimpton Sylvan general manager Tristan Haas said it’s become a sort of “all-inclusive resort inside the city limits; you don’t have to leave.”

The project demanded a total gutting of the midcentury building. Developed by Portman Holdings and designed by a partnership between the New York–based firm Goodrich, the San Francisco–based Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, and architects Stevens & Wilkinson, the finished product capitalizes on the original sprawling window space to offer guests vast views of the surrounding tree canopy and city skyline.

Downstairs, a lobby dotted with green accents and wood finishes gives way to Willow Bar, a garden-side watering hole shaded by trees—some of which watched the neighborhood mature years before the Sylvan was imagined—The Betty, a cozy, dim supper club inspired by the Hollywood hangouts of decades past; and a smattering of meeting and event spaces named after tree species like the Dogwood, the Ginkgo, and the Camellia Ballroom.

Outdoor bar
At the rooftop St. Julep bar, a livelier atmosphere prevails. There, colorful furnishings and city views practically beg guests to Instagram themselves. COURTESY CRIS MOLINA

On the roof, awash in the tree-freshened city air, the St. Julep lounge offers a bold, vibrant twist on the hotel’s color scheme, with an orange and blue mural staring out at Buckhead high-rises, complemented by craft cocktails and, among other fare, artisanal corn dogs.

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Guest rooms are pet-friendly and continue the hotel’s earthy atmosphere in a design that references the building’s midcentury past. They feature pale green and gray millwork, plentiful tambour accents, Danish Modern–inspired furniture, and locally sourced artwork. Kimpton’s senior design director Diana Martinez says the philosophy behind the design was “to make the space feel very light” and reflect its verdant environs.

Goodrich principal Matthew Goodrich names another practical benefit of the updated design: “a lot more window than you’d find in a typical hotel room.” 

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