Thrillist is out with its list of Most Iconic Hotels in Every State, saluting venerable destinations such as the retro Beverly Hills Hotel in California, the deco-fabulous Fontainebleau in Miami (designed by Morris Lapidus, grandfather of Atlanta PR pro Liz Lapidus, btw) and Watergate (where else?) in D.C.
Then there’s Georgia, home of the elegant Cloister at Sea Island, the sumptuous Four Seasons in Midtown, the beautifully rustic Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, the historic and probably haunted Mansion in Savannah (the building on Forsyth Park once housed a funeral home) and the gracious Partridge Inn in Augusta.
But none of them made the list. Guess which spot did?
Atlanta’s Clermont Hotel, which isn’t even operating at the moment.
“Iconic does not necessarily mean ‘nice.’ Or even “up to legal health codes,” the cheekily worded entry reads. “Nowhere is this more apparent than at Atlanta’s notorious Clermont Hotel. It may be the only hotel in the world that is exponentially more famous for its strip club than it is for its guest rooms, where the authentically divey Clermont Lounge has been an end-of-the-night staple for generations of Atlantans. The Lounge has remained open even as the hotel was shut for health-code violations in 2009, but a massive renovation and reconstruction plan is currently underway in the hotel, and its slated to open in March 2017 as a completely reinvented, but no less iconic, fixture of the city.”
The Clermont has been a hit with celebs in town filming movies. Morgan Freeman FTW here with his honey badger-like photo in front of the no-cameras sign.
Kevin Kline and Robert De Niro, two of Freeman’s co-stars in the Atlanta-filmed movie “Last Vegas,” also paid a visit. The 2013 movie was about a group of school chums who reconnect decades later for a grand hurrah on the Strip. So maybe they were doing research.
I wrote about it at the time but that was a few CMSes ago and I can’t find the post. But here’s a ghost image of it thanks to Pinterest:
Others to check out the Clermont have included Woody Harrelson, who filmed three “Hunger Games” series movies here, and Lily James, who appears in locally filmed “Baby Driver,” due out June 28.
The Clermont’s official Facebook page last posted an update on June 8, indicating its reopening was imminent.
As the AJC’s Becca Godwin reported, dignitaries including the beer can crushing Blondie attended last year’s groundbreaking. But turning the Clermont into a fancy pants boutique hotel is evidently taking longer than expected. From Becca’s report in May:
“The Clermont Lounge has been closed longer than initially expected. In late February, an owner hoped it would re-open the first week of April.
The dancers have had to find other means of income since the lounge closed at the start of the year to accommodate the redevelopment of the historic Clermont Motor Hotel into an upscale boutique hotel. They’ve washed cars at a Cobb County bar, performed at the Star Bar and raised $9,000 through a GoFundMe campaign.
The Clermont was built in 1924 as an apartment building and was converted to a hotel in 1940.”
Our iconic colleague David Gibson once lived there: