After more than 30 years at the corner of Peachtree and Lenox roads, the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton is finally checking out.
To be clear, the hotel building isn’t going anywhere but its iconic blue flag comes down after today. The venerable property that has welcomed celebrity guests – Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, Lauren Bacall, Mick Jagger, Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler, Julia Child, Rod Stewart and The Lady Chablis, to name a few – and hosted innumerable charity balls and society weddings over the years has a new identity. As of Friday the property at 3434 Peachtree Road will be known as The Whitley, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Atlanta Buckhead.
FROM THE AJC ARCHIVES: When the Ritz-Carlton’s Dining Room closed
Reaction is mixed, to put it mildly.
“Progress is great. It’s going to be a fabulous concept,” said Debra Cannon, professor and director of the School of Hospitality at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson’s College of Business and the hotel’s former director of human resources.
“I feel like the Ritz-Carlton’s birth certificate is being burned,” lamented Horst H. Schulze, former president at The Ritz-Carlton Company who was at the helm when the Buckhead property opened.
Martha Jo Katz, the hotel’s former catering manager who once helped Frank Sinatra figure out the hotel’s high-tech telephones, put it succinctly: “I can’t imagine Buckhead being without a Ritz.”