The St. Regis Atlanta’s concierge Louis Wood recommends the best ways to experience the city and season.
By Sharon Stello
With more than 15 years of concierge experience, Louis Wood knows all of the prime places to indulge and relax in Atlanta, offering his top choices for shopping, dining and entertainment this summer.
Warmer weather beckons visitors to enjoy alfresco dining at Atlanta’s many restaurants with outdoor patios, where scenic vistas and unparalleled cuisine create a perfect pairing.
Wood recommends DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE, an iconic steakhouse with an exceptional Atlanta location. “Del Frisco’s in the heart of Buckhead boasts an open-air balcony overlooking our famous Peachtree Road,” Wood says. “A great burger, a cold beer and an entertaining view of Peachtree is a great way to spend an hour.” (404-537-2828; delfriscosgrille.com)
For a relaxing meal with impeccable service, Wood suggests the ST. REGIS POOL PIAZZA, available only to the resort’s registered guests. Nibble on shrimp cocktails or a lobster BLT while gazing across the tranquil water. Wood says, “Our resort guests can work on their tan while enjoying cocktails, snacks or a full meal without ever leaving the comfort of their lounge chair.” (404-563-7900; stregisatlanta.com)
To indulge after dinner—or anytime—try sweets treats at MAISON ROBERT, north of the resort amid the Chamblee neighborhood’s luxury auto dealerships and antique shops. “Known for elegant handmade chocolates, Maison Robert offers a small lunch menu and a huge selection of French pastries and desserts,” Wood says. “Don’t miss the chocolate pave with pistachio buttercream icing.” (770-454-6442; maisonrobertchocolates.com)
For a special evening out, Wood recommends ARIA, where longtime pastry chef Kathryn King rotates the dessert selection regularly; notable favorites include chocolate espresso cake and Georgia strawberry angel cake. “A specialty that is often on the menu is her warm cheesecake,” Wood says. “I always advise my guests to save room for dessert when they are dining at Aria.” (404-233-7673; aria-atl.com)
Visitors may want to request their dessert to go and then head over to CHASTAIN PARK AMPHITHEATER. Wood says many concertgoers bring elegant picnic dinners to shows by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and popular bands at this outdoor concert venue. “Chastain Park is only a few minutes away from the St. Regis,” he says. “And, of course, our chef is always happy to prepare a meal to take to the show.” (chastainpark.org)
A different kind of show is planned for Fourth of July festivities around town. Start the morning by cheering at the PEACHTREE ROAD RACE. “This 10K … turns our Peachtree Street into a virtual river of human runners,” Wood says, adding that many resort guests stroll to the corner to watch. (404-231-9064; peachtreeroadrace.org)
Cap off the day at LENOX SQUARE MALL, which Wood says presents the area’s most spectacular Independence Day celebration with live entertainment before a patriotic display of fireworks lights up the sky. (404-233-6767; simon.com/mall/lenox-square)
Those seeking a memento of their trip need look no further than THE SHOP AT THE ST. REGIS. “Our resort gift shop can best be described as a jewel box of a boutique,” Wood says. Opened in November, it carries classic items sporting the resort’s logo and specialty items from two iconic Atlanta boutiques: Tassels jewelry store and Guffey’s menswear shop. (404-563-7900; stregisatlanta.com)
Another must-stop gift shop is SAM FLAX. In addition to the art and office supplies for which it’s known, the shops sells novelty items that make for great souvenirs and gifts. “They offer specialty stationery engraving, picture framing and gift wrapping,” Wood says. “Much of the second floor is dedicated to exquisite papers. These large sheets of handmade and machine-printed papers make Sam Flax a gift wrapper’s paradise.” (404-352-7200; samflaxsouth.com)
For a souvenir with some history, Wood recommends guests visit THE GALLERIES OF PEACHTREE HILLS, which offers antiques, fine art and interior design. His favorite store in the complex is ROBUCK, which specializes in Italian furniture and fixtures from the 17th to the 19th century. “The multilevel shop is filled with European treasures,” Wood says. (galleriesofpeachtreehills.com) (404-351-7173; robuck.co)
Not far from The Galleries is PEACHTREE BATTLE ANTIQUES & INTERIORS—“an antique lovers’ paradise” with 60 premier dealers in a 16,000-square-foot showroom. As Wood says, “The huge variety of antiques provides the perfect opportunity to buy a special gift for a friend or a very special gift for yourself.” (404-846-9411; peachtreebattleantiques.com)