After today, the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead is no more

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The famous blue flag comes down soon. Image: The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead

After more than 30 years at the corner of Peachtree and Lenox roads, the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton is finally checking out.

ON MYAJC: Cheers, maybe some tears as the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead rebrands

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.

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The private party the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead held to welcome its new executive chef

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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.”

Read more about the history of the hotel and about the upcoming rebranding at myAJC. 

 

Remember the fireplace in the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead’s Lobby Lounge? It’s gone, replaced by this brightly lit bar. Photo: Jason Dewey