The Road To Atlanta From Parts South And West
October 21, 2014
The Road To Atlanta From Parts South And West

Flying in and out of Atlanta can be a pleasure if you plan well and possibly consider a stay at one of the large hotel complexes which ring the airport’s perimeter.

Lots of travelers from the Southeast plan their trips around flying in and out of the U.S.’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International.

Making your experience match the convenience, timetable and cost of using this airport presents a challenge.

If you drive to the airport from another city or state to board a flight from Hartsfield, what you might save of the cost of airline tickets, can easily be lost in the cost of parking for an extended period of time in one of the airport’s mammoth lots.

If you choose to stay at a downtown or suburban hotel for a visit to the city, you still can incur expensive daily fees for parking, not to mention navigating the city’s massive traffic jams.

Atlanta, known as the “Big Peach”, is constantly offering enticing events which draw visitors from the surrounding areas.

Besides the usual big name musical entertainers who headline concerts in the city’s varied venues, Atlanta also reels in the super events, i.e., last month’s TomorrowWorld happening which was held on a tract of Georgia farmland near Hartsfield-Jackson  International Airport.

TomorrowWorld has become one of the most prominent electronic music festivals in the world attracting more than 140,000 attendees, including fans from some 75 different countries.

This year’s festival held on the last weekend in September again at the same location as the 2013 event, in the Chattahoochee Hills, south of the airport drew large scale numbers.

Many of the foreign attendees, seemingly, arrived on my inbound flight from New York City to Atlanta. They came from as far away as the Philippines and the Middle East.

These were not teen-agers or college students. For the most part they seemed to be well employed 20”s and 30”s olds. The cost of attending this concert held over several days was significant, starting with tickets beginning at $400.

As explained to me by several airline seatmates the concert-goers had to pay for their own tents, limited cabin accommodations or nearby motels. Many also rented cars to access the site on a daily basis and to get needed provisions for food and camping equipment.

Staying at many hotels and motels surrounding the airport provide a great alternative to outdoor tent camping (especially if the weather turned inclement) and offered the concert attendees easy access to the TomorrowWorld site.

This fall, still other visitors to the city will be seeking some retail, rather than musical therapy and Atlanta is going to fill that need as well with the opening of the Buckhead Atlanta.

The shops included in this development are thought to be a kind of “Beverly Hills South,” reminiscent of fashion boutiques lining Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Luxury brands such as Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Prada and Versace will have their own stores. The six-block area will also eventually offer office space and luxury residences.

Along with the shops come the new restaurants and Buckhead Atlanta will deliver with outposts such as New York City’s Shake Shack (of the Danny Meyer fame) and LeBilboquet (a French bistro located on the Upper East Side of New York).

This luxury-mixed use development will attract visitors from near and far. Many will choose to fly into the city.

Still other Atlanta visitors use Atlanta as a gateway to cities and countries beyond, as we did on a recent journey which included visits to New York City and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Driving from Northwest Florida to Atlanta for our out-bound flight would mean that we would be parking our car at the airport for more than two weeks.

Because of the number and size of the airport lots, I have often found myself parking in a lot so far away from the terminal that I had to schedule extra time to just ride their parking lot shuttle.

Other times, to save expense, I have parked at off airport premises park and ride lots. This option also requires extra time on the passenger’s part to allow for airport shuttles not only being on time because of traffic or just too many people wanting to ride the shuttle at the same time.

This encouraged me to look for airport hotel packages which offered extended parking.

The Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel fit that bill for us.

This large hotel offers an onsite restaurant, plus room service, a workout facility, pools, free shuttle service throughout the day and evening to the airport and return.

But the star of their packages is the one which includes parking.

With the Escape Package, rates vary from $119 to $199 per room for two guests per night. The package also includes the ability to leave your car for 10 days in a secure lighted lot at the hotel and  have the use of the airport shuttle.

This package goes a long way to eliminating the stress and expense of airport parking. “With this package guests save $160 over parking at the airport,”said Louis Maresca, of the hotel staff. “It is getting close to the holidays and we want our guests to be able to spent time with their families out-of-town and still save money by eliminating the cost of parking at the airport.

We chose instead to check into the hotel the night before our departure for New York City.

Our room offered a balcony which overlooked a new runaway being constructed at the

airport (that’s how close we were to the airport, itself) and we weren’t disturbed by any airline noise. That’s how sound-proof the hotel’s rooms are.

The room was well-appointed, having recently undergone a renovation. It featured free Wi-Fi, premium television channels, a refrigerator, room safe, and solid stone counters in the bathroom.

The hotel is 11 floors with 380 rooms, so it easily accommodates airport guests as well as wedding or other guests.

 A restaurant is onsite, as well as a snack center and room service, so food needs can be met without leaving the premises.

A business center, open to all guests is an easy way to print out your airline boarding passes. Complimentary newspapers are offered in the lobby, along with express check in and out.

Even if you park your car on premises and then decide you want to use it before your flight, there is an easy access card for your use.

So as you start planning holiday travel consider alternative ways to save money and make your upcoming trips less stressful.

Link to full article here.

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Stacie Ellis
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