Buckhead’s newest hotel will feature a private rooftop club and a restaurant called Dirty Rascal.
The Thompson Buckhead is expected to open this winter, marking the hotel brand’s entry into the Atlanta market.
The roughly $90 million hotel could help expand the walkable Buckhead Village, as more development shifts east toward Piedmont Road. The hotel is located on East Paces Ferry Road, just a few blocks from the upscale shops of the Buckhead Village District including Dior and Jimmy Choo.
The 10-story hotel will offer 201 rooms and amenities including a private rooftop club called Tesserae, exclusive to hotel guests and invited members.
“The club will serve as an invite-only club designed to highlight the diversity of Atlanta and create a space for its greatest thought-leaders and creators to network and socialize at the meticulously designed indoor-outdoor rooftop,” according to a spokeperson for the Thompson Buckhead.
The ground floor of the hotel will be home to Dirty Rascal, an Italian-American restaurant from Chef Todd Ginsberg of The General Muir.
Josh Hopkins, a Brookhaven resident, will serve as executive chef. Hopkins has overseen the kitchens of top Atlanta restaurants including Bacchanalia and Empire State South. And, Joe Alessandroni of Singapore’s 1880 Club is director of bars, restaurants and events.
Lukas Grace is general manager of the hotel. He most recently served as hotel manager of Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, and prior to that, director of food and beverage for Buckhead’s St. Regis Atlanta.
Interestingly, Grace’s father-in-law is legendary hotelier Horst Schulze, co-founder and former president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. Schulze later started Capella Hotel Group, what he called an “ultra-luxury” hotel brand.
Grace, a Sandy Springs resident, shared how Schulze has shaped his hospitality career.
“He’s the reason I got into the industry,” Grace, 39, said during a media tour in late September. He currently lives with Schulze, calling it amazing “to have someone who is the best living hotelier in the world always there.”
Some of his greatest lessons from Schulze include that to be a great leader “you have to start with a vision” or no one can follow you. “He makes everything simple,” Grace added. “He’s a person who is a constant teacher.”
Veteran Atlanta real estate companies Regent Partners and The Loudermilk Cos. partnered to develop the Thompson hotel.
Keith Mack, director of development services for Regent Partners, said while it was tough to develop the hotel during a pandemic, he’s bullish on the outlook for the hotel industry. COVID-19 was catastrophic to the hospitality industry, especially in the early months of the pandemic, with hotel occupancy levels plummeting across the globe.
But Mack said there’s now a surge of what he called revenge travel. “We are starting to see people come back,” he said. Although, he expects it to take another six months for the convention business to ramp back up, a notable source of demand in the Atlanta market.
“This is a tremendous asset to Buckhead and the city of Atlanta,” Mack said of the Thompson, describing it as a boutique-style hotel with flair, a “mix of sass and flash.”
Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio was the hotel architect, with Studio 11 serving as designer. Brasfield and Gorrie was the general contractor.
Hyatt Hotels Corp. owns the Thompson Hotel brand. It was founded in 2001 and includes properties such as The Beekman and Gild Hall in New York City. There are also Thompson Hotels in Nashville, Chicago, Dallas and San Antonio. More are in the works, including in Denver and Savannah.
Here are renderings of the finished Buckhead hotel: