Ask the Expert: The St. Regis Atlanta's Preston Rooks

Hotel hidden gems and neighborhood highlights from the Buckhead concierge

Located in the elegant enclave of Buckhead, The St. Regis Atlanta's standard of excellence combined with Atlas restaurant's rotating art collection are enough reason to return again and again. Still, the resort-style hotel is perhaps most magical around the holidays when it's transformed into a winter wonderland. 

Even if temperatures in Georgia don't feel like winter, seasonal travelers and locals alike return for traditions like the Astor Holiday Ice Rink and the city's largest gingerbread house in the lobby. The festivities begin Nov. 23 with its remarkable Thanksgiving Brunch set in the hotel’s beautiful Astor Ballroom. 

Preston Rooks, concierge and member of the esteemed Les Clefs d’Or USA, shares an insider's look at the hotel and beyond.

Children ice skating
Wam up with hot cocoa and s'mores after a spin on the Astor Holiday Ice Rink. (©The St. Regis Atlanta)

Does The St. Regis Atlanta have anything special planned for Thanksgiving this year?

Two seatings will be offered—the first at 11 am and the second at 2 pm—providing a decadent brunch menu of Thanksgiving favorites created by chef Jordan Barnett, a Bloody Mary and mimosa bar, live jazz music from the Joe Gransden Six Piece Band and a game-day lounge for football fans. Pricing is $149 for adults, $75 for children 8-12 years old, $59 for children 4-7 years old and complimentary for children 3 and under.

Astor Ballroom at The St. Regis Atlanta
The beautiful Astor Ballroom (©The St. Regis Atlanta)

Where's the best place to see the changing of the leaves?

Piedmont Park. There's just something about it. Every area of the park has something different going on, from festivals to a picnic or a simple walk.

Where's your favorite place to buy the perfect seasonal scarf?

Guffey's off of Tower Place Drive and Canali at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.

What's the best way to recharge after a hefty day of shopping in Buckhead?

With happy hour, of course! I have a few favorites in the area. Atlas here at the hotel has live entertainment, The Regent Cocktail Club is great if you want some fresh air and a cocktail, and Gypsy Kitchen has very spacious indoor and outdoor patio seating. 

Chops Lobster Bar
Chops Lobster Bar (©Buckhead Life Restaurant Group)

What is your recommended steakhouse?

Well I can't pick just one. I have three: Chops, Hal's and Bones. Just know that Bones is always busy and you'll need a reservation. The trio really have steak power. If you're in Atlanta, these are easily the top three steak houses.

Where can someone find an impeccable apple pie in town? 

Southern Baked Pie Company here in Buckhead. They actually have a variety of pies, as well as rotating seasonal ones and pies that range from sweet to savory. 

What’s a hidden secret of The St. Regis Atlanta?

We are very fortunate enough to have an extensive art collection in the Atlas restaurant. The Atlas experience is a constant evolution from the cuisine to the art. 'The Lewis Collection' is one of the largest private art collections in the world, featuring major works from Bacon, Degas, Freud, Klimt, Modigliani, Matisse and Picasso.

The St. Regis Atlanta
(©The St. Regis Atlanta)

The current arrangement tells the story of Japanese artist Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita through his own works and those of his closest friends and colleagues. The rare exhibition features 20 pieces underlining his valuable contributions to the art community. Foujita was influential to the School of Paris artists, many of them his collaborators and Montparnasse neighbors, including Picasso.

From time to time, Atlas will rotate its art collection to showcase a wider array of work including local and student artists. 'The Lewis Collection' is rotating at the end of November and will return after the new year.