This week nearly two dozen reporters and influencers from around the U.S. gathered at an iconic shopping center in Atlanta to experience a luxury location with epic new scope and scale. With the addition of Nobu Atlanta hotel and restaurant; Citizens Market food hall; Life Time wellness, spa and coworking space; the One Phipps office tower; and a variety of new specialty amenities, shopping center Phipps Plaza is proving to be the city’s new hotbed of luxury and an ideal place for a “staycation,” getaway or even extended haven for those filming entertainment content in Atlanta. Yours truly, a longtime customer of the movie theatre inside the shopping center, found myself wonderstruck by all the new attractions in ”Phipps Reimagined.”
The entertainment buzz was palpable among the visiting tastemakers with star-sightings of cast members from Euphoria and Bad Boys 4 dining or enjoying the bar at the exclusive Nobu Atlanta restaurant, the culinary province of co-founder and master sushi chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa. Oscar winner Robert De Niro is a partner in the enterprise! Reporters dined at the Peruvian-influenced Japanese restaurant with an array of dishes including Nobu’s signature miso-marinated black cod. The exposed Nobu kitchen allows daily guests to witness the preparation of dishes such as rock shrimp tempura – and of course some of the best sushi this side of Tokyo. The restaurant is attached to a splendid conference center and hotel. Designed by Rockwell Group, Nobu Hotel Atlanta offers 152 stylish rooms and suites. Guests were greeted with fresh-baked cookies and other “surprise and delights” in their suite accommodations. Visits to the rooftop villa included fresh flowers, origami making, perfume samples and mingling on the rooftop pool and around the piano.
Life Time Buckhead provides multiple glorious stories of cardio and strength training; yoga, cycling, barre and Pilates classes; specialty spa services; and a luxury rooftop with a duo of swimming pools surrounded by cabanas, adult beverages and weekend DJs. Life Time Work also occupies a private level of the complex with a variety of coworking floor plans and amenities for those making it all happen away from home or office. Plus the new One Phipps Plaza office tower is growing its impressive roster with an array of global headquarters and financial and tech companies.
Citizens Market is the new 25,000-square-foot lifestyle food hall, bar and event space at Phipps Plaza. As the latest addition to the redevelopment, this elevated culinary experience includes eight distinctive food concepts and a full-service bar. Guests can indulge in the best of fast-casual brands such as Umami Burger (one of my savory staples on Los Angeles trips!), Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Sa’Moto, EllaMia, Cicci di Carne, El Pollo Verde, and Soom Soom, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Travel writer Roshae Hemmings chronicled her time at Citizens Market in a syndicated article while visiting this week.
Activities for families at Phipps Plaza include Build-A-Bear Workshop and matinees at the AMC Phipps Plaza 14 movie theatre, and a brand new destination promises to be a must-experience this summer. LEGO® Discovery Center in Phipps Plaza is an indoor 35,000-square-foot attraction and Atlanta’s home of “LEGO play,” where families can create adventures with more than two million bricks. The Center is open 365 days a year and allows guests to take part in one-of-a-kind experiences such as building a dimensional rocket and sending it into virtual orbit. Talk about practical effects! There is also a movie screening zone and an interactive ride among the Center’s ten themed play areas. USA Today heralded the innovations in this new space.
The assembled reporters visiting Phipps Plaza were among the first to learn at a stop in the Saks Fifth Avenue store the arrival of new “studio services” to accommodate the daily needs of the booming film and television industry in Georgia. The Saks at Phipps “lives at the cutting edge of high-end fashion with a deep commitment to people—bringing the new luxury experience to its customers.” Services offered at the luxury retailer include Fifth Avenue Club, Virtual Appointments, Gastronomy Kitchen and The Salon Project by Joel Warren. And featured brands at the flagship location include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Christian Louboutin and The House of Creed.
Favorite activities of journalists visiting the expansions to the Buckhead ecosystem included time spent shopping for luxury items. In fact, many of the out-of-towners marveled at the fact that there are two adjacent luxury malls, Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, on the same block in Atlanta.
I loved the special touches of all the businesses working together to bring a high degree of hospitality around every turn, from the chefs and servers in the food hall to concierges at Nobu who arranged Porsche transport for nearby trips to the High Museum, Atlanta Botanical Garden and more. A visiting oragami instructor even constructed the distinctive alien from the film The Arrival for this movie connoisseur.
I always have an incredible time at the movies inside the mall, with a mid-week screening of the acclaimed adventure Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the reserved seats of this convenient multiplex. Now when I see indies or mainstream Hollywood films, I’ll be heartened to know I have so many additional new luxury accommodations and eateries right there in the vicinity.
It was a great week becoming better acquainted with the Phipps staff and all the visitors to town. I encourage you to see if for yourself!
[Disclaimer: The author provides PR services for Simon Property Group, owners of Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, and has been a frequenter of AMC Phipps Plaza 14 for movie screenings since 1998.]