Whether one hangs out mostly around the resort’s property or uses it as a base for enjoying Stone Mountain Park’s recreational, seasonal and cultural attractions, the Marriott Evergreen Resort is perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.
Over the course of three nights and three days, I was able to enjoy both the resort and its surroundings. Stone Mountain Park named for the iconic Stone Mountain, a quartz monzonite dome that looks like its from another planet, is the park’s most prominent feature, is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground just 15 miles from Atlanta.
A sky lift that takes visitors up Stone Mountain the easy way, an Historic Town Square of authentic houses built between 1793 and 1875, and bicycle and boat rentals are some of the things to do. There are also seasonal happenings. When I visited, the Stone Mountain Native American Festival and Powwow was taking place. These days its the Stone Mountain Christmas through Jan. 6, 2019.
The resort itself has much to hold a guests’ attention. One night friends and I gathered over drinks in Stonewall’s Lounge the hotel’s restaurant/bar combo with a family-friendly vibe.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the Waterside Restaurant that specializes in American cuisine. I did have the buffet for lunch. With a wide-variety of dishes from fried chicken to pork loin to pasta and salad items, there’s plenty from which to choose. The view of the lake through the expansive picture windows is one reason to dine here. Plus, on the way out, I discovered I forgot dessert so I grabbed a taste of cheese cake and a piece of pie. One of the staff offered to bring me coffee to go with it. That was worth taking a pause in an otherwise busy day.
Every staff person I came across, from the reception staff to those who serviced the conference rooms were as accommodating and friendly as she was.
For people looking for a quick bite and coffee, there’s a Starbuck’s with seating that overlooks the outdoor pool and lake. I headed here in the morning for real Half-and Half for the coffee I made in my room. Powdered creamer provided with the coffee and tea fixin’s in guest rooms is not my favorite.
Other hotel hangout spots are the expansive lobby with its stone fireplace and polished wood floors. Leather furniture is sink into comfortable. Throughout the hallways, seating provides space for a respite and visit. Photographs of Stone Mountain Park add to the aesthetics of the lovely décor.
Except for the Half-and Half, my room with its two double beds was splendid. Happily, the weather warmed up enough by my last day that I was able to enjoy sitting on the balcony with an excellent view of the lake. A small refrigerator, large flat screen TV, the coffee maker, iron and outlets in all the right places to plug in electronics gave me everything I needed to make my stay enjoyable.
The warm yellow hues, soft lighting and streamlined furniture made for a lovely room. The bedding offered a splendid night sleep and the bathroom’s long granite counter and modern fixtures added an elegant feel. As with the rest of the hotel, artwork reflects Stone Mountain Park’s natural beauty.
Although I didn’t use the fitness room or the indoor pool, they are both several notches above most hotels. The pool is spacious and has a hot tub, and the fitness room has a wide range of equipment and room to spread out.
It was still warm enough that people were swimming in the outdoor pool one afternoon. I was interested to see if anyone would play chess with the giant-sized chess set, but no one did.
The resort also has two 18-hole golf courses.
If you do stay, go out early in the morning, particularly if you’re visiting in the fall. The lake at 7:30 am, is stunning.
One note. There is not a shuttle between the resort and the rest of Stone Mountain Park’s activities. This could put a damper on a vacation if not everyone wants to do the same thing at the same time, or if you are staying here without a car. I had a rental car so getting from one place to another, including the airport in Atlanta was simple.
Guest room options range from King Balcony Rooms to two Double Bed Suites. Currently rates range from $129 to $179 depending upon the size of the room and what view one sees out the window. You can book online at the hotel’s website. Also check the website for deals and packages. There are several choices. You can also compare rates at Priceline or Hotels.com.
*There is also a $20 one-time pass fee for Stone Mountain Park, so take advantage of the area beauty.
My stay was hosted by the DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau as part of the Midwest Travel Journalists Association fall meeting. All opinions, however are my own.