We try very hard around here to place value on experiences over things. Every year Santa gives the kids four gifts – one of which is “something to do”. The price tag on this gift has varied greatly over the years depending on a number of factors. This year we stayed very close to home for the “do” gift and gave the boys dinner at Buckhead Diner followed by ice skating and dessert at the St. Regis!
First things first… Buckhead Diner. This retro style restaurant in Buckhead is really, really popular and I’ve only heard rave reviews. So, at the risk of being slayed by my fellow Atlantans, I’m sad to say that we didn’t love it. At all. This is one of the last Buckhead Life groups that we’ve tried and I think I like every other one on the extensive list better.
I loved the retro charm inside. We had an early dinner and it was nearly empty!
Everyone raves about the blue cheese chips and they were good. I do think this dish is better at Marlow’s though.
I got the grilled cheese and tomato soup and it was by far the best dish of the four we ordered between us. It was good, but not fantastic.
I mean, dinner wasn’t awful, but it really wasn’t great. But the good news is that our evening only went up from there!
The St. Regis is by far my favorite hotel in Atlanta. It was really only rivaled by the Ritz, which has since changed hands and I haven’t heard great things. The lobby was stunning in all of its Christmas splendor!
This cute little gingerbread house in the lobby sells all sorts of Sugarfina treats.
The Astor Ice Rink is built over the pool deck just for the holidays. Every part of our experience was fantastic and I highly recommend it as my top choice for an hour on the ice in Atlanta. You do need advance reservations and those are scheduled each hour for 50 minutes of skate time. We were warmly welcomed, chose our skates, scouted out a table and chairs under a heat lamp and got ourselves ready! They clean up the ice a little between each session as well.
The rink itself is quite small but it was not overcrowded. You can see here that much of it was not even used for about half of the time. People went on and off throughout the session.
Honey, John and I caught on quickly but I wouldn’t call us talented. Whit spent most of his time rolling around on the ice on his back or belly. We are thinking of going to New York next year and I had visions of us all elegantly gliding around the Rockefeller Rink like in all of the Hallmark Movies. Hmmmm…..
There are heat lamps all around the ice, waitress service as available for snacks and drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic), Christmas trees twinkle around the rink and it is a lovely experience overall. After our hour we ordered a round of hot chocolates and the boys made s’mores in the giant roaring fire!
If you go:
- Make reservations in advance.
- There are quite a few holiday events at the St. Regis so check out all of the offerings.
- Dress warmly – we wore coats, mittens and such. Of course, the boys ditched all of that once they warmed up.
- Valet parking is complimentary. Just be sure to have your ticket validated.
And, if you decide you want to stay the night, give me a buzz! In addition to Disney destinations, I am affiliated with luxury hotel brands, including the St. Regis, and get exclusive amenities on behalf of my clients :-)
Thanks, Santa, for the memorable afternoon!!!
As far as their other Santa gifts, Whit got a book about Elsa for “read” and a hover board for “want”. John got the Hunger Games books for “read” and some Adidas shoes for “want”. For their “need” gifts we gave them sleds because they had been borrowing them for years every time it snowed. (Fingers crossed we didn’t jinx all future snowstorms.) Honey and I gave John some LAX gear with his team on it and Whit a mini robot.
This was the first time I can ever remember when I didn’t buy my own Christmas gifts. It’s just usually easier that way and neither of us care much about it. BUT, this year we shopped for each other and it was fun and interesting :-). Honey’s gift to me was an electric mattress pad. I know… romantic, right?! All jokes aside, it is seriously the most luxurious thing I think I’ve ever owned. HAHAHAHA! We can each make our side of the bed as warm as we want. I don’t sleep with it on but I crank it up while I brush my teeth and such so my bed is nice and toasty every time I get in it.
I hope Santa was good to you. I’d love to hear about your favorite gift!
For luxury travel:
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED