We're back with our series, Inside Atlanta—each week, we sit down with influential locals to talk about what Atlanta means to them. Today we’re sitting down with Jessica Gorman, concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead of nearly 11 years and member of the prestigious organization Les Clefs d’Or USA, the only national organization of hotel lobby concierges. Gorman is extremely passionate, working her self-proclaimed “dream job” in a city she adores.
Today we get a tour of The Big Peach lead by Gorman herself.
I live in… “Buckhead, right around the corner from The Ritz-Carlton. I love living in Atlanta because there are so many neighborhoods to explore, each offering a unique experience. Atlanta is incredibly diverse and full of culture. From museums to theaters to historical sites, there is never a shortage of things to learn.”
I Wish People Knew… “the city’s best brunch is at Canoe. The view of the Chattahoochee River and rustic décor are only surpassed by the fantastic local cuisine. I dream of the pecan sticky buns and cornmeal pancakes.”
You Can Find Me… “brunching or lunching at one of my favorite Buckhead neighborhood spots post-Flywheel workout. Souper Jenny, Joy Café, and Zoe’s Kitchen are some of my favorites.”
It’s Dinner Time, I’m headed to… “Aria, St. Cecilia, Bone’s, Kyma, or Local Three, and when I’m craving Vietnamese, I head to Buford Highway to Chateau Saigon for my favorite pho. It’s like a warm hug.”
Clock strikes 5 o’clock, I’m drinking… “champagne because it makes any outing feel like a celebration.
The bar at Chops has a lively scene and it’s fun to get dressed up to rub shoulders with Buckhead’s elite. After that, settle into one of the couches in the Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead to enjoy great live music and a nightcap.”
If I Had to Stay in a Hotel, I’d check into… “my beloved property, The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. As Atlanta’s crown jewel for 31 years, the location in the heart of Buckhead has been the gathering place for several generations. Offering the finest in hospitality, our ladies and gentlemen provide exquisite service that enhances the guest experience in our lush accommodations, serene Spa and classic culinary offerings.”
Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret Is… “Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. Sought after by the likes of celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Richard Blais, the market features hard-to-find authentic items from almost every global cuisine. They even offer cooking classes for an interactive experience.”
When I’m Playing Tourist, I go to… “Stone Mountain, the Inside CNN Studio Tour, and the newly opened National Center for Civil and Human Rights, it’s a living history lesson. I also take visitors on a walk around Chastain Park in Buckhead or along the newly paved Atlanta Beltline. In addition to my own Buckhead neighborhood, Inman park, Westside Provisions District and the Virginia-Highlands are my favorite neighborhoods to explore.”
I Get My Sweat On… “at Flywheel. I am a Flywheel spin class fanatic and go five times per week. The experience changed my life. It’s so high-energy and has a wonderful community of supportive instructors and friends.”
I Love Spending My Money At… “Paper Source. With locations in Buckhead and the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, it’s my go-to spot for stationary and unique, personalized gifts.
Story by Sarah Chanin. The Atlanta expert for About Travel, Kate Parham Kordsmeier, can be reached on twitter @KPKords or via email at email@example.com. Don't forget to like us on Facebook.