Corporate travel budgets are an endangered species these days. But if youve got the funds, NetWorld+ Interop remains a great event for solutions providers. For those heading to the Atlanta show (Sept. 9-14), Smart Partners staff offers the following travel guide.
Lodging: Staff opinions run wild here. Many members of the Smart team strongly recommend the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta (pictured above; www.fourseasons.com/atlanta/ index.html), which offers an indoor pool and “sheets that are so soft,” as one of our seasoned road warriors put it.
Still, at $214 per night and 2.5 miles from the convention center, some businesses may balk at the Four Seasons. Lower-cost options include the Atlanta Super 8 Hotel (www.super8.com, $89), which is one-third of a mile from the convention center, and the Atlanta Downtown Travelodge (www.travelodge. com, $92), which is less than a miles walk from the N+I show floor. Just remember: You get what you pay for.
Food & Drink: Our favorite dining spot is Canoe (770-432-2663, www.canoe-atl.com), an American-style restaurant that offers indoor and outdoor dining in a private garden set alongside a river. The lunch menu (ranging from $7.95 to $14.95) includes Maine crab ravioli, seared Carolina trout and more traditional selections—such as an all-American cheeseburger. Dinner ($16.50 to $26.95) offers similar selections.
Other recommendations include City Grill (404-524-2489, www. savvydiner.com/atlanta/citygrill), and two highly regarded Italian stops: Pricci (404-237-2941) and Veni, Vidi Vici (404-875-8424).
In the mood for a great drink? Head back to the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, find the bar and order a sour apple martini.
Entertainment & Points of Interest: The show floor typically empties in the early afternoon, leaving ample time for you to explore Atlanta.
Baseball fans can head to Turner Field, where the Atlanta Braves host the Philadelphia Phillies, Sept. 11-13 (www.atlantabraves.com).
If youre feeling a bit more adventurous, put on your hiking boots and tour Stone Mountain Park (www. stonemountainpark.com), which offers awesome views and multiple picnic areas. With just a little luck, you might even find a spot with no cell phone coverage.