I stayed here recently as part of a group meeting. I have been coming to this property since it opened back in the late '80s. It has operated under several names including Hilton Lake Lanier Islands Resort and Emerald Pointe Resort & Conference Center. When it was the Hilton, it was fairly new, but by the time it became the Emerald Pointe, it had become a little tired. Enter Virgil Williams and family who purchased the lease on a large portion of the property surrounding Lake Lanier from the Army Corp of Engineers a few years ago---including this property. Williams changed the name again to Legacy Lodge & Conference Center and set about remodeling almost every aspect of the resort from the roads leading in, to the golf course to the restaurants and the rooms. For those interested, please see this story that ran last year in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Enough background. Now on to my review.
This property has always struck me as odd. It's only accessable by entering through a guard gate and is less than an hour (depending on traffic) from Atlanta. However, it never seems very busy. I know development has been controlled and plenty has been written about the water level struggles of Lake Lanier, but this property seems a bit lost on people from Atlanta.
The entrance and lobby area has seen some nice changes. The valet parking guys are welcoming and quite helpful--though it's nice that they kept the self parking. The front desk staff made check in quick. The new rooms are great. Where the old bathrooms were beginning to look like old Hilton bathrooms---the new bathrooms are stylish and clean, yet functional. One area that could use a bump up still is the bedding. Ok, so they've added double sheets to hold the blanket, but it's still seems lacking for a property that strives to be top level. The coffee maker and CD player clock radio seem like holdovers from the last redo, but functional. The carpet and wallpaper are pleasing to look at. Most top resorts offer designer shampoo products and this hotel should consider this as well, instead of the generic products they offer.
One of the highlights of the property is the meeting space. The break snacks are nice and meeting rooms themselves are in great shape.
The all-new Bullfrogs Bar and Grille is terrific, especially the staff. The lunch sandwiches are huge and rather tasty. However, the Windows Restaurant (the nicer of the two) is still lacking in the staffing area, though the food is good. In fact, this seems to be my only real complaint about the property. While they've redone much of the public areas and rooms, the same staff remains. It's sad to say (espeically with unemployment as high as it is) some of the staff are just not right for a hotel with luxury intentions.
I did not have time to enjoy any of the play activities---golf, spa, pool, beach, water park, bikes, etc. but they all look top notch. One word or warning---the spa and workout building is out on the main road leading into the hotel and not really within walking distance. To help with this, the hotel has converted a couple of regular sleeping rooms and installed treadmills and stair machines.
If you're planning an off-site meeting or a weekend away from Atlanta---I would seriously consider this property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated along the shores of Lake Sidney Lanier, Lanier Islands boasts 1,500 scenic acres perfect for active families, romantic couples, corporate groups and solo travelers alike. Guests may choose from a variety of onsite activities and amenities to curate the perfect experience year round, from a water park to diverse dining options and a spa. Additionally, this lakeside Georgia resort offers over 23,000 square feet of flexible event space and professional services for successful conferences, retreats, weddings, and other events. Luxurious amenities and unparalleled natural beauty come standard with your stay, which will surely be treasured long after your bags have been unpacked. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Legacy Lodge And Conference Center
- Legacy Hotel Buford
- Legacy Resort Buford
- Emerald Point Lake Lanier