What We Love
- Homey Southern fare at The Foundry (think brined and smoked wings, pimento cheese and collard greens with cornbread)
- Regular live music performances at The Foundry
- The wallet-friendly free shuttle service and parking
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- Within walking distance of the University of Georgia
- There’s a 24-hour fitness center and a (seasonal) outdoor pool
- The hotel is pet-friendly
- Overnight parking is available for a fee
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Youthful, spirited digs with a hip music venue/restaurant and an outdoor pool close to downtown Athens and the University of Georgia campus
Whether you’re a University of Georgia alum, a Southern food and music aficionado or an out-of-state hipster blowing through town, this fashion-forward boutique stay, housed in a former iron foundry, has you covered. Like any millennial worth his salt, the Graduate is a multitasker: the music venue, boutique hotel, bar, restaurant, and coffee shop are merged under this historic roof, a onetime iron foundry where blacksmiths forged local landmarks like the arch of the UGA campus and the Athens double-barrel cannon. The vibe in the lobby and dining venues is upscale college dorm—picture brightly colored retro-fabulous furniture, exposed brick walls, whimsical artworks and lots of cozy strewn cushions. Guest rooms and suites follow the same pattern, with sunshine-yellow tufted headboards, sisal rugs, Midcentury Modern furniture, and cool thrift store finds. The hotel offers all the modern amenities you’d expect, including free WiFi, flat-screen HD TVs, a 24-hour gym and toiletries courtesy of hip New York brand Malin + Goetz. Nosh on such downhome dishes as brined and smoked wings, pimento cheese, and collard greens with cornbread before taking in a show at The Foundry, a music venue that serves a wide range of local craft brews. The artsy lobby, meanwhile, doubles as a boho coffee shop called Ironworks, complete with a subway tile bar, industrial-chic stools and kitschy framed artworks galore.
In the Area
Stroll a couple of blocks to vintage heaven at Agora Vintage, an on-point boutique founded by local tastemaker Airee Edwards that stocks treasures like Louis Vuitton Damier totes, gorgeous antique costume jewelry and pre-loved designer clothing. While we wouldn’t normally suggest including a pharmacy visit in your weekend getaway plans, don’t miss Hodgson’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore complete with a soda fountain and hand-dipped ice cream. If adult beverages and arthouse films are more your jam, head to Ciné, a 1940s car dealership turned cultural hub that shows independent movies and sports a full bar that serves champagne, cocktails and coffee. (The space also hosts regular yoga classes.)
How to Get There
Beware of the advertised rate: this weekend it was more like $259 a night. Which is a lot of money for what this hotel is: In all honesty, its a hipped up economy motel. All rooms are open and face onto the parking lot. There is no safe, no do not disturb sign for housekeeping. So keep your valuables n your car. Room was clean, basic, and quirky fun in decor. But for $259 a nght, you can get more upscale accomodations elsewhere in town.
Very convenient for UGA football games though the price skyrockets on game weekends. Very cute, clean rooms with great amenities. Very nice lobby area with cocktail bar. The Foundry is on the property - great for entertainment. Front desk and housekeeping staff was very friendly and accommodating. Very kind front desk staff helped me check in very early on a Saturday morning when I called and needed to leave a terrible hotel in Athens. Saved the day!
I couldn’t recommend a wedding at The Graduate enough. From our initial consultation all the way to the wedding day we have received nothing short of exemplary service and value. I can’t imagine the wedding anywhere else. If you’re looking for the complete package for your wedding, look no further. The Graduate was hands down the best money we spent on the wedding. We will definitely steer any friends we come across to this awesome venue!