Room 234 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel holds a special meaning for Bernice King.
The suite was recently named in honor of her mother, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, becoming what may be the first hotel room or suite named for an African-American woman in metro Atlanta.
Not only is the suite named for Coretta Scott King, but hotel officials changed the room number from 235 to 234 to match the address of the King family home for many decades at 234 Sunset Ave. in Vine City. Hotel officials also wanted to make sure the suite reflected her interests and personality as well.
It was important to make sure that the suite had an elegant feel to it and “emphasized my mother heavily,” she said. She called the suite “breathtaking. Some people say it puts them in mind of the last condo my mother lived in before her death.”
The 1,600-square-foot suite, which was redesigned, is decorated in subdued hues, giving it a warm feeling. There are photos of Coretta Scott King alone throughout the one-bedroom suite, but others with her family, including a stunning wedding photo of Coretta Scott King and her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., and the last professionally taken picture of King and her children.
Coretta Scott King loved flowers, so the Hyatt made sure to include floral decorations throughout the suite and books on gardening and flowers. In fact, in 2013, a rose was named in her honor.
“I am overjoyed that they have decided to keep her legacy alive by honoring her with a luxury suite,” Bernice King said in a statement.
The downtown hotel, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, was among the first white hotels in Atlanta to open its doors to African-Americans. In fact, the second convention held at the hotel was the 10th anniversary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in August 1967, which was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Additionally, Coretta Scott King was a regular guest of Hyatt Regency Atlanta, and the hotel has been the site of the Salute to Greatness Awards Gala, which is held in observance of MLK’s birthday, for years.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago this April. Coretta Scott King died in 2006.
Dedication of a suite to Coretta Scott King grew out of a conversation between Bernice King, the civil rights activist’s younger daughter and CEO of the King Center, and De’Leice R. Drane, vice president of First Kingdom Management.
This is the third named suite at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. There are also suites named after former U.N. Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and Billy Payne, who was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta.
The Coretta Scott King Suite features two parlors, a dining and conference table, a full kitchen, an entertainment bar, a luxury sleeping room and two bathrooms. The space will be available through special reservations as a sleeping room and for receptions, meetings and other functions.
Coretta Scott was born in Marion, Ala., in 1927, the granddaughter of former slaves. Her father was a businessman, her mother a church pianist. She was valedictorian of her high school, and sang in school musicals and the chorus. She attended Antioch College in Ohio, joined the NAACP, and later graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she met Martin Luther King Jr. The two were married in 1953.
She was a civil and human rights leader in her own right. After her husband’s death, she became the architect behind preserving his legacy, founding the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (the King Center) and lobbying for a national holiday in his honor.