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Savannah Lodging: Historic, Retro and Boutique

Choose from historic inns to stylish, modern boutique hotels when you stay in Savannah.

 

Savannah has many big hotels with familiar logos, but in a place like this, you’re likely to want lodgings with a bit more local character during your Savannah vacation. As you might expect, many of Savannah’s elegant historic townhouses have been converted to inns, most of them quite luxurious.

Despite their modernized facilities, it’s still enchanting to wake up in one of these houses, and after a lavish breakfast in a formal dining room, step right out onto the old city’s picturesque streets.

Kehoe House: Fabulous Formality

The building, dating only from 1893, is newer than many other Savannah townhouses-turned-inns. Still, the Kehoe House is a prime example of the type. Built for the owner of a foundry, its balustrades, staircases, balconies and columns are all of cast iron, under their lustrous enamel surfaces. The inn’s location, facing Columbia Square and just across the street from the famed Olde Pink House restaurant, couldn’t be better. [Read more about Savannah Dining.]

Like so many other Savannah places, it’s supposed to be haunted. But guests do not complain of interrupted sleep. Some of the 13 bedrooms have sitting areas and balconies, and some have views into the private garden courtyard. All have chandeliers and ornamental fireplaces. Amenities include afternoon tea, and late-afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres. There is concierge service, and a complimentary made-to-order breakfast. Rates start at $179 per night for double occupancy. 123 Habersham St. Tel. 912-232-1020. kehoehouse.com

 

Planters Inn on Reynolds Square: Hotel-Inn Hybrid

The Planters Inn is not in an old house, but a former office building. There was once a Civil War-era hospital, and reputedly a bordello as well, on the site.

The place is larger than the Kehoe House—with 60 rooms—and more anonymous than the typical inn, which some people prefer. Still, it has an inn’s traditional décor and amenities, such as complimentary afternoon wine and cheese. And it has a typical hotel’s advantages, like in-room coffeemakers and a breakfast buffet. The location, overlooking Reynolds Square, is just a short walk from the bustling waterfront. Specials start at $99 per night for double occupancy. 9 Abercorn St. Tel. 800-554-1187. plantersinnsavannah.com

The Thunderbird Inn: Retro Revival

The Thunderbird Inn is a motel built in 1964. It still has its flamboyant original sign and colorful decorative plastic panels outside. Within, it’s been refurbished in a modern style. Rooms have big-screen TVs, free Internet connection and refrigerators. There’s ample free parking. Don’t be surprised if on check-in they hand you a couple of Moon Pies. (That, for the uninitiated, is a retro Southern candy that will make your teeth ache.) Rooms from $109 per night for double occupancy. 611 W. Oglethorpe Ave. Tel. 912-233-5551. thethunderbirdinn.com

Mansion on Forsyth Park: Over the Top Design

Although it incorporates an 1888 building, The Mansion on Forsyth Park only opened in 2006. At first glance it seems historically accurate, but it’s more like a fever dream of Savannah’s design-obsessed future. Inside, it’s all modern luxury and arty juxtaposition. There are velvet settees, soaking tubs behind shimmering drapery, gold-leafed surfaces and Lalique glass doorknobs.

In the basement, there’s a meandering, rock-crystal fantasy of a spa. In the restaurant, where the décor is equally eccentric, a pianist plays a Bösendorfer grand. The kitchen houses a cooking school. In the hallways, there’s a collection of contemporary art.

The location is in a less trafficked part of the historic district. And the delightful park across the street attracts locals more than tourists. There are 126 guest rooms. Room service is available, though breakfasts are not included in the rates. From $159 per night for double occupancy. 700 Drayton St. Tel. 912-238-5158. www.mansiononforsythpark.com

Avia Savannah: New Boutique Hotel

Savannah’s newest hotel is the Avia Savannah. Its new six-story building contains 151 guest rooms. The décor is modern but not minimalist. Guest bedrooms come with bells and whistles like MP3 docking stations and flat-panel TVs. Facilities include an espresso bar and a fitness room.

An outdoor terrace features a swimming pool, private cabanas and secluded seating nooks. It also has a fire pit—perfect for gathering around on Savannah’s mild winter evenings. Complimentary sips and tastings are offered to hotel guests each evening in the Avia Kitchen and Wine Bar restaurant. From $159 per night for double occupancy. 14 Barnard St. Tel. 912-233-2116. www.aviahotels.com 


Destinations: Georgia, Savannah

Themes: Historical Vacations

Activities: Sleep


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