Where Savannah’s famous Landmark District begins, so does your Savannah vacation – at the River Street Inn, history is literally at your doorstep. Another quality that makes the River Street Inn our No. 1 Savannah inn is that you can experience the past in so many ways, even without leaving the inn.
All 86 rooms here carry a different theme and décor, which isn’t to say that the River Street Inn is a theme hotel. Instead, with hardwood floors, period and imported tapestries and flourishes such as four poster beds, it’s an example of the entire tradition of U.S. inns. The difference from its beginnings as a cotton storage and grading building in 1817 is that now the rooms contain amenities including HBO/cable TVs, data ports and in-room safes. This elegant inn rests along Factors Walk, which was used by the professional cotton graders and includes alleys, bridges and a ballastone street that connect to the River Street Inn on all five floors. And if you need another reminder of how little things can change over the centuries, the Savannah River is always within sight.
The original two floors of the River Street Inn were built of ballastones, which arrived on incoming ships as ballast.
Three excellent restaurants - Bernie’s River Street Restaurant and Bar, Tubby’s and Huey’s Southern Café - are adjacent to the River Street Inn.
From I-95, take Exit 99A to I-16 East. At the end of I-16 in downtown Savannah, move to the left-most lane and turn left at Liberty Street. Turn right at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. After the third traffic light, turn right onto Bay Street. Continue just past the traffic light at Drayton Street. The River Street Inn’s loading and unloading parking area is on your left.
Here is what you need to know for your vacation to historic Savannah – Planters Inn is an original boutique hotel that dates back two centuries, and defines the modern definition of “upscale.” And Reynolds Square is an equally historic locale in the center of downtown Savannah.
Need more detail? Okay, probably. The 60-room Planters Inn is filled with period décor – that would be the period around the early 1800s. There are seven room choices, which include Deluxe Fireplace Rooms, Balcony Parkview Rooms, Traditional Queens and the beautiful House Choice Rooms. The classic Southern hospitality here includes an expanded continental breakfast, nightly wine and cheese receptions, valet parking and more. Steps away is Reynolds Square, part of the preferred urban design of the original residents in Georgia’s first city and a hub for a wealth of Savannah walking tours, museums, parks, markets and celebrations. We recommend viewing the square from your guestroom balcony!
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We always love it when the most authentic historic buildings offer high-speed wireless Internet. Genius!
Every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., life-sized chess games take place in Reynolds Square.
Reynolds Square has a gruesome history - it was used as a disposal point for expired malaria patients. Today, many people report strange shapes in the photographs they’ve taken in Reynolds Square.
We chose the Thunderbird Inn because it’s clearly an abrupt departure from what you might think of when you’re planning a Savannah inn vacation. We discovered that while many of the inns in Savannah can be considered historic, not all can be considered retro.
At the Thunderbird Inn, retro is an apt term that also refers to hip and happening. Retro means that, rather than reflecting Savannah’s nearly 300-year history, the Thunderbird Inn celebrates the classic 1960s roadside motel, which it used to be. It’s been thoroughly renovated, but the original style and ambience has been carefully kept and accented. The result is pure, vibrant cool which surrounds the simple details – a comfortable bed (or beds, if you choose), a kitchen with coffee and donuts and a 24-hour staff that knows a thing or two about Savannah attractions and night life. It’s a Savannah vacation with a refreshing twist of fun!
The Thunderbird Inn is near Savannah attractions including the City Market, the famous River Street and the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Rooms at the Thunderbird Inn include kitchenette areas with refrigerators and in-room coffee and tea service.
611 West Oglethorpe Ave., Savannah, GA 31401
It’s called the Dresser Palmer House because it was built by Henry Dresser and Samuel Palmer in 1876. What inspired them to build this 11,000-sq.-ft. Italianate masterpiece is a testament to the times. Today, the Palmer Dresser House is a testament to your intimate Savannah inn vacation.
Intimate is a good term for this 16-room Savannah inn, with its period-style rooms – no two alike, of course – offering both privacy and plenty of inspired space. Most of them have fireplaces, and all are decorated with a combination of taste and imagination. And speaking of inspiration, taste and imagination, you’ll feel all of the above when you step into the grand parlor. This is the kind of place where the Steinway grand piano fits right in. It’s also the kind of place where each day begins with a gourmet Southern breakfast. Outside is a private koi pond and fountain, with plenty of foliage for timeless relaxation. And each evening, enjoy the social gathering with complimentary wine. This is Savannah!
The Dresser Palmer House features the city's longest front porch, or in Savannah, a gallery.
The character and history of Savannah come to life in the accommodations at the Dresser Palmer House; most of the rooms are named for colorful people in Savannah’s history including Florence Martus, known in Savannah as the Waving Girl.
From I-95 North, take Exit 99A to I-16 East. Follow I-16 to the MLK Jr. Boulevard exit. Go straight through the traffic light and follow West Gaston Street past Forsyth Park. Turn right at Abercorn Street and make an immediate left between the two yellow buildings down the lane. The Dresser Palmer House is on the left.
We’re not educated about architecture, but High Victorian Italianate sounds pretty grand to us. It also looks pretty grand, and at the Catherine Ward House it’s the basis for a fantastic Savannah vacation just half a block from the famous Forsyth Square.
We can’t think of a richer history than the one behind the Catherine Ward House. It was built by a retired sea captain for his wife, who lived there until 1913. In 1983 – at the behest of Jim Williams of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” – Historic Savannah Foundation bought and renovated the house. All of these people live on in the exquisite named rooms, all updated in 2005 to include the most modern amenities. In fitting tradition, a terrific full breakfast is served at the Catherine Ward House every morning – the kind where it’s ready for those strange souls who arise early, and is still ready later on for people who take sleeping on vacation seriously.
High speed wireless Internet is available throughout the Catherine Ward House.
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The Carriage House next to the main house contains three more spectacularly decorated rooms at the Catherine Ward House.
118 East Waldburg St., Savannah, GA 31401
Built in 1851, the Marshall House stakes a claim to being Savannah’s first hotel - which in Georgia’s first city is really saying something. What says even more is that it has been restored up to and perhaps beyond its former glory as a premiere Savannah inn hotel.
We doubt that Mary Marshall, the hotel’s original proprietor, ever thought that the hotel she was operating would not close for more than a century. After a brief stint as a home for businesses, the Marshall House was fully restored for the hefty sum of $12 million. The result is a hotel that shines like new, while still displaying its past in its doors, windows, mouldings and claw-foot tubs. The Mary Marshall Suite even has an original 1851 fireplace in each room! Enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning at 45 Bistro – which, hint, is also great for weddings – and step outside onto the thriving Broughton Street, which still carries the same allure that prompted Ms. Marshall to open the Marshall House in the first place.
Following the death of Mary Marshall the Marshall House was operated by William Coolidge, who raised the first flag declaring Georgia's secession from the Union.
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With three executive suites, a 24-hour Business Center, wireless Internet and three meeting rooms, the Marshall House is ideal for Savannah meetings and conference groups.
From I-95, follow I-16 into Savannah. I-16 will dead end and merge into Montgomery Street. Follow Montgomery Street to the third light. This is Broughton Street. Turn right onto Broughton Street. Follow Broughton Street for six blocks. The Marshall House is on your right.
One of the great charms of the East Bay Inn is that it hasn’t actually been a Savannah inn for very long compared to some in this historic area. Instead, it was used as a cotton warehouse and as a home base for local businesses throughout the 1800s. It’s only been used as an inn since 1984.
Here’s the beauty of that: cast iron columns. A cast iron first floor façade. Really tall ceilings. Heart pine floors. Exposed brick walls. You don’t see stuff like this in hotels, inns or anywhere for that matter, because they’re not built like that anymore. And when you add in the completely modern – private baths, wireless high speed Internet, in-room safes and exquisitely beautiful interior design in each room – you get a balance that’s incomparable to any other Savannah inn. That goes along with the complimentary continental breakfast, evening wine and cheese receptions and a terrific location just steps from the Savannah riverfront. It’s a modern, historic, unforgettable Savannah getaway!
Savannah's famous waterfront, with its distinctive dining, shopping and tours, is across the street from the East Bay Inn.
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Fine lunches and dinners are served at Skyler’s Restaurant on the lower level of the East Bay Inn.
From I-95, take Exit 99A onto I-16 East: Take the Montgomery Street Exit and continue to Bay Street. Turn right. Drive seven blocks. The East Bay Inn is on the right between Abercorn and Lincoln Streets.
The first clue you get about your place at President’s Quarters is that it doesn’t offer rooms or accommodations – it offers guest quarters. For all of its intimacy and its nod toward Savannah’s deep history, the President’s Quarters Inn is centered on pure luxurious style.
That style comes in the form of 16 rooms with retro black and white flooring. Suites with loft bedrooms and wet bars. Green courtyards and balconies. You’ll find plenty of four poster beds here, reminiscent of the 18th-century aristocrats who owned these mansion-style premises; but at the President’s Quarters Inn, that’s a flourish that blends in with modern luxuries. The President’s Quarters is for any kind of Savannah vacation, especially if you’re the discerning type. And if you’re planning a Savannah wedding, this is the place – the stylish melding of past and present create an unmistakable romance that’s unique to Savannah or anywhere.
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Wine and hors d’oeuvres are included in your rate at the President’s Quarters Inn.
The President’s Quarters accepts groups and full-house bookings for Savannah weddings, reunions, meetings and more.
The President’s Quarters Inn overlooks Oglethorpe Square, named for General James Oglethorpe, who founded Savannah in 1733.
In a very, very romantic city, the Foley House Inn comes right out and says it – this is the premiere Savannah romantic bed and breakfast. We’d have to agree, with its gourmet Southern breakfasts, evening port wines, private gardens and quiet Savannah location, it’s the ideal place to escape.
The Foley House Inn is actually comprised of two elegant historic mansions along Chippewa Square. It’s rated Four Diamonds by AAA, which tells you a lot but not everything. The entire aura of Savannah, and of the South, is really the main point of this bed and breakfast getaway, and its location on these quiet, historic streets makes it easy to soak in. The atmosphere also makes the Foley House exceptionally romantic, and that’s highlighted by daily wine tasting hours, tablecloth Southern breakfasts and a European-trained chef. The Foley House gives your Savannah romantic getaway something extra that you won’t find anywhere else!
Created in 1815, Chippewa Square is one of the “newer” squares in Savannah, and is the backdrop for the opening scene in the movie “Forrest Gump.”
Secluded gardens at the Foley House offer truly quiet, peaceful moments by the fountain for breakfast or any time of day.
From I-95, take I-16 (GA-404 E) East. Exit at 167B to Montgomery Street. Turn right onto Oglethorpe Avenue. Turn right onto Bull Street. Turn right onto Hull Street. Foley House Inn is the brown brick Victorian with the American Flag.
We wondered what could be so romantic about a rock that was used as ballast on ships that arrived in Georgia in the 1700s. Turns out it was used to build many of the structures that are now inns in Savannah. Fast-forward to today at the Ballastone Inn, and the answer is complete.
It’s historic, to be sure. The ownership of the land dates back to 1733, and the home that is now the Ballastone Inn was owned by plantation magnates, ship captains and military men. Today it’s pure romantic luxury with features like faux rusticated plaster walls, chenille and Italian matelasse coverlets and many other touches that we can’t pronounce. There are also a great many luxuries that we’re more familiar with, like Jacuzzi tubs, sitting areas and black marble fireplaces. It’s spectacular, and it’s highlighted by private courtyard breakfasts -– gourmet, of course - cocktails at the Victorian Bar and traditional afternoon tea. If this is what luxury was like in the 1800s, we’re glad it’s still around today.
All guests of the Ballastone Inn receive free access to Savannah’s Downtown Athletic Club.
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Attentive concierge services are available at the Ballastone Inn 24 hours a day.
Breakfast specialties at the Ballastone Inn include peaches and cream stuffed French toast, Low Country Benedict and made-to-order omelets.