Historic Hotels & Inns in Savannah

by Mary Freeman

The city of Savannah, Georgia, was founded in 1733, making it the first capital city of Georgia. The downtown area of the city has largely been unchanged for hundreds of years, and is one of the largest historic districts in any city in the U.S. It is here that most of the historic hotels in the city are located; each hotel has existed for at least a century, and all stay true to their heritage through their design and aesthetic.

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Ballastone Inn

The opulent Ballastone Inn sits in Savannah's historic district. Before becoming Savannah's first bed-and-breakfast inn in 1980, the building in which the Ballastone now resides was an opulent, four-story mansion, built in 1838. Both the Historic Savannah Foundation and the National Trust awarded the Ballastone Inn with commemorative plaques to celebrate the inn's rich history. The inn still adheres to the Antebellum aesthetic through the entire hotel, although it provides modern-day provisions. The Ballastone's staff provides concierge services -- including golf trips, spa appointments, carriage rides and restaurant reservations.

East Bay Inn

The East Bay Inn was built in 1852 by Edward Padefford; throughout the ages, the inn was occupied by cotton merchants, foreign consulates and the Columbia Drug Company. It was renovated completely in 1984, and reopened after a 20-year vacancy. It now is made up of 27 guest rooms, each with a television, phone, safe and free wireless Internet access. The rooms have high ceilings and brick walls, maintaining a mid-1800s atmosphere.

Hamilton-Turner Inn

Businessman and socialite Samuel Hamilton ordered this mansion constructed in 1873 for himself and his wife to live in and throw parties. After the building changed hands several times, the Historic Savannah Association purchased the Hamilton mansion and preserved it until Charlie and Sue Strickland converted it into the Hamilton-Turner Inn, which opened in 2003. The inn now has 17 guest rooms, each featuring a whirlpool bath, DVD player and disc library, telephone and laptop.

Eliza Thompson House

Eliza and Joseph Thompson, as well as their seven children, occupied the Eliza Thompson House in 1847; the building was not an inn until 1977, after being a doctor's office, dentist's office and private residence. In 1995, the house was extensively renovated, and in 2002 it was purchased by HLC Hotels. Of the 15 rooms in the Eliza Thompson House, 12 of them are in their original 1800s form, while 13 are new.

Gastonian

The Gastonian is composed of two mansions, each built in 1868. These mansions were residences of a variety of Savannah's elite residents until 1985, when the Gastonian was converted into an inn. As of late 2000, the hotel is a part of the international association of luxury hotels, Relais and Chateaux. Complimentary amenities at the Gastonian include private parking, wine, hors d’oeuvres, wireless Internet access and gourmet breakfasts. The concierge helps guests arrange activities, dining and excursions.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.