Hotels in Historic Downtown Savannah

by Edwin Thomas

One of the focal points for a trip to Savannah is its historic district, a place of Spanish moss, manicured garden squares and stately houses from the 18th-and-19th centuries. Many hotel chains have an outpost in downtown Savannah, with their modern buildings often designed to blend in with the antique surroundings. However, old Savannah is also blessed with a collection of inns, hotels and bed-and-breakfasts converted from some of its many historic homes.

Considerations

The historic district is one of Savannah's foremost attractions, but it is hardly the only one. Many visiting the city are also there for the beach on Tybee Island, and even visiting the famed Bonaventure Cemetery means taking a drive outside of the old part of Savannah. The old part of Savannah was designed around almost two dozen squares, and while these squares are lovely, for drivers they also mean the historic district is a maze of one-way streets. Furthermore, many of the hotels in the historic district have little or no provision for parking. Visitors with a car should keep these two factors in mind when choosing a hotel in Savannah's historic district.

The Kehoe House

An elegant three-story brick home on Columbia Square, the Kehoe House was described by Fodor's as "one of the better choices in Savannah" and earned Frommer's top rating of "exceptional." In some ways the house is a historic attraction in its own right, since it is on the National Register of Historic Places and figures prominently in the city's nightly ghost tours. Enhancing the hotel's Southern appeal are its afternoon teas, served in one of the Kehoe Houses's two opulently furnished parlor rooms.

Hampton Inn Historic District

For travelers to Savannah looking for the reliability of a chain hotel, the Hampton Inn has a hotel on East Bay Street, the main east-to-west street through the historic district. That location places the hotel within a few minutes' walk of many of the city's restaurants and bars, which line both Bay and Abercorn streets. Among the high points of this particular Hampton are its rooftop swimming pool, with its views of the Savannah River, and the stone fireplace in the lobby.

The Marshall House

The Marshall House exudes the distinctly antebellum atmosphere of Savannah. A restored hotel dating to 1851, the Marshall's exterior is a fixture of Broughton Street, with its red brick and wrought iron balconies. On the interior, the hotel has largely retained its original pine floors, most of the rooms have exposed brick walls, and some have old fashioned claw-footed bathtubs. Rounding out the picture is the hotel's decoration, made up of pieces produced by local artists, some from the Savannah College of Art and Design.