Hotels on the Riverfront in Savannah

by Edwin Thomas

Among Savannah's foremost attractions is its well-preserved historic district, a rectangle of stately antebellum homes that ends with the 19th-century brick warehouses of River Street and the waters of the Savannah River. The riverfront area has its own modest selection of historic inns and chain hotels, all set where visitors can picture the era when European sailing ships loaded cargoes of cotton for the journey home.

Considerations

Not all riverfront hotels in Savannah are in the historic part of River Street or even in a location convenient to the historic district. The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort lies next to the convention center, which is actually across the river from the historic district and most of the city, so visitors need to pay close attention to exact locations of riverfront hotels. While convenient to River Street, Bay Street and the north end of the district, even hotels on the historic district side of the river may still be a mile or more from attractions such as Forsyth Park.

Hyatt Regency Savannah

Occupying a white nine-story concrete block on the western periphery of the riverfront's row of 19th-century cotton warehouses, the Hyatt Regency is one of Savannah's biggest hotels and among the best in the city, according to Forbes Travel. Guestrooms are furnished in a comfortable and contemporary fashion, most with views of either the Savannah River or the hotel's cavernous central atrium. The hotel has the amenities one might expect from a Hyatt Regency, such as a fitness center and an indoor swimming pool, as well as a water taxi for trips across the river to the convention center.

Marriott Riverfront

Set in a modern eight-story orange brick building on the eastern end of the Savannah riverfront, Savannah's Marriott is just far enough from the stately antebellum homes of the historic district so as to not to clash with them but is still within a few minutes' walk of all the action on River Street and Bay Street. Forbes Travel gives the hotel three stars, noting the rooms' handsome appointments and praising the staff's service.

River Street Inn

The River Street Inn is an example of a riverfront hotel located inside the historic district; its lower floors were erected in 1817 using sailing ship ballast stones as masonry. Frommer's described the guestrooms as "some of the most comfortable and well-managed hotel rooms in town"; they boast hardwood floors and come furnished with period reproductions, such as iron-framed four-poster beds. The hotel is located both in an atmospheric part of the historic district and in a prime spot for bar-hopping River Street after dark.

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