Savannah Travel Guide
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The 151-room Hyatt property is located in a former AVIA Savannah hotel building smack in the middle of the city's historic downtown area, across from Ellis Square. It's been renovated with a new restaurant and lounge, adding to its current Andaz splendor. The restaurant 22 Square (appropriately named after one of the oodles of squares in Savannah) guests can partake of the "market to table" menu with fresh coastal foods, and snack on free candied bacon. Drool. You can’t get any more Southern than that.
Life works in mysterious ways. Just as we were shoving one of Paula Deen’s red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting down our throats, we find out about Avia Savannah—which has Bobby Deen, Paula’s son, on its list of tastemakers! Not quite sure what an Avia tastemaker is just yet, but crazy, right?!
We dug a little bit and apparently Avia has reached out to celebrated locals to get their insider recommendations for the surrounding areas of its hotels, and the Savannah outpost—the first of four Avia-branded hotels to open in 2009—is conveniently located just steps from The Lady & Sons, Paula’s flagship restaurant, which we happened to stop by last Labor Day and were confronted with an hour-long wait for a table at 11:30 a.m. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. So we’ll say that so far, Avia Savannah has got at least one thing right.
We know most of you web gawkers don't actually read online, think of all the time that would take. If you read, instead of surfed, your boss would surely catch on that you were planning your next vacation and not producing the latest WENIS report.
With your plight in mind, here is an abridged version of our survey of the Savannah hotel scene. In Savannah you are looking at a historic hotel or a chain option, and there are plenty of both.
If you want to get the best Marshall House has to offer, book a room facing Broughton Street, not a room facing the courtyard--that is the "Marshall Law."
Coastal Living Magazine named The Marshall House among its top 20 favorite lodgings, and the Travel Channel featured the Marshall House on Great Hotels, however, before booking the Marshall House you should understand that historic old hotels come with lots of "charm"--aka small rooms and creaky original plank wood floors.
Booking a room on the street side of the hotel will get you a bigger room with more natural light. Furthermore, if you get a room on the veranda you may find yourself climbing out your bedroom window on to the veranda for a late night glass of wine--southern style.
The Marshall House is a five minute walk to River Street, so you are not smack dab in the middle of River Street, which may or may not be what you are looking for.
· Marshall House Savannah Reviews [TripAdvisor]
Ok, ok, the Hampton Savannah was built from the ground up in 1997, so there is nothing historic about the actual property. However, the hotel is located in the Savannah historic district, directly across the street from River Street, so the hotel is historic by association.
The Hamton boasts comfortable rooms, underground parking, free Internet (for guests), a rooftop pool with river views, and Savannah tours that start right outside the front door.
Yes, the rooms here are your run-of-the-mill hotel rooms, and while there are definitely more historic rooms in Savannah (and rooms with a lower rack rate), if you choose the Hampton, you are choosing convenience over history, which seems to us to be a personal choice.
· Hampton Inn Savannah Reviews [TripAdvisor]
If you are looking for a non-chain Savannah hotel in the middle of it all, check out the River Street Inn.
Don't expect the River Street Inn to be without its creaks and cracks--this is one old hotel. This pre-Civil War property is protected by the Historic Hotels of America and is older than Jefferson Davis, but the properties history and location are what defines it.
The River Street Inn hovers over River Street, where all the Savannah action takes place. Furthermore, you can walk downstairs to Hueys for breakfast or lunch.
If you stay here try to get a room on the fifth floor, where you may be treated to a river view with a balcony.
One warning: Some recent visitors have reported problems with overbooking, causing their perfectly valid reservations not to be honored. Make sure you run an overbooking scenario by the staff when you book.
Oh, and one more River View tip from a recent guest:
Though it may be tempting, resist the urge to sleep with the door open listening for distant fog horns to lull you to sleep. The trash trucks and the occasional drunken reveler will surely end that dream.
We still say the location and history alone makes the River View worth consideration.
· River Street Inn Reviews [TripAdvisor]
We have been publishing live from the dirrty south this morning.
Yup, that's right, we are down here in Savannah kickin' it antebellum style. Think of us as the "HotelChatter on Location." Um, scratch that. Just think of us and smile, or don't think of us at all.
So if you have any Savannah hotel questions send 'em our way. We will be touring the Savannah hotel scene before heading off to the beach this afternoon.
For now, just familiarize yourself with the players, there will be a quiz next week.