Conversations with a Savannah Concierge

The unsung heroes of Savannah’s hotels are oftentimes concierges, who spend hours each day making sure hotel guests have their dream vacation. Visit Savannah recently sat down with three of Savannah’s finest concierges to discuss their favorite Savannah tips and tricks of the trade.

Trina Ericsson

Trina Ericsson

Trina Ericsson

Born and raised in Savannah, Trina Ericsson has been sharing the beauty of Savannah with Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District and DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District guests for eight years and counting.

VS: What is the question you get asked the most by guests?

TE: The first thing everybody asks is, “Where can I go for great seafood?” I send them to a lot of places that maybe aren’t in the mainstream.

VS: Do you have any favorite, lesser-known restaurants that you like to recommend?

TE: The Crystal Beer Parlor is one because of all the history. SoHo Café, Gryphon Tea Room - a lot of our guests, especially the women, will have high tea there.

VS: What do you think is the most underrated spot in Savannah?

TE: I would say, over towards East Broad Street and some of the squares over there. Warren Square, Troup Square: It’s residential. Sometimes visitors don’t always get to that side.

 VS: What do you wish people knew about Savannah?

TE: Maybe all the work it took to preserve and how fortunate we are that we are unlike any other city.

 VS: You’re from Savannah. What made you choose to stay in Savannah and make it your forever home?

TE: I just love Savannah. I grew up here. My mother went to school here. My children are here. I’ve never had any desire to live anywhere else. How quaint our city is in compared to large cities – it’s so unique.

 VS: You were married in Savannah. Why do you think Savannah has become such a popular wedding destination?

TE: I think people just visit and fall in love with the city and the square. I’ll go, “why did you choose here?” and they’ll say because it’s easy to get around; [it’s] very walkable. And it’s a big deal to young people to have a to-go cup.

 VS: If you could define Savannah’s personality, what would it be?

TE: Gracious, comfortable, pleasant, a step back in time.

VS: Why should people stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District?

TE: Because it’s a lovely property and everyone bends over backwards to make you feel welcome and help you in any way. And the location is always rated no. 1. It is key for everyone. Everything is at your fingertips.

Janice Fitzpatrick

Janice Fitzpatrick

Janice Fitzpatrick

Janice Fitzpatrick is no stranger to the concierge desk. She has been sharing the wonders of Savannah with guests for 12 years and can be found today at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Savannah Historic District/Riverfront.

VS: How did you get your start as a concierge?

JF: I started at the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District on Bay Street and my husband (John Fitzpatrick), believe it or not, was a concierge at the DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District. He’s in his 13th year. We moved from Pittsburgh many years ago, so this was kind of a fun thing. Very unexpected, for sure.

VS: What is the best part about being a concierge?

JF: Oh, the people. They’re so interesting. We get them from all over and they all have a story. We have lived all over the United States, so there are many cities that we have been in that, you know, all of a sudden you start talking to somebody and you’ll find out that they live in that city, or they know someone that we knew. It’s fascinating.

VS: You have lived in and visited many cities. What is it about Savannah that made you want to make it home?

JF: I’ll tell you why. It was between Asheville and Savannah. I’ll never forget it. We were in Asheville and as we left Asheville, we knew that Savannah was it. It seems very alive for all types of folks. It’s very embracing.

VS: What do you think is the best way to get around and see Savannah?

JF: Oh, the trolley tours. No question about it. Those on-and-off tours are wonderful. They point out points of interest. Guests can take in some of the beautiful homes, the house museums.

 VS: Do you have a favorite historic home?

JF: The Owens-Thomas House. That is a nice, nice home. You can see the carriage house and the courtyard. Just to see all three levels of that home and the architecture.

VS: What do you think is the most underrated spot in Savannah?

JF: I think the forts (Screven and Pulaski) because they have such significance to the United States. And another thing is Bonaventure Cemetery – it’s so beautiful and impressive and there are some nice tours out there.

VS: Why should people stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Savannah Historic District/Riverfront?

JF: This is a very exciting property. When folks come in here they love the music, the décor, the rooftop pool, the rooftop bar, music every night. The staff is wonderful. And we have a social from 5 to 7 p.m. every Monday through Thursday.

Charlie Rollins

Charlie Rollins

Charlie Rollins

After moving to Savannah from Maryland in 2000, Charlie Rollins joined the hospitality industry as a tour ticket salesman and a shuttle driver. Today, you can find him helping guests make lasting memories at the DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District.

VS: You’ve had a wide array of customer service roles. What is it about the service industry that interests you?

CR: I’m a people person. I love making things work. We schedule tours, dinner events and logistics.

VS: What restaurants do you recommend to guests?

CR: My go-to restaurants are Cotton Exchange Tavern, Boar’s Head Tavern and Chart House. Chart House works with the hotel concierges. They give hotel guests a free appetizer, a window seat, a personalized menu, and the chef and manager will come by. It makes the guests feel good and is a wonderful experience.

VS: What do you wish people knew about Savannah?

CR: Savannah is home to the largest historic landmark district in the United States. It’s very walkable and easy to get around. And we’re just good, friendly people down here. We want you to have a good time.

VS: Where do you go to “get away from it all?”

CR: I like to walk on the beach. And then there is the Rails to Trails area - the old Tybee Island railroad trails - I like to walk that. I like to go to the antique stores and check those out, see what they got.

 VS: Which antique stores do you frequent?

CR: Wright Square Antiques on Wright Square. Jere’s Antiques is huge, you can spend hours in there. The one next to it is a little hole in the wall called Antiques Attic.

VS: What areas outside the Historic District do you like to recommend?

CR: A lot of people as they’re heading out want to ride around, so I tell them to ride up Columbus Avenue or Washington Avenue and see the beautiful homes along those streets – that is called the Ardsley Park area. And I tell them about Bonaventure Cemetery and Wormsloe State Historic Site.

 VS: Why should people stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District?

CR: Because it’s a very nice hotel within the Historic District. They take really good care of you. The lobby and rooms are newly remodeled. And you get fresh cookies upon check-in - and upon asking for them, if you want another one!

You can spend time with these top-notch concierges when you book your stay at

This post is in collaboration with Stay in Savannah. As always, all opinions are our own.

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