Luxury Savannah: A First Time Guide

plant riverside lobby dinosaur

Plant Riverside's stunning lobby

Savannah is admired for its hospitality, beauty and blissful coastal shores. The city's substantial history and preservation allows visitors a glimpse into the lives of those that paved the way. It’s extremely convenient to visit on a weekend and have an amazing time without breaking the bank – but, sometimes it’s nice to indulge in a few of the finer things in life. An afternoon of high tea, followed by a three-course meal served in a 19th-century mansion? Now we’re talking! Luxury is more than attainable in this iconic city, and we’ve compiled a guide just for you.

As you read through these luxurious choices, we're positive you'll want to bookmark them all.

Blissful Sleep

Savannah has endless options for rest and relaxation. Hotels like The Drayton, Perry Lane Hotel, Thompson Savannah and JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District's Atlantic and Three Muses hotels provide an experience like no other with chef-inspired on-site restaurants, retail, coffee and bars. Hamilton-Turner Inn, Kehoe House, Gastonian and River Street Inn are historic inns and B&Bs for travelers preferring a more traditional stay, hoping to possibly encounter a friendly spirit. The Jules and Hotel Bardo offer an exorbitant escape - mansion style. Go all out and rent the entire Whitman mansion, which includes a private chef and staff. Now that's fancy.  

Whimsical Dishes

Didn't you know? Fine Dining is Savannah’s middle name. The most deliciously prepared meals are served in respectfully preserved establishments. The Olde Pink House, Garibaldis Cafe, Circa 1875, The Grey, Local 11Ten, Saint Bibiana and Elizabeth’s on 37th all hail from humble beginnings. These buildings have been around since the 17 - 1980s. Some were once used as fire stations, bus stations, funeral homes and family homes. Though Churchill’s Restaurant and Pub’s original historic location was burned down in 2003, its doors have been opened for over 20 years.

A few younger faces such as Chive Sea Bar and Lounge, Rhett and The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market are also noteworthy choices. You can’t go wrong with either selection. Each provides an impeccable gourmet dining experience – the epitome of VIP service.

Unique Lounge Service

Why dine without wine? Savannah’s selection of bars, pubs and lounges has something for everyone. Some of the most upscale bars are ironically underground. The Peacock Lounge and Alley Cat Lounge offer an exhilarating secluded getaway, drowning out the rest of the city. Hand-crafted and classic cocktails, as well as draft beers are served here although sometimes, an Old Fashioned does the trick.

The view above ground is just as promising. Artillery is an experience that demands sophistication. Silence your phones, wear proper attire and get lost in conversation – use your inside voices, please. Conveniently placed call buttons can be found behind tables for first-class service. No need to flag down the waitress. Polished palates will appreciate their culturally prepared menus. Churchill’s Restaurant and Pub and the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market provide intimate spaces, fine dining or small plates in a laid-back atmosphere. Wine lists and unique cocktails flow throughout the spaces. You'll always find something new with 208 Wine Bar’s weekly rotating wine list. Browse modern African art while you sip and dine on Harissa Steak Flatbread at the Baobab Lounge on the river.

Have a Boatload of Fun

The Kessler Collection brings a new luxurious meaning to "whatever floats your boat." Richard Kessler (hotelier extraordinaire) proudly introduces Kessler Charters, a new luxury boating venture offering curated maritime experiences along Savannah, Georgia's Intracoastal Waterways. The company features two custom-built, hand-crafted vessels, accommodating up to six guests for various tours and excursions throughout the year. These tours, led by experienced local captains, blend leisure and adventure, allowing guests to explore the region's rich history, wildlife and scenic spots. The fleet includes the 1924-built 'Kessler I' and the 1920s-style 'Decked Out,' both designed to reflect historical elegance and craftsmanship. Tour options range from a Daytime Dolphin Cruise with curated cocktails to a Sunset Cruise featuring gourmet dining, and an Island Tour to Daufuskie Island with a picnic lunch. Kessler Charters operates from locations near Kessler’s JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District and Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront.

The Beer Is Better From Here

Why not start or end your night on a high note overlooking the skyline or river? There’s nowhere to go but up with Savannah’s popular rooftop bars. Overlook the city skyline atop of Perry Lane Hotel at Peregrin with one of Adelaide’s fruit cocktails. Scotch goes down smoothly at Perch, located above Local 11ten Food & Wine. It’s impossible to miss sparkling river views at Myrtle & Rose, Plant Riverside District’s lively mythological venue. The Bohemian Hotel’s Rocks on The Roof tapas menu pairs nicely with a Maui Mule.

Sip From Fine China

Will one or two sugar cubes do? Teatime in Savannah is a sophisticated excuse to sip out of fine china and smear a bit of clotted cream and preserves on scones. The library at Perry Lane Hotel is the perfect setting to savor a warm cup and browse through a good read. Admire wall-to-wall mahogany bookcases as the sun reflects off the stained-glass pendant lighting at the Gryphon Tea Room. Indulge in their traditional tea service with three-tier stands filled with savory and sweet delicacies.

Luxury is truly in the eye of the beholder. What one might consider to be extravagant, may not be the same for another. That's what makes Savannah so special. It's a city offering an unbiased experience for everyone, no matter how formal or informal the visit. Whether its tender duck confit or a mouthwatering bowl of shrimp and grits, Savannah's rich taste is accessible for all.

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