A cut above the Holiday Inn chain, with which it’s affiliated, the Mulberry Inn (601 E. Bay St., 912/238-1200, www.holidayinn.com , $189) is a longtime favorite with travelers to Savannah , with a charming central courtyard and with peaceful little Washington Square on the back of the building.
Don’t miss the genuine English teatime, complete with jazz piano accompaniment, observed in the lobby each afternoon at 4 p.m. (as if there’s another English teatime). Another nifty touch is a dedicated parking garage—an amenity only someone who’s spent half an hour looking for a parking space in downtown Savannah will truly appreciate. Parking is free for Holiday Inn “priority members,” (you can sign up for membership at check-in). The building formerly housed one of thefirst Coca-Cola bottling plants in the U.S.; look for the historical photos all around the building.
Though very new, The Bohemian Hotel (102 W. Bay St., 912/721-3800, www.bohemianhotelsavannah.com , $279–350) is already gaining a reputation as one of Savannah ’s premier hotels, both for the casual tourist as well as for visiting celebrities. Between busy River Street and bustling City Market, this isn’t the place for peace and quiet, but its combination of boutique-style retro-hip decor and happening rooftop bar scene (swank and quite popular with local scenesters) make it a great place to go for a fun stay that’s as much Manhattan as Savannah. Valet parking is available, which you will come to appreciate.
For years critics have called it an insult to architecture and to history. That said, one of the few name-brand hotels in Savannah worth the price and providing a consistent level of service is one of its original chain hotels, the Hyatt Regency Savannah (2 E. Bay St., 912/238-1234, www.savannah.hyatt.com , $379). Though it’s more than three decades old, a competent renovation means that the Hyatt—a sort of exercise in Cubism straddling an entire block of River Street—has avoided the neglect of many older chain properties downtown.
While the price may seem daunting, consider the location: literally smack dab on top of River Street , mere blocks from the bulk of the important attractions downtown and some of its best restaurants. Three sides of the hotel offer views of the bustling Savannah waterfront, with its massive ships coming in from all over the world.