The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The 403-room Westin Savannah is an upper-middle-range resort located on an island across the river from Savannah's Historic District. The main draws here are the PGA golf course and the high-end spa, but there are other features that make this a great pick: a large pool, two solid restaurants, spacious rooms with high-end amenities (and most with great views of the city), and dozens of activities available daily for the whole family. It's true that the location is secluded, but there's a free ferry that takes guests to the lively riverfront area (a quick ride straight across the river from the resort).
The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph Collection Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This upscale boutique hotel has a location right by the river, on the northern edge of the Historic District. It has 75 rooms (though some are small for the price) with outstanding bathrooms and unique high-end decor inspired by the period when 18th-century British maritime settlers landed in Savannah (think: headboards of red velvet and sturdy dark wood, faux fur throws, leather and brass accents). One of the most attractive features of this boutique is the hopping rooftop bar with river views, which is popular with locals and tourists alike. But it lacks some amenities standard in properties of this category (and high price point), such as a pool or a spa.
Hilton Savannah DeSoto Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 246-room Hilton Savannah DeSoto places visitors within walking distance from many popular attractions, bars, and restaurants. The newly-renovated DeSoto Grille delivers a luxurious Southern vibe, with tall ceilings and large chandeliers; however, the rest of the hotel lacks the sought-after Historic District charm. Instead, the Hilton Savannah DeSoto offers guests comfortable but chain-like rooms with so-so "Savannah" touches, such as framed photos of the city on the walls. The rooms on higher levels have excellent views of the city.
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Savannah Historic District Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The highlight of this 150-room Doubletree is its location in the Historic District, within walking distance of numerous restaurants, shops, and museums. The warm lobby, with wood-paneled walls, a fireplace, and leather couches, lends the hotel a genuine Southern feel. The rooms attempt the same vibe (with plaid curtains and poster beds) but have a more generic vibe, and the bathrooms are cramped. Overall, it's a good value for those visiting Savannah, with free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, a small fitness center, and a heated outdoor pool (nice for families). And the free cookies don't hurt!
Hyatt Regency Savannah Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 351-room Hyatt Regency's highlight is its location in the Historic District: within walking distance of numerous museums and restaurants and overlooking the Savannah River. Rooms are sleek, with dark wood accents, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs; many rooms have river or city views, but some look into the lobby with no outside view, making them feel more low-brow and dreary. The bathrooms in standard rooms are small, but rooms in general are a good size, and the on-site restaurant, coffee shop, and fitness center are convenient.
Staybridge Suites Savannah Historic District Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Don't be fooled: while the red brick exterior of the Staybridge Suites Savannah fits in well with its surroundings, the interior is filled with generic mid-level chain décor without much charm or frills. The suites are all spacious (minus the bathrooms) with kitchenettes and comfortable bedding, but some of them get all outside light from windows that face inside the hotel. While the hotel's central location is a plus, the free Wi-Fi and multiple meeting rooms make it better suited for business travelers. Those looking for a more authentic experience should consider the nearby Planters Inn.
Savannah Marriott Riverfront Rating: 3.5 Pearls
This upper-middle-range property sticks out as a bland chain hotel in a city known for historic charm. The rooms look updated and are clean, but have generic decor and clashing carpet patterns. Many look out into the enclosed courtyard that bizarrely houses both the lobby and the indoor pool. The hotel is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and museums, as well as a nearby ferry that connects guests to golfing and the convention center. Travelers looking for a more authentic Savannah experience may want to try the nearby Planters Inn.