Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph Collection Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The Mansion on Forsyth Park is arguably one of the best -- and most special -- hotels in town, with a wonderful art collection, a great cooking school, a solid spa, an outdoor relaxation pool and a popular restaurant on-site. Spacious rooms have eclectic designer-level decor, with vintage furnishings and contemporary touches, plus deep soaking tubs, high-tech amenities, and original artwork on the walls. Those wanting to be in the heart of the tourist action might prefer a property located closer to the riverfront, however.
The Marshall House Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Built in 1851, this charming 68-room property housed Union soldiers during the Civil War -- and some guests say their spirits still walk the hallways. Savannah's oldest hotel is a wonderful pick, with a great location in the heart of the Historic District and elegant rooms that feature gorgeous architectural details like high ceilings, hardwood floors, and decorative fireplaces. However, this upper-middle-range property has some of the drawbacks common to old buildings, such as noise issues, small rooms and bathrooms, and few amenities. Don't miss the 45 Bistro, which offers a seasonal menu and an extensive wine list.
Planters Inn Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The small Planters Inn is an authentic way to experience Historic Savannah. The inn's 60 rooms are decidedly spacious with four-poster beds and dark wood accents, but a lot of the floral print dé cor looks almost as dated as the district itself. At least the bathrooms fare better with a slightly more updated look, and some rooms are improved by working fireplaces or an enormous balcony. The southern hospitality offered by the staff and the inn's prime location make this one of the better options for first time visitors to the city.
The Dresser Palmer House Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The Dresser Palmer House is a charming, historic bed and breakfast in an Italianate townhouse that dates back to 1876. The 16 rooms are each decorated differently but share a similar historic feel, many with four-poster beds, antique-style wood furniture, fireplaces, and patios. All rooms include free Wi-Fi, but the inn lacks amenities -- such as a fitness center and a pool -- that larger hotels in the area have. But the location in the Historic District is hard to beat, and for guests who prefer southern hospitality and the residential-style stay of a quaint B&B, this is one of the best bets in the area.
River Street Inn Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Overlooking the Savannah River, this former cotton storehouse has been reborn as an 86-room hotel that takes up an entire block in the northern part of the Historic District. It's a mid-range property, but it has some nice touches, like a small but well-equipped fitness center and free wine and cheese hours. Built in 1817, its stone and brick walls, hardwood floors, and inner atrium give the River Street Inn more character than most hotels of this category. It's an old building, so rooms are somewhat small for the price, but they feature classic décor, large windows, and flat-screen TVs.