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.
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!
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.
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.
Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah Historic District Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Located on the outskirts of the Historic District, the Hampton Inn has slightly more charm than a typical mid-range chain -- rooms are decorated in old Southern style with muted floral fabrics and dark wood accents, and the pool area is usually quiet and features palm trees. But like some chains, the 154-room hotel (though close to Historic District sights) is right on a busy street, meaning some guests have trouble sleeping.
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.