As of March 2017, there are at least seven developments underway, as far as hotels go, with a handful of others currently in talks and the planning stages. Here’s a look at some of the alluring accommodations coming to Savannah in the upcoming years:
West Elm Hotel
Location: 607 Drayton St.
Opening: Late 2018/Early 2019
The popular high-end home accessory retailer, West Elm, is taking a dive into the boutique hotel business and with its five hotels opening in the United States is a location in Savannah.
“West Elm intentionally targeted mid-size cities with rich histories and vibrant communities. Savannah is a perfect fit,” Peter Fowler, West Elm’s VP of hospitality and workspace, said. “With easy access to Savannah’s best restaurants, museums and waterfront, Forsyth Park is the heart of the Historic District of Savannah. With the opening of West Elm HOTELS, we’ll work to curate a local and immersive experience for our guests within each of our communities.”
The future home of the four-story, 150- to 175-room West Elm Hotel in Savannah is at Drayton Street and East Huntingdon Street, across from Forsyth Park near the Savannah Law School. West Elm aims for each property to be unique and are in the process of discussing possible names for the properties inspired by their surroundings and history.
Location: 512 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
Opening: August 2018
HOS Management isn’t slowing down. After opening the Fairfield Inn & Suites in January 2017, they broke ground for Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ new six-story Aloft hotel at MLK, Jr. Boulevard and Oglethorpe Avenue
Aloft Hotels are known for their clean, contemporary architecture. With 135 rooms, this new hotel in Savannah will feature an WXYZ® bar and lounge, a grab-and-go café, not to mention a swimming pool. The pet-friendly property will even have its own mini-dog park as the brand prides itself on offering guests a modern, fresh and fun destination celebrating individuality, innovative design and style.
“We’re so excited to introduce the energy of the Aloft brand and its vibrant social scene to Savannah,” Kris Patel, a second-generation partner and CFO at HOS Management, said. “With its unique social and tech-driven amenities and competitive price point, we believe the Aloft brand will resonate with travelers coming into the area.”
Location: 321 Montgomery St.
HOS Management is also working on the new 103-room Cambria hotel & suites, with the help of Dawson Architects. Cambria is known for their spacious lobbies, oversized rooms featuring flexible spaces and for boasting the latest technology, and is currently experiencing a phase of accelerated growth, with new properties under construction in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago and Philadelphia.
“Expanding to a city like Savannah made perfect sense. With the growth of Savannah and our hotel’s location in the heart of the Historic District, the property is ideal for people traveling to the city on business or for leisure. It is within walking distance from world-class shopping, dining, museums and entertainment,” a Choice Hotels spokesperson said.
Like other Cambria hotels & suites, the Savannah location will feature fine amenities, such as a contemporary bistro and a barista bar, as well as off-street parking with valet service. Cambria guests can also take advantage their loyalty program, Choice Privileges, which can get guests free nights and Amazon.com, Starbucks, Uber and Shell rewards earned on mid-week stays, as well as souvenir coasters and a free drink upon check-in.
Perry Lane Hotel
Location: 256 E. Perry St.
Opening: Late 2017/Early 2018
If you’ve been to Chippewa Square or Savannah Theatre on Drayton Street, then you may have noticed the huge construction project right behind Drayton Tower. This is soon to be the Perry Lane Hotel, which will feature 168 guest rooms, a pool, meeting rooms and a rooftop events space.
This boutique hotel will consist of two individual buildings and a high-end experience for visitors, with upscale dining and retail options. The Perry Lane Hotel will welcome guests with an airy streetscape and lobby saturated in southern flair—from the porch and parlor feel to the grand fireplaces, antiques and décor. Flank Inc., the owners of Drayton Tower, is heading the development of the hotel, working with Hansen Architects and AvroKO on the design of the hotel, while Dash Design works on the restaurant’s interior and Nine Dot on choosing and acquiring art.
The Alida hotel at 412 Williamson
Location: 412 Williamson St.
Opening: July 2017
With so much popularity, it comes as no surprise that River Street is gaining its own collection of new hotels. The first is the seven-story, 173-guest room property designed by Savannah-based Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects, which will be a part of the Starwood Tribute Portfolio.
This luxurious new accommodation will span an entire block on River Street. It will feature 82 double king rooms, 66 kings and 25 king suites, as well as 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Other amenities include a signature restaurant, rooftop event space and bar, fitness area, pool and lobby bar. To accommodate this expansion of the area around West River Street, an entranceway will also be built to River Street. This provides pedestrians with an easier, safer way to access to the riverfront.
Plant Riverside District: JW Marriott
Location: West River Street
An even larger development is taking place across the street, on the riverside of West River Street. The Kessler Collection is transforming the abandoned power plant and surrounding industrial zone. It will become a complex with 20,000 square feet of retail, ballrooms, meeting space and a live entertainment venue. It will be anchored by a JW Marriott hotel. This $270 million, 670,000 square-foot development has been dubbed the “Plant Riverside District.”
“The 419-room JW Marriott will introduce a world-renowned luxury hotel,” Mark Kessler, President and COO of Kessler Collection Design & Development, said.
“This quality of large scaled luxury hotel development is anticipated to induce demand by attracting guests. The JW Marriott is the only hotel in the development.”
A natural science museum inspired Plant Riverside East. Plant Riverside West will have a nautical theme, with sweeping views of the Savannah River. The other three buildings will have a French feel, with plush and romantic rooms. Inside these buildings, guests will find everything from restaurants and retail space to large ballrooms. It will feature concert venues, art galleries, rooftop bars and an expansion of the riverwalk.
“Residents, visitors and hotel guests will be able to experience an entertainment district along Savannah’s treasured riverfront.
This will include 4.5 acres of new public spaces, and extend the city’s public river walk by more than 1,000 linear feet,” Kessler said. “Parks, plazas and public event spaces will be interwoven and spatially defined by the regenerated power plant and other mixed-use urban infill, creating a network of connected plazas linking the river to the center city.”
Lark Hotels’ Savannah Property
Location: 401 Habersham St.
Just a few blocks away, on Bay and Habersham streets, Lark Hotels is taking on a smaller, more intimate project. They are planning a 55-room, four-story hotel with two entrances and a valet drop-off along Habersham Street. The project is bringing a much needed revitalization to this block along Bay Street. The Massachusetts-based company is making its debut in the southern scene with this new property. Each estate in Lark Hotels’ collection of inns and boutique hotels has its own personality. It’s no doubt this flair will flourish in the coming hotel in the Hostess City of the South.
“Savannah is one of the South’s premier iconic destinations, rich in creativity, history and coastal beauty.”
“These components are what Lark Hotels’ locales have in common. We are excited to bring our approach to Georgia. The unique properties in our collection embrace their locations,” Lark’s Chief Inspiration Officer Dawn Hagin said. “We see Savannah as a community that will support this approach and help us to thrive. And we intend to help attract more modern travelers to Savannah as a whole.”
More to Come
The Liberty Hotel
In February 2017, the Savannah Historic Review Board approved a 8,400-square-feet hotel. It is to be built located across from the Savannah Civic Center. The Liberty Hotel is being designed by Lynch Associates Architects. It would be located across form Frali Gourmet and the Savannah Coffee Roasters. The projected opening is in the summer of 2019.
President Street Property
Across town, another hotel might just be on its way to President Street, out near Truman Parkway. This past winter, Chatham County-Savannah Planning Commission submitted an application to build the 645-room hotel. The hotel comes with 685 parking spaces at 1147 E. President St. at an estimate of $250 million.
Article originally published March, 2017.