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Savannah's Quaint B&Bs Blend a Bygone Era With Modern-day Amenities



The mere thought of Savannah usually conjures up visions of horse-drawn carriages, graceful live oak trees swathed in sexy Spanish moss and stately 19th-century mansions aligned along lush parks and cobblestone streets. Fortunately for visitors to this genteel Southern city, many of these mansions have been converted into comfortable B&Bs offering Old World touches backed up by modern-day amenities. Picture yourself tucked into one of these enchanting accommodations, surrounded by rich antiques and luxurious surroundings echoing the city's past, all wrapped up in the proverbial lap of luxury. Top that off with sumptuous breakfasts - and often afternoon teas and evening wine tastings - and it's a definite match made in heaven. There are so many options to choose from, starting with the striking Hamilton-Turner Inn, the Kehoe House, the Gastonian or Ballastone Inn, which has added high tea to their delectable offerings. The Foley House Inn wows guests with an authentic Southern breakfast, while the Olde Savannah Inn dishes up gourmet breakfasts with fresh pastries, French press coffee and more. If you're traveling with a larger group, Armstrong Inns offer several suites and individual houses in different locations. If you check into one of these, you'll enjoy all of the perks of a B&B, but with a little more privacy. The city's oldest inn, 17Hundred90 promises not only lovely accommodations, but they might even throw in the resident ghost, if you're open to that sort of experience.


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Conveniently located in the Historic District, 17Hundred90 is Savannah's oldest inn and a top choice for visitors in search of creature comforts - and ghosts. According to local lore, a woman suffering the pangs of unrequited love jumped from the top floor of the inn sometime in the 1800s, after her seafaring married lover left her. Allegedly, she has been hanging around the inn ever since - in Room 204. Other ghostly visitors have been sighted, but aside from that, the well-located inn has 14 beautifully appointed rooms as well as a three-story guest house. It's also a perfect fit for budget-conscious travelers as rates are lower than many other B&Bs in town. The on-site restaurant is a favorite with locals for not only its tasty menu offerings but for the cozy environment.


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You'll feel like you've stepped back in time when you stay at this late 19th-century Italianate townhouse with the ornate verandah. Located just one block from Forsyth Park, bygone touches include rocking chairs, an old Steinway piano and good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. Guest rooms are on three floors of the mansion and each of the 16 rooms boasts elegant antique furnishings, beds with luxe linens and private baths. A full gourmet breakfast is served in the beautiful Victorian dining room and an evening "social" features light hors d'oeuvres and complimentary glass of wine. A cash bar is an option for signature drinks. Breakfasts are a big draw with selections which might include: eggs Benedict strata, pecan French toasts, blintz soufflé with strawberry sauce or a brie and sausage breakfast casserole. Guests with simpler tastes can request other options.


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Built in 1886, the Catherine Ward House is considered to be one of the best examples of High Victorian Italianate architecture in Savannah. Located just one block from Forsyth Park in the Victorian District, the charming bed and breakfast has nine tastefully appointed rooms, in either the Main House or Carriage House - each with a private bath and fireplace. Most of the rooms have a porch or balcony which faces a charming courtyard with a fishpond and fountain. A complimentary hot breakfast is served daily in the dining room and is served throughout the morning to accommodate guests' sleeping schedules. Dogs are welcome in Jessica's Room and the Hibernian Room, for a one-time $35 pet fee. The Inn is known for personable service, as well as Southern hospitality.


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Touted as "Savannah's Most Romantic Inn," the Ballastone offers a treasure trove of period furniture, antiques and authentic reproductions in its 19th-century perch in the Historic District. Built as a private residence in 1838, it was expanded in 1880 and houses 16 guest rooms decked out in lush Victorian décor. High Tea at 4pm is a special ritual with tasty finger food, which often includes smoked salmon sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire cream, fine pastries and more, served on an antique tea silver service. Elegant southern breakfasts are included and are served in the mansion or in the charming garden.


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Located on Lafayette Square in the heart of the Historic District, the Hamilton-Turner Inn is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. The striking Second Empire-style mansion was built in 1873 as a private residence and has worn many hats over the years, serving as a Marine hospital for nurses, a church playground and an apartment. Restored to its former glory, the mansion today boasts 17 guest rooms and suites and a complete carriage house. Breakfast is served each morning in the inn's lovely dining room, which overlooks the square, and includes a rotating selection of delectable items, including eggs Benedict, French toast and blueberry pancakes. A reception each afternoon features wine and hors d'oeuvres.


For anyone visiting Savannah and looking for the charm (and convenience) of a B&B, combined with some private space, Armstrong Inns is a good choice. Accommodations are located in a house with two suites - with private entrances - and can be booked together or separately; in a one-bedroom guesthouse; or two distinct residences, each with two bedrooms. The guestrooms are located in different locations in the Historic District, but each boasts beautiful décor with antique furnishings and beautiful artwork. Guests receive a complimentary bottle of wine, cheeses and snacks upon check-in. A delicious breakfast is included and a private chef can be booked to cook dinner in the guests' private kitchen.


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Just steps from Forsyth Park the five beautifully appointed rooms in the Olde Savannah Inn are tucked into an elegant 19th-century house, replicating an Old World French Renaissance ambiance. Delicate chandeliers and priceless antiques are an added bonus to the beautiful furnishings and comfy beds topped off by soft Italian linens you'll tuck yourself into. Gourmet breakfasts include a delicious rotating selection of favorites including omelets, blueberry pancakes, French toast, crepes and fresh fruit, as well as French press coffee. Afternoons feature refreshments and when the sun goes down, guests are treated to an assortment of fine cheeses and wine.Throughout, the experience is highlighted by true Southern hospitality.


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Mouth-watering Southern-style breakfasts and freshly-baked pastries kick start the perfect stay at this centrally located B&B, which is comprised of two adjoining historic mansions on Chippewa Square. When the sun goes down, tasty appetizers are paired with wine tastings. Built for Honoria Foley in 1896, each of the inn's 19 tastefully appointed guestrooms is unique with period-inspired décor, working fireplaces and modern-day comforts. For an additional fee, pets can be accommodated in the inn's carriage house rooms and garden-level rooms. The Inn's prime location allows easy access to many of the Historic District's most popular attractions, restaurants and shops without having to rely on transportation. The Inn takes pride in "Wally," its resident ghost, said to be a boarder who mysteriously disappeared while staying at the inn in the late 1800s.


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Luxury and elegance combine at the charming Kehoe House overlooking Columbia Square in the heart of the Historic District. The 13-room inn, tucked into a 19th-century Renaissance Revival mansion features luxe European linens, elegant furnishings and modern amenities. Some guest rooms feature separate sitting areas and private verandas. Complimentary gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea and daily wine and hors d'oeuvres are part of the pleasing package. The inn's ideal location offers easy access to popular sites such as the Isaiah Davenport and Owens Thomas Houses and is just a short stroll to other stops on the tourism trail, such as Colonial Park Cemetery and the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. If you're interested in Savannah's haunted side, you've come to the right place. Kehoe House has received national media attention for its reported ghost sightings.


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The Gastonian
Photo courtesy of Kehoe House


Tucked into two 19th century Regency-Italianate style mansions in the heart of Savannah's charming Historic District near Forsyth Park, this "adults-only" B&B offers couples the perfect romantic escape. The 17 elegant guest rooms offer unique - and antique - décor with working fireplaces and private baths - some with antique claw-foot tubs - along with modern-day amenities. A delicious breakfast is served on silver trays in your room, or family- style in the kitchen. When the sun sets, you can mingle with other guests in the Double Parlor over hors d'oeuvres and wine. Evenings feature desserts and cordials. Beautiful hidden gardens boast colorful azaleas, boxwoods and seasonal plants, accented by a graceful fountain, small goldfish pond and a romantic swing for two.


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Meet Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond is an award-winning travel editor and member of the Society of American Travel Writers and other journalism organizations. 

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