Savannah’s Perry Lane Hotel takes a weekend in Georgia’s oldest city to a refined next level.
STORY: Giannina S. Bedford
I’ve been to Savannah, Georgia, several times. First, during college for a whirlwind 24-hour stopover, then a before-kids, party-filled St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Two years ago, I went with my in-laws, husband and young daughter. Needless to say, every visit has been drastically different. That was again the case when I visited earlier this year for an adults-only getaway at the recently opened Perry Lane Hotel. Thanks to the five-star accommodations, this latest sojourn was without doubt the classiest side of Savannah I’ve experienced.
Opened in the city’s historic district in June 2018, the Perry Lane Hotel personifies the life of Savannah’s elite through style and service. Split between two buildings separated by a brick-clad street, the hotel feels more like a renovated manor than a 167-room hotel. Perry Lane is part of Marriott International’s The Luxury Collection, but it achieves the difficult task of personalizing the hotel stay in a destination where lodging is aplenty. Here, the focus is on an immersive guest experience and how it relates to the historic city that surrounds it.
How do they do that? For us, it began the moment my husband and I stepped into the lobby. We were greeted with a glass of Champagne and invited to sit at an antique-style desk during check-in. My eyes scanned my surroundings, taking in the Old World millwork, vintage furnishings and collections of maps and travel mementos strewn about the interior.
Through the lobby into a separate sitting room and library, the discovery of art and unique objects continued to surprise me. It was easy to see the design wasn’t just simply put together. In fact, it’s all the “vision” of a fictional character named Adelaide Harcourt, created by NINE dot ARTS, a Denver-based corporate curatorial firm, to set the tone for Perry Lane’s look. The story they concocted is that Adelaide is a seventh-generation Savannian and “grande dame” whose life experiences, travels and love of Savannah inspired the hotel’s eclectic art collection. Pretty cool.
Adelaide’s intriguing touch also extended to our upstairs guestroom, where a marbled foyer, wood paneling and dark-hued walls mixed with leather headboards, Frette Italian bed linens and animal-inspired artwork, creating a grand modern meets historic feel unlike that of any other hotel I’ve experienced. The design eye candy was particularly striking at Peregrin, the hotel’s rooftop bar and pool area. Stepping off the elevator, I felt transported to a chic tropical playground with skyline views, lawn games and lush landscaping of jasmine, boxwood and podocarpus— the vision of award-winning landscape designer Fernando Wong.
In addition to Peregrin, the hotel offers street-level hospitality concepts in each of its buildings. The Wayward is an upscale but offbeat take on a neighborhood watering hole, and The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market is an all-day American brasserie highlighting Southern sourced ingredients. Although we didn’t have a chance to hang out at The Wayward, our dinner and morning brunch at The Emporium were stellar. From comfy leather banquettes under vintage-style lighting, we sipped Butter Pecan Old-Fashioneds and dined on garlicky mussels and classic steak frites. Adjacent to the dining room is Bowerbird Coffee, where I got my afternoon pick-me-up, as well as a wine shop and a market offering artisanal to-go items.
And yes, during our visit, we did get out to explore Savannah’s outstanding restaurants, burgeoning art scene and flourishing history, but at the end of the day, we were eager to get back to Perry Lane. Savannah is a fascinating destination that seems to beckon me back again and again, each time showing me a new side to enjoy. I just hope my next visit to Georgia’s oldest city meets the level of the sophistication I experienced on my most recent encounter at this mansion-like retreat in the heart of a storied city.
PERRY LANE HOTEL
The Perry Lane Hotel offers a variety of Savannah-centric experiences for guests, from private architectural tours of the city to behind-the-scenes looks at where the world-famous Benedetto Guitars and Byrd Cookie Company cookies are made. A full list of activities is available at perrylanehotel.com/unique-experiences.