There’s a captivating charm about Savannah, Georgia, that reels you in from the moment you step onto its Spanish moss-lined cobblestone streets.
This stunning coastal city is notorious for its Southern charm, historic buildings and all-things-spooky. I’ll admit, I was a tad hesitant about its long-standing reputation as the “most haunted city in America.” With Savannah’s history dating back to 1733, too many places to count have been dubbed “possessed”—and the hotels are no exception. Luckily, my home away from home for a few days was one free of haunts. Having opened last summer, the Perry Lane Hotel is one of Savannah’s newest establishments in the Historic District.
The boutique property houses 167 suites inside two brick towers that sit pretty and parallel to one another on a low-key cobblestone street. Its black-and-white marble checkered floors add a contemporary kick to lavish furnishings and a plethora of eccentric art pieces.
My Thursday afternoon consisted of an hour-and-a-half scenic boat ride with Outside Savannah to a riverside restaurant called The Wyld. Views of the Savannah River paired well with an aptly named Painkiller cocktail, fist-sized crab cakes and juicy pulled pork tacos. The boat trip back was as breezy as the day itself, especially after befriending several curious bottlenose dolphins—yes, dolphins—thanks to the river’s close proximity and connection to the Atlantic Ocean.
Back at the hotel, a stop at the in-house craft cocktail bar, The Wayward, was a must. A motorcycle hanging above the expansive bar adds character to the already lively space that’s adjacent to a mini arcade room. Steps away from the Perry Lane is an Irish pub named McDonough’s, a Savannah staple that was hitting its peak during weeknight karaoke.
I returned to my room that night to sink into Frette Italian bed linens atop a plush king-size bed. The suite is as luxe as it is comfortable, with a complimentary jar of Byrd cookies filled daily; dimmable lighting; a sleek smart TV; and oversized windows with a lovely view of the Historic District.
My first stop the next morning was to snag a highly anticipated Sticky Bunssant (think of a sticky bun made with croissant dough) at The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, which is next to the lobby. I experienced total enlightenment with my first bite of the buttery, sweet and flaky creation that’s only available on Friday mornings.
With an evening ghost tour scheduled, I decided to spend the morning exploring Perry Lane, but not before an in-room full-body Swedish massage by Glow Medical Spa and Beauty Boutique. After that euphoric hour, I was heading down to the lobby when I ran into two nearly identical white statuettes of small, bare-skinned men with colossal heads and disproportionate bodies. They’re an art piece called “Twins” by Slovakian artist Viktor Frešo. The “Twins” are just one aspect of the hotel’s inimitable art collection.
Perry Lane’s art and décor are due in part to its muse and grande dame, Adelaide Harcourt. Harcourt is a fictional character created by the corporate art curation company NINE dot ARTS. Her travels, life experiences and love of her city inspired Perry Lane’s design and sophistication. From divine wall paintings and intricate murals in the elevators, to obscure trinkets and accessories in every room, the art plays a crucial role in modeling the hotel’s personality after Savannah itself.
There are 3,600 uncommon objects in Perry Lane—like a set of antique suitcases in the lobby—and more than 1,200 distinctive pieces of art—like the aforementioned peculiar statues.
Art even makes its way up to the hotel’s rooftop bar, Peregrin. Not only does it boast an epic, colorful mural of a parrot by local artist Kipper Millsap, but also jaw-dropping panoramic views of downtown Savannah, twinkle lights, cozy seating, games like cornhole and a sectioned off pool.
T.C. Michaels of Genteel & Bard led an evening walking ghost tour of Savannah’s most haunted squares. His stories ranged from mildly frightening to unabashedly gory. Michaels’ emphasis on the tales being non-fiction (for the most part) made certain parts creepier, like standing in the parking lot of Husk at 12 W. Oglethorpe Ave. The restaurant serves Southern fare in an upscale environment, but there’s a catch: It’s built in a house dating back to 1898 that is notorious for paranormal activity.
Golden hour in Savannah is as enchanting as a fresh Sticky Bunssant, cushioning the blow of even his most deadly stories told as the sun set. From the Spanish moss canopied across every tree to artisan shops on each corner, Savannah is a seamless blend of quaint sophistication and just the right amount of spooky. The city’s past and constantly evolving present meet halfway to create a destination that keeps everyone—especially the dead—coming back for more.
Perry Lane Hotel, 256 E. Perry St., Savannah, GA; 912.415.9000; perrylanehotel.com