Savannah’s Brice Hotel Radiates Modern Southern Charm
Girls That Roam Felt the Comfort and Warmth of Modern Southern Charm at Savannah’s Brice Hotel
By Heather Cassell
It was a breath of fresh air when we arrived at The Brice Hotel (601 East Bay Street; 912-238-1200 or 877-482-7423; BriceHotel.com) in Savannah, Georgia and not just because Super G and I were in time for wine hour.
We were warmly greeted not only by the bellman who helped us out of our car with our luggage and told Super G where the best places to park were, but also by the building.
The bellman told Super G that she had a choice between metered parking or valet parking. Valet parking is $25 a day, but there was plenty of metered parking available which is free all weekend and after 5 p.m. during the weekdays. It was about 5 p.m. on a Thursday, so she chose the metered parking.
As a guest of The Brice, as soon as I stepped through the doorway of the historic 1860s building I felt happy. The hotel immediately opens up into arid hallways guided by curving bookshelves, a nod to Savannah’s literary past, filled with books leading to the front desk and the Living Room. The entire building and the Living Room streamed with sunlight as a light breeze buffered the balmy late fall weather as it traveled through the open doors to the brick courtyard, which is denoted as the Secret Garden, where guests casually mingled with each other sipping wine. I could imagine spending hours curled up on one of the sofas surrounded by the books and whimsical artwork or sitting out in the courtyard reading any one of the hundreds of books available for guests to borrow or make new friends playing Corn Hole, Jinga, and other games out on the courtyard.
Modern life meets Southern charm at The Brice harking back to eras past bending to modernity in the latest incarnation of San Francisco-based Kimpton’s hotel’s renovation of the historic 1860s building in the original Firehouse Square that evolved into the modern Washington Square. At one time the building was a livery stable, cotton warehouse, and a Coca-Cola bottling plant before being transformed into the 145-room boutique hotel, The Mulberry Inn, in the 1980s. Then Kimpton took it over in the hotel chain’s first foray into the South. If you know anything about Kimpton, the boutique hotel chain loves history and restoring edifices reviving them to a new era for the local community and world to enjoy.
Ever since the hotel reopened under the Kimpton brand it has boasted of full occupancy, something that is unheard of in the hotel industry, but not unimaginable. Its location and well the combination of Kimpton and Southern charm is a marriage made in heaven.
Stepping Out on the Town
The Brice is centrally located in Savannah’s historic district near the Savannah River. It’s a party scene late into the night as people sip cocktails from plastic cups while they stroll beneath the trees draped in Spanish moss and along the waterfront bar hopping. During the day the streets are scenes of families and people reading placards that demark historical landmarks as people stroll through the streets and squares. It’s all outside The Brice’s front doors, however you would never know once you are inside the walls of the hotel which serve as a sanctuary when rest is required.
Per Kimpton’s traditional style the designers, Anna Busta of Busta Studio, Inc. in New York, retained the building’s history in its interior design while updating the building to accommodate our modern way of living and technology. The entryway with its expansive doors is the original when the Coca-Cola plant called the building home and there are many other hints to the building’s past throughout the interior design and structure.
The hallways are well lit and have a hip and fun design of colorful horses and butterflies leading to the rooms. The rooms are fashionably energetic and modern with bold colors and large circular and leaf patterns that are softened by the accents of the white wash used throughout the hotel’s public spaces. The rooms are also functional and updated equipped with electrical and USB outlets neatly tucked away in night stands therefore maintaining the antiquity of the building while being completely functional in our modern world. Each room is furnished with a king size bed or two queen size beds, a sitting area, a desk, and a large bathroom along with flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and other modern amenities.
The bed was so comfortable Super G and I immediately fell into a deep sleep and awoke refreshed in the next morning. I simply wanted to take the bed home with us. That would be our souvenir of Savannah. However, it wouldn’t fit in our bags so we left it behind.
Our Home is Your Home
That was later in the night. This late afternoon we were focused on getting settled into our room for the night, getting a glass of wine, and sitting in the Secret Garden unwinding from our long day of travel and figuring out where to go to dinner.
Savannah’s culinary scene is currently experiencing its own food revolution and emerging as a foodie destination, so there were quite a number of options, even at Kimpton’s Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar Restaurant, where the chef has the Burratta flown in directly from Italy as one example of being a part of Savannah’s new food revolution.
One of the best features of The Brice and any of the Kimpton hotels is that staff members are very involved in the community and can always personally recommend restaurants, places to go, and things to do based on your personal tastes.
Since Super G and I couldn’t figure out where we wanted to dine on our own I asked for several suggestions at the front desk. We weren’t steered wrong as we headed to nearby Rocks on River (102 West Bay Street; 912-721-3900; BohemianHotelSavannah.com/dining/restaurant) at the Bohemian Hotel. We were seated inside on the waterfront enabling us to look out at the passersby and the water while we dined in the comfort of air conditioning after stepping out on the rooftop deck at Rocks on the Roof, one of two of Savannah’s rooftop decks, to check out the view Savannah’s sparkling lights.
Returning to The Brice for the night was a perfect end to an eventful day. The Brice is the perfect destination hotel for a girlfriend getaway weekend with the girls, couples seeking a romantic escape, or simply turning business into a pleasurable stay.
The Brice, 601 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401. 912-238-1200. BriceHotel.com.
RATING: 4 = black
(5 best – 0 worst: color code: 5 = midnight blue; 4 = black; 3 = Aqua; 2 = orange; 1 = gold; and 0 = green)
TYPE OF LODGING: Boutique Hotel, Historic Hotel, Luxury Hotel
SWEET DREAMS: It was so comfortable from the friendly welcome to the comfortable bed it was like home but better. We felt taken care of all around creating an excellent experience and a reason to return to Savannah.
VIBE: Relax, slow down, and enjoy life and all it has to offer. Take a moment to pause, sip your wine, smell the Azaleas and Magnolias, and put your feet up.
SCENE: The hotel naturally attracts well educated guests who are ready to embrace and enjoy life and all it has to offer in Savannah. There are no airs put on here. Just be yourself and enjoy life.
LOCATION: Centrally located near the Savannah River and some of the city’s historical sites and hot night spots all within walking distance. You can’t ask for more.
ROOM: The room is spacious and comfortable. There isn’t a spectacular view since it isn’t directly on the waterfront or tall enough to provide a city view, however it’s the internal view of the room and the hotel that was attractive leaving us with no desire to look outward onto the square from our room.
BATHROOM: Spacious allowing for enough space for two people and counter room for two girls’ personal paraphernalia.
AMENITIES: Aside from the in-room spa services the room offers a flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, plugs hidden in the side of the nightstands, a sitting area, as well as hairdryer, iron, robes and slippers, and other comforts of home just in case you forgot.
CHECK OUT: $$$ = $175 – $350
(Lowest price for a single night in a standard room during high-season)
WORTH THE SLEEP?: zzzz = This was divine!
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