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3 weeks ago

Hotel Bardo: A New Era of Luxury in Savannah, Georgia

Hotel Bardo is the latest luxury hotel to jump on Savannah's remarkable cultural renaissance.

By Michelle Gross

Oak trees dripping in Spanish moss, gorgeous historic squares and authentic Southern hospitality at every turn have long made Savannah, Georgia, one of the most charming destinations in the US. Well-deserving of its nickname ‘the hostess city of the South,’ Savannah has undergone something of a cultural renaissance over the years, thanks in large part to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in the heart of the city’s Victorian District. This spring, Hotel Bardo opened its much-anticipated doors just across the street from SCAD, and the sprawling new urban resort is not only ushering in a new era of luxury for this historic city, but it has emerged as the most stylish space to sit and savor the best of Savannah.

[See also: Perry Lane Hotel: The Artsy Hotel Made for Downtown Savannah]

Stay

Well-positioned just off Forsyth Park, Hotel Bardo occupies a fire-engine-red Romanesque Revival building formerly known as the Mansion on Forsyth Park. Offering 149 stylish guest rooms, including 50 suites that pay homage to the building’s historic past while fully embracing modern luxuries, the accommodations blend neutral and jewel tones with pops of Georgia peach for good measure.

Hotel Bardo looks more like the Amalfi Coast than the American South / ©Andrew Frazier Photo
Hotel Bardo room
The hotel suites pay homage to the building’s historic past while fully embracing modern luxuries / ©Andrew Frazier Photo

The lobby and common spaces depict a more glamorous affair. As you pass the handsome lobby bar, accented with touches of gold and dark wood, you’d think you’re walking into a hotel set on the Amalfi Coast, not in the American South. This Italian coastal aesthetic is the throughline found throughout the hotel, eventually spilling out onto the cabana- fringed pool and sumptuous courtyard.

Dine

Only a hotel in a city like Savannah would have a signature restaurant named after the patron saint of hangovers. Saint Bibiana blends coastal Italian fine dining that veers away from traditional Southern cuisine in favor of shareable dishes with a coastal Italian twist, like two types of homemade focaccia, sourdough mushroom toast and an out-of-this-world broccoli rabe pesto — but make sure to leave room for a little butterscotch pudding dolce for dessert.

[See also: La Fontaine Leads Fontainebleau Las Vegas’s Restaurant Offering]

Saint Bibiana blends coastal Italian fine dining with Southern cuisine / ©Andrew Frazier Photo
Club Bardo offers a serene escape / ©Andrew Frazier Photo

For more casual fare, Bar Bibi is the ideal place to sip spritzes and nibble on seasonally inspired snacks, salads, crudos and pizzettas from the open-air brick oven. For those hot, humid summer days, a roaming gelato cart provides the perfect antidote.

Located up a flight of stairs above Saint Bibiana, Club Bardo offers a serene escape to members and hotel guests. From the dim lighting and velvet banquettes to the pink-glass chandeliers, this exclusive space is ideal for an evening spent sitting and sipping one of the club’s signature juleps. Don’t miss the Bibiana Burger while you’re at it.

Relax

Home to the only holistic wellness spa and gym in Savannah, Saltgrass Spa and Fitness is your go-to for all things sweating and resetting while you’re in town — from grounding massages and five signature facial treatments to a dynamic athletics program that includes daily yoga classes and boot camps.

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You don’t want to miss the Alchemist Facial with Anabel. Utilizing a blend of anti-aging collagen masks and Swiss serums, this ‘botanically informed’ facial is a journey to skincare heaven that will leave your skin looking brighter and better than ever.

Explore

Forsyth Park, Savannah
Hotel Bardo is located close to the stunning Forsyth Park / ©Shutterstock

Sandwiched between Savannah’s downtown historic area and Starland Yard District, Hotel Bardo is an excellent jumping-off point for exploring some of the best Savannah has to offer. Don’t miss a stroll through leafy Forsyth Park and, if the weather permits, enjoy a leisurely brunch on the patio of Collins Quarter at Forsyth.

As you make your way downtown, give yourself plenty of time to check out many of the city’s historic squares. Don’t leave without paying a visit to Bonaventure Cemetery, one of Savannah’s spookiest and most scenic spots to enjoy a stroll.

Premium Suites from $600 per night. Contact bardosavres@staybardo.com, +1 912 238 5158, staybardo.com

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This article appears in the 03 Jun 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Summer 2024

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