Discover Savannah’s Exceptional Riverfront District

Georgia’s oldest city offers a charming escape to a bygone era.
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An insider’s look at Generator Hall at JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District.

NICKNAMED “THE HOSTESS CITY OF THE SOUTH,” Savannah, Georgia is a charming escape from the hustle and bustle of urban city life to a storied, historical port city. If the 200-year-old cobblestones could talk, they would tell tales of ghosts, secrets, and hidden treasures.


For access to the total southern hospitality experience, a stay at The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront puts you steps away from the city’s prime ship-watching spot on the Savannah River, directly in the center of the downtown National Historic Landmark District, city tours, shopping and more.

From the outside, the hotel looks as if it’s been there for hundreds of years, like an elegant antique property. But the interior tells a different story. Equal parts modern and metaphorical, the hotel was designed with maritime features that are subtle and artistic. With only 58 rooms, the customer service is personalized and an extension of the property’s comforts. If you’re lucky, the pristine view from your suite will include a balcony to explore the colonial charm of Savannah from up above the cobblestone streets.

Starting in the lobby (located on the fourth floor) enjoy a sparkling wine reception at check-in and get your first relaxing glimpse of the Savannah River as you step out on the wrap-around terrace or relax in front of the signature art displays. Spearheaded by Savannah native and hotelier Richard C. Kessler, the Bohemian opened in 2009. As part of The Kessler Collection, which owns, operates, and designs nearly a dozen hotels, each with its own unique theme, look for a blend of modern amenities with an antebellum nautical theme. As a part of the Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels, guests are offered curated experiences that possess genuine local flare, and distinct cultural touches that provide substance for a memorable stay.


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Rocks on the River dining room.

Take the hotel elevator down to Rocks on the River restaurant for an in-house dining experience for lunch or dinner. Sit at the bar, on the outdoor patio facing the riverwalk, or inside facing the open kitchen and watch culinary magic unfold before your eyes. Start with the Kessler Margarita: Exotico tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime, and orange juices, kissed with simple syrup. Developed and tested by Richard Kessler, it’s the perfect way to start your meal. The house cornbread comes piping hot in a mini cast-iron skillet accompanied by sweet sorghum-whipped butter and spicy honey, ready to drizzle on each slice. Starters like the Low Country Chowder (smooth, ultra-creamy, chockful of clams, shrimp, potato, smoked bacon, and served with grilled bread) and the Kessler calamari (crispy rings tossed with olives, jalapenos, capers, and peppers and served with spicy harissa aioli) set the tone for a great meal.

The rest of the seafood-focused menu reflects the bounty of the sea, emphasizing the coastal cuisine that Savannah is known for. Sauteed shrimp with pimento cheese grits, pan-roasted salmon and lemon beurre blanc, and seared crab cakes serve as solid entrees.

For a more casual experience that offers views, ethereal sunsets, and rooftop fun, head to Rocks on the Roof for an extensive drink menu, bar fare, and a cozy atmosphere. Slake your thirst with local and domestic brews or house cocktails such as the Land Ho! made with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, vanilla syrup, and passionfruit liqueur. Plates piled high with truffled French fries, beef sliders stuffed with bacon jam and pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes drizzled with red pepper vinaigrette, cheese plates, and charcuterie boards pepper the menu. The best part; everything is on-site.

Take a short walk from the dining room to the elevator, and then decide whether to head to your room, or the main foyer for a stroll down the riverfront.


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Riverside Plant District exterior, evening view from the Savannah River.

In addition to luxury accommodations, Kessler’s vision for the Savannah waterfront property expanded to include entertainment, more dining, and a series of architectural triumphs. Everything old is new again in the Plant Riverside District’s Power Plant Building. Part of the footprint of the historic district, which is steps away from the hotel, Georgia Power Company’s former coal-fired power plant has been transformed into experiences focusing on culinary, historical, artistic, family-friendly, and urban landmarks in one 650,000 square foot complex. Anchored by the JW Marriott, the captivating destination features high-end boutiques, art galleries, live musical performances, more than a dozen restaurants, several rooftop bars, including the Electric Moon Skytop Lounge and The Moon Deck, offering 13 different experiences, menus and atmospheres.

For example, Stone and Webster Chophouse overlooks the riverwalk and offers a unique experience—dining inside one of two smokestacks, reserved for exclusive private parties. At 95 feet tall, this stack extends through much of the interior of the building and can be seen for miles around the area. At night, neon lights illuminate the stacks, adding to the electrifying experience of the complex. For a more casual, yet lively adventure, walk up to the Savannah Tequila Company’s full-service tequila bar and cantina. The interior boasts painted murals and artwork from local artists and exquisite tilework to add to the restaurant’s coastal Mexican vibes. Upgrade your experience with more than just salt and lime wedges at this popular spot. Handmade tortillas filled with traditional and modern variations on Mexican cuisine saddle up alongside fresh Margaritas, Palomas and cocteles. For a real adventure, try the taquiza board with 10 signature tacos including chorizo, chicken tinga, brisket, carne asada, al pastor and a trio of fresh salsas or an in-house tequila tasting choosing from more than 120 tequilas and mezcals.


Take in a show at PowerHouse Live, a Live Nation concert venue, or saunter through displays of dozens of stones and fossils including 4-to 5-million-year-old geodes that sit in the middle of the lobby underneath the building’s showpiece, a replica of the Amphicoelias fragillimus, nicknamed Dusty, one of the largest dinosaurs to have been discovered. Part natural history museum, part art gallery, the entire Plant Riverside District’s Power Plant Building is a magnificent marvel to be seen. Whether on the rooftop, in a garden, on the riverfront, or in the Power Plant Buildings of the hotel, each travel experience to Savannah is bound to be a unique, extraordinary and original vacation destination.


Georgia’s oldest city is on a grid so it’s easy to walk to famous landmarks such as the park bench seen in the 1994 film Forrest Gump and Girl Scouts of the USA founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace or even James Beard Award-winning restaurant, The Grey all from the riverfront. If riding in style is more your speed, Old Savannah Tours operates a daily hop-on-hop-off trolley tour that stops at the hotel and goes on to more than 15 local attractions. If being on land does not suit you, enjoy a riverboat cruise down the Savannah River for views of the water and the Savannah skyline.

Categories: Travel