Millions of visitors a year navigate the uneven, hand-laid cobblestones along River Street in Savannah, visiting the dozens of shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions housed in the former cotton warehouses lining the Savannah River.
Last year the riverfront of Georgia’s oldest city transformed with the opening of the $375 million Plant Riverside District, which extended the riverfront by 1,100 feet and developed a once-seedy part of the city into a popular mixed-use development housed in a former 1912 power plant.
Hospitality brand The Kessler Collection, founded by the Kessler family, whose roots in Savannah date back to the 1730s when the city was founded, developed the district.
“We love Savannah, and we saw in this site the opportunity to create something Savannah didn’t have and what it needed,” said Mark Kessler, president, COO and son of founder Richard Kessler. “The location on the river was ideal and had so much potential.”
After purchasing the property in 2012, the company solicited input from and brainstormed with members of the community for ideas about what to develop. “Our vision was to create a family-friendly entertainment district and redefine what the riverfront is. It was like nothing we had done before, and we wanted it to be a legacy for our company.”
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Plant Riverside District redefines Savannah’s riverfront.
THE BREAKERS PALM BEACH
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: We arrived at 1 p.m. and were greeted by the valet team, who introduced themselves and took our bags. The front desk team were enthusiastic, and in a short time we were in our beautiful room, where a cold bottle of Champagne and some delicious chocolates greeted us. The bellman supplied some information, and we were ready to sit on the deck and look out at the beach and ocean. The view was expansive and soothing.
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RANCHO BERNARDO INN
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: I had been itching for a road trip or staycation for a while and decided to take a few days away from Los Angeles and head down to sunny San Diego and explore downtown and Coronado Island.
Umstead Spa channels the native terrain of North Carolina.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Talk about a grand entrance! After driving across the state of Pennsylvania and spending the last 40 minutes of our journey in a snowstorm, Nemacolin’s The Chateau coming into view was a welcome and gorgeous sight.
CRANE'S BEACH HOUSE
GUEST QUARTERS: A few hours before I checked in, I received a text message that Crane’s Beach House had an opening, and I was upgraded to its luxury villa. Needless to say, I was eager to see what awaited behind the doors of Villa No. 7; the door, by the way, was sealed with a “sanitized and sealed” sticker, and I later found the same sticker sealing the refrigerator door and toilet as well.
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