Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn in Savannah, Georgia
By Hope S. Philbrick
The first time my husband and I stayed at The Dresser-Palmer House in Savannah, Georgia, we fell in love with the place. It was on a Labor Day weekend several years ago and as a hurricane threatened the coast, everybody else who’d had a reservation canceled. So my husband, the innkeeper and I had the historic inn all to ourselves and we had an absolute blast—figuratively, the hurricane never came. We talked, explored every nook and cranny, learned the building’s history and delved into some of its mysteries.
So forgive us for being a little worried when we heard a new innkeeper was at the helm. At any small inn or bed and breakfast, the personality of the innkeeper sets the tone. Would a second visit tarnish our fond memories of the first?
No way! Still fun!
New innkeeper Kolin Podell exudes enthusiasm as he continues the inn’s tradition of Southern hospitality with a modern twist. “All the staff is young and vibrant,” he says. “It is out of the ordinary for a bed and breakfast—this is not your grandma’s B&B. We offer a relaxed but real taste of Savannah; this city is young, eclectic and vibrant.”
Indeed, this is the rare historic inn (circa 1876) that avoids feeling like a museum. It’s spacious, clean and upscale. The Dresser-Palmer House manages to be both historic and contemporary, combining antique furnishings with functional, modern amenities (i.e., the toilets flush, the windows open, floors don’t creak.)
“We keep it real but have fun,” says Podell, who previously worked as a baker—so you can trust the pastries he offers to be top-notch.
The Dresser-Palmer House has operated as a bed and breakfast for nearly 25 years. It boasts the longest front porch in Savannah. Public spaces include a bar, dining room and parlor with a piano. Each guestroom is uniquely decorated and named to honor a Savannah notable.
The “Emma Kelly” room—named for “The Lady of 6,000 Songs” featured in the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”—offers a four-poster king bed that is so high off the floor some folks need a step-stool to climb into it. Reclining upon its cushioned comfort feels like levitating in the middle of the room. There’s also a two-person walk-in shower, gas fireplace and access to a shared verandah.
At breakfast we met a few of the ten other guests who happened to be staying at the inn during our visit. Thanks to thick walls, we hadn’t heard them during the night. We all swapped Savannah tips and insights over coffee and apple pastries, and then headed our separate ways for the day to explore one of the nation’s most adored cities.
The second time my husband and I stayed at The Dresser-Palmer House, it felt like home.
- 16 guestrooms furnished with antiques; all offer private baths
- Complimentary off-street parking
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Complimentary wine and appetizers during evening happy hour
- Breakfast included; offerings alternate between sweet and savory
- Luxurious linens
- Some rooms have fireplaces and/or balconies
- 24-hour concierge services
- Some of the private guest bathrooms have full-size bathtubs, some have tubs too small for comfortable soaking; if a tub is important to you, request one when making your reservation
- Located in Savannah’s historic district, The Dresser-Palmer House is a short walk from Forsyth Park and Leoci’s Trattoria; the famous and bustling Bay Street is at the opposite end of the historic district, a healthy but enjoyable walk of several blocks
- Rates from $229/night
- Odds of Encountering Children: Slim. Children are permitted only in the rarest of exceptions. 21 Plus Salute!
- Haunted? October is busy time for ghosts in Savannah, considered one of the nation’s most haunted cities. I laid out pennies for the little girl ghost who allegedly lingers at The Dresser-Palmer House because she’s rumored to enjoy playing with coins. They didn’t budge. You may find this comforting, disappointing or ridiculous depending on your point of view….
The Dresser-Palmer House
211 East Gaston Street
Savannah, GA 31401
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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