Beginning around July of each year, I start getting questions about hotels in Savannah that decorate for Christmas.
“Which ones are prettiest?” “Which hotels go all out?” “When do the hotels in Savannah start putting up their holiday decor?”
I thought it was about time to write a post so I’d have the answers in one central location!
Note: This guide contains affiliate links to my trusted travel partners.
If you’re new around here, first of all … allow me to extend a warm welcome.
My name is Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. It combines my top Savannah travel tips from this website into one handy ebook.
Table of Contents
Hotels that Decorate for Christmas in Savannah
To be perfectly honest, most Savannah hotels get into the holiday spirit — at least to some degree. I’ll highlight a few of the best options for you, though!
The Marshall House
If you’re dreaming of a true Southern-style Christmas, put The Marshall House at the top of your list!
The staff is known for their Southern hospitality year round, but they really amp things up during the holiday season.
The exterior of the hotel is pretty, but the interior is where things really get festive — beginning with their famous pineapple tree.
In case you weren’t aware, the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality, and the folks at The Marshall House decorate one of the trees in their lobby to look like a gold-trimmed pineapple.
It always attracts attention!
They don’t stop there, though; you’ll find additional Christmas trees and holiday decor throughout the hotel. It’s a very festive atmosphere.
Combine that with their nightly wine and cheese gathering in the lobby, and you might feel like you’re stepping into a holiday party each time you return to the hotel.
As a bonus, the hotel is located on Broughton Street, aka: Savannah’s main shopping street. That means you can step out the door and start checking items off your Christmas list!
Broughton Street is also the most festive of the downtown streets, since it’s home to the city’s official Christmas tree. The entire street is lined with twinkle lights, with festive greenery on the lampposts.
JW Marriott Plant Riverside
The JW Marriott is fast becoming the new epicenter of holiday festivities in Savannah. It’s located in the Plant Riverside District, aka: Savannah’s “Entertainment District”.
While the interior of the hotel is colorful year-round, they add an extra dose of glitz and glamour during the holiday season.
Expect to find lots of bright lights and sparkly glass ornaments. The vibe is more modern than traditional.
(It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to find a Santa hat on their famous dinosaur in the lobby! If they don’t do that already, I’m thinking they should.)
The Plant Riverside District is also home to the Savannah Christmas Market. That means you can literally step out the door of the hotel and start shopping.
You can also grab a hot chocolate, pose for photos with Santa, or catch one of the many holiday shows that occur in the Plant Riverside District during the weeks between Thanksgiving and NYE.
Don’t expect the prices to be cheap, though; Plant Riverside is more high end than bargain basement. Visitors who have stayed there recently have also mentioned that it’s a bit on the noisy side. I guess that’s the price you pay for being close to the entertainment.
East Bay Inn
If you prefer to avoid the Vegas-style lights of the Plant Riverside District, I suggest heading to East Bay Inn instead.
It’s a charming historic inn with exposed brick walls throughout the interior.
Everything looks so cozy when the bricks are illuminated by the warm glow of Christmas lights!
Expect to find traditional red and green decor throughout the inn, gingerbread house displays on the tabletops, and life-sized nutcrackers guarding the entrance.
This hotel consistently gets rave reviews in my Savannah Facebook group!
The convenient location on Bay Street means it’s easy to walk to the riverfront (it takes less than five minutes), restaurants, shops, and bars.
Debi’s Restaurant is located in the basement level of the inn, and it’s a popular place for breakfast in Savannah.
All in all, it’s an excellent option for holiday traditionalists!
River Street Inn
This is easily another of the top hotels that decorate for Christmas in Savannah!
The exterior is lined with historic gas lanterns, and each one gets a red ribbon to add a classic touch during the holiday season.
You’ll know you’re in the South as soon as you enter the front door, since they add giant Magnolia blossoms to the Christmas trees in the reception area.
Classic red and white poinsettias line the inn’s historic heart-pine staircases, and you’ll spot traditional wreaths on each landing point as you make your way through the lobby.
(Just FYI, you don’t have to take the stairs — they also have elevators. Some of the historic hotels don’t, so it’s always good to ask.)
River Street Inn is centrally located along River Street, so you’ll have excellent views of the cargo ships coming into the port. It’s within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment.
Perry Lane Hotel
If you’re looking for a luxurious hotel that gets into the holiday spirit, Perry Lane is a good choice.
In the past they’ve offered fun activities such as brunch with Santa, cookie decorating classes, and “Tunes and Toddies” (hot toddies in the library whilst enjoying holiday tunes from a local pianist).
If you have kids tagging along on your trip, you can also request a fun Santa turndown service. Hotel staff will drop off a copy of “Savannah’s Night Before Christmas” — the local version of the Christmas classic — along with milk and cookies.
The Thompson is a fairly new hotel in Savannah, but it’s quite the hotspot.
It’s located in the trendy Eastern Wharf District, and it’s one of the tallest hotels — if not THE tallest — along the riverfront.
You know what that means! You’ll score some excellent views of the city from their rooftop bar.
The Thompson is my top pick if you’re a fan of impeccable design. Everything about this hotel — from the food to the art to the finishes — is top notch.
Mansion on Forsyth (Soon to be Hotel Bardo)
NOTE: The Mansion is in the process of their rebrand into Hotel Bardo. For that reason, you can’t book a stay there this holiday season. I’ll update this post in 2024 if they end up with beautiful holiday decor, or I’ll remove it from the list if it ends up being a disappointment.)
If you prefer to avoid the touristy zones, the Mansion on Forsyth Park makes a good option.
It’s an elegant inn overlooking beautiful Forsyth Park.
That means you can easily stroll across the street to see the fountain dressed in its holiday best or walk to Jones Street to check out some of the prettiest Christmas decor in Savannah.
As for the holiday vibe inside the hotel? It’s opulent.
Picture lots of gold leaf and sparkles and feathers.
The Mansion offers a private shuttle for their guests that runs from Forsyth Park to River Street.
There’s also a stop for the free DOT Shuttle route not far from their front door.
Both options make it easy for guests to stay in a quieter, less touristy part of the city but still get back and forth easily to shops and restaurants.
The Mansion on Forsyth has a restaurant, bar, and spa on site.
Most hotels start decorating the day after Thanksgiving or on the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend. The earliest hotel to begin putting up decorations is typically the JW Marriott in the Plant Riverside District.
More Savannah Christmas Info
Here are a few of the Christmas-related posts mentioned above, in case you want to circle back to them.
- Christmas in Savannah: Get the Scoop From a Local
- Where to Find Festive Christmas Decor in Savannah
- Tips for Visiting Savannah’s Riverfront Christmas Market
- 5 Charming B&Bs That Decorate for Christmas in Savannah
As always, I’ve combined all of my most helpful tips found throughout this site in my ebook, the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide.
You can read reviews from purchasers if you’re on the fence about buying it!