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Newcomer Hotel Bardo Savannah Is Bringing Back the Glam

Set on two acres in Forsyth Park, glam newcomer Hotel Bardo Savannah is a haven for wellness, restoration, and relaxation. Housed in a 19th-century manse with a red brick facade, the property—whose former lives include a private estate for area trailblazer Lewis Kayton—now features 149 rooms; an on-site restaurant that’s a nod to the Italian coast; a fitness center and spa; an outdoor heated swimming pool; and a members-only club with perks like access to a private clubhouse, complimentary valet parking, and priority dining reservations. “Hotel Bardo will feel familiar, yet fresh,” says Huxley Hogeboom, Executive Vice President of Design and Development at Left Lane Development in New York. “And for new guests, the resort will feel like it has always been an embedded part of Savannah.” Ahead, Hogeboom lets us in on what to expect and highlights some of the hotel’s prized showpieces.

Pops of pretty pink hues at St. Bibiana, the hotel’s coastal Italian restaurant. Photo by Andrew Frazier.

Thanks for making time to talk with us. Tell us about the concept for the hotel.

Huxley Hogeboom: “Hotel Bardo Savannah brings together old and new, or a ‘riot clash’ aesthetic mixing traditional styles with contemporary touches. Bardo celebrates the spirit of human connection and adventure. It’s a neighborhood clubhouse for the well-traveled.”

Photo courtesy of Hotel Bardo.

Describe a few of the hotel’s design highlights.

HH: “The art collection features emerging and established contemporary artists whose work helps create a strong sense of place and moments of whimsy. The cheeky stair installation is by local artist and Savannah College of Art and Design professor, Kelly Boehmer. She uses a variety of textures and characters to tell the story of Saint Bibiana, the patron saint of hangovers. Another standout is contemporary Belgian sculptor William Sweetlove’s five stork sculptures in the pool deck and garden. The stork is a symbol of hospitality and nurturing. Austin-based artist Libby Barret’s large-scale painting of a communal dining room watches over the Blue Room at Saint Bibiana and reflects the property’s spirit of conviviality and community. And local artist Vanessa Platacis brings her signature stenciling work in motifs of local flora to the private member’s club walls and resort elevator lobbies.”

A serene guestroom with pattern, texture, and a touch of retro flavor. Photo courtesy of Hotel Bardo.
The pool bar, Bar Bibi, at Hotel Bardo Savannah. Photo courtesy of Hotel Bardo.

What do you love most about the design?

HH: “I love the pool deck and the mix of new and existing buildings, each with its own character, that lends the resort that sense of being built up over generations. It’s too glam to care. The site inspires wandering, discovering your own nook—be it private or public—and the possibility of meeting a kindred stranger. I also love that we elected to keep intact a lot of the original worn details in the 1888 mansion (and 2005 hotel), from moldings and door hardware to wood floors. It’s a layering of time that no new-build hotel can recreate.”

St. Bibiana restaurant at Hotel Bardo. Photo by Andrew Frazier.
The pool at Hotel Bardo. Photo courtesy of Hotel Bardo.

Any favorite spots or moments?

HH: “My favorite spaces are the various rooms upstairs at Club Bardo. Though there are no room name signs, each room is cheekily named after one of the inhabitants of the original mansion. The design of each room is inspired by the fictional stories of who they might have been. For example, the vibrant pink Peggy room is the quintessential little girl’s room, complete with its own princess turret. The deep blue Lewis room may have been the setting for smoky drinks and games inspired by high-roller roulette. And one can envision the patriarch Mr. Fox in his namesake room playing the consummate host and mixing up drinks in the fun parlor.”

The light peach-hued Club Bardo with artwork by Vanessa Platacis. Photos by Andrew Frazier.

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