With temperatures plummeting up north, the famously warm hospitality of the American South is starting to look all the warmer. While the beaches certainly have their appeal, these five city hotels have enough Southern charm to convert even the most religious beach-goer.
Famous for its tree-lined boulevards, charming squares and grand old plantation houses, Savannah is about as Southern as cities come — and so perhaps it’s no surprise that, around here, hospitality is treated like gospel. At Azalea Inn & Gardens in Forsyth Park, the breakfast alone is worth the stay, although the hotel’s historic character and cozy rooms are perfect for a romantic weekend escape.
Charleston is one of the most romantic cities in the South, and it doesn’t take long to see why. Narrow cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, charming antique stores and spectacular antebellum homes form a picturesque setting. After a day’s lazy ambling, return to the eighteen-room Zero George, where you can relax on your private patio or soak in the tranquility of the lush courtyard. Once the dinner bell calls, head to East Bay Street, where some of the region’s finest culinary talent is on display in casual and fine dining restaurants alike.
For a classic perspective on a quintessential New Orleans streetscape, book a room at the International House with a wrought-iron balcony; it’s the perfect spot from which to watch the life of the French Quarter pass by. And for those interested in the city’s voodoo tradition, the bar holds nightly welcome ceremonies for the assorted spirits of New Orleans. It’s almost enough to give a guest the chills, in any weather.
The unofficial capital of the South, Atlanta boasts a burgeoning culinary scene, a fashionable shopping district and historical attractions aplenty. After your day of exploring, unwind at Stonehurst Place, a six-room bed and breakfast in a 19th-century Midtown mansion. You’ll hardly need it for warmth, but a warm fireplace in the room certainly adds to the coziness.
Nashville is synonymous with music, and for good reason. The city’s songwriting tradition is alive and well, and not a night goes by when there isn’t some good live music on somewhere in town. In recent years the city has outgrown its old honkey-tonk reputation, spawning a host of art galleries in the 12 South neighborhood, as well as excellent upscale restaurants in the Gulch. And while the Hutton Hotel feels much more a part of the new Nashville, its service is never too cool for its own good.