Review: The Alida Hotel, Savannah, Georgia

By Jeremy Del Nero on 5 November 2019
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Alida Harper Fowlkes, a famed Savannah architectural preservationist and antique collector, stored some of her most prized belongings in a warehouse on what is now Savannah’s riverfronthistoric district, in the mid-1900s.   That warehouse has since been emptied of these collections, but the site has been converted into the Alida Hotel.  A jovial and spirited entrepreneur, Alida was known by many as a warm and friendly person, and it would become clear to me that the hotel is a personification of these qualities.

There are many opportunities for a hotelier to make a lasting first impression to a new guest, from pulling up to the property to the grand entrance to the check-in procedure. The Alida excels in all of these steps, making it not only one of Savannah’s newest hotels (it was celebrating its first anniversary during my visit), but also one of the most welcoming.

After a long drive from Atlanta to Savannah, I was glad to hand the car keys over to one of the Alida’s friendly bellmen. The doors were held open and I stepped inside one of the most inviting hotel lobbies I’ve experienced to date.

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I took note of the lobby’s open floor plan, colorful patterns in the rugs, modern wooden furniture, and the mood lighting throughout.  The exposed bricks, I later learned, were original to the warehouse. The atmosphere provided a casual sense of industrial eleganceand nostalgia. Accessible posh. Millennials will feel right at home.

But the moment it really hit me that the Alida would be a standout experience was shortly after I was given my room key: a tall glass of Prosecco to celebrate my arrival was offered. I was also handed a reusable water bottle to use that could be topped off at any of the hotel’s many fill-up stations (sparkling and still water on tap, in the lobby and on each floor).

With my room key, Prosecco, and luggage in tow, I made my way to the elevators and on to my home for the next two nights.

THE ROOM

Inside the room, I found a petite desk in the foyer that served well as a spot to drop my keys and wallet, and in this instance, my glass of Prosecco. To the side, a sliding mirrored door concealed the bathroom from view.  In the main area of the room was a skinny desk and upholstered work chair, a king bed flanked by nightstands, and a pair of recessed windows above a padded bench. But there was more to my room than met the eye.

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