Cool Stay in Savannah

Get a lot of style for your bucks at a classic 1960s motel in downtown.

Don some Jackie O. shades. Call up your Rat Pack friends. Thunderbird Inn is back. This 1964 motor court delivers a vibrant style with prices unseen in Savannah's better accommodations for decades. The T-bird indulges visitors with friendly rates--$79 to $139--in a town where even modest hotels start at $165 and where $250 buys a small chamber in a historic home. Even better, the Thunderbird doesn't skimp on comfort.

Location, Location, Location
The motor court looks as bright and colorful as the day it opened. It sits a few blocks from River Street, the City Market, and boutiques-filled Broughton Street. Although it faces the city's bus station, we felt safe walking to and from our lodging, even at night. The motel supplies plenty of parking spaces in its L-shaped lot.


Modern Yet Retro
Inside, the 42 guest rooms offer an updated look. The owners replaced everything between the original walls except for the old tubs and showers. New tile, chrome fixtures, and fluffy towels take care of bathroom necessities. Firm, plush mattresses cuddle you to sleep. Primary red, yellow, or blue headboards set a contemporary feel beside the comfortable white leather chairs and chrome lighting.

Rooms include free high-speed Internet access (you'll need a cable to connect), phones, televisions, refrigerators, and blackout drapes that really keep the daylight away when drawn.

We do wish more insulation had been added. While you'll stay plenty cool with the individually controlled air system, noise from adjacent rooms, as well as the busy four-lane street out front, manages to seep in. Light sleepers will want to bring along earplugs and use the air conditioner for white noise.

Then you can simply close your eyes and enjoy a good night's sleep, knowing you saved a bundle.

Thunderbird Inn:, (912) 232-2661, or 1-866-324-2661. Rates: $99-$139; includes a doughnut breakfast. Editor's tip: We found weekday specials for $79.99 on their Web site.

"Cool Stay in Savannah" is from the May 2007 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.