May112014

Hotel Review: Andaz Savannah Suite

Hyatt Hotels Andaz Savannah earned my top rating of the eight hotels where I stayed during the eight nights of my road trip from Jacksonville, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia this past week. I loved this hotel’s style and location and here is my comprehensive review with numerous photos of the property.

Savannah has a reputation as a party town. This is one of about a dozen cities in America where it is legal to carry an open container of alcohol on the streets, as long as it is in a plastic cup no larger than 16 ounces. I did not avail myself of the opportunity. Why is it that most places where open containers are allowed are hot as hell?

Andaz Savannah is in the heart of the tourist bar district two streets from the Savannah River on Ellis Square, one of 22 squares in the Historic District. Hence, the name 22 SQ, the hotel’s restaurant. Hyatt Regency Savannah is on the riverfront, but aside from the river view, Andaz is the superior Hyatt property in every respect. Since both hotels are currently category 4 Hyatt Gold Passport properties, there is little reason to choose the Hyatt Regency when the Andaz is available on points. The two hotels are separated by two blocks and it takes only a couple minutes to walk from one Hyatt property to the other.

 

Ellis Square

Ellis Square with its fountains is a popular cooling space downtown.

Andaz Savannah was one of the four Avia properties acquired by Hyatt Hotels a few years ago in 2011  Two properties in Napa, California and Savannah, Georgia were rebranded to Andaz Hotels.

Andaz Savannah exterior

Andaz Savannah has six floors.

Savannah Squares

Andaz lobby artwork shows a map of Historic Savannah with its 22 city squares. Ellis Square is the top row second from left. Savannah River is the top of the map. The large square in center is the Colonial Park Cemetery and the large square at bottom is Forsyth Park.

The main bar and nightlife section of Historic Savannah is along the top row of squares and to the riverfront. Another feature of Savannah I enjoyed is there were restaurants and bars across the historic district. I made a day outing to visit all 22 squares while in town

Andaz Suite (about 550 square feet)

Andaz 505

I stayed in room 505, a one-bedroom suite. The hotel also has a Deluxe Suite room category with a larger kitchen area and the Ellis Suite. There are six floors in the hotel. I found the suite offered a great layout and provided a comfortable environment for my stay.

Andaz Suite 505-1

The mini-bar and snacks are complimentary, except for alcohol beverages; a great benefit of Andaz Hotels that I failed to capitalize on. I only consumed one orange juice during my stay.

At check-in I was given a 4pm checkout time proactively without asking. As it turned out, I left the room at 11:30am and stored my luggage so I would not be constrained in my city tour with needing to get back to the hotel for checkout.

Andaz Suite 505-2

Living room space in Andaz Savannah Suite 505.

The doors opened up to a small balcony overlooking the second floor outdoor pool. The room faced the Savannah River two blocks away, but no river view with live oaks and buildings between Andaz and the river.

Andaz suite 501 view

Balcony view from suite 505 Andaz Savannah.

Andaz 505 living room

The wall hanging of the large oak tree appealed to me. Old live oaks were one of the distinctive features I associated with Savannah’s squares and the countryside of Georgia and South Carolina during this trip.

Andaz 505 king bed

King Bed in Andaz suite 505.

Andaz Bedroom

French style parlor doors allowed the bedroom to be closed off from the living room of the Andaz Suite. The bedroom was standard Hyatt upper upscale style while the large bathroom was exceptional.

The signature attribute of the room for me was the free standing bathtub.

Andaz bathtub-1

The bathtub is a clever layout of room space to make a distinctive bathroom for the hotel suite.

Andaz bathtub-2

Another feature of the bathroom I liked was the toilet was placed where a wall separated the toilet from the view of the bedroom. With two people in the room, one person is able to walk from the living room and in the bedroom without a view of the toilet or bathtub. This layout afforded privacy in an era where many hotel suites have total exposure of the tub from the bedroom.

Andaz Bathroom counter

Shower and tub to right of counter and toilet to left in recessed space provided more privacy to the bathroom tub and toilet than is common for bathroom spaces.

This Andaz Suite provided a fine example of functionality in a small space. The room layout had style.

Andaz suite space

The small wall space between the living room and bedroom was utilized with a full length mirror.

Andaz Pool

Andaz 2nd floor pool view from 5th floor room 505 balcony. Only select rooms have balconies.

Andaz Pool Deck

I went to check out the pool area during the day time. Pool hours are 9am to 10pm. Every hotel where I stayed this trip had lots of guests hanging out at the pool during the May heatwave.

My two relatively minor complaints about the Andaz involved the pool space. The first issue was the late opening hour for the pool. I understand the reasoning in that the pool deck is below hotel rooms, but 9am is kind of Las Vegas style opening hours when it was in the mid-80s by that time of morning. At least the pool stayed open until 10pm.

Andaz pool deck and bar

Andaz Savannah pool deck.

The other complaint was the lack of signage to tell how to open the pool doors from the pool deck. I could have broken the pool deck doors trying to exit since they automatically lock and to re-enter the hotel you must press a miniscule red button. There was no sign indicating this, and without my glasses I did not see the  button until a staff member of housekeeping opened the door for me from the inside after my third body slam attempt to push the door open and get back inside the hotel.

Andaz Pool deck doors

Tiny “Press to Enter” words are located on the red button on left side of door. The button is the size of my fingernail. There is no sign on the door or wall stating you need to press the button to re-enter the hotel. Perhaps the red button is easily visible to most people, however, I am red-green color blind and with the morning sun glare on the brick walls I could not see the button until the housekeeping staff member opened the door from the inside and pointed out the red button to me. She also said they should have a bigger sign.

22 SQ Restaurant Dining and Bar

The bar was happening on a Sunday evening. In the morning I had a leisurely breakfast with a delicious freshly prepared scallop and shrimp omelet. There were all kinds of farm fresh selections to choose from, however, one older gentleman who was apparently being treated to the Andaz experience by his children whispered in my ear, “There are only two kinds of cereal here. When I stay at Motel 6, at least I get more breakfast cereal selection than this.”

Andaz dining 

The ground level bar in the lobby is near the hotel entrance and the dining room in background faces Ellis Square.

22SQ Restaurant

Breakfast at 22 SQ.

The hotel always had one or two attentive and friendly doormen at the entrance. There were a couple of computer stations in the lobby.

Andaz on Ellis Square

Andaz Savannah on Ellis Square is a property that I highly recommend. This property will likely rise up from hotel category 4 at 15,000 points per night. Savannah is a great tourist destination to experience for the first time or once again. I’ll plan to return, hopefully when the weather is bit cooler than 93F so I can try a walking and drinking trip around the beautiful green spaces of the city.

Booking my stay

As a category 4 hotel I had hoped to use a free night certificate from the Endless Possibilities promotion that ran January to April 2014. The hotel was unavailable for award stays using points or certificates when I checked the week before my trip.

Andaz Savannah no rooms

Then, 48 hours before my stay the hotel opened up availability and I was able to book a room on points and then called Hyatt Gold Passport who were able to convert the points stay to a certificate stay.

Hotel rates were high for the property with the prepaid nonrefundable rate at $189 and the flexible rate at $209 for my dates.

Andaz Savannah rates

Hyatt Gold Passport elite members get 20% discount rates reducing the $209 rate to $167.20 even though there were no rooms available for points when I initially checked or free night category 1-4 certificates like those earned for Hyatt Gold Passport Visa anniversary or Endless Possibilities promotion.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. It does seem a good Cat 4 redemption and one of the better values at that.

  2. Gotta be the best Cat. 4 redemption in the Southeast for those looking to redeem their free Chase night.

  3. This is my wife’s favorite hotel. Great location, great hotel, great staff, and great breakfast. I think it actually used to be higher than a Category 4, but I could be wrong in that regard. Anyways, this hotel frequently is over 220+ a night outside of the winter months, if it is even available.

  4. Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out
    and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles.

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    topics? Many thanks!

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