Savannah: The Amethyst Garden Inn

The Amethyst Garden Inn at dusk.
The Amethyst Garden Inn at dusk.

I am sure there are many lovely bed and breakfasts in Savannah’s historic district.  I bet there are even some great hotels on the river front (Bay Street).  Mike chose the Amethyst Garden Inn, which is a home in the Historic District which was built in 1888 for Thomas F. Johnson.

Upon arrival, with luggage in tow, the first feature of this pale purple structure are the steep stairs that lead to the entrance.  This is one of those characteristics of many of the historic homes in Savannah, either a single set of stairs or what is known as open-arm stairs, which have a set of stairs going from the front porch on both the left and right sides.

These front stairs allow for the bottom floor to be used as a basement even though it is not subterranean.  The Amethyst Garden Inn is a three story structure, with entry on the second floor and guest rooms mainly on the first and third floors (only one guest room was on the second floor).  The second floor features a wide entry hall, sitting room, dining room (set for 18), and kitchen.

The lovely old tiles in the entry.
The lovely old tiles in the entry.

The home is lovely, filled with antiques. The floors in the entry way look to me to be Italian tiles, such as we have in the historic Hopkins County Courthouse, which was built at about the same time.

The dark, beautifly carved staircase.
The dark, beautifully carved staircase.

The staircase is a beautiful dark wood which has had some alterations but is still beautiful.  Even though I am a short girl, I found the handrails in the historical Savannah home to be quite low even for me.  The landings, of which there were two, probably featured handmade tiles in the center, but those are gone.  As a feature, the mortar which had been under the tiles still remains.  It shows the wording which was on the underside of those tiles.

The mortar that remains shows what was written on the backside of the missing tiles.
The mortar that remains shows what was written on the backside of the missing tiles.

One design element in many of the historic Savannah homes is wide hallways on the second floor.  This was to allow for ventilation during the hot Savannah summers.  The Amethyst Garden Inn has this same wide hallway which runs the length of the home, from front to back.

The fireplace in the living room. Beautiful tiles.
The fireplace in the living room. Beautiful tiles.

Each room is named for flora or fauna; we were in the Magnolia Room.  All rooms have private baths and each room has its own unique character and decorations.

The highlight of the stay at the Amethyst Garden Inn was the Innkeeper, Chemise.  This hardworking young lady cooked a delicious breakfast each morning, cleaned the rooms, made reservations and answered all your questions.  Wow!  Mike and I were both so impressed with her and her dedication to the home and the guests.

The main dining table in the dining room of the Amethyst Garden Inn.
The main dining table in the dining room of the Amethyst Garden Inn.

Chemise’s breakfasts were always a show stopper.   Our first day family-style breakfast included:  pecan praline french toast, cheese soufflé, peach and strawberry compote, berry compote, cornbread, sausage, fresh sliced fruit, granola, yogurt, cereal, orange juices, apple juice, coffee and hot tea.  No one left hungry.  Breakfast was a great time to talk to fellow guests, get recommendations on where to go and what to see, and, of course, get some fuel for the day. Each day the main dishes were different offerings.  In our four mornings there, never did we have the same thing twice.

The owners and Chemise have done a lovely job preserving the historic home, yet making it functional and comfortable for modern guests.

The original plaster ceiling medallion still reigns over the living room.
The original plaster ceiling medallion still reigns over the living room.

Bonus Information:  I am always told by builders that pocket doors won’t last and should not be put in modern homes.  So, why are the 100 plus year old pocket doors in the Amethyst Garden Inn still in original working order?  Why are there great pocket doors all across Savannah still being used?  I love pocket doors as they save so much space and are a convenient way to close off rooms.  My grandmom’s 1965 house had a pocket door that never had a problem with functionality.  Let’s bring back the pocket doors!

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