One of the oldest surviving buildings in Savannah, Ga., is now The Drayton Hotel. The property combines luxury with casual and historic design elements, creating the aesthetic of an old Savannah home. Dating back to the 1890s, the building recently underwent a careful restoration to reflect the property’s history, the neighborhood’s culture, and travelers’ modernized needs.

Staying true to Savannah, The Drayton Hotel adopts the town’s classic Victorian architecture and traditions. With 50 guestrooms and suites, each living space has cityside views of Savannah and its City Hall. The property’s public spaces are in the likeness of Savannah, too. St. Neo’s is an American seafood brassiere and oyster bar with southern flare. On the property’s rooftop, guests can view City Hall while sipping beverages, and the Cocktail Bar is an intimate entertainment lounge. The Drawing Room can host private dinners, meetings, and parties, and has hand-painted murals and custom chandeliers. Off the Drawing Room is the Living Room, the property’s lobby, which uses natural lighting, plant life, and décor much like that of a Savannah home.

Before becoming The Drayton Hotel, the property was an office building. While there were some challenges that lead interior designer and founder of global firm nemaworkshop, Anurag Nema, and his team faced when creating the hotel’s interior, Nema says, “One of the good things about working in a building like this one is that you already have a lot of character to work with. The building is very impressive and had so much character—from its interior heights to the beautiful details of the exterior. The historic area has good inspiration points to bring into the building.”

1All Natural

Nema and his team were set on using natural light to bring freshness to the space. Nema says the lighting “is stunning, and the large windows all over the property were something we had to keep and take advantage of.”

2Georgian Colors

Nema says that finding the perfect color palette for The Drayton Hotel’s Living Room was a team effort. “It took time because the space has a lot of light coming in from the large windows. We brought in a lot of different pieces of furniture and colors, while ensuring the room stayed airy and fresh.”

3Plethora of Plants

Plant life not only makes the space feel like home, it nods to the historic layout of Savannah’s houses. “When the city of Savannah was first planned, homes were intentionally arranged around the sides of courtyards. These are very famous squares in Savannah, and there are hundreds of old trees and moss everywhere. The city is very green, and we wanted to have that same feeling in the hotel.”

4Concentric Circles

Although The Drayton Hotel isn’t short on natural lighting, chandeliers throughout the property add light when needed. Nema adds, “The chandeliers are both a connection to the historical nature of Savannah, as well as a little fun. It helps keep the space casual.”


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Robin McLaughlin is digital editor of LODGING.