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3 Fabulous Hotels in Historic Southern Cities for Your Next Getaway

Explore cobblestone streets and antebellum mansions by day and retire to character-filled hotels by night.

Casa Monica Resort & Spa

Casa Monica Resort & Spa

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

The allure of the American South’s historic cities is among the best-kept secrets when it comes to travel in the U.S., thanks to their deeply significant historical sites, legendary restaurants, distinct vibes—and superb hotels—that continue to draw travelers of all kinds. In many destinations across the South (and the country), you can find hotels from the prestigious Kessler Collection to book.

These hotels provide exceptional comfort and convenience, setting the stage for unforgettable experiences in these storied places. Whether strolling under Spanish moss–draped trees or tasting local cuisine, guests can explore iconic cities at their leisure while enjoying genuine Southern hospitality. Staying at one of these stylish, character-filled hotels from the Kessler Collection is an experience in itself.

An art-filled destination in the heart of Charleston

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

The atrium of Grand Bohemian Charleston

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

Surrounded by cobblestone streets lined with independent boutiques and eateries, the Grand Bohemian Charleston combines an artistic vibe with classic Southern elegance. Guest rooms showcase eclectic artwork and plush furnishings accented in lavender and bright yellow. It’s the perfect home base for visiting famous attractions like Waterfront Park overlooking Charleston Harbor and the colorful Georgian-style houses of Rainbow Row.

Guests can also become winemakers for a day, as the Grand Bohemian is the first standalone hotel in the U.S. to provide wine blending classes. During the 90-minute experience, you can enjoy light bites while sampling different wine varietals and create your own custom blend, complete with a personalized label.

After that inspiring experience, feast on innovative cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Élevé. It offers coastal-inspired dishes, rooted in French culinary techniques and with a Southern twist—think scallop carpaccio with sea urchin and Meyer lemon, shrimp and grits, and Carolina gold risotto with mushroom and Parmesan cheese. Wrap up the evening with a refreshing herb-infused botanical cocktail at the hotel’s vibrant rooftop bar with a gorgeous cityscape view.

A riverfront retreat in historic Savannah

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

The rooftop bar of Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

Exploring Savannah, Georgia, from the hotel’s central location is a breeze. Immerse yourself in the city’s historic atmosphere full of oak-lined streets, elegant antebellum mansions, and popular attractions like Forsyth Park and City Market. After a day of exploring River Street’s boutiques and galleries or delving into local history at nearby landmarks, return to the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront with charming design that reflects the city’s distinctive personality.

In the evening, relax with stunning river views and creative cocktails at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Rocks on the Roof. This must-visit spot has regular DJ sets, a cozy firepit, and a diverse menu featuring globally inspired small plates. For a more elevated dining experience, savor Southern-influenced coastal cuisine at the hotel’s new restaurant, Coastal 15. Try specialties like lobster hushpuppies and agnolotti with shrimp and Spanish chorizo. Afterward, retreat to your chic room, furnished in warm hues of orange and brown. Sink into leather-backed chairs beneath chandeliers crafted from oyster shells and gaze upon the scenic riverfront view.

A well-appointed resort with Spanish flavor

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

Delicious dishes and cocktails at Casa Monica Resort & Spa’s restaurant, Cordova

Courtesy of Kessler Collection

For a luxurious mix of Old World charm and modern comforts in the heart of historic St. Augustine, Florida—the oldest city in the country—look no further than the Casa Monica Resort & Spa. Built in 1888 by American industrialist Henry Flagler, the landmark has a striking facade and beautiful gardens, showcasing exquisite Moorish revival architecture that pays homage to the region’s Spanish heritage.

After undergoing renovations, the resort reopened in 2000. Guest rooms feature plush furnishings and views of either the historic district or the resort’s pool, while each of the signature suites is unique in design, boasting a spiral staircase or two- and three-story accommodations with a connection to the history of St. Augustine in every detail.

Once settled, care for yourself with a massage or skin treatment at the Poseidon Spa, or simply relax in the tranquil courtyard oasis with its shimmering pool. Resort guests also get access to the Serenata Beach Club, Ponte Vedra Beach’s premier private beach club, and Palencia Golf Club, St. Augustine’s most prestigious private country club with a championship golf course designed by Arthur Hill.

The resort sits between Flagler College and the Lightner Museum, conveniently located across from the Plaza de la Constitución and just a short walk from the Matanzas River. Take time to wander the cobblestone streets of historic St. Augustine and visit the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments.

In the evening, enjoy the delicious coastal cuisine of Florida at Cordova Chophouse & Bar. This restaurant combines classic steak house dishes with the flavors of Spain and Morocco, reflected in the decor and menu. Delight in dishes like diver scallops with a saffron risotto fritter, spiced Marcona almonds, and romesco sauce or opt for a half chicken served with butternut puree, sherry-glazed mushrooms, and Calabrian chili.

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