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5 of Savannah's most romantic inns

There are few cities in the nation – indeed, the world – as naturally romantic as Savannah. With its stately, ornate 18th and 19th century architecture, its inviting squares, stout live oaks draped dramatically with Spanish moss, and impressive waterfront, this city just drips with sensuous romanticism. So do many of its historic inns and downtown B&Bs housed in structures from another era, furnished with period pieces and featuring luxurious amenities. Speaking of amenities, all have the ones you'd expect like turn-down service, quality bath products, and much more -- too many to list in a short treatment, so check it all out online. Though all these inns are havens of historical ambiance, they also offer the communication technology expected by guests today. But do yourself a favor, unplug and fall back untethered into the lap of luxury.

Complement a stay in one of these romantic Savannah historic inns with a couples massage at one of the city's premier spas to make your visit even more romantic and special.

I've had the distinct pleasure of staying in a few of these exceptional historic inns with my darling, and I can tell you it's always been an exquisite experience. Here are five of the most romantic of Savannah's many historic lodgings.

Ballastone Inn

This is one of the historic inns in Savannah I have experienced and I can tell you it is an exceptional lodging and one ideal for a romantic interlude. This four-diamond five-star inn is also a Select Registry property and has been rated "most romantic" by innumerable sources. Ballastone Inn is an 1838 mansion in the heart of the historic district. It features a grand front parlor, a courtyard garden, a little bar serving complimentary port and sherry, fireplaces in 10 of its 16 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, Victorian furnishings, a chef-created breakfast every morning, and truly exceptional service. And it's hard to imagine more comfortable bedding, thanks to the premier mattresses and the 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.

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The Ballastone Inn, 14 East Oglethorpe Ave., Savannah, 912-236-1484, www.ballastone.com

Hamilton-Turner Inn

This 1873 mansion sits next to Lafayette Square and offers 17 suites and rooms with varying style and furnishings – some with fireplaces, all exceptional. The James Oglethorpe Suite has a view of Lafayette Square out its 11-foot window. The Noble Jones Suite has a king-sized canopy bed. Wine and hors d'oeuvres in the parlor in the evening and later evening port is available. Coffee and a newspaper are available each morning in the parlor.

Hamilton-Turner Inn, 330 Abercorn St., Savannah, 912-209-5259, hamilton-turnerinn.com

The Planters Inn

Another of Savannah's historic inns I've had the pleasure to experience, The Planters Inn has more of a boutique hotel feel than the private-residence ambiance of some historic inns. But the 60-room lodging still rates as a true romantic and historic inn for several good reasons. For one, it was built in the early 1800s, earlier than most historic inns in the city. Beyond that, the lobby and guest room furnishings have a decided historic ambiance and the property gets extra romance points by sitting on Reynolds Square adjacent to one of Savannah's great restaurants for a romantic dinner, perennial favorite The Olde Pink House.

The Planters Inn, 29 Abercorn St., Savannah, 800-554-1187, www.plantersinnsavannah.com

The Gastonian

Located just a couple of blocks from Savannah's beautiful Forsyth Park, The Gastonian is two adjoining luxury Regency Italianate-style mansions built in 1868. Each room is unique and each elegant. The Four-Diamond property has luxury bath products and luxury cotton bathrobes among its amenities. The Gastonian has exceptional food offerings. A specialty is its extended breakfast from 7:30-10:30 every morning. Wine and hors d'oeuvres are available in the parlor from 4:30 till 6 in the afternoon and dessert and cordials in the evening.

The Gastonian, 220 E. Gaston St., Savannah, 912-232-2869, www.gastonian.com

The Presidents' Quarters Inn

The Presidents' Quarters Inn is actually twin Federal-style mansions that date to 1855 but were extensively renovated in 2007. Sitting on Oglethorpe Square in the city's historic district, the property features 16 suites, each unique, with decorative fireplaces, and several with private balconies overlooking the property's courtyard garden. The inn is decorated with both antique and period reproduction furnishings. Afternoon hors d'oeuvres and wine, as well as evening cordials are complimentary.

Presidents' Quarters Inn, 225 E. President St., Savannah, 912-233-1600, www.presidentsquarters.com

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