SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -When you walk or drive around downtown Savannah you’re sure to see a new restaurant, shop, or hotel you maybe hadn’t noticed before.
What’s old is new again, and the newest hotel in town is open after three years of renovation and construction.
Raghav Sapra has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, and a few weeks ago, he opened his very first hotel right here in Savannah. When asked why he chose the Hostess City, he specified two reasons.
“This neighborhood has a strong sense of history, which I love, architectural layers, the stories, they already existed they were so powerful here,” said Sapra. “Ultimately you can’t forget about the people. the people make savannah what it is, the charm, their natural sense of hospitality.”
The Drayton Hotel, located at 7 Drayton Street, is in the heart of Savannah’s vibrant landmark historic district. This hotel is one of many new to the historic district, with more to come.
“We have new inventory coming into the market with new hotels like Perry Lane, Alida, now the Drayton, we’ve had new inventory into the market. what’s most fascinating is we’ve been repurposing older buildings,” said Jeff Hewitt with the Savannah Chamber of Commerce. “The aspect Savannah offers so many other destinations don’t. We’re truly an authentic destination. We have history we treasure and value that history. We embrace it.”
With these new hotels, Sapra welcomes the competition and diversity of the properties.
“I embrace it, everyone has their story and they all address a different segment of the market,” said Sapra.
Sapra says everything about the hotel draws inspiration from what makes the city unique, especially the restaurant.
“We wanted to do something natural to Savannah, being close to the ocean, being on the river, seafood was a natural thought,” said Sapra. “It’s a seafood brasserie and we have an oyster bar but it also has a southern undertone without being southern in your face.”
From restaurants to rooftops, Hewitt says it is crucial for new hotels in Savannah, to welcome the people who call this place home.
“Locals are the cornerstone of our community, creating a vibrant downtown that locals can enjoy is every bit as important as catering to the outside visitors coming in from other places,” said Hewitt.
“Our intent in designing this was not just tourists, it was about how this can be an amenity to the neighborhood, not just the four walls, outside the four walls, how we interact and engage in the community,” said Sapra.