How Hyatt Regency Savannah is Keeping up With the Foodies

By Juliana Shallcross Founder, Trips and Giggles | August 21, 2016

Hyatt Regency Savannah is embracing the city’s exciting foodie scene with a vibrant new restaurant concept that will give guests an authentic dining experience and an up close view of Savannah’s riverfront, while at the same time, will meet the day-to-night needs of the modern traveler.

For the past few years, hotels have begun modernizing their offerings for a new type of traveler—one that’s readily plugged in (sometimes literally with their smartphone in hand) to the newest trends in design, technology, food, and experiences. This traveler expects far more from their hotel than just a comfortable bed at night. They want the hotel to embody the spirit of the destination they are visiting, from the moment they check-in to the moment they check-out.

Yet these thoroughly modern guests also want the hotel to tick off all the right boxes when it comes to dining, amenities, and convenience. This can be a tall order for any hotel, even a newly built hotel, but for hotels that were constructed before the rise of this hyper-connected traveler, figuring out how to physically adapt their existing spaces for guests’ rapidly-changing behaviors can be tough. But not impossible as evidenced by the plans in place at Hyatt Regency Savannah.

The hotel recently celebrated its 35th anniversary with a full renovation of all its 351 guest rooms, adding enhanced guest room WiFi, plus a new modern décor that was inspired by and complements the city’s dramatic and artistic personality. The crisp and clean color palate of greys, smokey indigo and citron green evokes the shimmering contrasts along the streets of Savannah’s historic district that are laced with slivery Spanish Moss trees. In addition, guests enjoy new carpeting, window treatments, soft seating with upholstery that includes subtle metallic touches, plus new bathroom vanities, showers, lighting, bed sets, and TVs. Specially commissioned artwork in the rooms consist of a series of bicycles capturing the spirit of Savannah. And the design of black iron lighting in the room’s sconces, night stand lamps, and ceiling lights evoke the wrought iron gates of “Old Savannah.”

Dan Johnson, the hotel’s general manager, said the new look was due in part to the need to keep up with the new supply of rooms that have come online in Savannah in recent years. “It reminded us that we have to stay fresh and current," Johnson said.

The need to stay competitive also coincided with an interesting change in Savannah's tourism business.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.