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The Plant Riverside District Awaits At The New J.W. Marriott Savannah

When is a hotel more than a hotel? Evidently, when it’s a district, a feat of development so grand that it lures locals and tourists to meander through its lobbies, dine at any number of its eateries and take in the attractions and entertainment found throughout its walls and just outside. Such is the case at the The Kessler Collection’s new Plant Riverside District in central Savannah, a $375 million, four-and-a-half acre waterfront hospitality and entertainment destination that’s the largest redevelopment in the city’s history. It’s anchored by the 419-room JW Marriott Savannah.

“Plant Riverside District is my career legacy and gift to my hometown of Savannah,” says Richard Kessler, chairman and chief executive officer of The Kessler Collection. “The project brings new life to Savannah’s riverfront with world-class entertainment, curated galleries, over a dozen dining options and jaw-dropping natural science exhibits for all ages. It’s truly a unique visitor experience and the first of its kind in the southeast.”

As Mr. Kessler intended, Plant Riverside is now a citywide destination. It has more than a dozen bars and restaurants for guests to meander throughout while enjoying local entertainment, gorgeous sunset views or the general charm of Savannah. There’s Baobab Lounge, an upscale parlor rooted in African culture, Electric Moon, a high-energy rooftop bar with picturesque views from deck to terrace, and Graffito, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria. Stone & Webster Chophouse is an upscale steakhouse, while Myrtle & Rose is a secret libation lounge with a poetic twist. Savannah Tequila Co. is a tequila bar with a modern take on Mexican cuisine. There’s also open-air riverfront dining at District Smokehouse, District Seafood, and Riverfront Biergarten – the latter in partnership with Savannah-based Service Brewing. Entertainment experiences built around local culture and music create a lively riverwalk ‘streetmosphere’ featuring cirque entertainers.

At Plant Riverside, Savannah’s culture seekers have access to an art gallery, riverfront park honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and natural science exhibits that spark imagination for all ages. Think a 135-foot chrome-dipped dinosaur, oversized geodes, gemstones and fossils, a pre-historic tortoise shell, and the world’s largest nugget of Copper. Daily experiential programming includes family-friendly scavenger hunts, a dinosaur dig area, mindful flow yoga classes on the Electric Moon terrace, and noontime performances from a seven-feet pipe organ on the Beethoven Terrace, just to name a few.

Plant Riverside’s entertainment destination marks Savannah’s fifth official district. It also allows guests to experience two unique hotels on site. The JW Marriott Savannah appeals to families, group trips and business travelers, while the romantic and elegant styling in the Three Muses building – also part of the JW Marriott – offers a stylish historic approach within the Power Plant building. This summer the Atlantic, a boldly themed property with maritime details opens, featuring a live music venue with acts by Live Nation, as well as the Compass Pool Lounge, a rooftop pool with breathtaking views of the Savannah River.

As with any tourist destination, Covid-19 has left its mark on the city, but Plant Riverside is bent on revitalizing the local economy with everything visitors want out of a trip to Savannah – food, drink, charm and a good time. “Plant Riverside is an economic driver that provides 600 to 800 new jobs and new tax revenues for local governments,” says Mayor Van Johnson. “In place of a generator that once produced electricity, Richard’s vision created a new generator.”


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