Guests checking in at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa can be very distracted by traffic on the Savannah River out the window. A sky view of river action is best obtained from a 16th floor balcony. This is not space to mess around on but to sit and watch the shipping corridor for constant entertainment. Watercraft from tugboats and ferries to the immense cargo ships full of containers float up and down the Savannah River. Then there is the resort activity to watch below – the pool complex with extravagant splash pad, hot tub and lounge chairs all with the river view. An expansive lawn readies for one wedding and the central waterfront space for another as the bridal parties rehearse with laughter. A circular fountain with flowers and the long river dock and walkway lead to the Savannah Belles Ferry running every 30 minutes in times of Covid, ten minutes previously. This is a free service between the Westin’s Hutchinson Island and the downtown river walk. Hop on for a quick fun ride to cross over the Savannah River, hop off. Repeat at will.
Across the river the city skyline is beautiful day or night. The spectacular City Hall dome was originally made in copper but gilded in 1987 with sheets of 23-karat gold leaf. It stands out among the many church spires in white and turquoise. River front shops and restaurants dispense music floating through the air. As the sun sets, a band regales or a saxophone plays as revelers cheer from the restaurant/bars over the river and we safely drink it all in from our balcony perch at the heavenly Westin Savannah.
Tybee Island is a laidback little beach town with funky shops, eateries and a lighthouse if you tire of the city tracks in Savannah. On our way there, we sidetracked to The Bonaventure cemetery where “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” was filmed with Kevin Spacey and John Cusak. Ancient gravestones in diverse designs and sizes span massive acreage with towering oaks and Spanish moss lacing to the ground. With Halloween coming, we took a quick video clip for sharing. Wooooooooo!
Also en route to Tybee Island, we noticed a long line at Randy’s barbecue, a small building with smokers on the side. We knew it had to be good, so we stopped on the return. Fake purses were on sale at a little table and volunteers were soliciting voter registrants as we stood, chatting it up with the locals in line. We took our $20 ribs for a balcony feast. Good and messy, they left no room for dinner.
We had a thirst for lessons presented at all the squares of the historic district, so we hopped on the ferry in the afternoon. Tour guides in period dress led groups around memorials, statues and canons pointing out architecture, art and sharing anecdotes of old. We eavesdropped on a few, walked the cobbled and bricked streets, climbed the steep old stairs and caught an evening ferry back, exhausted. The night view from our balcony was even more incredible with the lighted city skyline and ships passing below.
Next morning at The Club of Savannah Harbor we got a taste of the PGA tour. Bernard Langer and other pros’ posters hang in the halls. The clubhouse is well equipped. A Footjoy sale for “lucky lady sizes” yielded a cute pair regularly $130, now $30. Fred said the obvious, “This is the best shoe deal ever.” Size 7.5 matters. We were paired for our round with fun members Pete and Judy who live in the Southbridge Golf Club community where PGA Pro Chris Thompson was formerly in charge. They followed him and changed membership to Savannah Harbor Club, preferring the course conditions. They warn that the course is wild with lots of snakes and gators. Pete likes to shop for balls at the water edges, cautious of the critters. We spotted a mighty big gator sauntering across a distant fairway and quadruplet babies lounging among the reeds, then scurrying into the murky water. Views of the city, the bridge, and the Westin are striking on a course with plenty of intracoastal water and challenge for repeat play. Designed by Robert Cupp in conjunction with Sam Snead it is managed by Troon.
Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa is the only downtown resort for convenience and luxurious comfort. Popping in for 24 hours, we hated to leave. Regardless of how long you book your stay here, you too will indubitably hate to leave the Savannah Westin Resort and want to savor more.
By Alice & Danny Scott