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The Gastonian: Savannah’s Truly Luxurious Bed & Breakfast
As I pulled up to 220 Gaston Street, I see one of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen. The architecture obviously displays the history of this phenomenal bed and breakfast, and I can't wait to get inside.
Walking in, the decor is breath-taking. I am greeted by the lovely, concierge Karen. After discussing my appointment, she allows me to look around while I wait. Almost instantly, I met the energetic, chef Ron! He greeted me, offered me coffee, and welcomed me to The Gastonian. It was evident that he was happy to be there. (You'll hear more about this character in a bit.)
I am promptly greeted by The Gastonian and Kehoe House Innkeeper, Mr. Mike Owens. This gentleman is intelligent, quick-witted, and genuine. All characteristics evident immediately! As we sat in the parlor to discuss the history, amenities, and details of the fabulous Gastonian.
The Gastonian was built in 1893 as a private, residential home. It remained a private entity until 1985, when a California native, Ann Landers bought the home, which she transformed into a bed and breakfast. In 2000, The Gastonian was awarded the coveted membership of Relais & Châteaux, the international association of luxury hotels and restaurants. In April of 2005, The Gastonian joined several other Savannah bed and breakfasts with BandBofSavannah.com.
Each of the 17 beautiful rooms, is named for prestigious people in history and decorated with genuine, antique furniture. This place is picturesque of an ideal stay in Savannah. Fun Fact: The Gastonian is the only bed and breakfast in Savannah with a penthouse, which is named after General James Oglethorpe, founder of Savannah. I had the pleasure of viewing The Caracalla Suite (aka the Honeymoon suite), which is named after a Roman emperor known for his taste in lavish decor.
The Bathtub in the Honeymoon Suite
As a bed and breakfast, breakfast is recognized as a very important meal of the day. To insure freshness, produce is bought three times a week; as Buy Local supporters the majority of the produce is bought locally. Breakfast is served from 8AM - 11AM daily, with complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon. Dessert is also complimentary, with coffee and brandy as optional beverages.
You may ask, "I can get antique furniture and breakfast at any other bed and breakfast, what makes The Gastonian so special?" According to the Innkeeper, the staff! The friendly, honest staff of The Gastonian will make any visitor feel at home and welcome. Ron, the chef, says that the guests make The Gastonian like no other, with the kindest people. In my opinion, the staff made a lasting impression on my visit. Their generosity, exuberant attitude, and comical personalities were unforgettable and demonstrated the obvious reasons guests return year after year.
An interesting story... about four years ago, a guest asked Mike to help him with his proposal, as he was going to propose that evening to his girlfriend. As the story has it, Mike spent a good portion of the evening hiding in the bushes at Colombia Square with two flutes, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries. After she said, "Yes," Mike popped out to help them celebrate the occasion with champagne and strawberries. He said that each year the couple returns for their anniversary, and their engagement will forever be remembered by him. This story is evidence, that the staff at The Gastonian will go to all measures to help satisfy their guests.
If you are interested in eloping, The Gastonian offers a special that includes two nights stay, a minister, flowers, a cake, and champagne to help you say, "I do."
The Elopement Package, plus two-night stay.
About the staff...
Mike, the Innkeeper moved from Atlanta, Georgia 10 years ago after falling in love with the city of Savannah. Since moving here, he has been with The Gastonian. Mike takes great pride in the service of The Gastonian staff and says it is a pleasure to work with them daily. He described the best quality of the staff as honesty, which in today's time is rare to find. He mentioned that with dealing with The Gastonian workers, you would find them to be honest despite rare, unfortunate circumstances. Although, he has personal ghost experiences, none have taken place at the historic Gastonian. As Innkeeper, Mike was filled with knowledge about the lovely bed and breakfast and was so generous as to give me a tour.
Karen, the Concierge, was the first to greet me upon my arrival. It was such a pleasure to speak with her. Karen has lived two and a half years in Savannah, and spent a year and a half here at The Gastonian. Her services include communicating with the guests and educating them on ideas of entertainment, along with a billion other things to help keep things running. She stated that the best part of her job are the people she works with.
Ron, one of the Chefs at The Gastonian, was in the military until 1996. While he was stationed here, he decided not to leave. Originally from New York, Ron has found Savannah to be his home. He attended Savannah Technical College where he received his degree in Culinary Arts. Years ago, his culinary skills brought him to the Food Network for an hour segment. On the side, he helps cook at Lady and Sons and the Kehoe House. Ron really enjoys coming to work each day, and meeting all of the guests. He enjoys telling ghost tales to the visitors at breakfast, and reveals that their facial expressions and surprise make for a good laugh. Fun Fact: Ron is a Pittsburgh Steeler and Ben Roethlisberger fan.
Calvin, the Sous-Chef at The Gastonian, was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. He has been working at the bed and breakfast for about four months and really loves the experience. Calvin has been a Sous-Chef for over 10 years, and as I've been told, the guests love him. His outgoing personality allows him to share stories and really get to know the visitors at The Gastonian. Fun Fact: Calvin claims to be a sports expert! He is a proud supporter of the Atlanta Braves, Hawks, and Falcons and his favorite Falcons player was Michael Vick.
Chef Ron (left) and Sous-Chef Calvin (right)
To make sure I received the full Gastonian experience, Chef Ron and Sous-Chef Calvin cooked me an amazing brunch: an omelet with the works, sausage, cheese grits, and grapefruit juice. I had the pleasure of dining with the company of the staff in their beautiful kitchen; the meal was delicious. It was perfect. I felt like a received the true experience.
My most amazing brunch: omelette, cheese grits, and sausage. Yum!
Tamekia works in Housekeeping, and has been with The Gastonian for five years now. Her favorite part of her job, is actually coming into work. She did let me in on some weird noises that she's heard over the years at the second building. She believes it may be ghosts, but who knows; she hasn't seen anything strange yet, just odd noises.
Aneshia, known as Shawn, also works in Housekeeping. Shawn is fairly new to The Gastonian, coming from a sister company, she says that the guests that stay at here are really friendly and she loves the people she works with.
Overall, the staff at The Gastonian was awesome. Each of them brought so much character and pleasure to my morning visit, that I can't imagine the number of guests they influence in a positive way. A special thank you to Mike and the rest of The Gastonian staff for allowing me to spend a morning with all of you, and feeding me a delicious meal.
By: Brianne Baggett
The Exterior of the Gastonian.
The Gastonian Fountain
The Gastonian Garden.
The Chandelier in the Gastonian Dining Room.