A Place of Comfort and Joy: A Savannah Holiday Frolic Amid the Stars of Christmas Past and Present

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The "Savannah Christmas Retrospective" at The Presidents' Quarters bed and breakfast inn reveals the art of a zestful Christmastide in the downtown historic district ... one which blends the best of the Christmas past with the best of the Christmas present. All rooms are $150/night (plus tax) -- excluding December 26-December 31, 2007 -- a special holiday renovation rate through the Twelve Days of Christmas, which ends January 6, 2008.

The art of Christmastide in the historic district is as much about Christmas past as it is about Christmas present in Savannah, Georgia. The top-tier Georgia bed and breakfast -- recently named by Fodor's guide as one of Savannah's Best Bed and Breakfast Inns -- has taken a cue from the much beloved tradition of White House First Ladies to decorate for Christmas using a timely theme.

In its "Savannah Christmas Retrospective," The Presidents' Quarters points to little known moments of peace and goodwill found in the southern city's cultural heritage. In the nighttime, it will become particularly evident that the popular inn has succumbed to the words of William Faulkner, "In the South art, to become visible at all, must become a ceremony, a spectacle...."

From noble Oglethorpe Square, the best of Savannah society has hosted generals, diplomats, industrialists and politicians for over three hundred years. Dressed up for Yuletide affairs both merry and momentous, simple Moravian stars and 3500 courtyard tree lights create a wonder-filled, panoramic holiday setting.

"Savannah has the genuine unhurried charm of the deep antebellum South. This genteel city exudes a culturally rich spirit of the holidays, one which radiates with thoughtful, uplifting possibilities and not so much commercial, even at New Year's," shares Jane Sales at The Presidents Quarters. "Travelers who love uncomplicated relaxation and simple indulgences can stroll and explore in a less-crowded during December and January."

In the village-like atmosphere of the historic district, church bells chime, southern-slow horse drawn carriages pass, and southern-friendly folks nod pleasantly. Savannah's streetscapes, especially around the city's garden squares, are worthy of Norman Rockwell. And there's more inside the inn.

On display is President Calvin Coolidge's 1927 Christmas card, published in newspapers to save expense. In 1953, President Eisenhower expanded the list of Presidential Christmas cards recipients significantly. Today, prominent Savannah businessman Stephen S. Green, owner of the small trophy hotel property, received his annual presidential Christmas card from President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg 's newest book, "A Family Christmas," is a tabletop favorite.

Borrowing a few traditions, while making new ones, the historic inn will serve a variety of special fare including Mrs. Laura Bush's Hot Chocolate and White House Fruit Punch -- made popular in the Clinton administration. More holiday selections will include generous southern fare during pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres and wine, ambrosia at breakfast, eggnog (a favorite of George Washington), an expansive dessert table on Christmas evening, Chatham Artillery Punch when the spirit directs, and nibbles of Moravian cookies -- to honor Czech missionaries who brought the gifts of faith and music to the Georgia colony, introducing Christianity to North American Indians.

Georgia's port city of King Cotton, railroad pioneers and genteel society was a Christmas gift to President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Yet in late March 1870, Savannah gave the south's beloved General Robert E. Lee a hero's welcome to the city he loved. It is doubtful that many Savannahians realized that Lee's marriage to Mary A. R. Custis (great-granddaughter of Washington), "in the eyes of the world, made Robert Lee the representative of the family of the founder of American liberty (George Washington)."

It was during Lee's last visit to Savannah when he stayed overnight in the private home of his West Point classmate, Brigadier General Alexander Robert Lawton. General Lawton's home is now a portion of The Presidents' Quarters.

"That spot of spots! That place of places!! That city of cities!!!" General Robert E. Lee wrote of Savannah to his staunch and hospitable friend, Savannahian John "Delectable Jack" MacKay. It was the lively, social and hospitable MacKay home -- located just around the corner from the inn -- on Broughton Street, between Abercorn and Lincoln Streets -- where Lee most frequently stayed when in Savannah.

The Georgia House of Representatives proclaimed 2007 the "Year of Lee," in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the revered southern general. The Presidents' Quarters is happy to celebrate its historic connection to the revered General.

"Grant that you were here, that is if you wish it, for I think we could make some fine times!"
Robert E. Lee wrote to his friend John MacKay Esq. It provides a perfect invitation for grand frolic to Savannah for the Christmas holidays.

Superbly located on Oglethorpe Square in the theater and historic districts of colonial Savannah's downtown, The Presidents Quarters showcases Savannah's 19th Century aristocracy with a contemporary 21-Century perspective. The breakfast inn's two stately Federal mansions (ca. 1855) feature 16 guest quarters, each named to honor U.S. Presidents who visited Savannah. In 2007, Fodor's guide named The Presidents Quarters one of Savannah's Best Bed and Breakfast Inns.

Marketed with a tagline "Luxury with a Lineage. A Tradition of Hospitality, a Legacy of Style," (sm) the historic district property was transformed for bed and breakfast lodging in 1987, leading the renaissance of top-tier mansion inns in Savannah. Uniquely, today the historic inn blends personal lodging attentiveness with contemporary hotel efficiencies in Savannah, Georgia USA.
Amid the beautifully panoramic social setting, the historic inn offers the best of Savannah's modern southern society and nearly three centuries in Georgia history. Acclaimed as an influential place where generals, governors, politicians and industrialists have shaped Savannah and the nation's history, General Robert E. Lee slept here in 1870 as the guest of his West Point classmate, Brigadier General Alexander Robert Lawton.

In April 2007, prominent Savannah businessman Stephen S. Green purchased the small trophy hotel property. Occupying a full city block on Oglethorpe Square, the hospitality-pacesetter is being reincarnated as Savannah's Toast of the Town sm. The inn's "Only in Savannah"sm adventures, such as the inn's Art Walk, point travelers to experiences that are exclusive in Savannah.

Built by two of Georgia's most prominent, fine old Savannah families, the mansions were the movie location during filming of the popular television mini-series, Roots. On the lands immediately overlooking Oglethorpe Square (now the parking lot) was the first residence (ca. 1754) of Georgia's first Royal Governor, Captain John Reynolds. During early colonization the British colonial fort, just outside the town's palisades along Drayton Street, was approximately where The Presidents Quarters now stands.

Visit The Presidents Quarters on the Internet at http://www.presidentsquarters.com. Toll free telephone is 800 / 233-1776, FAX 912 / 238-0849, and email to the Inn is info@presidentsquarters.com. For additional information, please contact Sandy Traub, SPATIOR Storyline Marketing, at (912) 398-9828. Press E-mail is available via straub@spatior.com.

Only five years before the mansions of The Presidents' Quarters were built, the handmade Moravian star (also called the Advent Star or the Herrnhut Star) first appeared in Saxony, Germany (ca. 1850), the result of a geometry lesson. Moravian missionaries had arrived in Savannah by way of England, Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1735, only two years following the first English colonists. In Savannah, the new Moravian settlers were given lots to build their homes and church in the Anson Ward neighborhood of today's Oglethorpe Square. Moravians brought music to the British colony, playing also for Tomochichi's funeral. At the outbreak of the Spanish American War, the Moravians migrated north to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and later to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Prior to their departure in 1740, Georgia founder James Edward Oglethorpe bought their musical instruments to assist them on their journey to Pennsylvania and to continue the welcome sounds of music in the colony. A small monument to Georgia's Moravian settlers (ca. 1735-1740) is in Oglethorpe Square, located in the historic district of downtown Savannah, Georgia, USA.


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