Hotel Online  Special Report

Hotelier Richard Kessler Hand Selecting Over 200
Pieces of European and American Artwork for the
126-room Mansion on Forsyth Park,
Savannah, Georgia


SAVANNAH, GA (April 17, 2004) – The chic and luxurious 126-room Mansion on Forsyth Park hotel, located in Savannah, GA, will be showcasing over 200 pieces of unique, European and American artwork throughout the hotel and in each guestroom.  The art collection will consist of oil and watercolor paintings, bronze sculptures, art glass and marble pieces in addition to antique mirrors, chandeliers and Lalique glass door knobs.  Each piece of art was hand selected by the hotel’s owner, Richard C. Kessler, who has been an avid art collector for the past 35 years. 

The hotel’s art collection will consist of pieces from Italian artists Emmanuel Glicen Romano and Stefano Cecchini; Bavarian artist Martin Kainz; Estonian artist Paul Muller; American artists William Russell Walker and Susan Contreras; French artists Jean Claude Roy and Michel Chemin; and Latin American artist Marianne Lerbs.

“Collecting art for my personal collection as well as for my hotel collection has always been a passion for me, claims Richard C. Kessler, president and CEO of The Kessler Collection.  I purchase art to fit each of my hotel’s personality and I want my guests to enjoy a unique art experience in each room of the Mansion.”

Placing the art in the right location of the hotel is a challenge that the interior design team will face.  Headed by Deborah Golding and Julie Wilde and under the direction of Kessler, they are charged with incorporating each piece of art into the baroque, chic, eclectic design. 

The interior’s influence of color is drawn from old world European colorations ranging from unique tones of antique gold, red, pink, turquoise, and olive green. The furnishings will range from contemporary to old world pieces.

Upon entering the hotel, guests will be greeted by the grand, Lalique glass door knobs that are shaped like a flower. In the foyer, there will be a massive, French Louis XV style, gilt, bronze and rock crystal, nine arm chandelier with rock crystal pear and plum drops with the original bisque candle covers.  Behind the registration desk, a stunning and beautiful painting by William Russell Walker will be featured and 19th century Italian marble columns will surround the lobby. 

Each guestroom will feature original, dramatic oil paintings by Emmanuel Glicen Romano, Martin Kainz and Paul Muller and the elevator landings will showcase Italian marble pieces.  A large bronze sculpture of Bacchus, the “God of Wine”, will be displayed in the Salzburg Wine Room.  The Viennese Ballroom will feature gold and silver leafing along with custom designed Italian chandeliers.  A hat collection spanning over 100 years will adorn the walls outside of the ballroom next to a Grand Bösendorfer Piano.

In addition, the Grand Bohemian Gallery will be opening its third location within the hotel.  Based in Orlando and located within The Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel and the Celebration Hotel - sister properties, the Grand Bohemian Gallery will feature a selection of original oil paintings, bronze and wood sculptures, art glass, contemporary jewelry, and unique gift items.  Private art tours will also be available.

The original 18,000 sq. ft. Mansion was designed by A. S. Eichberg and constructed in 1888 for $45,000 by Lewis Kayton. It is located at 700 Drayton Street across from the famous, 20-acre Forsyth Park.  The Victorian Romanesque, two-story brick and terra cotta Mansion features a turret and heavy arches that represent drama and fantasy. 

The interior features 14 and 15 feet ceilings, original oak millwork, mahogany and teak paneling and molding, hard wood floors, and a beautiful grand staircase. 

The lobby, 700 Drayton Restaurant with six private dining rooms, three bars, an outside balcony overlooking Forsyth Park and a culinary cooking school will be located in the historic Mansion. 

The adjacent four-story building will be comprised of 126 oversized rooms of which 11 are suites, the 3,500 sq. ft. Poseidon Spa, fitness center and an outdoor pool.  Each room will feature a classical and elegant design with a modern edge by offering 9 ft. or 12 ft. ceilings, oversized soaking tubs, Vintage tubs or Jacuzzis, pillow top mattresses, down comforters and pillows, two dual-line telephones with dataport for high-speed Internet access, CD clock radio, in-room safe and flat screen televisions will be featured in the suites.   The Bohemian floor, located on the 2nd level, will feature draped bathroom walls and a dramatically different color scheme.

Mansion on Forsyth Park
700 Drayton Street
Savannah, Georgia
The Mansion, poised to be a five-diamond hotel, will feature over 8,431 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. Located outside of the Viennese Ballroom, is the courtyard that will feature 19th century Italian marble columns, a pair of Italian life-size white marble statues of nude bathers, and a contemporary bronze sculpture called “Sen?orita con Parasol” (Young Lady with Parasol) by artist Marianne Lerbs that will be placed in the middle of the fountain next to the 700 Drayton Restaurant. 

The Mansion on Forsyth Park shares the legendary name and refined standards of Richard C. Kessler’s hotel collection.  The Kessler Collection includes the AAA four-diamond Casa Monica Hotel in historic, St. Augustine, FL; the AAA four-diamond Westin Grand Bohemian – voted 2003 Westin Hotel’s “Best in Brand in the World” located in Orlando; the AAA four-diamond Celebration Hotel in Celebration; Historic Kehoe House Bed and Breakfast Inn in Savannah; Hampton Inn Savannah North; Doubletree Castle Hotel in Orlando; Sheraton Studio City Hotel in Orlando; Red Horse Inn in Orlando; the Sheraton Safari Hotel– an affiliated property in Orlando and the Kessler Canyon in Grand Junction – slated to open September 2005.

Mary C. Kenny
Also See: Richard C. Kessler Obtains Financing for the Restoration and a 125-room Addition for the Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia / Sept 2003
Kessler Collection Names Jeff Carcara Corporate Director of Food and Beverage and Jason Tyson General Manager of the Red Horse Inn / Aug 2003
Chefs from Kessler Collection of Grand Theme Hotels Presenting A Taste of Florida Menu at the James Beard House / June 2003
Douglas Wojick Named Director of Sales for The Mansion on Forsyth Park and Historic Kehoe House, Savannah, Georgia / April 2004

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