Hotel Online  Special Report



Hotel Developer Richard C. Kessler Opens Luxury Hotel
in His Hometown, Savannah, Georgia; The Mansion
on Forsyth Park Home to More than 400
Pieces of Unique Artwork 


Savannah, GA – (April 11, 2005) – The Mansion on Forsyth Park, poised to be a five-diamond property, opens today as Savannah’s first and only luxury hotel.  The 126-room property, with breathtaking views of Forsyth Park, was built onto an existing 1888 mansion and is now owned by Orlando-based hotel developer, Richard C. Kessler, president and CEO of The Kessler Enterprise, Inc./The Kessler Collection.
Richard C. Kessler, who was born in Savannah, along with Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson and several other local dignitaries were on hand this morning to cut the ribbon as part of the official festivities for the hotel.  The Mansion on Forsyth Park is located in the Historic District, within walking distance of the city’s shopping, museums, galleries, dining and is a 20-minute drive to the beach. 

Billed as “Chic and Luxurious with an Experience in Art and Music,” the hotel’s design is inspired by the history and romance of Savannah.  More than 400 pieces of unique, European and American artwork is showcased throughout the entire hotel, restaurant and in each guest room.  The art collection consists of oil and watercolor paintings, bronze sculptures, art glass and marble pieces in addition to antique mirrors, and crystal chandeliers.  Each piece of art was hand selected by Kessler, who has been an avid art collector for the past 35 years.  In addition to the rare art, it is the only hotel in America known to have three Bösendorfer pianos.  To complete the ambiance, classical and contemporary music plays throughout the hotel on an impressive Bose® sound system.

“I have been looking to build a luxury hotel in Savannah for the past seven years and I finally found the perfect location,” claims Richard C. Kessler.  “The Mansion on Forsyth Park will become Savannah’s new social center.”  

The original 18,000-square-foot, Victorian-Romanesque mansion was built in 1888.  After a multi-million dollar historical renovation, the mansion is now home to the 700 Drayton Restaurant with eight private dining rooms and outside dining, 700 Kitchen Cooking School with daily and weekend packages, Carriage Wine Cellar and Casimir’s Lounge which features an outside balcony overlooking beautiful Forsyth Park.   

The 700 Drayton Restaurant offers nouvelle American cuisine with Savannah flair for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The restaurant’s design is sleek and stylish with plush furnishings,  seven fireplaces, 15-foot ceilings, original oak millwork, mahogany and teak paneling and moldings, hardwood floors, a beautiful grand staircase and rare works of art.     
Headed by award-winning Executive Chef David Hackett, the menu features Omaha- quality steaks and fresh seafood presented in an artistic and contemporary fashion.  The 700 Drayton Restaurant also has three Sommeliers on staff to assist in selecting the finest wines and champagnes from the exceptional list representing vineyards from around the world. 

The hotel’s 126 guest rooms, including six suites, are designed in a classical and elegant design with a modern edge by offering four fixture baths with oversized soaking or whirlpool tubs, all-white bedding with pillow-top mattresses, down comforters and pillows, two dual-line, portable telephones with high-speed Internet access, wireless Internet access, Bose ®CD clock radios, in-room safes, 24-hour room service, flat-screen televisions and plasma televisions in all of the suites.  The Bohemian Floor, located on the 2nd level, offers butler service and a provocative new bath design with draped walls and the Kessler Suite features a kitchen, living room and four bedrooms.  

Each room features rich lime green or raspberry color schemes, customized furniture combining dark java wood tones with brushed silver accents, antique mirror nightstands, marble desktops, velvet couches or chaises, a pewter candelabra, unique, original artwork and metallic shears with silk drapes adorning the windows.     
The posh Bösendorfer Lounge, named after the Vienna-style Bösendorfer Piano on display at the lounge entrance, is a welcome addition to the hotel.   The ambiance is as unique as its historic location.  It is designed to be edgy and intriguing, offering an elegant meeting place to sip a martini or a glass of wine.       

The lounge’s bar is brushed in gold leaf featuring a seven-foot antique model of the ship Constitution.  The columns and the back wall are covered in a dramatic, fossilized Indian marble.  The seating around the bar is comprised of sofas and chairs decorated with soft blue velvets and brown leather in a cozy setting.

The Grand Bohemian Gallery, a Kessler Collection Gallery, will open its third location
within the hotel. Based in Orlando and located within sister properties The Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel and the Celebration Hotel, the Grand Bohemian Gallery will feature a selection of original oil paintings, bronze and wood sculptures, art glass, contemporary jewelry, and unique gift items by local, national and international artisans.   

The hotel also features 8,000 square feet of meeting space ideal for weddings, meetings and social gatherings.  The Viennese Ballroom features gold leafing on the ceiling and columns with massive, Italian crystal chandeliers and wall sconces, custom-designed carpeting, antique mirrors and accommodates up to 300 guests. Upon entering the ballroom is a very unique ladies hat collection featuring a century of hats dating from 1860 to 1960. 

The Marble Garden courtyard, located next to the Viennese Ballroom, features all-white marble flooring, palm trees, 200-year old pink Verona columns, a removable tent with chandeliers, a swimming pool with a water wall.  The courtyard is ideal for intimate receptions. 

The lobby features Lalique door knobs on the main glass doors, a white onyx reception desk, hard wood walnut floors, Versace furnishings, 200-year old, pink Verona Columns and a rare, antique chandelier.  The elevators are dressed with white marble walls and flooring with ceilings back lit with black and white photographs of Forsyth Park by Jack Leigh.   

The full-service Poseidon Spa features one wet and three dry treatment rooms, five manicure and pedicure stations, ladies and men’s locker rooms, a steam shower, 24-hour fitness center which offers Tai Chi and yoga classes.

The Mansion on Forsyth Park shares the legendary name and refined standards of Richard C. Kessler’s hotel collection.  The hotel is also a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.  For reservations and additional information, please call (912) 238-5158 or (888) 711-5114 or visit

Mary C. Kenny
      Corporate Director of Marketing & PR  
(407) 996-9942 office
Also See: Hotelier Richard Kessler Hand Selecting Over 200 Pieces of European and American Artwork for the 126-room Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia / April 2004
Craig W. Johnson Appointed General Manager for The Mansion on Forsyth Park and historic Kehoe House, Savannah, Geogia / May 2004

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