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“In a city like Savannah, you have to be able to set yourself apart - and The Thunderbird Inn does just that.”

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The Thunderbird Inn
Ranked #36 of 113 Hotels in Savannah
GreenLeadersGold level
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“In a city like Savannah, you have to be able to set yourself apart - and The Thunderbird Inn does just that.”
Reviewed 7 January 2014

Fellow travelers, bear in mind that this is the last of the group of "motels" that festooned this part of Savannah in the 1960s, when the only real way in from the north and South Carolina was via Route 17, not I-95. The rest of that bevy of beauties has since been converted by the Savannah College of Art and Design - scad - into dormitory space for its budding BFA's.

No, this is not a Hampton Inn, or an Embassy Suites, or a trendy, friendly B&B, or a Low-Country Historic Plantation Inn - it's a motel, plain and simple. This is how folks going from A-to-B-to-C stayed overnight along the way, or where weary families traveling in the pastel 1960s stayed to explore places like Savannah. If you're looking for cushy comfort and healthy lobby snacks, this isn't the place. If you're looking to relive that three-weeks in the family station-wagon that you endured with your parents and siblings in 1967 as you toured everything from the Everglades to the Grand Canyon, this may be your ticket!

Now, down to business. The place is refurbed, yet still more than a little tired and frayed around the edges. The attitude's all there, it's just that her skirt's a little tattered, her makeup's a bit mooshed, and her hairdo's a little out of place...but, then, so is this entire place. It's located directly across the street from Savannah's bus station, so you will hear noise all day and all night as bus traffic heads in and out, and bear in mind that 17 exits southbound traffic, and takes in northbound traffic, right on this route, so you'll hear that, too. Oh, and those scad dormitories - well, they're essentially surrounding you, as is the scad campus bus service, which is actually more busy than the metro bus service, so be prepared for plenty of students and plenty of cars and buses. However, it is within easy walking distance of everything in the historic section of Savannah, and works as a great base for that purpose.

Yes, this is a MOTEL - a motor hotel - and the entries all face the parking lot, which is tiny and crowded - and bear in mind that parking a car there carries an extra $5 charge per day. There are 42 rooms and 42 parking spaces, including the few that are right in the middle of the lot, so be mindful of where you choose to park. The rooms all have metal doors, and not all of them fit tightly - ours had a pretty substantial gap at the threshold - Room 201 if you'd like to know. Rooms are 1960s dimensions. TVs are likewise old school. Bathrooms are tiny, sinks are in the hallways outside the bathrooms, no closets, no microwaves. Beds were, strangely, decently comfy. HVAC is an odd unit that hangs on the wall over the sink, but it does come with a remote, and, actually, seemed a lot better than the old HVAC units that still sit idle under the front windows. There are some rooms that have a bit more room and vavoom - get those if you need those.

The place is downright CHEAP, folks, and it runs plenty of specials throughout the year. If you're looking for an affordable place to stay in Savannah, or something decidedly kitschey and odd, you've found your place. The staff, including the front desk folks, were uniformly great - something we did not quite anticipate. Nice all around, kind of like Savannah itself. Complimentary breakfast is coffee, tea, apple and orange juice, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and that's it - no fru-fru here, no Hampton Inn spread, just doughnuts. Good doughnuts. Tasty doughnuts. But, just doughnuts. Get the picture?

Frankly, we enjoyed this visit to Savannah, and staying at The Thunderbird Inn was a good part of that, and we'd recommend it to anyone else bearing in mind the caveat emptors noted above. If you want a Euro-luxe experience, this is NOT the place. If you want a down-home comfy Hampton Inn full breakfast, this is NOT the place. However, if you want a taste of what Savannah once was, where a peninsula of motels used to great the city's travelers, this is the ONLY place for you.

Room Tip: Ask for a room behind the parking area to move a bit from the street; noisiest rooms are closer to t...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank C E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tbirdmanager, General Manager at The Thunderbird Inn, responded to this review, 2 September 2014
Thank you for staying with us in January. I hope you can come back and check us out again! I really enjoyed reading your review. It made me smile while understanding where we are seen in guests eyes who still love us! Thank you!!!

regards,

Mark Thomas
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (209)
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English first
Pearson, Georgia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2014

This is an old run down place that says it is retro chic....the rooms were all supposed to be non smoking but the room we had seemed to have been smoked in for years...the carpet was filthy. ...noise was wakeful from bus stop across street.....check in took 45 minutes.....and key didn't work so I had to go back and wait again. I had to wash all of my luggage and unworn clothes when I got home because of the stench of the room.

Room Tip: Pick a different place to stay. Don't stay here just because it's cheap
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank AmandaRonnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tbirdmanager, General Manager at The Thunderbird Inn, responded to this review, 26 August 2014
This just went horribly wrong :( Please reach out to me mark@thethunderbirdinn.com
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Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014

My partner and I travelled to Savannah from Australia as part of a road trip on the East coast of the USA. I noticed a few negative reviews of this place, but the price was good and my boyfriend and myself are easy to please. After a long drive from further North, we arrived in Savannah tired and ready for a shower, however ran into trouble at reception when we found that Booking.com had for some unknown reason cancelled our booking. Not cool. The reception staff (Mike and Leslie) went well out of their way to make room for us although they had basically no vacancy, and although the booking dilemma had not been their mistake. We only got charged the original cheap price for our two night booking, and the parking fee was waived because we had had to wait (less than 15 minutes) for our room.

It looks like many of the negative reviews of this place are people expecting a 5 star place for a 3 star price. This place exceeded our expectations, yet was priced appropriately. And yeah, it was noisy... it happens to be near a main road and with external corridors, both details you have access to through the website. Travel with earplugs maybe?

In summary, the room was clean and comfortable, the place really cute and retro, and the staff were brilliant to deal with. The soaps, bath gel, shampoo etc are great. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank sannahadda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Troy, Alabama
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

It was a great experience staff was helpful to out of towners; all services promises were rendered; great location for travelers because all the downtown action is only a few blocks away! Bed was comfy and clean; we had a deluxe king room and it was comfy and clean--love the shower setup with no little bottle to deal with the shampoo and conditioner and bath wash is already set up and stationary with a dispenser!! will always choose this hotel in savannah!!!!!!! Also very pet friendly with dog treats and bags for waste in the hotel lobby! Received moon pies and cola!! and free popcorn

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Nichelle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2013

This motel represents good value in the very pricey Savannah. It is located just a short walk from the historical centre, and is directly across from the bus station, which was perfect for me, both arriving and departing on greyhound. It is getting a bit of age on it, and the bed linens and towels are looking a bit worn. However, I feel that this is fairly represented in the price of the rooms. The wi fi didn't work at all for the two nights I was there, so if you need wi fi, I would suggest enquiring before you book to make sure it is working. The receptionist made it sound as though it had been out for awhile. I did get moon pies both nights though. Score!

Green Features: Kind of hard to verify their environmentally friendly practices. They do have shower gel on the wall in the shower, which is better than all those mini soaps that see only one or two uses.
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Misty3272
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

This is a budget hotel. If you stay here, don't expect anything more.
The service is polite, but the marketing & advertizements are completely false.
Don't expect the extras like Moon Pies or RC Colas. We even asked about receiving a cola and were told that they were only given out on two particular days of the week (neither of which were of the two nights we spent).
Also, their WiFi is basically unusable. We were in the middle of the motel, and could rarely connect to it at all, and when we did, were immediately bounced off. Their website states that the King Room has a "spacious bathroom": ours was one of the smallest bathrooms I've ever experienced in a motel. Also, no soap at the sink. Shame on them for false advertizing.
This is otherwise a standard budget motel, fair value for the money, but the marketing promised so much more than the lip service we received.

Room Tip: If you want WiFi, be as close to the office as possible; but good luck. Second (top) floor is sligh...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rob_2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tbirdmanager, General Manager at The Thunderbird Inn, responded to this review, 9 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our services. I am very sorry you had a poor experience with us. I hate that the extras like wifi wasn't working and you were refused a moonpie. That is very upsetting to me. If you come to town again, please reach out to me directly. I will be more than happy to make this up to you! mark@thethunderbirdinn.com
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Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 December 2013

The room and experience was just okay. We chose to stay here because we got a good rate and they allow pets. I would not go back and pay full price (even thought their normal rates are low) for a room. They make all of these claims about how they are incredibly pet friendly. I would say that they are more pet tolerant than pet friendly. On their website it states that visiting dogs will receive gourmet dog treats, a supply of bags, a bed and food/water bowls to use, a bottle of water, a pet friendly map of Savannah. NONE of these things were offered to us to use and we let them know we were traveling with our dog, paid the pet fee, etc. I was most disappointed that they didn't have the pet friendly places map as we were looking to enjoy some outdoor meals with our pup. The check in girl had no idea what I was talking about when I asked for this map.

Additionally, they state that they always have popcorn in the lobby and moon pies and RC colas in each room. There was no popcorn in the lobby or moon pies and cola in our room. I don't care that those things weren't available for me. I just feel like they made a lot of "fun" claims to get people to book rooms and then didn't deliver on these promises.

The room was as expected: decent size, older amenities, moldy spots, the tv remote was missing buttons. There was very little lighting in the room. There was a vanity area right outside of the bathroom and had a magnified mirror but no lights in the vanity area at all. I had to go put my makeup on in the car. All in all the room was pretty clean and worth the price that we paid, I was just not pleased with the way they presented the pet "amenities".

I will definitely stay elsewhere next time. This place was average at best.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank rlm424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tbirdmanager, General Manager at The Thunderbird Inn, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
I understand your frustration. I would be angry and disappointed myself. We have a few new staff members, so a lot of this is training and not explaining the importance of the details. Your review expresses how important the small touches are to providing a wonderful, unique experience and a disappointing one. Please, please reach out to me directly. mark@thethunderbirdinn.com.
I am embarrassed and sorry the this was your experience at my inn.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Thunderbird Inn

Property: The Thunderbird Inn
Address: 611 W Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401-2305
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Georgia > Georgia Coast > Savannah > Yamacraw Village
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Savannah
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — The Thunderbird Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Meet-up at our delightfully quirky motel where refined Savannah's so-historic location and so-hip eccentricities hook up. Discounted Savannah lodging was never so much fun! Hotel rates include Moon Pies and Krispy Kreme donuts! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Thunderbird Hotel Savannah
Thunderbird Hotel Savannah

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