Bill Kaelin: Kicking off summer in Savannah

Summer is finally here and while the rest of gay Atlanta seemed to welcome the start of the season by going to Pensacola for the yearly Memorial Day weekend beach party, I decided not to starve myself for weeks in order to fit into a skimpy bathing suit and instead headed down to our city’s own coast for the grand opening of the brand new Kimpton Hotel: The Brice in Savannah.

It’s not that I’m opposed to heading to a beach with thousands of gay men “strutting their stuff”—it’s just that when I go out of town for a holiday, I prefer to really get away from it all, including basically everyone that I can see at Blake’s on any given weekend. Let’s face it, Pensacola on Memorial Day weekend is like TEN on a Saturday night in Midtown except at the beach and with much less clothing.

Staying at a Kimpton Hotel is a lot more my speed than drunken beach dance parties these days and when I heard the brand new Brice hotel was opening I quickly made my reservation and welcomed summer in Slowvannah.

The Brice is located on the far end of Bay Street away from the majority of the crazy tourist traps in town, and it has set a new standard for hotels in Savannah. This is a boutique hotel at its finest that feels like you are walking into a Southern inspired, modern-country club with tons of style and an intellectual, chic vibe that is especially evident while having pre-dinner cocktails in the “Secret Garden,” which is swanky like South Beach but with a Savannah style.

Pacci, the Kimpton restaurant and bar on the property, is a sexy yet casual Ital- ian fine-dining spot where I was obsessed over the art and the Fisherman’s Cast Iron Stew that gave me my seafood fix without requiring a typical “crab shack” bib.

Thanks to Kimpton Hotels’ “Live Like A Local” program, the highly informed and engaging bartender from Pacci steered us to some of Savannah’s coolest spots that veered away from the typical ghost tours in topless funeral hearses. There was LuLu’s Chocolate Bar where I drank my dessert with one of the best Chocolate Martinis I’ve ever had as well as a hip lunch spot on Tybee Island called Tybee Island Social Club, which was the best way to take a break from the Redneck Riviera.

The summer is definitely off to a good start thanks to all my newfound friends in Savannah; however, it can be a long, hot summer in the ATL, and if you are looking for some fun in the sun locally, keep in mind we have the perfect “staycation” opportunity right here at The W Atlanta Midtown: My client “Wet Deck at The W Midtown” is hosting a variety of different events for you to beat the summer heat.

Wet Deck is hosting two summer-long promotions for locals that include: “Forget About It … It’s Friday” where we will be creating mobile office magic for entrepreneurs, movers and shakers, or those of us just playing hooky on Friday! The Wet Deck is also throwing a more chilled out and sophisticated “Sunday Funday” for locals with “Silent Sundays” where there will be chilled out tunes so you can relax and enjoy refreshing cocktails, a full lunch menu, towel service and complimentary valet.