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“Thunderbird Inn is a blast from the past” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Thunderbird Inn

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The Thunderbird Inn
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   611 West Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401 (Yamacraw Village)   |  
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Ranked #46 of 113 Hotels in Savannah
GreenLeadersSilver level
Dayton, Tennessee
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Thunderbird Inn is a blast from the past”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2009

My husband and I stayed a couple of nights as a side trip from St Augustine. The motel is just what it says. A remodeled retro 60"s motel. No frills, no pool, no room service, just a clean place to stay. The furniture was 60's style and the bed as very comfortable. There was coffee/juice and donuts each morning in the "far out" painted lobby. The location was good for us. It is just on the fringe of the historic district of Savannah. We walked to most things and used the trolly for areas too far to walk. We would stay there again for the convenience and the price. We have stayed in more expensive well-known motels/hotels that were worse.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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918 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Havre de Grace, MD
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2009

I thought about staying at this hotel before last time I was in Savannah. In the future, I will always look at staying at this hotel. The price is excellent, especially when compared to other properties. While the room is a little small, the decor is perfect and makes for a fun experience. It took me a little back to the old family motor trips I had when I was young. Even my teenage daughter enjoyed the experience. The room was perfectly clean too.
The best part of this Inn is the service at the Front Desk. They accomodated every one of our requests, and answered all of our questions. They provided us quality insight into where to go and what to do in Savannah. It was one of the most helpful front desks I've experienced. I definitely will stay here again. It's also an easy walk to everything in the Historic District.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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West Palm Beach, Florida
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2009

Looks are deceiving, but the rooms are very clean and updated. Very surprised they have night turn down service with a choclate on the pillow. Would recommend the Thunderbird Inn in Savanah to anyone visiting there. Close to downtown and easily
accessible to everything.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, GA
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

I should have written this review months ago, but just never seemed to find the time until today. I probably wouldn't even be taking the time now, but I can't stand the thought of the Thunderbird Inn wreaking havoc on any more unsuspecting victims like myself.....

Let me start this review by saying that Savannah is one of my favorite places on the entire planet, so I was very excited to share this beautiful city with my boyfriend, who had never been to Savannah before. I typically stay at the Hampton Inn in the historic district, which is right down the street from the Thunderbird Inn, but I've seen the Thunderbird during each of my prior visits to Savannah, and had always meant to stay there sometime. Kitschy, retro motels can be a lot fun...... so I reserved a room at the Thunderbird about 6 weeks before our planned visit, and started looking forward to our fun and romantic weekend getaway. BIG MISTAKE! Good thing I didn't know what was in store for us, or I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night!!!

Upon our arrival, we were met by a desk clerk (and I use this term loosely)/ Elvis impersonator, who barely even acknowledged us as we walked into the lobby. *Since the Thunderbird Inn is a renovated ‘60’s motel, we initially thought the Elvis impersonation was kinda cute, but it would have been nice if he also had the skills needed to perform his basic job duties…… The only other person in the lobby was a homeless (as we were later informed by Elvis) man who was pretending to be waiting for a room, but who was obviously just loitering at the hotel until the torrential downpour had subsided. Elvis flailed a Moon Pie (???) at him, in an apparent attempt to pacify the man, and then asked him to leave the premises. Needless to say, that didn't work, and a heated argument ensued between Elvis and the homeless man about whether or not the homeless man would prefer to leave the hotel willingly, or stay in the lobby until the police came to escort him away ..... Finally, the homeless man threw the Moon Pie back at Elvis and headed out into the thunderstorm.

All the while my boyfriend and I were standing awkwardly at the front counter, still waiting to check into our room! Needless to say, not the best first impression!!! When Elvis FINALLY got around to the business of checking us in, he gave us our room key, and then with an absurd smile on his face, proceeded to flail a handful of Moon Pies at us too! We told him that neither of us eats sweets/desserts, but he said we should just go ahead and take the Moon Pies anyway, so we did.

I know this is sounding like a REAL party so far, but trust me....... it gets MUCH worse! We entered our room and started to settle in, only to find that there were no light bulbs in any of the lamps, no wastebasket, no TV remote control, no internet access (as promised on the website), and no air-conditioning! Also, there were several layers of dust on everything, the dirty carpet smelled like a mold factory, and there were pubic hairs in the bathroom. Yes, I said pubic hairs!!!

We immediately called the front desk and asked to be moved to another room, and were promptly informed that there were no other available rooms, and considering that we were visiting Savannah on a very busy weekend, there most likely weren't any available rooms elsewhere in town either. Within a few minutes Elvis appeared with a couple of dusty light bulbs that he had plucked from God-knows-where (we were still missing about 4 light bulbs at this point, which we never got), and he then proceeded to leave our room in search of a wastebasket. He reappeared several minutes later with a large black garbage bag, which he plopped down on the floor, and informed that us that it would have to suffice since he couldn't find a wastebasket for us. A few minutes later a man, who I initially assumed to be part of the maintenance staff, sent by Elvis to address our various issues, appeared with a laptop. I didn't notice the laptop at first, and started explaining about the non-working A/C unit, etc. The man looked confused, and informed me that he was also a guest at the motel. He had, in fact, been sent to our room by Elvis......but not for any reasons I might have suspected. He desperately needed internet access in his room but didn't have it, so Elvis sent him to our room to check out our internet access, in the hopes that we could "swap" rooms!!!!!! Needless to say, we told the man that we didn't have internet access either, so he shuffled back to wherever he had come from. When I later mentioned this fiasco to Elvis, he informed me that the man had checked in a few hours before, and that he was unhappy with his room. Since we were also unhappy with our room, he thought that we might all be happier if we swapped rooms! When I pointed out what should have been obvious, that we wouldn't have wanted to move to a room that another guest had already been lounging around in, Elvis just gave me a strange smile and reiterated that the other guest had only been there for "a few hours". I'm sure the Elvis "room swap" scenario would have been his inept way of offering good customer service. Well.....thanks, but no thanks!

The longer we sat in our dismal room, the unhappier we became. I started calling Elvis/the front desk to discuss a reduction in our room rate. I called repeatedly for the next half hour, and the phone at the front desk just rang and rang and rang and rang.......
Losing patience, I finally took it upon myself to walk across the parking lot (in the middle of the thunderstorm) to try and determine why there seemed to be no one at the front desk to answer the phone. SHOCKER!!!! There stood Elvis at the front desk with a sheepish look on his face. Undoubtedly he had been there all along, ignoring my calls because he simply didn't know what else to do to fix my situation. I entered the lobby and proceeded to reiterate our extreme dissatisfaction with our room, and can you possibly guess what happened next?????? Elvis flailed more Moon Pies at me!!!!! As if this could even POSSIBLY be adequate compensation for ANYTHING!!!!! And in case you're wondering, I did ask to speak to a manager, and was told that he would not be available until the following Monday. It was Friday evening and we were planning to be at the Thunderbird until Sunday afternoon, so you do the math..... It was painfully obvious that Elvis was the only person on the premises who could possibly assist me, so I had no choice but to try and communicate with him. Trust me..... it wasn't easy!! After extensive conversation, Elvis told me that he might be able to reduce the rate I was paying for my room to half price. First of all, I was paying around $150/per night, and even if my room had been spotlessly clean and well-equipped, this would have been a huge rip-off!!! I informed him that for the quality and service I was (not) receiving, my rate had better be reduced by a lot more than half! I ended up paying around $40 dollars/per night for the room, which I can assure you was still a huge rip-off.
Oh....... and did I mention that our room was in a tiny cul-de-sac, along with an ice machine (which sounded like a tornado blasting thru a trailer park), a soda machine, a storage/maid's closet, and metal stairs that people clacked up and down at all the hours of the night? And let me just reiterate that we had NO AIR-CONDITIONING, and a window that could not be opened. Our only option for cool/circulating air that evening would have been to sleep with the door open, which we weren't about to do. Anyone who has ever spent a hot, muggy evening after a thunderstorm in the Deep South, with no air circulation whatsoever, can sympathize with the lovely night sweats we endured. Not exactly the fun-filled weekend getaway my boyfriend and I were anticipating!

The next day we were moved to a much more acceptable room, complete with light bulbs, a wastebasket, air-conditioning, and no pubic hairs. But as I'm sure anyone reading this review can imagine, it was most definitely too little, too late. And considering the extreme hassles we had experienced with our first room, I would have thought that a discounted room rate for the second night should have been in order, but no such discount was ever offered.
Oh, and one final note..... As my boyfriend was chatting with a member of the housekeeping staff the next day, she told him that the unimaginably horrible room where we spent our first night at the Thunderbird was actually a room that was almost never even rented to anyone. She said that she and other members of the staff had laughed upon learning that the room had been rented to someone, because they knew the guests would be extremely dissatisfied, and were curious to see how long it took us to complain once we checked into the room. In fact, because of its close proximity to the storage/maid's closet, she said the room was really just a hangout for the housekeeping staff when they weren't working. If fact, the next day after we had moved to a new room, we passed by the old room and saw the housekeeping staff socializing and watching TV in there, so the maid obviously wasn’t exaggerating! We also learned that it was the hotel's only "pet friendly" room, which might account for the putrid-smelling carpet.

The Thunderbird Inn is the worst excuse for a hotel/motel that I have ever been unfortunate enough to encounter. To be fair, it's been several months since our nightmare "vacation", so I guess it's possible that things have improved. But I seriously doubt they've improved much, if at all..... Don't be fooled by the nice pictures you will find on their website either. There's a photo of what appears to be either Bellini's or Mimosa's in champagne flutes, and another photo of what appears to be a decent breakfast. Trust me- you will find none of that at the Thunderbird Inn. But if you're looking for Moon Pies, dust, mold, and pubic hairs galore, I'm sure Elvis would be more than happy to book your stay!

Do yourself a HUGE favor! If you choose to visit Savannah, stay at the Hampton Inn/Historic District. It is beautiful, clean, well-priced, and has a pleasant, competent staff.

Good luck and happy travels!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2009

I stayed here with my husband for one night, and we really liked this place. Its good value and is about half a mile from the historic district and main attractions.

When we arrived we were given a free upgrade to a king suite and it was a really nice room - spacious and clean and had an amazingly comfortabled bed. The decor is really nice - the Thunderbird has a retro theme.

The staff we spoke to were very friendly when it came to giving us directions and restaurant recommendations. I would say they went above and beyond giving us good customer service.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2009

I don't consider myself prissy, but I have to admit that my first impression of this motel was pretty negative. My room did not seem 100% clean--the carpet was stained and filthy-looking, it didn't look like the corners of the room or the bedsteads had been dusted in years, and the linens had some hairs in them. Also, the room was tiny and even with the lock engaged, my door did not seem to shut all the way. There was a big gap between the door frame and the door. This would have been scary had I not been staying with someone.
However, after my first night here I changed my mind. The motel was very quiet, the staff was friendly, and the beds were comfortable. It was a great place to crash at the end of the night. Also the location is unbeatable, and the price was reasonable. The other people staying in the motel looked normal--I didn't see anyone seedy, or any kind of crime going on. I disagree with the other posters who thought this motel was in a bad part of town. It looked fine to me--but then again, I've lived in several urban areas and maybe I'm used to it.
I would recommend that the management install some deadbolt locks and fix the doors so that they close properly.
This would be a good choice for young people traveling in groups who want to be close to all the nightlife. However, if I visited Savannah in the future, I think I'd pay a little more for a less-"economy" style hotel.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2009

Our room at the Thunderbird Inn was pretty small, but it was clean and comfortable. The outside of the hotel could have really used some work, but the room had been redone, except for the bathroom, which was very small and really needed some work.
Outside the hotel was a different story though. It was further away from everything than all the other hotels were. It was across from a Greyhound Bus Station, but that didn't bother us any.
One night, we were walking back from River Street, and we stopped at a gas station really close to the hotel. The place was swarming with cops, which really worried me. I was pretty scared after that.
The main thing, though, was that after we got home we were talking to someone who used to live in Savannah. When we told her where we stayed, she got a horrified look on her face and said that a Savannah Police Officer was shot and killed there.
While my experience wasn't too bad, I would not stay at the Thunderbird Inn again.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Thunderbird Inn

Address: 611 West Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Georgia > Georgia Coast > Savannah > Yamacraw Village
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Savannah
#43 Business 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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