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Signature Southern Stays

Recently, Travel South USA polled member tour operators and asked them to name their favorite accommodations in each Southern state. Here’s a look at some of those they picked.

Battle House Renaissance Hotel and Spa

Mobile, Alabama

Since 1852, the Battle House has been a prominent name in Mobile hospitality and society. The original Battle House hosted such notables as Jefferson Davis and Stephen Douglas. The current hotel, which was built in 1908, is now part of the Historic Hotels of America and Marriott’s Renaissance hotel brand.

Signature Features: The hotel is the only AAA Four Diamond property in Mobile, with 238 luxury guest rooms and a full-service spa.

Dining: The Battle House has three restaurants on-site, including a casual pizza cafe, a tavern and the Trellis Room, the area’s only AAA Four Diamond restaurant.

Other Alabama Favorites: Fort Conde Inn (Mobile), Grand Bohemian Hotel (Mountain), Antebellum Winston Place Mansion (Valley Head)

Queen Wilhelmina Lodge

Mena, Arkansas

Known as Arkansas’ “Castle in the Clouds,” Queen Wilhelmina Lodge is surrounded by Queen Wilhelmina State Park. This mountaintop getaway is nestled in the Ouachita Mountain range near the western edge of the state and the Talimena National Scenic Byway. The lodge features 40 rooms, each with views of the mountains.

Signature Features: The lodge’s scenic surroundings make it a popular destination and offer a wealth of things to do. Groups can enjoy guided nature hikes, a wagon ride, craft workshops and other activities during their time there.

Dining: The Queen’s Restaurant at the lodge serves Southern-style breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Heritage Room, a special private dining room, is available for groups.

Other arkansas Favorites: The Capitol Hotel (Little Rock), 21c Museum Hotel (Bentonville), 1929 Seville Hotel (Harrison)

Lodge on Little St. Simons Island

Golden Isles, Georgia

For more than 100 years, Little St. Simons Island, one of the Golden Isles of coastal Georgia, has been privately owned and preserved as a natural retreat for discriminating guests. The island features seven miles of beaches and more than 10,000 acres of undeveloped wilderness, including moss-draped live oaks and native wetlands.

Signature Features: The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island is the definition of exclusivity. It is accessible only by boat and accommodates a maximum of 32 overnight guests for all-inclusive stays with full food, beverage and activities programs.

Dining: Guests have three meals per day, as well as soft drinks, beer and wine, in the dining room at the lodge. Chefs use herbs and produce from on-site organic gardens and feature regional and coastal ingredients whenever possible.

Other georgia Favorites: The Hike Inn (Dawsonville), Night at Paradise Garden (Sumerville), Hostel in the Forest (Brunswick)

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.