Luxury in Point Clear, Alabama
By Hope S. Philbrick
Ever wonder how loud a cannon-shot is?
Unexpectedly, you can hear the answer for yourself at a luxury hotel on 600 acres overlooking Mobile Bay in Point Clear, Alabama. With a nod to its military past—the historic hotel has served as a military hospital and Air Force training facility—each afternoon the staff hosts a military procession and cannon firing ceremony.
It’s an ear-popping photo-op to be sure, but there are many reasons the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa will linger in memory.
In fact, if you meet someone who’s stayed at the place, odds are it ranks as one of their favorite hotels and resorts.
I confess: I adore it. And I think I’m going to love it even more in the future.
When I visited as part of a press trip exploring the Alabama Gulf Coast, one of the hosts was Bill Lang, director of public relations for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (of which this hotel is part).
Like most hotel industry insiders, when I asked him what amenities and services at this resort—and any others on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail—were specifically geared to adults, his first reaction was surprise. (Around the world, hoteliers have all been so busy getting family-friendly they seem to have forgotten about those of us traveling without children.) As we talked, he seemed to genuinely understand the goal of Getaways for Grownups and the needs of our audience. He promised to meet with decision makers and implement some new adult-oriented programs. As they occur, we’ll proudly tout all the enhancements and improvements we know will please adults.
In the meantime, The Grand is certainly still a lovely place to go. And, while the Odds of Encountering Children are much higher than might reasonably be expected at an upscale golf and spa resort, you can plan a visit while school’s in session to limit the likelihood.
Originally built in 1847, today The Grand’s classic grandeur coexists with modern convenience. Other than perhaps getting startled by cannon fire, you will be supremely comfortable here. The beds are so cozy you may find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. The view is peaceful. The activities plentiful. The staff friendly. And food and cocktails delicious—be sure to try a mint julep and the bread pudding. It’s an all-in-one vacation destination as well as a convenient hub from which to explore more of the Alabama coast.
The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa has held its reputation as The Queen of Southern Resorts for 165 years. “One thing you see throughout the property is tradition,” says Michael Herzog, food and beverage director.
It makes a great impression, accentuated with a bang.
Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa has implemented many earth-friendly programs—a Marriott priority—including:
- Energy conservation
- Water management
- Composting kitchen waste, which is used to fertilize gardens—herbs and vegetables are harvested by the chefs
- Local foods are featured on the menus, helping reduce transportation emissions
- The Grand is working with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to establish a statewide ‘green certification’ program
- 405 spacious guestrooms and suites
- Complimentary wireless Internet
- 36 slip marina
- 5 pools, 3 beaches—There is one 21+ adults-only pool! But it’s right next to a kid’s pool.
- Complimentary on-site parking; valet is $12/day
- 100% smoke-free
- There are nine on-site restaurants, including The Grand Dining Room, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant. The Dining Room serves an award-winning Sunday Jazz Brunch. The Saltwater Grill serves up seafood with a contemporary flair. For casual fare, head to the Lakewood Golf Club. The poolside Pelican’s Nest and Blue Marlin Bar are seasonal.
- Complimentary coffee in the coffee shop daily 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Historic cannon firing ceremony daily (approximately 3:45 p.m.)
- Afternoon tea & cookies daily (4:00 p.m.)
- Two daily shuttles to the quaint town of Fairhope, which is located 3 miles away
- Horseshoes, croquet, ping pong, beach volleyball, bocce ball, and bayside putting green (all equipment available on request)
- Daily resort activities including arts and crafts
- Non-motorized beach equipment (kayaks, hobie cats, and sail boats)
- Bicycle usage (helmets available)
- Tennis courts (equipment available for rent)
- Horticultural and historical tours of the property, including the Confederate Rest Cemetery
- Fishing poles and bait supplied for fishing from the Grand Pier
- The Grand has been awarded the Top 121 Golf Resorts by Conde Nast Traveler, and the Top 500 Hotels in the World by Travel & Leisure
Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa
-Photo Credits: King room courtesy Grand Hotel Marriott; cannon and chef’s garden © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.