Landmark hotel with Victorian-estate feel and sprawling grounds
Good-sized rooms -- some with patios and fireplaces
Free shuttle to the beach with a private club for guests' use
Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with cable
Snack minibars, iPod docking stations, and coffeemakers in rooms
Five restaurants, one fine-dining
Spa and hair salon on-site
Swimming pool with loungers and poolside bar and grill
Event and meeting spaces
Free parking on-site
Not directly on the beach (river side of island)
No free breakfast
No dedicated business center
Some rooms feel a bit dated
An historic resort complex, the upper-mid-range Jekyll Island Club Hotel has plenty of Southern charm throughout its myriad, diverse rooms and on-site attractions. On its grounds alone, there are croquet lawns, museums, history tours, bicycles to rent, gift shops, five restaurants (the hotel's historic Grand Dining room is very popular.) There is, naturally, a pool flanked by a bar and grill, although the hotel's beach is a seven-minute free shuttle ride (or slightly longer bicycle ride) away, and the hotel itself is located on the river side of the island, rather than the ocean. The rooms and common areas have a decidedly Victorian vibe and are adorned with antiques and other old-world touches, but guests can still enjoy modern day amenities like free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs; it's worth noting that some rooms feel better maintained and more modern than others.
Old-world Southern relaxation mixed with modern-day vacation activity
The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is both a place to rest and a place to play. While the sprawling grounds and surrounding area are quiet, there is plenty to do, and reading a book by the pool is just as common as challenging your companion to a friendly game of croquet. The historic buildings are filled with common spaces where guests can lounge and chat, including the lobby (which is decorated with rich red accents, blue couches, decorative plates, wooden floors, and antiques), a bright indoor atrium with white rattan furniture, outdoor patio areas, and even wooden rocking chairs on the front veranda. Afternoon tea is served daily, hearkening back to the resort's more genteel eras, and is just as popular with guests -- predominantly couples and families with older children looking for a quiet or romantic getaway -- as the poolside bar.
Located in the center of Jekyll Island, on the river side, a short drive or bike-ride from the beach
Situated rather centrally on Jekyll Island, on its river side, this historic hotel is close to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island Golf Course, and the Summer Waves Water Park. It's also a short trip to the Emerald Princess II Casino. Due to the isolation of both the island and the hotel, there is very little traffic, but there are a handful of shops and restaurants within walking distance. The beach is not walkable from the hotel -- it's a quick five-to-10-minute drive and the hotel has a free shuttle to help get guests to its private club and stretch of beach.
Well-maintained rooms and suites spread across five historic houses
The Jekyll Island Club Hotel may have some standard aspects, but it's certainly not a cookie-cutter chain hotel and there is great variety between the 157 rooms and suites throughout the more than 125-year-old complex. What is standard, however, is that the rooms -- though aged -- are generally clean and well-maintained, and many have a decidedly Victorian feel and furnishings. Flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, minibars, and free Wi-Fi bring the spaces into this century. Most of the rooms are quite large by hotel standards, and many have extras like sitting areas with small dining tables, working fireplaces, and private patios, porches, or balconies. The rooms are spread between five different buildings, each with its own feel: the Clubhouse (the main building, constructed in 1888); the Annex (built in 1901; some rooms have private sun porches); Sans Souci (next to the main house, built in 1896, and has 24 apartment-style rooms); Crane Cottage (built in 1917 with an Italianate aesthetic; it was once the most expensive winter home on Jekyll Island); and Cherokee (an intimate, 10-room villa that takes its name from the Cherokee roses originally surrounding it).
Resort-style amenities, including five eateries, private beach pavilion, swimming pool, spa and salon
The Grand Dining Room -- open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a popular Sunday brunch -- offers a gourmet dining experience inflected with Southern hospitality and a fully restored Victorian era setting. There are two other restaurants on the property, as well as bars and snack stops. While the hotel is located on the river side of the island, a free shuttle brings guests to the beach, where the hotel has its own stretch of sand, as well as its clubhouse, the Beach Pavilion, which serves alcoholic beverages, ice cream, and snacks. It's a short walk from the pavilion down a wooden boardwalk and sandy path to the surf. For those wishing to stick closer to the hotel, there is a large swimming pool on site, although it's typically crowded, as it's the only pool for the whole hotel. Sun loungers and a poolside bar make this a popular hangout. There's also a full-service spa and salon that offers all the requisite treatments. The fitness room is small and nondescript, but does have all the required machines and weights one would expect. There are also bicycles for rent, to explore the island's miles of outdoor trails. Unsurprisingly, this is also a popular wedding destination so be prepared to see a blushing bride or two during your stay.
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