My husband and I fell in love with the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Well-aware of our love and appreciation for the grand, old hotels (bastions of history and culture),our children gave us a trip to Jekyll Island Club Hotel as a Christmas gift (Heritage Tour Package). Upon arrival, we were greeted with the news that the Jr. Presidential Suite that we had previously booked was undergoing renovation and that we would be moved to the Presidential Suite for our three-night stay at no extra cost. The Suite offers old-world charm complete with fireplace and antiques as well as modern amenities catering to the needs of the most discriminating guests. Chilled Champagne and assorted chocolate delights served on doilies arrived shortly after check-in. The Hotel's signature turret is located inside the Presidential Suite and is readily accessed by a spiral staircase leading to inside and outside landings, gateways to amazing views . My husband and I giggled as we carried (carefully) our morning coffee up those winding steps to the top of the turret where we encountered a breathtaking morning view of the Jekyll River and surrounding wildlife. The bird population is abundant here, and Jekyll Island serves as one of the 18 sites along Georgia's Birding Trail. We would have enjoyed this serene ambiance longer but thoughts of the forthcoming buffet breakfast directed us towards the Grand Dining Room. We were not disappointed. It was a breakfast feast with my favorite hand-ground grits, sausage gravy and piping hot biscuits, fresh fruit, and yummy bakery goods plus bottomless gourmet coffee. I commented to a staff member that "breakfast was as pretty as it was delicious." Next on our agenda was the personally-narrated tram ride through the historical district. Our tour guide was fun and funny and knew many of the particulars of the "rich and famous" residents who once vacationed here (1888-1942). Her stories highlighted little-known antics of the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, J.P. Morgans, Cranes, Pulitzers and others. Many of the mansion-sized cottages of these celebrated, financial giants have been renovated and now house guests. I especially enjoyed the actual "Club House" that reflects privileged life during "the Gilded Age". The tour of the Hotel was equally informative and interesting. Our knowledgeable guide, the concierge, shared stories and anecdotes relative to the Hotel's vast and often colorful history. There was an excellent variety of restaurants and eateries suitable to a range of budgets. We had dinner at the Courtyard at Crane, an alfresco restaurant that looks like an Italian Renaissance Villa. No one seemed to notice our casual dress and the food and service were outstanding. We also visited the Hotel's bakery-delicatessen, Cafe Solterra, for quick, yet tasty meals. A trip high-light, oozing with southern hospitality, was the Hotel's afternoon "High Tea". A spread of delicate finger-foods including petite cucumber tea sandwiches, scones with fruit compote, and dainty confection-concoctions lending themselves to "Lemon Curd" or Devonshire Cream, graced the table. A large selection of traditional and exotic teas complete with Sugar Swizzle Sticks was available. I vowed to introduce our granddaughters to the glorious "High Tea" and next time we will all be wearing hats. Our last night at the Hotel, my husband and I treated ourselves to dinner in the Hotel's Grand Dining Room, beautifully restored in the Victorian mode with its Ionic columns and expansive views of the Jekyll River. Our meal was exceptional (I ordered Cottage Crab Cakes) and our waiter was professional without being stuffy, friendly and funny while being attentive and efficient. Jekyll Island offers a wealth of leisure activities ranging from golfing (The historic Grand Dunes Golf Course with original links laid in 1910 is located on the ocean), boating and fishing excursions (Our grandsons would love this), Dolphin cruises, swimming, horse-back riding, walking, and my favorite, croquet, an outdoor activity I loved as a kid. Jekyll Island is a paradise for shoppers. All of the stores are unusual and boutique-like but my favorites are "Jekyll Books in the Old Infirmary" and "Santa's Christmas Shoppe". A visit to Faith Chapel which features two inspiring stained glass windows, one bearing the name of Louis Tiffany, is a "must-do" activity while on the Island.This incredible Chapel is not included on the tram tour and might be over-looked.Before leaving Jekyll Island, we visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a dedicated hospital for ill and injured sea turtles. It is the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia and many visitors choose to contribute to its admirable mission. We were reluctant to leave Jekyll Island. We agreed that one of the great factors in making our trip so enjoyable and memorable is the over-the top service of the Hotel's pleasant and helpful employees who love the Hotel and take pride in its impressive history and heritage. Each guest is made to feel valued and special. The Hotel is an excellent choice for special celebrations, family vacations, and true retreats from busy work schedules and daily pressures. My husband and I take advantage of seasonal rates, promotions, and hotel packages which often include meals and activities. We are not shy about pricing accommodation upgrades. While the Jekyll Island Hotel was once available only to the financially and socially elite, it now invites and welcomes ordinary individuals to be an important part of its extraordinary heritage and hospitality. This Hotel is "Wow" in all areas.
While we had booked the Jr. Presidential Suite which was undergoing renovation while we were there...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.