For some families, spring (or Easter, or Memorial Day, or summer, or fall), just isn’t complete without a trip to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear. And it’s no wonder. The resort has been perfecting family fun for generations. A stay at The Grand is like a treasured heirloom—a time for togetherness to be shared and passed down through families.
If you haven’t been, this may be your year to start. There’s plenty of happenings to entice a visit—and there’s so much to do, that it really is possible to park your car and never leave the resort. (The property encompasses 550 acres.) There are two golf courses, eight tennis courts, seven restaurants (ranging from formal to poolside casual), two outdoor pools (one is adults only), a bayside beach complete with numerous small boats (motor and paddle), and bikes. Whether on foot or bicycle, don’t miss a trip down the boardwalk that extends from the property towards Point Clear where grand antebellum homes and cottages stand sentry on the waterfront.
Brimming with history, the resort celebrates its storied place in time. (The hotel became a training base in WWII). Every afternoon, characters in uniform parade the resort with a drumroll leading curious guests to a patriotic salute and cannon firing. Historical images, letters, and documents line the halls extending from the main lobby for the extra curious.
After every salute, tea is served in the main lobby. Comfortable seating groups around the fireplace invite conversation over Chamomile tea, scones, and chocolate chip cookies.
Of course the hotel has seen the addition of modern amenities and new luxuries since it opened all those years ago. But the traditions that keep us returning are here to stay.
marriottgrand.com • 252.928.9201 or 800.544.9933
Ah, the Spa….Set aside a minimum of half a day to indulge in the award-winning 20, 000—square foot spa. The treatments are divine (Go for the deep tissue massage!). The relaxation room, sauna, hot spa, and indoor pool will beckon you to linger into the afternoon. Be sure to shop the spa gift shop. The boutique is well-appointed with lovely outfits and accessories to wear at home and on vacation.
One of The Grand Hotel’s sister properties is just a few miles away. Here are 5 more reasons to love this staycation destination.
1) A $5 million renovation
How can you top perfection? Ross Bridge knows how. The resort is undergoing a makeover that will debut this spring. All 259 guest rooms and most of the common areas in the resort will receive a modern update. The biggest change will be a $1.2 million renovation of the sprawling lounge, J.T.’s Tavern.
2) Full-service Spa
Stress? What stress? One step inside the resort’s 12, 000-square-foot full-service spa and salon and you immediately feel the everyday worries of life lifted from your shoulders. Pamper yourself with a hydrotherapy treatment, a reflexology session, or a dose of aromatherapy. Complete your escape with a trip to the sauna or steam room.
3) Championship Golf
The 18-hole course at Ross Bridge sits on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is designed for PGA tournament play. With 330 acres of lush landscaping that includes a cascading waterfall and two scenic lakes, it’s no wonder that Golf Digest calls the course “one of the top 50 trips in the world.”
4) International Scotch Brands
Not only is the look of J.T.’s Tavern changing, its menu is mixing things up as well. In keeping with the Ross family’s Scottish roots, the bar will offer scotch brands from around the world. Guests will be treated to an array of European comfort foods.
5) The Lone Bagpiper
It has become a tradition at Ross Bridge. When dusk appears over the Alabama sky, the lone bagpiper, dressed in the classic plaid kilt, roams the property while playing Scottish melodies, marking the end of another perfect day at the resort.
Text by cathy still mcgowin