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A Historic Southern Icon

Get Lost in Time at the Grand Hotel

By Kelly Curry | Photography courtesy of the Grand Hotel

From the moment you arrive at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in Point Clear, Alabama, you feel as if you’ve been tucked away into a natural oasis untouched by time. The grounds are immaculate, and you immediately become one with nature strolling around the expansive Southern coastal compound encompassing the boutique hotel, spa, restaurants, and more. An anchor of the Point Clear community since 1847, the Grand Hotel is a historic icon boasting an impressive list of celebrities, past presidents, and social influencers who have sought out a stay.

Rich with historical events, it is safe to say the Grand is heavily rooted in the history books of America. Originally designed as a forty-room hotel, it became a hospital during the Civil War and later hosted critical training operations during World War II. Every day at 3:45 p.m., the Grand pays tribute to its wartime history with a cannon firing on the edge of Mobile Bay. The Grand has been through war, fire, and hurricanes but has stood the test of time to remain a coveted Southern getaway destination.

Growing up, my family always stayed in Fairhope, Alabama, on the way to Fort Morgan for our annual beach trip. As we drove out of town, we would pass the Grand, and I would wonder what it would be like to stay there. Several years later, my husband, Alex, and I had the pleasure of spending the long Fourth of July weekend as guests on the property. Our main goal was to slow down, catch up on some much-needed relaxation by the impressive pools, and enjoy having everything easily accessible, with no worries about going off-site for anything. Of course, another top priority during our stay was to experience the special features of this iconic hotel that has drawn visitors for over 175 years, including the Lakewood Club golf course, the 1847 Bar, Southern Roots, and Bucky’s Lounge.

On day one, we checked in and immediately started to explore the grounds. Amazed at the lush landscape so beautifully laid out before us, we knew we were in for a treat of a weekend. We then got settled in our spacious room, tossed on our swimsuits, and headed straight to the pool to begin a weekend of R&R. The Grand offers three guest swimming pools: the feature pool, the adult pool, and the indoor lap pool. We grabbed some drinks from Jubilee Poolside Grill and claimed lounge chairs by the adult pool to enjoy some afternoon sun before changing and heading to Bucky’s Lounge for the evening.

Aura J. “Bucky” Miller was a hospitality legend. He served on the staff at the Grand Hotel for sixty-one years, exuding the property’s mantra of “simplicity, sincerity, and service.” His signature indoor-outdoor lounge showcases a piano bar, rare whiskies, fine wines, and romantic firepits. This is a fantastic spot to watch the sunset and catch up with loved ones or new friends.

Our main goal was to slow down, catch up on some much-needed relaxation by the impressive pools, and enjoy having everything easily accessible, with no worries about going off-site for anything.

We kicked off day two with an amazing breakfast in the Grand Hall. The restaurant offers something for everyone, but don’t sleep on the pancakes with pecan butter, bananas, and coconut syrup—chef’s kiss! After breakfast, we ventured to the Lakewood Club to explore the golf clubhouse, tennis courts, and pools and ended up spending the day at the Lakewood Club adult pool, as it was such a peaceful spot to catch some rays and get some reading done. We closed out day two with dinner and drinks at Southern Roots. This on-site eatery offers an elegant farm-to-table experience, complete with stunning views of the property and a magical ambience.

Here’s a fun fact: the 1847 Bar—the Grand’s bar housed inside Southern Roots—is named for the year the property was established. From Wednesday through Sunday at 5:00 p.m., guests can attend “Celebrating the Craft” at the 1847 Bar to commemorate the art and craft of bartending and learn about a new specialty cocktail.

On our final day at the Grand, we were up and at it early for an 8:00 a.m. tee time. Alex secured a slot to play the 7,104-yard, 18-hole, par-72 Dogwood course. It was a hot morning, but the oaks, pines, magnolias, and overall natural beauty surrounding the fairways made it all worth it. The Lakewood Club has been named one of the Top 25 Most Historic Golf Courses by Historic Hotels of America. Additionally, they have hosted the 1974, 1986, and 2021 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships.

If golf is not your thing—or if it is, but you have longer than a few days—be sure to check out some exciting options we had to leave on our to-do list for our next stay. These include being pampered at the newly renovated 20,000-square-foot bespoke spa, walking the full boardwalk that runs along the Mobile Bay on the edge of the property, and witnessing the magical monarch migration in October. If you are looking for your next weekend getaway or planning some vacation time near the Alabama coast, be sure to check out the Grand Hotel. Full of history, charm, and amenities, it’s the perfect place to escape!

— V —

Learn more or book a stay at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, an Autograph Collection property, at Grand1847.com.

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