The Grand Hotel: “The Queen of Southern Resorts”
The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa has been known as The Queen of Southern Resorts for more than 160 years and attracts visitors from across the country and internationally to the Eastern Shore each year. The Grand sits on 550 acres overlooking Mobile Bay and has activities that are sure to keep the whole family busy.
The Grand Hotel takes great pride in its history as a member of Historic Hotels of America. F.H. Chamberlain built the hotel in 1847 as a two-story building with 40 rooms. The original hotel also included a separate building for the dining room and kitchen and another building housed the bar called "The Texas.” The hotel played a role in many ways throughout history. It served as a confederate hospital during the Civil War, the bar turned into an emergency hospital following the explosion of the steamboat "Ocean Wave” in 1871, and the Army Air Corps used the hotel as a training base during World War II.
"The Grand is a very generational resort which has hosted families for years. Guests are passionate about the rich history and traditions of the Grand Hotel. We are pleased to provide these generations of families consistent service and traditions that are both nostalgic and memorable,” said General Manager Scott Tripoli.
The Grand’s Lakewood Golf Club is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. It features 36 holes among mature oaks and spring-fed lakes. This gorgeous course is both beautiful and challenging. The Dogwood course is currently undergoing renovations and will soon feature resurfaced greens with Tifeagle Bermuda grass, newly re-decked bridges, repaired cart paths and 3-5 new ladies’ tees will be built.
The luxurious 20,000-square-foot European-style Spa at the Grand attracts both visitors and locals. It’s the perfect setting to relax. The Spa at the Grand Hotel was ranked #1 in Marriott Guest Satisfaction Scores worldwide in 2009, 2010 and 2011; and Conde Nast Top 100 Spas in 2012, 2013 & 2014. Currently, the spa boutique, salon, treatment rooms and fitness center have been relocated while the spa area is being transformed. The renovations are expected to be complete in January.
"Our current Grand Transformation will allow us to attract higher profile groups from different areas of the country, while at the same time giving our repeat guests a Grand surprise upon their return,” said Tripoli.
Other activities on the property include bike rentals, trails, jet-skiing, kayaking, afternoon tea & cookies, tennis, volleyball, fishing and pickleball. Your family can bond over several bayside games including corn hole, horseshoes, table tennis and board games.
The hotel has seen many famous visitors including Colin Powell, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Bush, Dolly Parton, Fannie Flagg, Patty Labelle and many NFL greats. It’s also attracted its fair share of national media attention, being featured in Southern Living, Garden & Gun, The Crazy Tourist, Golfweek, Alabama Magazine, Atlanta Magazine and Visit South.
"It is truly flattering to work at the Grand. The resort has been recognized by the top leisure and group publications in the world every year. This year we have hosted over 250,000 leisure and group guests that have fallen in the love with the hotel, Mobile Bay and the Eastern Shore,” said Tripoli, "The hotel, our ambassadors and the area are key reasons we receive this recognition. Year to date our group meeting planners have ranked us in the Top 2% of all Marriott Hotels Worldwide. Our leisure guests have consistently ranked us in the Top 5 Marriott Hotels Worldwide for the last 15 years.”
While visitors obviously enjoy finding a home away from home at the Grand, Tripoli says there’s no reason for locals to fear the gate. The Grand is open to residents to enjoy the spa and dine in one of their amazing restaurants. They also offer cooking classes and a beverage academy. "The Grand offers world class Food and Beverage offerings that we would love for our local community to enjoy,” said Tripoli, "Lastly, the Grand is a perfect place for that Staycation. We promise that you will feel far away from reality inside our gates.”
The Grand Hotel is located at 17855 Scenic Highway 98 in Fairhope. For more information visit their website www.marriottgrand.com.
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