I recently spent a couple of days in St Simons as a guest of The King and Prince Resort. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links.
The King and Prince Beach Resort and Golf Club is not only a great oceanfront resort but it also has quite a history. Named in 1995 as one of the Historic Hotels of America, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the King and Prince Beach Resort and Golf Club first opened in 1935 as a private dance club on the ocean front of St Simons Island in Georgia’s Golden Isles.
The resort’s famous Spanish Colonial exterior, reputation for excellent service and the fact it is the only ocean side resort on the island, quickly became popular with guests and has made it the top resort on St Simons.
In the 1930’s numerous renovations to the club were made such as a dance floor and orchestra stage and the venue became host to several wrestling and boxing matches. In 1938 eleven stained glass windows were installed in the ocean front Delegal Room, depicting scenes from St Simons history and the room today is often used for weddings and other events.
There are a lot of things to see and do on St Simons and there are a lot of historic sites on the island. The King and Prince Beach Resort and Golf Club is one of those historic sites.
In 1941 the resort opened 110 guest rooms which were constructed to give guests the best views of the ocean and take advantage of the ocean breeze. During World War II the hotel played a part in the war when the US Navy used it as a radar and training facility. The evidence of that history can be found in photos at the resort and also at the nearby World War II Home Front Museum on the island.
Today the resort has 142 hotel rooms, that include the two oceanfront suites, 42 two and three bedroom villas and 5 resort residences ranging from one to five bedroom beachfront cottages, five swimming pools, clay tennis courts, and their fabulous golf course.
From the moment you arrive at The King and Prince Resort the staff is ready to take care of you. Throughout my stay I was impressed by everyone on the staff. From the folks at the front desk, the restaurant waiters, the bar staff and everyone I came in contact with, they were always friendly, attentive and looking to make every detail of your stay perfect.
There are four buildings at the hotel.
The Oceanfront building has beachfront views and private balconies, free wifi, mini refrigerator, coffee maker, blow dryer and DVD player.
The historic main building offers various rooms from the Governors Suite with two floors. On the first floor is a large parlor, wet bar and half bath. The stairway leads up to the bedroom and has a king bed and a full bathroom and a jetted tub. There is also a Junior Suite, Cabana Rooms with parlors and private seaside patios, oceanfront view rooms and rooms that offer views of the garden or grounds.
The Oleander Building offers rooms with balconies and a view of the resort.
The Oglethorpe Building offers a great option for those looking for value or on a golf trip. The rooms are comfortable, have 2 queen beds, mini-refrigerator, microwave, and front door parking. The main building, pools and restaurant are just a short stroll away.
Villas offer a walk out balcony, fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, stove, microwave and cookware, living room area with a sleeper sofa and there are washers and dryers within the villa facilities.
No matter which room you take, of the rooms are comfortable, clean and inviting.
The Echo Restaurant and Bar
The Echo Restaurant and Bar are aptly named after the Naval radar facility that operated at the hotel during World War II. The Echo is the islands only oceanfront restaurant and a favorite among locals. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the Echo serves Southern Coastal cuisine in a casual setting.
The restaurant has long established relationships with local farmers and purveyors so you get the freshest ingredients and seasonal fare. The shrimp and grits are a favorite as well as the seafood and steaks. The bar opens at 11am and has great handcrafted cocktails.
If you are at the beach you want to enjoy the water, right? Well, some people enjoy the beach and the surf but some prefer the non salt water pools. There are five pools, one heated, and three hot tubs.
The King and Prince offers 3 pools in the main pool area just outside the main building and right on the beach. With lots of chairs and great views of the ocean and beach. There are also kid pools which are shallow, one is 1 ft deep and one is 3 ft deep.
The Golf Course
The King and Prince Golf Club Home of the Hampton Club, is located 12.2 miles from the resort on the north end of the island. Opened in 1989, the course was designed by Joe Lee. Nicknamed “Gentleman Joe”, Lee designed over 200 golf courses in his career and Jack Nicklaus once said “Lee never built a bad course”. The Club offers memberships but is also open to the public. The 18 hole par 72 course offers a memorable and fun, yet challenging layout among marshes, island holes and lakes. In 2009 the course underwent a full restoration by Billy Fuller utilizing the original course drawings and protecting the integrity of the original design.
Four of the holes are on the courses own marsh island. It is not uncommon to encounter wildlife on the course, On the day I visited there were deer running around and other small wildlife and there is an eagle nest on the course. The course consistently ranks as one of the best courses in the US.
The only problem you might have at the resort is the fact you may not want to leave and explore the rest of St Simons. With all the things to do on St Simons, you may want to plan for a a day or two extra at the resort just so you can see everything.