Originally established in 1888 as a private members club on the Georgia Coast, it was once a playground for people like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. It was here that the concept of the Federal Reserve was established and where the first transcontinental phone call was made. The Great Depression caused a downturn in membership and the state of Georgia took over the property in 1948. They operated it as a hotel within the state park.
The property was left almost abandoned for a decade before 1987 when it was reopened as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island‘s premier luxury resort. It is made up of rooms in the original building, cottages, and the Jekyll Island Ocean Club, a second boutique oceanfront hotel. The hotel was even used in the film The Legend of Bagger Vance, among many others.
Rooms at the main building date back over 100 years and some have sun porches overlooking the grounds. They come with coffee makers, mini-fridges, and flat-screen televisions. The presidential suite is inside the iconic turret. The Jekyll Island Ocean Club has 40 suites all with ocean views featuring coastal decor, a pool, and a fitness center.
The Jekyll Island Club Hotel also contains the cottages previously owned by members that now make up the historic district. Only three are available for rent as the rest are maintained as offices and museums. Cherokee, Crane, and San Souci have private rooms and living spaces ideal for weddings and events.
The resort has four restaurants at the island club and one at the ocean club. The Grand Dining Room was the dining space for generations of guests and continues to offer top-notch service. Jackets are recommended for men. Their shrimp and grits have won countless awards. The Pool House has casual bites like burgers and tacos. The Wharf is a laid-back seafood restaurant on the water. The Pantry sells coffee and sandwiches. Over at the Ocean Club, Eighty Ocean serves seafood, Southern dishes, and wood-fired pizzas.
Guests can participate in countless activities during their stay. There is a pool at each of the properties and guests can take the shuttle between for free. The Great Dunes golf course was created in 1926 and is still regarded as one of the best in the state. There’s also a croquet course, fitness center, lending library, and store. Or you can cozy up with nightly smores by the fire. You can also rent bikes to explore the island and visit nearby attractions like the Driftwood Beach, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and the MOSAIC Museum.
If You Go
The Jekyll Island Club is located at 371 Riverview Drive and the Jekyll Island Ocean Club is located at 80 Ocean Way. Rates start at $150 per night for island club rooms, $200 for cottages, and $200 for ocean club rooms. Parking is complimentary at both properties but there is also a toll to access Jekyll Island since it is a state park.
My stay at Jekyll Island Club Resort was hosted by the hotel and arranged by Hawkins PR.