Archive for June, 2010
Ed Stone recently visited St. simons Island and The King and Prince and wrote a wonderful article for his website GoGolfandTravel.com. Enjoy his article below.
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
Georgia’s Golden Isle Gem
Story and photos by: Ed Stone
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort located on St. Simons Island, Georgia is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2010 not with fireworks and marching bands, but with showcasing renovated quarters and public space. In addition, the former Hampton Club golf course is now named the King and Prince Golf Course and boasting some major renovations to a very challenging Joe Lee designed course. Since opening as a dance club in 1935, this Oceanside resort has become a premier destination for special occasions, family gatherings and conferences on Georgia’s Golden Isles coast.
The five-mile causeway leading to St. Simons Island helps to bring into focus the experiences you are about to enjoy. You certainly know you are on an island as you cross rivers, salt marshes and the Atlantic Ocean separating it from the mainland of Georgia. Live Oaks create canopied tunnels leading to The King and Prince Hotel. You pass by boutiques, one-of-a-kind fine restaurants and other specialty venues that comprise these types of resort areas. The island cleaves to interesting historical sites and attractions, i.e., Fort Frederica, the Battle of Bloody Marsh site, Christ Church and the St. Simons Lighthouse.
“The people enjoy our Southern hospitality,” said David Murray, the jovial doorman at the 195-room King and Prince. David certainly exemplifies the genuineness of this cultural warmth and kindness found in this part of the world.
The King and Prince offers one of the Southeast’s most prestigious historic ocean front retreats with recreation for all ages and many kinds of water sports. Dining is taken seriously with offerings of both casual and formal in either the Delegal Dining Room, The King’s Tavern or Paradise Beach Bar & Grill. The resort also offers five pools to its guests.
History of the Resort:
Frank Horn and Morgan Wynn built a seaside dance club after being asked to leave the snobbish Cloister Hotel on Sea Island in the mid 1930’s for partaking of too much alcohol. This hotel is so named because of the stature and demeanor of these two men. Horn was tall and heavyset while Wynn was short and slender. When appearing together, their friends called them “the king and the prince.” According to newspaper clippings, the dance club burned to the ground twice between 1935 and 1939. In July 1941, the King and Prince Hotel’s main building opened to the public and was considered quite modern.
During World War II, The King and Prince served as a Naval Coast Guard watching and training facility. In 1947, the property reopened to the public. The resort underwent some major building renovations and expansions in 1972 and 1983. In 1996, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort became a member of the Historic Hotels of America and in 2005, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Awards have been presented and are well deserved for The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. The prestigious Southern Living Magazine named The King and Prince as “Georgia’s Favorite Beach Resort.” Successful Meetings Magazine bestowed the Pinnacle Award three times representing a symbol of excellence among meeting planners and hoteliers. And, ConventionSouth voted the resort as winner of the Readers’ Choice Award.
Meeting and conference planners enjoy the flexibility of bringing groups to this beautiful setting and luxury resort.
With over 10,000 square feet of Oceanside function and pre-function space this makes for an ideal place to bring groups of 20 to 350 people. There are five meeting rooms with the largest having some 2880 square feet. Selection of space includes a beautiful ballroom, oceanfront dining rooms, a large oceanfront lawn area and poolside areas, the historic Solarium, oceanfront Retreat Room and Butler Boardroom.
Meeting and Conference Facilities and Features:
– 10,000 square feet of ocean-side function space
– Flexibility to accommodate from 20 to 350 attendees and guests
– Pre-function space in the resort’s dramatic atrium
– Ocean front lawn adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean
– Team of skilled meeting planning and support professionals
– Full catering service
– Comprehensive on-site convention and audio-visual services
– Activities for groups, spouses and as team-building events
Georgia’s “Golden Isles” is made up of the upscale Sea Island, the State owned Jekyll Island and the little known St.
Simons Island and its county seat of Brunswick. In addition to these beautiful seashore islands, there are also Cumberland, Little Cumberland, Little St. Simons, St. Catherines, Wassaw and Tybee that skirt Georgia’s coastline. Georgia’s Wildlife Management Islands consists of Sapelo Island, Wolf Island Wilderness Area, and Ossabaw Island.
The King and Prince Golf Course:
Named the Hampton Club since it opened in 1988, the club was recently renamed the King and Prince Golf Club. The par 72, 6,462-yard, Joe Lee designed course is not only a very challenging layout but offers some unique features no longer found in golf layouts of this nature. For instance, the back nine holes of numbers 12, 13, 14 & 15 are carved out of the salt marshes. These were built prior to the EPA regulating the build of such in these marshes. “Never again will anyone be able to build a golf course in the marshes, like this one,” stated Rick Mattox, Golf Club Manager. All four holes have become the signature holes for the course…and, they deserve it! They are accessed by 800-feet of elevated cart bridges, adding to the uniqueness of the course.
Recently, Billy Fuller from Atlanta worked with Rick and the King and Prince Management to renovate the course. Billy spent from 1980 to 1987 as golf course superintendent at the famous Augusta National Golf Club where the Masters is held each year. He did a splendid job of keeping the “Joe Lee Touch” and adding his own style. Several sand traps and bunkers were added or redesigned. Fuller also worked with the management in bringing to the King and Prince Golf Club the latest in grasses for this area and soil. Mattox speaks with pride, “We now have Mini Verde greens, Tif sport collars, Celebration tees, roughs and fairways – and our traps are wrapped in Emerald Zoysia. We’re the only course in our region with these types of grasses and our golfers are amazed at the fantastic course transformation.”
A new cutting edge technology has been added to the resort’s website allowing you to view a 3-D graphic transporting viewer to each of 18 holes via a hole-by-hole flyover. “It’s an in-depth virtual tour where one can see bridges, bunkers, the shape of ponds, sprawling live oaks, expansive marsh views, lagoons and towering pines. It includes a full course map, scorecard and vibrant photos of the extraordinary beauty of one of coastal Georgia’s great courses. The flyover takes viewers to our golf course within seconds, giving them an amazing experience,” stated Bud St. Pierre, Director of Sales & Marketing for the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. (Click here to watch the flyover: www.kingandprince.com/golf.php)
When taking a stroll on the beach in front of The King and Prince Hotel, one would wonder what Frank Horn and Morgan Wynn would think of how much this special place has grown and expanded. It’s a long way from a dance club…designed just to get even with The Cloister for throwing them out over a few toddies. I suspect they would be very proud of having started a luxury resort that continues to carry their names after 75 years. Happy Anniversary to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
201 Arnold Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
I grew up coming to St. Simons Island every year. My family would stay at the K&P or at a condo next to the pier each year. However, the last 12 years we have been going to Destin for our American beach trips. Well, like many of us, that was canceled due to the oil spill. The K&P hotel was just as I remembered it. The pool area and pool food were great. The room was nice with the best views you find on SSI. The of the hotel is ideal.
The quaintness of the island and village were pleasant and relaxing. So different from the commercialized Destin, and Panama City strung up and down the pan-handle that I have grown accustomed too. You sacrifice the clear blue water but you get a better island and better shops and better eating. The waves were a nice change. You just have to get the tide schedule down. I enjoyed the tides b/c it gives you a view that is always changing.
Not the best place for spring breakers but a great place for couples and families.
-written by ramblinman79 from Winder,GA
To read more reviews of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort or to post reviews of your own, visit TripAdvisor.
Lisa Moretti writes about her visit to St. Simons Island and The King and Prince in TravelLady MagazineTuesday, June 8th, 2010
When Everybody Knew Your Name
Stepping Back in Time on St. Simons Island, GA
by Lisa Moretti
Subheading: If you grew up in a sleepy beach community then you know – there was something charming about a slower pace and friendly wave. St. Simon’s Island, Georgia gives you the chance to turn back time.
Be Home Before the Street Lights Come On
There was nothing quite like warm weather days growing up. If you had a bike, you were gone! As a parent, your only worry was that you could convince your kids to come home or that they didn’t crash in the briar patch. Kids live in a smaller and smaller world today; most parents barely feel comfortable letting their children hang out in the front yard. But, if you want to give your kids the chance to feel the freedom you knew, it’s time to take a vacation to St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Even WWII Spies Couldn’t Ruin It
St. Simons is full of history of course, it’s part of the original colonies; but everywhere you turn history winks at you. The island has been occupied by the Native Americans, Spanish, French, English, even the Nazi’s tried to set up camp; everyone has left their mark whether in a name or a structure. A stroll through Christ Church’s cemetery is a testament to how many people came from near and far and suddenly (but not surprisingly) found the island felt like home. It’s true, German spies during WWII successfully landed on the islands after subs had sunk two Liberty line ships, but they couldn’t go through with their plans to betray the sleepy town.
Today, you can find ruins, artifacts (be sure to give them back), and a peek into days gone by as you explore the island. Out near the Hampton Club, the golf course that belongs to the King and Prince Resort, you can see old walls from an early mill. A visit to the Maritime Museum and Lighthouse offer insight into the changing landscape and beach of the island. A walk around the King and Prince Resort transports you to the days of the 1930s dance clubs, the impact of the war when the resort was a Naval Radar School, and a return to the safe feeling of a 1970s beach community.
Getting Lost But Finding You
St Simons is a small island, so before you grow concerned – it’s tough to actually get lost! Further, there are now wonderful bike trails all over the island that rival Eisenhower’s freeway system. As you are cruising along, be sure to check out those historical markers and take a turn down a street or two. You might find an old plantation or the First African Cemetery hidden down a side road.
There are sea turtles, shrimp, and a whole host of slimy sea creatures waiting to be discovered (if you have kids with you, take a trip out on the Lady Jane shrimp boat – their marine biologist will help pull in the nets and let people safely touch all the different kinds of waterway dwellers – gross out factor +10.) And have some shrimp right there at the landing at Spanky’s.
If you’re visiting kid-free, check out the newly rejuvenated course at the Hampton Club where you can golf surrounded by perfect vistas designed by Joe Lee with the latest course grasses that ensure a great golfing experience. Take in a spa treatment or two over the King and Prince. And at the very least, stop by the resort for a beverage, one of their famous oatmeal muffins, or Chef Robin Gomez’s life-changing shrimp and grits.
In fact, The King and Prince makes for a great homebase. They have a variety of room styles, cabanas, villas and multi-bedroom homes in a relaxed beach-side atmosphere sure to drop your blood pressure. Exploring St. Simons offers you the opportunity to see what makes you smile, try out something new, and enjoy old favorites. When you see something that tickles your fancy on St. Simons, check it out! Ask the residents questions, they’re all proud of their community and happy to share its history. Seize the day for adventure and discovery!
Turning Down the High-Maintenance Meter
Like Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, time is slower and flip-flops are expected footwear on the island. Be a local and stop in for breakfast or lunch at the Sandcastle in the Village. Pop over to Redfern where you can stroll the curve, window shop, and try an $8,000 margarita at Bubba Garcia’s. Make sure to catch the sunset (and maybe a Green Flash) down at the pier. It’s all about taking life a little slower and having a little more faith in the people around you.
And, in case you’ve forgotten, when someone lets you in at a roundabout or even when you just pass by on the street – smile and wave…just like you used to when you were a kid.
Getting There: Fly into either Savannah/Hilton Head International or Jacksonville International. Savannah is north of St. Simons Island and Jacksonville is just south across the state line in Florida. Rent a car and expect a drive of about an hour. Bikes are available to rent once you get there.
St. Simons King and Prince Resort: www.kingandprince.com
St. Simons Island Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: www.explorestsimonsisland.com
Bubba Garcia’s: www.bubbagarcias.com
Lady Jane Shrimp Boat: www.credlesadventures.com
Photos by David A. Monroe – www.damimagist.com
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