- Best Hotel
- Best New Thing About St. Simons Island: (For our restaurant ECHO)
- Best View From A Restaurant
- Best New Restaurant
- Best Golf Course: The King and Prince Golf Course
St. Simons Island is a golfer’s paradise with over 200 holes of golf to be played in the area. Add to that sunny weather, sea breezes, great fishing, shopping and dining and you’ve got the perfect spot for your next golf group getaway! Choose Your Accommodations. Our resort is able to accommodate any golf group, no matter how large or small. We have a 3 bedroom townhome located on our golf course for groups of 6 as well as the 5 bedroom Hampton House located at the resort for up to 10 couples. If you are looking for more room, our sales managers can set aside a block of rooms and villas so your guests can choose where they would like to stay. Ready, Set, Golf! The King and Prince Golf Course is a short 20 minute drive from the resort property and is available for resort guests and the public to play. Course manager Rick Mattox is able to set up a day of golf for you and your friends, PGA Pro instruction or even a friendly tournament! There’s no need to rush back to the resort for lunch, as the course has a restaurant for your convenience. Explore The Island. Enjoy your time off the course by exploring St. Simons Island. Let the men try their hand at salt water fishing while the women shop at the many stores and boutiques located on the island. Book your golf group today! Give our sales office a call at 912-638-3631 for more information.
Nature is alive and well on our small island. All you have to do is take a walk and you are sure to see wildlife wherever you look.
Alligators: There are many ponds where you can see alligators in their natural habitat. They can also be spotted on one of the many golf courses on the island including The King and Prince Golf Course. Just remember- don’t get too close to the alligators.
Dolphins: One of the advantages to being on the coast is the abundance of sea life right outside our door. No matter how many times you’ve seen dolphins swim by, it always feels like the first time when you see them in the ocean. Guests can sometimes spot them from their balconies at our resort and of course, from the beach. Sometimes you can see them while you are enjoying Neptune Park.
Birding: Did you know that St. Simons Island has had a Snowy Owl sighting two years in a row? Of course a Snowy Owl sighting is rare almost anywhere but we also have lots of beautiful birds to see. White Ibis, Egrets, Marsh Wren, Whimbrel, Sandpipers and sometimes even a Peregrine Falcon or a Bald Eagle can be spotted while visiting the island.
Sea Turtles: Although it is uncommon to see Sea Turtles on our shores, they are quite abundant on many of Georgia’s islands. A good place to see them up close and personal and to learn about them, is the Georgia Sea Turtle Center which is just a short drive from the resort.
Mr. Rick Mattox, one of America’s most respected PGA professionals, has been leading the King and Prince Golf Course at the Hampton Club for 25 years. Mattox, General Manager and Head Professional, who was honored in 2011 to receive the Bill Strasbaugh Award (presented to PGA members who have shown outstanding integrity and commitment to mentoring) has brought two new members to his island golf club team.
Born and raised in Athens, Georgia, Cole was ‘on course’ with his family before he even took his own first steps. He played collegiately at the University of West Georgia through 2006 and knew that golf would be a main frame in his future. He began his PGA work at the private San Jose Country Club in Jacksonville Florida as assistant Golf Professional and the Outside Service Manager. Cole moved to Sea Island Golf Club in 2011 where he completed his PGA work and became a Class A Professional. At the King and Prince Golf Course “Home of the Hampton Club”, he is the First Assistant Professional where he is working directly with Mattox to help build and grow both the experiences and opportunities for club members and guests. Cole and his wife Courtney, daughter Palmer (age 5) and son Parker (age 1), are enjoying life in the Golden Isles and all it has to offer for their young family.
JB is a native of Hartwell, Georgia where he grew up in the golfing industry. His father is a superintendent and his mother is the Executive Director of the Georgia GCSAA chapter. He received his BA degree in Biology from Emmanuel College and Masters Degree from the University of Georgia in Turfgrass Science. With his passion focused on golf course superintendent, he also worked on his PhD for 1.5 years at the University of Missouri. JB is pleased to be working under Chuck Moore, Golf Course Superintendent where he is already serving the members and learning to manage the crew to maintain premier playing conditions at the Club. JB and his wife of one year, Crystal Workman, are very excited to be back in Georgia.
Mattox comments: “I am very excited to have Cole and JB joining our team. They are already a valued addition for the future of the King and Prince Golf Course. St. Simons Island affords them a wonderful place to live and enjoy quality family life while pursuing their chosen career paths.”
It’s no surprise that Mattox cares about his club members, visiting golfers, employees and the golfing industry. The Bill Strasbaugh Award recognized his impact on the career of others, obviously well deserved as his newly developed lineup move forward together into 2014.
If you have always wanted to spend a few nights at our oceanfront resort but have never had the chance, or if you have stayed with us before but it’s time for some R&R, here is your chance to win a 2 night stay in an oceanfront room!
Step 1) “Like” us on Facebook.
Step 2) Email a photo of your holiday decorations to: Kingandprinceresort@gmail.com Please include your name and phone number (so we can contact you if you win). The photo can be indoor or outdoor decorations, just show us your holiday spirit!
**One entry per household please. Contest ends at 5pm on 1/2/14. Winner will be announced on 1/3/14.**
Any time of the year is a good time to visit our island paradise but here are our top 5 reasons why St. Simons Island should be on your list this winter.
5. Quiet Beaches. Wintertime gives islanders and visitors alike the chance to enjoy our pristine beaches without the crowds of the summer. Whether you are going for a morning walk or reading a book, you may find that while there are others on the beach, it is peaceful and calm. St. Simons Island was also named one of America’s 10 Best Winter Beach Retreats by Yahoo Travel.
4. Coastal Beauty. Although we are partial to St. Simons, it is by far one of the most special and beautiful places in the U.S.. It is easy to get lost in the beauty of the Golden Isles. From the salt marshes to the maritime forests, pristine beaches, as well as splendid sunrises and sunsets. Nothing compares to the beauty that is all around you-and in the heart of the people on St. Simons Island. When you visit, be sure to take time to learn about the history of the island by visiting the Lighthouse or taking a tour of Fort Frederica. If you are up for an adventure, take a guided kayak tour with Southeast Adventure Outfitters.
3. Moderate Temperatures. While lows can get into the 40’s, temperatures normally range from the 60’s to 80’s during the winter months in the Golden Isles. While it does rain, skies stay mostly clear and sunny which is great for golfers and those who like to walk on the beach. Who doesn’t love a nice, sunny day? There are plenty of days filled with sunshine on St. Simons Island.
2. Great Prices. If you are looking for a great deal on a hotel room, house or condo, prices will usually be lower during the winter. Nightly, weekly and even monthly rates are often more affordable. Whether you are a family looking for a fun getaway, a couple looking for a romantic weekend away or snowbirds staying for a few weeks or months, you will find lower rates a great way to save some money while having a fantastic trip.
1. Golf. With over 200 holes of golf to be played on St. Simons Island and the surrounding areas, the Golden Isles are a golfers paradise! The King and Prince Golf Course on the north end of St. Simons offers some of the best golf around and they often have specials available for resort guests as well as visitors.
Chuck Moore has been the King and Prince Golf Course’s head Groundskeeper since 2000. He was interviewed for Through the Green Magazine (Official Publication of the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSA)) by Trent Bouts.
Chuck, Rick Mattox and the staff at the golf course have had the pleasure of hosting several GCSA golf events over the years. Read the article here.
We are excited to announce that our very own Rick Mattox, King and Prince Golf Course General Manager, received the 2011 Bill Strausbaugh Award. The award is presented to PGA members who have shown outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring PGA Professionals and who have made a significant impact on the careers of others. We love having Rick a part of our King and Prince family!
Review by Carolyn Burns Bass
It’s not hard to understand why this stretch of the Georgia coast is known as the Golden Isles. Miles of marsh grass wave in the breeze, carved by streams, rivers, and inlets to form a jigsaw puzzle of islands. The sun rises like a glittering coin over the Atlantic and blankets the marshlands in gold and amber as it sets over the isles. Poised on the mouth of the sound leading up to the bustling port city of Brunswick, is St. Simons Island, the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles.
The Spanish named the island and the sound after a Catholic saint during 16th century exploration of the Southeastern coastline. You can see Spanish influences throughout the region, including the architecture. Mediterranean arches, turrets, clay tiles and stucco make haunting backdrops for the Spanish moss dripping off the massive trees overarching the buildings and lining the streets and lanes. The island has maintained its quaint seaside charm through decades of development in the islands and cities surrounding this wild island treasure.
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
The jewel of this golden isle is the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. Perched on the white sandy shore near the mouth of St. Simons Sound, this historic hotel offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline stretching north and south. Built in 1935 as a private dance club for the well-heeled of the area, it added lodging to its original structure in 1941 and opened to the public as a hotel. There was nothing as magnificent as The King and Prince anywhere along the Southeast coast when it was built and even today it rises above many of the cookie-cutter resorts now dotting the coast and the Isles.
A spacious, bright and airy lobby greets you from the main entry of the King and Prince. You can see the Mediterranean design in the arches that line the coastal stretch of the lobby interior. Natural wood bannisters, trim and ceiling beams encasing dark embossed tin tiles add warmth to the lobby’s light interior. Just beyond the reception desk is a fountain, surrounded by palms, lush greenery and flowers, and an indoor pool and whirlpool (one of five pools located throughout the resort).
Guests at the King and Prince have a deluxe array of choices in room types to meet budget or family needs. Oceanfront rooms in the historic building are only steps from the beach, with spacious bathrooms and separate sitting areas. Luxury amenities such as in-room Keurig coffee stations, Bath & Body Works toiletries, and large flat screen televisions are standard in every room. Stretching beyond the historic main building are the Beach Villas. These roomy accommodations offer two- or three-bedroom apartment size villas with master bedrooms, full kitchens, dining areas and private patios or balconies.
Stepping up the game in privacy and luxury at the King and Prince are the Residences, which comprise of six individual houses spread throughout the resort to include quaint beach cottages and even executive-level houses with ample meeting and entertaining areas (with as many as five bedrooms!).
Scenic and Challenging Golf
Competing with beach and ocean activities on St. Simons Island are the resort’s tennis courts, pools and golf course. While the formal name of the King and Prince includes “golf resort,” the greens are actually a bit of a drive to the northern-most end of the island. Known as the Hampton Club, this golf course shuttles hotel guests straught to the course for a day of golf among the salt marshes, swampy lagoons, towering palmettos and grand oaks draped with Spanish moss.
The course was renovated in 2009 with renewal in turf and design enhancements to the original 18-hole, 72-par design. Four of the holes sit upon individual marsh islands accessible by elevated cart bridges, making for challenging play. Practice areas include a driving range, putting green and a chipping green, and golfers can grab lunch or post game cocktails in the roomy clubhouse. You can take a virtual flyover of the entire course from the resort’s website for an overview of this distinctive course.
Georgia Coastal Cuisine at its Finest
Director of food and beverage, Vinny D’Agostino, revitalized the King and Prince’s food culture when he joined the staff in May 2011. A master sommelier and culinary arts graduate from Johnson and Wales University, D’Agostino brought more than two decades of creative culinary experience from some of the nation’s top hotels and restaurants. Food was the centerpiece of D’Agostino’s large Italian family, inspiring his passion for taste, texture and temptation, and it shows in everything he prepares or directs. Be sure to try D’Agostino’s signature shrimp and grits, made with Georgia’s wild white shrimp and Tasso ham in a spicy cream sauce that wraps the tongue in savory delight.
The King and Prince is renowned throughout the Golden Isles for its Friday night seafood buffet and its sumptuous Sunday brunch. Set in the resort’s Delegal room, the Friday night seafood buffet features various preparations of the region’s distinctive wild white shrimp, plus platters of crab legs, chilled and steamed; oysters, both fried and on the half-shell; clams and mussels, along with entrees of salmon, catfish, tilapia, sole, grouper and other chef selections. Sunday brunch includes an omelet bar, plus a wide variety of southern comfort foods such as grits, plain, creamy with cheese, or spiced to delight with shrimp; smoked BBQ ribs; buttermilk fried chicken; succulent pot roast and gravy, crispy fried catfish and plenty of other chef surprises.
The Delegal room itself is a thing of beauty. Commanding the eye is the view of the Atlantic from the windows lining the oceanfront wall. Set above the oceanfront windows and around the entire room are eleven spectacular stained glass windows depicting the history of St. Simons island.
Additional dining choices at the King and Prince include the King’s Tavern set in the hotel’s turret lined with oceanfront windows for stunning ocean views, the Atrium Café where snacks and refreshments, along with barista-prepared coffees and teas are served, plus the seasonal (March through October) Paradise Beach Bar and Grill located beachside with casual fare and cocktail service.
More to Do and See On St. Simons
Guests not getting enough exercise running or strolling along the beach, bicycling through town, or browsing through the myriad shops on St. Simons, have free access to treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, and exercise balls in the fitness facility next to the tennis courts.
Set only steps away from the beach guests may rejuvenate body and soul in the Royal Treatment Cottage, an intimate retreat house with a full menu of massage therapies. Lunch can be ordered from the concierge and enjoyed in the quiet of the cottage.
Out and about in St. Simons you’ll find boutiques and souvenir stores, coffeehouses and cafes, candy stores and cocktail happy hours. You can rent a bicycle at Ocean Motion (walking distance from the King and Prince) and pedal around the Island’s 21 miles winding bike paths.
Hop on the Lighthouse Trolley for a guided tour of St. Simons island. The trolley can take you from the Coast Guard station, now a Maritime Museum with history of the island–including its fascinating mission as a coast watching and training facility during WWII–to the working lighthouse; to the picturesque Christ Church, the first English church in Georgia; around town and through the moss-lined lanes from the north end to the south. If you’re lucky to get Cap Fielding as your trolley guide, you’re in for a treat with his arcane knowledge of the region’s colorful history.
On the Water Excitement
Travelers seeking new experiences can get thrills and chills from a shrimping trip on the waters off St. Simons island on The Lady Jane, a former working shrimp boat now USCG certified to carry passengers. The Lady Jane, run by Captain Larry Credle, is an educational and tourism expedition not to be missed.
Guests board The Lady Jane in nearby Brunswick, then head into the waters of St. Simons Sound. Once clear of the marshes, Captain Credle drops his shrimp net and trawls until he figures he’s got a good catch. The net drips with surprise when lifted, then released on the ship’s sorting deck. All hands aboard have a chance to sort the treasures in the net, the jewel of the catch being the wild white Georgia shrimp. It’s not unusual for the net to bring up stingrays, puffer fish, several varieties of flounder, shrimp and crab—including the distinctive horseshoe crabs–plus beautiful whelks. A naturalist on board identifies the different fish in the catch, including the occasional catch of a loggerhead sea turtle. When turtles are caught, they are weighed, measured, and photographed, then released. The details are sent to the Georgia Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Everything but the wild white shrimp is released back into the sea. While cruising back to harbor on The Lady Jane, a shipmate cleans and shells the shrimp, then serves it fresh on a platter with homemade cocktail sauce and lemon. Seafood doesn’t get fresher than this.
Getting to St. Simons Island
St. Simons Island is easily accessible from international airports at Savannah/Hilton Head to the north and Jacksonville to the south, while Delta brings in three flights a day to nearby Brunswick Golden Isles Airport.
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, 201 Arnold Rd., St. Simons Island, GA 31522, 912-638-3631, www.kingandprince.com.
Read below to see Christine Tibbetts’ article from TibbettsTravel about exploring St. Simons and activities and The King and Prince Resort & Golf Course.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
By Christine Tibbetts
ST. SIMONS, Georgia — Elegance and longevity. Fresh new cuisine wrapping around 76 years of resort history on a barrier island that began forming 200 million years ago.
Grand combination for a holiday at the King and Prince beach and golf resort on St. Simons Island.
Some pleasant places are only fancy; this one has depth too, and neighbors who stay. Here’s how that translates to tourists.
Long-time pleasures keep on happening but change filters in, everything hand-in-hand on this handsome property and throughout the barrier island.
For example: the King and Prince has long served peach cobbler for breakfast. Tradition continues. Now they’re also squeezing juice from their courtyard grapefruit trees for a Prohibition cocktail reflecting one of their historic eras.
Seven decades of menus and history with more in the making.
Well-balanced spirits are only one passion of the new King and Prince cuisine director. Fresh Georgia foods are too, and wines from near and far.
Vinny D’Agostino is his name, steeped in the flavors of his Italian family and schooled at Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island and North Miami.
A member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, D’Agostino holds a string of accolades from Bon Appetit and Food and Wine magazines for restaurants and bars he’s owned and operated.
He speaks as easily of his time as a youth on family farms and vineyards in Fornelli, Italy as he does now about the wonders of wild Georgia shrimp.
“Food and drink,” D’Agostino says, “are tied to the history of place in so many significant ways. Our menus reflect that, and our chefs incorporate their Island family histories along with their professional training.”
Fine eating happens often, at the resort and around the island. In between meals, I listened to local stories on the Lighthouse Trolley, first-person tales since the owner/driver Cap Fendig hails from a family arriving here in the 1800s.
When I’m getting local history from someone whose granddaughter goes to the same elementary school he did, plus his grandfather, I feel grounded.
St. Simons Island is a different experience from resorts with passing-through, seasonal workers.
This bit of the Georgia coast has more residents than visitors: 65 percent full time, Fendig said.
Everyone I talked to loves the tidal marshes, maritime forests, freshwater sloughs and the spartina sugar cane grasses that make local shrimp sweet. They gather at Neptune Park, which visitors do too, so mixing it up is an easy pleasure.
There’s a pier for fishing and gazing and a smooth brick walkway hugging the water, leading to the lighthouse. Talk to Curt Smith; he’s the modern executive version of a light station keeper and an enthusiastic St. Simons Island historian.
Picnic tables and trees galore make Neptune Park a lingering place; for $7.00 get an all-day pass to the big swimming pool.
That where Tim and Melissa Wellford have been serving legendary eggs, muffins, grits with or without shrimp, French toast, sausage, bacon and more for 24 years.
Local people seem honored to live on a barrier island; Fendig says only two percent of the world’s coasts have barrier islands. Made me feel like a new frontier explorer.
Georgia has 15 barrier islands; four are auto accessible. Good idea to be OK with bridges when you go. 1924 was the first year St. Simons was connected by a causeway to the mainland.
Short and wide is the nature of these islands; North Carolina’s Outer Banks are long and ribbon-like.
Curious facts like that are easy to pick up at the Coast Guard Maritime Museum, a handsome Colonial Revival style structure, one of 80 built as WPA projects.
Definitely watch the documentary to understand the territory; National Geographic says this coast is one of the 20 most diverse in the world. Museum exhibits are clear and clean, not too much reading, good graphics.
One section pinpoints a different kind of amazing history: World War II right off this coast. German subs targeting the beaches. Two oil tankers sank. Dogs trained as defense partners for sentry guards.
Then return to the King and Prince with a different eye knowing today’s elegant pale yellow resort became a radar training school.
The hotel opened to the public July 2, 1941 and in the winter of 1942 was reserved solely for the U.S. Navy and the war effort.
This was the gathering place for families learning their sailor had died because nearby Jacksonville, Fla. was the military point of return.
Looking up in the former ballroom to stained glass window scenes installed in 1938 when this was a private club, and looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, I mused about that war effort, and ours today.
King and Prince staff seem well versed in that history, and proud to be part of a place that sacrificed for the nation. My musing? Who is sharing any thing or any place today? Only our troops?
mine to act on the thoughts the journeys trigger.
Lighter thoughts swirled in the ballroom too, wishing the King and Prince would reinstitute dancing dominant there decades ago.
My New Jersey parents waltzed often at the nearby Cloister Hotel on Sea Island but I found a gentler, more personable charm at the King and Prince.
Elegance to enjoy, exquisite details shared with pleasure seem the formula here. Bud St. Pierre has directed the sales and marketing for 10 years, happy he and his wife are raising young sons on this barrier island.
“We hire nice people here,” he said with almost a giggle. And I observed hotel and resort staff treating each other like they thought so too.
Many choices at the King and Prince for where to rest starting with oceanfront suites, villas, towers and rooms with balconies overlooking the tennis courts.
G.W. and I stayed in the luxurious Tabby House, a separate structure with space to share and a kitchen; could have brought some of the family.
The Meadows is also a stand-alone house, this one rich with fine and folk art and lots of levels and stairways.
Allow sufficient time when you reserve accommodations to savor the options.
twice on my morning cruise.
Look fast because back into the water is the mission, tallying life and returning to nature.
Exceptional catches require measuring, like the green sea turtle weighing 30 pounds that surprised Clifford Credle, my 18-year-old eco guide who started learning the estuary life when he was nine with his dad Larry who captains this vessel.
Wild Georgia shrimp caught in this net don’t go back to sea; they’re cooked five minutes later and served to Lady Jane passengers.
A King and Prince holiday merges easily with St. Simons Island discoveries, not always the case with resort vacations. Sometimes they lock you in, or so it feels. Isolated.
I think I figured out the difference. King and Prince personnel really live on this island. I kept seeing them in community places as well as the hotel and grounds.
Even food and beverage director Vinny. Saw him, chowing down on ribs and Brunswick stew at Southern Soul BBQ. Good sign I thought, the pile of local oak in the front yard. Separate smokers for each kind of meat.
I’m no golfer but the King and Prince’s Hampton Club gave me hope. Most encouraging lesson I’ve ever had was with General Manager and Head Pro Rick Mattox.
He just received a major PGA award for outstanding integrity, charity, mentoring and service to community. Golfers would recognize the Bill Strabaugh award name.
For real golfers, this course features four holes playing through the marsh, built and maintained with strict regulations, Mattox says. Marsh golf is not to be found anywhere else.
Wannabe golfers like me have a good chance of being allowed to borrow a cart in the late afternoon and experience the beauty of greens and marsh. The view stretches forever.
Driving to the Hampton Club offers a chance to see island ecosystems, and to visit at least three historic sites: Fort Frederica, Christ Church and the Wesley Memorial and Gardens.