Mary Ann DeSantis of “Writing with Style” visited The King and Prince over the summer with her husband Tony. DeSoto Magazine/Exploring the South recently published Mary Ann’s interview with Gaines Sturdivant, President of MMI Hotel Group, which owns and manages The King and Prince. Mr. Sturdivant’s father, Mike, helmed the company when they purchased The King and Prince in 1980:
“Dad was interested in finding a resort to add to his portfolio. He was familiar with Sea Island and when he saw The King and Prince, he felt it was exactly what he was looking for,” said Gaines Sturdivant about his father who passed away in May 2012. “It turned into far more than an investment for him and for our family. It is our flagship hotel and a cherished part of our company.”
Read the rest of Mary Ann’s article, along with Tony’s beautiful photography, here.
Sucheta Rawal, contributing blogger to Cuisine Noir, recently visited The King and Prince Resort and spoke with Chef Jeff Kaplan regarding our Southern Culinary Traditions. Sucheta also enjoyed our Friday Night Seafood Buffet and Southern Charm Sunday Brunch.
(Chef Jeff) Kaplan believes in cooking with local ingredients and supporting local farmers and businesses. His initiative to bring fresh and seasonal ingredients to the island has completely transformed the menu at the resort. He personally visits the Saint Simons Island Farmer’s Market and picks up produce to cook with, then orchestrates them into a Southern culinary symphony. The dishes are enhanced by locally sourced honey from the Savannah Bee Company, peaches from Lane Southern Orchards, and wild Georgia shrimp from City Market Seafood.
Did you know that Delta Airlines services Brunswick Golden Isles Airport directly from Atlanta? A 40-minute flight puts you a 20-minute drive from The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. If you’re traveling between August and December, check out this deal! For more information, visit www.delta.com. The airport code is BQK.
Claudine Williams visited us last April. Here’s what she has to say about her getaway on TripWolf.com
I drove through a dozen small towns to get from Atlanta to the coast of Georgia. At first, I thought the towns were quaint pit-stops along miles and miles of road. Sometimes I’d see horses grazing on land along the two-lane highway. I kept thinking that there had to be a faster route to St. Simons Island. Couldn’t I take I-95 there? I barely saw any cars on the road as I trudged along at 45 miles per hour. I was tempted to go faster, but I knew that Georgia cops were nothing to play with.
I was to stay in the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. I had been grinding, putting in 16+ hour days writing, dealing with deadlines. At night, I usually fell asleep with my laptop on my bed, so I was more than ready to see what St. Simons Island and the King and Prince had to offer.
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort
A Family-Friendly Island
St. Simons is a laid-back island with a family-friendly vibe. There are no high-rises on the island, just plenty of shopping centers, restaurants, homes, a couple of golf courses, parks, and the beach. Unlike most beach communities, the majority of the people there are year-round residents. When the weather’s warm, residents head to the ocean for little rest and recreation. They meet under the trees in Neptune Park, the public park. The park has a playground, miniature golf, and a pool. It is one the top hang-out spots in St. Simons. The cute shopping and entertainment district is the other hot-spot.
Shopping district on St. Simons Island
Lucky for me, island’s popular King and Prince resort is also near the ocean. I knew that I was getting closer to the resort when I saw a golf cart driving down road. My room was not ready when I arrived at the hotel, but the first desk personnel offered to call my cell phone when it was all set.
View from an oceanview room at the King and Prince Resort and Spa
A few minutes later, I moved into an oceanfront room with a king-sized bed. I opened the sliding glass doors and looked out at the pool and beyond at the ocean. The view was glorious, and so was the ocean breeze.
Touring St. Simons by Trolley
My car safely parked in the resort’s free lot, I took a trolley tour of the island, a cool way to see what the island is all about. With the windows wide open and a breeze blowing, we drove under massive canopy trees that reminded me of the Old South, ladies with parasols and gloved hands. Actually, people who love history would probably enjoy the trolley tour. The tour takes visitors to points of interest like the maritime center, the old lighthouse, and Bloody Marsh Battle site, the site of a 1700s battle between the British and Spaniards.
We explored the island’s history at the Maritime Center
Seafood lovers would love the plentiful seafood at the island’s many restaurants. Shrimping and fishing are popular pastimes. I rode on the Lady Jane, a shrimping boat, and I felt just like Bubba from Forest Gump. I happen to love shrimp, so I was happy to learn that the shrimping industry is alive and well in Georgia.
We went shrimping off of the Georgia coast
Before lunch at Haylards Restaurant, Chef Dave Snyder showed off a recent catch.
One Visit and You’re Hooked
When I think of the plentiful seafood and the peaceful living on St. Simons Island, I want to hop in my car and take another trip to the island. The next time I visit, I’ll make sure that I take the Interstate to get there faster.
“Atlanta Moms” blog founder Alicia Hagan has a fun and unique idea to explore St. Simons… make it a scavenger hunt! Read this and more of Alicia’s stories at www.atlantamoms.com
Make a Trip to St. Simons Island Fun and Educational with a Scavenger Hunt!
by Alicia on JUNE 8, 2012
Since my recent trip to The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island I have been very interested in the history of St. Simons Island. St. Simons Island is a fun and historical destination that your whole family will enjoy. This special destination graces the corner of Georgia’s coast and was called “San Simone” by 16th century Spanish explorers.
With it carries many historical sites and monuments such as the beautiful St. Simons Island Lighthouse which dates back to 1804. Unfortunately, the original lighthouse was destroyed by the Confederate Army in 1862. A new lighthouse was then erected twenty five feet from the original site in 1872 and is a welcome sight for visitors who want to climb the 129 stairs to the top to get a spectacular view of the whole island.
Other interesting landmarks include the Christ Church which was first erected back in 1820 although history states that religious services were being held on that site prior to 1776. The first structure was partially destroyed by the Union Army between the states and the current church was rebuilt in 1884. You can enjoy the current Christ Church with its beautiful and glorious stained glass windows. The grounds of the church is set in a natural wooded surroundings with a cemetery that includes graves from settlers of years ago.
A fun adventure with tons of history for adults and children alike can be found at the beautiful Maritime Center. Here you can visit seven galleries full of information about the beaches, marshes and forests. Learn their relationship to factors with the area coast guards and historic military.There is so much to do and a lot to learn when visiting St. Simons Island as part of a family vacation. You can take a trolley ride throughout the area to visit various memorable sites including the lighthouse and museum.
The Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation offers a glimpse into the lives of the planters and slaves some 200 years ago. You can tour the home on this plantation as well as all the old farm equipment still displayed in the barn.
Have fun that’s also educational, with a St. Simons Island Scavenger hunt!
A great activity would be a fun scavenger hunt at which time you can locate major points of interest such as the lighthouse, museum, the church and the famous Gascoigne Bluff. The Gascoigne Bluff is a Native American campground. During Colonial Days, this area became Georgia’s first naval base.
During your St. Simons Island scavenger hunt you and your kids can have fun by making notes of each point of interest visited, gathering memorabilia and taking photos to reflect on all you have learned. Compare your findings with those who joined in this activity to see who got the most information and varying types of historic collectibles.
Other great activities families can enjoy while at this beautiful picturesque vacation destination:
Swimming or walking along the endless beaches with undisturbed nature and miles of unspoiled, perfect coastlines.
Your family can go bicycling along the coast as well as canoeing, kayaking and many other water sports that are great for adults and kids.
The beauty of St. Simons Island is breathtaking. There aren’t too many vacation destinations where your family can enjoy so many activities for fun and have a historic venture, all in one.
The King and Prince Golf Course – Home of the Hampton Club
Readers, for the past few months we’ve been speaking about the truly amazing sites, sounds, views – everything that St. Simon’s Island in Georgia has to offer. There are vacation packages that include fine dining experiences and glorious accommodations in this unique locale, where each and every visitor can enjoy walking beside the crystalline waters of the Atlantic under the warm sun each and every day.
Because of the endless array of nature – birds of every vibrant color nesting in the endless, undisturbed marshlands, to the baby dolphins playing in the sea – St Simon’s is a true ‘gift’ for all types of visitors from photographers to bird watchers to historians who want nothing more than to relax in a world of luxury.
But there is so much more to St. Simon’s, and the one jewel in in this already priceless crown is a golf course that is literally second to none. This is a course that has ‘met’ PGA celebrities, members, amateurs, enthusiasts, and simply lovers of the game of golf. Every year, something else occurs here that people wait for the chance to be part of. For amateurs or professionals, this is an unforgettable experience for people who wish to bring their golf game up to a higher level.
On this stunning island that is a true portrait of natural beauty and serenity, this is a golf course that transcends all others. Because of the undisturbed nature, this course is truly a challenge, which is what makes it one of coastal Georgia’s great courses. Emerald fairways, ancient forests, vast salt marshes, island holes, premier instruction, gracious dining – all of these combine to give the visitor and member a true, “Quality Golf Experience.”
The King and Prince Golf Course – Home of the Hampton Club has gone through a stunning renovation with the modernization of their grasses and the addition of their new stellar Practice Facility. But what golfers across the land should know and be extremely excited over, is the fact that The Hampton Club also offers instructional programs, with one being a Junior Golf Clinic that is unsurpassed when it comes to gaining new knowledge and enhancing your game with pro’s.
For all members and guests, this is a learning opportunity – a Junior Clinic (a summer camp, of sorts) that offers one-on-one instructional appointments that focus on the specific elements of the game.
The Junior Clinic Runs:
June 20th, 21st & 22nd
July 11th, 12th & 13th;
As well as
August 2nd 3rd & 4th
Rick Mattox, General Manager of The Hampton Club, is a Class A PGA Professional who began his career in the golf business with an assistant professional job in Lexington, North Carolina. In 1975, he was elected to PGA Membership with his first ‘Head Pro’ offer sending him to the Carolina Golf & Country Club in Charlotte. Rick’s vast experience on the course and knowledge of all the facets of the world of golf, led to Rick being hired as General Manager of golf operations at The Hampton Club.
The King and Prince Golf Course: Home of The Hampton Club is a truly amazing golf experience for the amateur. Which is why it should be mentioned that it is also being run by the most knowledgeable staff there is, who have received various honors throughout their careers. Rick received the East Chapter PGA Pro of the Year in 1998 and 2002, and served as Georgia PGA Board of Directors in 2001 and 2002.
The Junior Golf Clinic not only offers the best, most professional, and most respected staff, but the actual course will amaze you! Included in the scenery are ancient forests, vast salt marshes, dramatic island holes, and a lake that overlooks a relaxing and elegant clubhouse. This is one place that the golfer will never forget. Having its own definite signature – which is a group of four spectacular holes gently carved from small coastal marsh islands and accessed by 800-feet of elevated cart bridges – The Hampton Club course is just what the amateur longs for. This bold design has been heralded by many, and over the years the King and Prince’s commitment to provide a premier golf experience has remained one of their highest priorities.
Check into the Junior Golf Clinic today! Not only will you have the time of your life, but the instruction you’ll receive will have you feeling as if the career of “Tiger Woods” is definitely in your future.
Shrimp and Grits…most northerners might cringe at the thought of eating such a thing, at least I did. That was until I experienced one of the most exquisite and memorable meals in my life at the King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort. Shrimp and Grits, from the Kings Tavern have a flavor and aroma that is divine.
Shrimp and grits began as a seasonal shrimper’s breakfast. Low country, shrimp were cooked with bacon grease and poured over creamy grits, where it became known as breakfast shrimp. Being a travel writer and going on Fam trips to different regions of the country, I have the opportunity to try all types of ethic foods. I find myself sitting at a table among other writers from all over the U.S., gathered at St. Simons Island, Georgia to experience a true Southern Culinary Tradition
The evening began with cocktails by Thirteenth Colony Distillery of Americus, and Artisan Cheeses by Sweet Grass Dairy, brought to us from Thomasville, Georgia. This special event was presented in the original historical wing of the resort, called the Solarium. To me this is the most inspirational part of the King and Prince Resort
Sous Chef Dwayne Austell chose a volunteer out of our group to participate in creating a delightful meal of Shrimp and Grits. Together they began by sautéing fresh Wild Georgia Shrimp with a bit of Cajun seasoning, creating an atmosphere of aromatic pleasure.
This culinary presentation was created by the Executive Chef Jeff Kaplan and his Sous Chef’s Paula Murphy & Dwayne Austell. Together created a sensual experience that sent the taste buds dancing, and the sheer aroma moved the soul. The presentations were a visual wonder of artistry.
From there we went on to Oysters on the Half Shell, Sweet Corn, Asparagus, Tomato, Cilantro Vinaigrette and Chardonnay, Frog Town Cellars, Dahlonega, Ga 2008
After the first course, The Intermezzo we were presented with Blackberry Sorbet, Mist of Blackberry Liqueur, which was out of this world.
The entrée was Wild Georgia Low Country Shrimp and Grits and Sangiovese, Frog Town Cellars, Dahlonega, Ga 2008 and finished of with Sugar Marsh Cottage Petit Fours.
This was an unbelievable and delightful way to start four days of adventure at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. Our host and severs were some of the best I have ever experienced.
There are many recipes for shrimp and grits all over the Internet, cooked every way imaginable. If you would like to try and make it for yourself, here is the recipe from the Chef.
King and Prince Shrimp & Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce Recipe:
1 cup heaving cream
1/3 cup tasso ham
¼ cup kernel corn
¼ cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
½ cup wild Georgia shrimp
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
¼ cup asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: In a sauce pan, sauté the Georgia shrimp with Cajun seasoning using olive oil. In another pan, sauté tasso ham, corn, tomatoes, and green onions: add heavy cream and asiago cheese: let simmer two minutes. Add shrimp and serve over stone ground grits of your choice.
To witness the ‘best of the best’ and make immediate reservations, head to:
***Update: Since this post was written, the resort has undergone extensive renovations. Please visit our website for current information on restaurants and other amenities.***
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.”
The King & Prince Golf Course Clubhouse
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