The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St Simon’s Island, Georgia
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St Simon’s Island, Georgia
June 10th through the 13th, 2012
A month ago when asked if Lee and I wanted to go to The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia I said “where.” We had no idea that this wonderful resort with the most charming people even existed.
It took some doing to get there though. Oh no, it is just off a major thoroughfare and the roads are well paved. It was the torrential downpour of rain that challenged us. Luckily, Lee was driving at the time. It was suggested that I bury my head in my latest Nook selection and not to wear out the floor carpet with the imaginary break on the passenger side. Lee said that we traveled through Jacksonville, however, the entire city was a blur to him. Not one building seen by his eyes, only the tail lights in front of us with the hazard lights in full use.
Suffice it to say we arrived slightly tense and somewhat cramped and immediately proceeded to our 4:00 appointment at The Royal Treatment Cottage at The King and Prince for a couples massage. We understand this renovated cottage is a new addition to the resort. We were greeted with warm southern hospitality, comfortable white robes and foot ware, water with lemon slices, and heated aroma therapy neck wraps. After time to unwind in the relaxation area we were brought into the couples massage room. The travels thus far left us wanting therapeutic, deep tissue massages to work out our knots and tension. Our therapists, Bucky and Sonia, were very accommodating and talented. An hour later we were escorted back to the relaxation area and were adorned in neck wraps again and a fresh bottle of water. The tension quickly melted away so that we were able to begin our vacation in the best of body and mind.
Now, time to actually check in. The entire front desk staff was wonderful. With all the bellmen busy seeing to other guests, front desk staffer, Clarence Everly went beyond the call of duty to help us to our room before the next cloud burst could drench our luggage.
We entered our room through medieval wood doors to find a beautifully renovated, spacious ocean view room complete with a personal hand written note from the room steward, Antoinette. She was a joy and made every attempt to see to our needs during our three night stay. Internet access was effortless to join. The large flat screen tv was well positioned for viewing in the smartly arranged space of furnishing and finishes.
I must take a moment to mention the two gold foil boxes of heaven from Sugar Marsh Cottage Specialty Confections, Inc. left for us compliments of the resort. The first box we opened contained delicious Chocolate Dipped Signature Gourmet Shortbread Coquilles. It took everything I had not to hide in the closet and eat them all. Knowing my long term relationship with Lee would be in jeopardy if I did not leave him some. The second box contained White Chocolate Orange Angle Wings and Sea Stars. Both were definitely a special delight.
The meals at the King and Prince are incredible. The dining areas overlook the western most point on the Atlantic’s eastern seaboard. Cargo ships can be seen coming and going through the channel for Brunswick, GA. For dinner I ate the chef’s signature Low Country Shrimp & Grits. This being my first venture into grits I was hesitant. But, they were great. I am a starch addict and cannot have a meal without pasta, potato or rice. Now I have another choice, and fix them with cheese and I am in heaven. Lee had the garlic rubbed rib-eye cooked to perfection with au-gratin potatoes that were the perfect texture with just the right amount of cheese.
The breakfast buffet had more choices than most we have been to, including eggs made to order. Luckily peaches were is season and we were able to feast on peach strudel until I could not pass another bit through my lips. Of course our second morning I started with the peach strudel first. Why pussyfoot around?
My last experience with a golf ball was at a driving range were a stray ball struck my face and broke my cheek bone between my left eye and ear just below the temple (zeugmatic arch) in three places and my jaw in one place. Still healing, I was a bit nervous being on a golf course. We were lucky enough to make arrangements for golf lessons with Jack Mattox, the club’s general manager. A twenty five minute drive to the north end of St. Simons Island from their beach front resort brought us down to the golf course and driving range. There we met Rick and carted over to the amazing driving range. The range was contoured and designed to replicate greens with flags at distances found on any course. Not only attractive in its care and design, it was as functional as I could imagine for chip shots and a great putting green. Rick introduced me to the game with ease and confidence with a couple golf teaching aids and plenty of experience. Now that I have been instructed on a better way to hold my club, position my stance, relax and swing the club while keeping the eye on the ball, I no longer fear myself, but still those around me. I actually did pretty well during the lesson and was looking forward to getting on the course. Lee attempted to improve upon Rick’s advice and chose the back nine to play a quick nine holes before heading back to the village for some southern home cook’ in.
The course is incredibly beautiful, well maintained and recently renovated. Definitely a must play course. A portion of the back nine runs through marsh. Carts are driven on elevated wooden bridges that go through the marsh from island to island to four of the holes. We did come across a few alligators, but they seemed to have little interest in our game.
It has been 34 years since I tried to play tennis. At that time I paid a high school boy to retrieve my tennis balls that flew over the fence and out of the courts. I never seemed to get “control” of the ball. After meeting with tennis professional Pride Evans, a Georgia Hall of Fame member at The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, I can now say that I can hit a ball where I want it to go about 30% of the time and I can actually be involved in a volley. I never thought I would be able to say that, or for that matter, write about it. Pride Evans has a very special personality, he is warm, personable, funny but most of all he has the ability to describe what should be done and how to correct you when it can be improved. I did play better when he was hitting the balls to me at just the right speed and at just the right angle, but with practice I look forward to improving and one day returning to let him know how he gave me confidence and inspired me to play.
The resort has two clay courts conveniently located across the street from the center of the resort. And if you do not have your own rackets, they are available for loan at the front desk. If Pride forgets to share his personal lesson from the historic Billie Jean King, make sure you ask.
Watch out Lee, Pride created a monster.
We had planned a trip back to The Royal Treatment Cottage after tennis, but, this time for reflexology treatments. If you have never had reflexology you really should think about it. Reflexology can aid the health of your entire body through the nerve endings in your feet. It can also melt away tension, reduce pain and help circulation in the body. I personally was so relaxed I woke myself up snoring. The massage therapist said that she took it as a compliment, I hope she did.
We were told that the main pool decks and landscape were recently renovated. Both Lee and I were very impressed with the beauty of the area. The designers thought of everything, soft curving lines, overhead arbors for shade, and three pool areas to suit everyone’s water comfort. The planted areas offered spacious manicured green spaces to soften and compliment the hard scape features. There was an abundance of high back lounge chairs and umbrellas scattered around all of the outdoor areas.
We were especially impressed with the maintenance of the indoor lobby pool and hot tub. We kept ourselves busy and the rain did not hinder any of our plans. But if it had, we would have been able to enjoy the indoor pool and hot tub. We are sure families with energetic kids really appreciate this feature.
Derrick the pool concierge had his hands full each morning as he came in early to scoop the fiddler crabs out of the pools before the guests arrived. The crabs are very prevalent in this geographic area. They are small and apparently harmless so we were not concerned with them. They provided amusement just as our anoles and geckos in Florida.
Our first sight of the beach was at low tide. We were excited to plan a trip to the sandbar just off the shore from the resort. We plotted the tides for the next couple of days so that we knew when to take a leisurely swim out to the sandbar. Timing was important to us so that we did not get caught in a strong current when the tide changed. If planned properly, this is a very fun and relaxing adventure.
From the dining areas to the pools, event grounds and the view from our room we could observe many people were out with their snorkel and fins, boogey boards, paddle boards and kayaks. The water temperature this mid-June was refreshing but a little warmer than I expected for the Atlantic Ocean.
Everyone we met said we needed to meet Michael the bartender in The King’s Tavern. This is the name of the lobby bar at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
The resort hosts many weddings, conferences and meeting throughout the year. The conference rooms are located on the main level and upstairs in the Historic Building. They are beautifully appointed.
For more information on the King and Prince:
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
201 Arnold Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
(912) 638-3631: Phone
(800) 342-0212: Reservations
(912) 638-7699: Fax
Photos by: Laura Cohen & Lee Taylor