When you step inside the Jekyll Island Club Resort, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Growing up, I was that classic teen that went to the theater about 8 or 9 times to see the blockbuster movie, “Titanic.” When I walked the stairs at the Jekyll Island Club Resort, I almost expected to see Kate Winslet’s Rose or Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack at any minute. Although this hotel is on land, I felt like an elegant passenger of the Titanic. This property is so well maintained and true to the historical significance, you almost forget it’s the year 2018.
The Jekyll Island Club Resort was formerly home to The Club, which opened in 1888. At the height of it’s popularity, and when all members were present, this clubhouse housed one-sixth of the world’s wealth in one location. During it’s popularity, Munsey’s Magazine called The Club on Jekyll Island, “the richest, the most exclusive, the most inaccessible club in the world.” J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, and many more, were members of this exclusive club. Many great moments in history took place on the island, such as the forming of the Federal Reserve, as well as the first transcontinental phone call. As a guest of the modern day Jekyll Island Club, you are completely immersed in this history, while also enjoying all of the modern amenities of a modern resort.
We had the distinct pleasure of staying at Jekyll Island Club Resort for four nights. Immediately after check-in, I received a text message from Ivy, the resort concierge. Have you ever experienced this level of service? We only have once before, at a luxury hotel chain in Hawaii. It’s amazing! Instead of calling to put in a request, you just text your personal concierge. I texted Ivy several times to ask about dining reservations, check-out time, to request more bottled water, and more. She was always prompt, courteous, and extremely convenient!
During our time on the island, we stayed in a Clubhouse Queen Suite, which had enough beds for our family of seven, with the addition of one rollaway bed. Although we are used to staying in rentals or hotel rooms with kitchens, I really enjoyed the hotel life with the complete break from cooking or even preparing food. Even with 5 kids along, it felt like such a needed relief from regular mom duties. The room was comfortable, had high quality toiletries, complimentary bottled water, plenty of blankets and pillows, and excellent daily housekeeping. We explored Jekyll Island for long and full days so really only returned to our room to rest and sleep in the late evenings, and it served that purpose beautifully.
Jekyll Island is only one of four Georgia barrier islands with paved causeway access, and is part of the Sea Islands, or Golden Isles. From Orlando, it is an easy three and a half hour drive, and is located very close to the Florida-Georgia line. This island has 8 miles of beaches, and is owned by the State of Georgia. We visited several of the beaches on Jekyll Island, and they are distinctly beautiful and unique! The island has so many different types of landforms, from marshes to beaches, and even a tree graveyard!
One of our favorite activities during our time at the Jekyll Island Club Resort was bike riding. We rented bikes from Jekyll Wheels, and set out on a 10 mile journey around the island! The employees at Jekyll Wheels, which is part of the Resort, were extremely helpful and patient with getting seven people fitted for bikes and helmets. When my 5 year old was devastated that we wouldn’t let her ride the ten mile journey on her own, and instead we insisted that she ride in a bike trailer, one of the employees reassured her that he would save a bike just for her, to use around the resort when we got back. That was a lifesaver, and really meant a lot to us as parents.
The beauty that we saw during our travels that day was just indescribable, and seeing it by bike was absolutely perfect. We visited the well photographed Driftwood Beach, which is full of washed up trees, and resembles a tree graveyard. It is one of the most photographed places on the island, and I can certainly see why. I could have taken pictures here all day! We ran into a professional photographer, and he was so kind as to take a few pictures of the kids and then email them to us. Thank you, Rick! So lovely!
Anytime we are traveling, my husband and sons try to check out a local golf course. During our time at Jekyll Island Club, they got an early tee time at the Oleander Golf Course. They raved about how gorgeous the course was, and how many awesome features it had for golfer of all levels. There are actually four golf courses on Jekyll Island, so the golf lover in your family will have plenty to keep themselves occupied on your visit! While the boys were out golfing, the girls and I played croquet on the front lawn, in the same location the Rockefellers once played! Although we really didn’t know the first thing about how to play, we had a wonderful time just hanging out and taking silly pictures together.
When you visit Jekyll Island, you really need to take a history tour in order to get an overview of the amazing place that you are visiting. We had the opportunity to go on the Passport to the Century Tour, which was a 90 minute tour of the historic district, with two stops to go inside Cottages. This was one of the highlights of our trip for me. I love guided tours, and am always looking for ways to incorporate learning into our travels. The kids loved the tram, and especially the earpiece for listening to the guide! Going into the historic homes was such a privilege as well, and really taught us all a lot about daily life in that time period. I have written many times about how much I love incorporating learning into our travel and experiences, and you couldn’t help but be learning during your time Jekyll Island! You are immersed with architecture, historical facts and photographs, and culture that no book could ever complete with for understanding the time period.
During our time at the Jekyll Island Club Resort, we also visited many of the small shops in the historic district, went to the pool several times, enjoyed the amazing breakfast buffet in the historic Grand Ballroom, and had many amazing meals. All of the food we enjoyed at the Resort was delicious, and the service was always so incredibly kind and helpful. We also visited the Georgia Sea Turtler Center, which is just a short walk from the Clubhouse. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center was highly educational, and had such helpful and kind staff who really made our experience even more interactive.
We also visited the Jekyll Island Ocean Club, which is part of the Jekyll Island Club Resort, but a separate property. From the Clubhouse, you can take a free five minute shuttle over to that property (or anywhere you need to go on the island) to visit the beach and check out their pool. We had such a great time at the beach, and the Ocean Club is also gorgeous! The shuttle service is also extremely helpful and complimentary. If you want to go to dinner somewhere off property, the shuttle service will take you and pick you up! I love vacations where we never need to use our car, and this was certainly the case at the Jekyll Island Club Resort.
If you’ve been following my blog or instagram for a while, you know that we travel a great deal. We’ve been to Hawaii, Australia, luxury resorts, National Parks, and more. But I can honestly say that the Jekyll Island Club Resort is one of my favorite vacations I’ve ever been on. The hospitality and kindness of the employees really set this resort apart, even from 5-star hotels I have stayed at in the past. And after I have gushed so much about this resort, you might worry that this resort is extremely expensive. Not to fear! The regular room rates are quite affordable, but through the end of October, they are offering an Island Exploration Package, which offers a discounted accommodations rate and bike rentals. You can click here to check out these rates, and create memories to last a lifetime with your family!
Please be sure to check out my Instagram, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for more photos and videos of this amazing resort. And let me know if you have any questions! I would love to relive our experience at Jekyll Island Club Resort by answering any questions you might have about the property. Happy exploring!
*I was provided with complimentary accommodations, as well as activity passes, in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.