Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama


Last month while the older three children were at camp, Joe and I took advantage of a quieter house with an anniversary trip to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Grand has been named a Top 125 Golf Resort by Conde Nast and a Top 500 hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure.






The Grand oozes southern charm. While Joe checked into our room, 6-year-old Emma and I were eager to slip through the breezeway to take in the view.



Grand Vistas



The Grand overlooks scenic Mobile Bay. I will share more seaside views in an upcoming post.




I couldn't wait to stroll the walking path around this pond -- camera in hand, of course!





Guests roam the beautifully landscaped grounds on foot or on bicycle.



Grand Play


Emma was eager to seek out the pool, where she quickly made friends with several girls her age.




Joe treated me to a luxurious afternoon at The Grand's European spa, where I felt completely pampered. It was easier to leave the spa when going back to reality meant meeting Joe and Emma at the pool waterfall.



Emma loved playing in the fountain and surprised me by going down the big water slide without hesitation.




Guests enjoy complimentary bicycles for exploring the grounds.




And swings dot the landscape for those who want to pause to take in the view.




The pier allows a closer look at the bay.


 

And hammocks offer a leisurely spot to take a nap.



Grand Traditions


Around since 1847, traditions abound at The Grand. We arrived just in time to hear the thunder of a base drum start in the lobby as a procession wound its way through the grounds gathering guests for an afternoon ritual.






Weather permitting, each afternoon this cannon is fired around 4 o'clock. A historian is available to share tales of The Grand and the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.




A charming tradition I was eager to experience was afternoon tea in the lobby. Each afternoon at 3, guests converge here to enjoy tea and cookies. This tradition began years ago when guests summered at The Grand. Convening guests was important for coordinating meal times in the dining room. Guests love the simple indulgence, so the tradition continues today.


 

Joe and Emma took tea while I was at the spa. Emma scampered about the lobby while Joe stood in line until Joe heard a deep chuckle and a man behind him bellowed, "Well, hello there. Who do we have here?" Wanting to touch base with Joe, Emma had mistakenly hugged the legs of a stranger! I asked Joe if he had to fight to get Emma back, but he assured me all was resolved when he challenged the other daddy to a series of lawn games. Above, Emma takes a turn at croquet. Thankfully, her daddy dominates at croquet, horse shoes, putting and the like.



Grand Dining

 
I have been eager to return to The Grand since my high school Girl Scout Troop culminated a weekend trip to Mobile with Sunday brunch in The Grand Dining Room. Most of us teenagers had never seen such fine food. One of my friends put a pretty morsel on her plate, unsure what it was. We almost lost our composure when she put the delicacy in her mouth and realized she had just eaten a shaped pat of butter.





We enjoyed brunch during our stay. I enjoyed the locally harvested food and admired the artistry of carved melons that dotted each food station.


 

Hotel restaurants offer tantalizing menus. For an intimate dining experience, guests can reserve a spot in The Secret Garden for a romantic dinner.



Grand Dreams

 

There is more to come, so meet me on the shore of the Mobile Bay for my next post!


"Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen." ~ Benjamin Disraeli




3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loved your post! It gets me so excited because we are leaving for the grand next week and I can't wait! Looking forward to your upcoming posts!
Dana Wingard

Karen said...

I will add this to my list of places I'd like to stay when we take a Southern vacation. I always love your photos - can you please share some info on what type of camera you use??? Please.

Melissa Lester said...

Dana, you will love it! The Grand is a great family destination. I hope you have a great trip!

Karen, you are sweet! I use a Sony 600 DSLR and love doing photography in soft, natural light. I still have so much to learn, but I enjoy taking photos.

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