Jekyll Island Club Resort is an amazing old world history resort with charm, class and outstanding service. The concierge, the front desk, all the service provided in the resort is out of this world. This is not a sponsored blog or video – so yes, I have some ( keep it real ) negatives about the resort.
It is Georgia / Down South
I do not know if it is the southern charm, charisma or the genuine hospitality that makes me feel like the entire resort cares about my well-being and my stay. The service is not based on gratuity – the first thing they told me when I checked in was “gratuity is not required”.
I will say we had some disappointing issues, but the service and care was so amazing that, the ease and quick response, made me forget all about the negatives.
Let me quickly mention some of the negatives so I can shower you with all of the positives and there are many.
Jekyll Island Club Resort Negatives
To be honest the first one is no fault of the Jekyll Island Club Resort. So that you are aware, this is the South and it gets hot. Walking the lush green areas, sitting on the porch and more means that you will enjoy as well as endure the southern heat. There is nothing much that can be done about that. However, like I tell people who visit Florida, “this is the South – we are all about sun and heat.”
The second negative means you have to understand you are here to enjoy the history. Which means you should not expect modern rooms. The charm here is the nostalgia of the era. This means many of the rooms that have yet been renovated have old world charm as well as an old air conditioning system.
Our first room was just like that, the room was full of old charm but the ac did not work well. By that I mean it would not make the room extremely chilly like the way my wife likes it, even after they worked on it. The same goes with the plumbing. It may have been the room or just the plumbing but the bathtub and the sink would not drain properly. Thankfully, the Jekyll Island Club Resort graciously offered us another room. A renovated room with a balcony at that.
The third negative is again something that is out of Jekyll Island Club Resort’s control. That is, nature and all its wonder. Many of the open areas like the porch where you sit outside and eat has no breeze and there are one or two small gnats that can be a nuisance. Not to mention the overly friendly and occasionally aggressive squirrels. My son tried to be friendly with one and the second he reached out to say hello. The squirrel came charging at him, it scared him, I thought he would take off running.
Several of the resorts staff warned us about the squirrels. In fact, one of the workers from the pantry expressly told us to be careful because the squirrels bite. They are accustomed to humans feeding them and so they aggressively seek food and often will snatch it right from your plate. We witnessed this at the pool where a squirrel came up and stole several chips from a patron who was in the pool.
Therefore, if you like plants, greenery and nature – it’s great! However, I want you to be aware, if nature is not your thing, be prepared to deal with one or two flies, gnats and a few aggressive squirrels who may walk up and snatch your food. Jekyll Island Club Resort is a natural habitat after all and they expect the guest to treat all wildlife with proper respect.
Jekyll Island Positives
The wonderful thing about Jekyll Island Club Resort is it’s old world charm and history. The open green areas, the beautiful flowers, birds and so much more. The resort is crafted in such a way that it makes you feel as if you have been transported back in time.
If you like history, nature, the beach and an interesting location – like Driftwood Beach. This is the place you want to see, enjoy and relax in.
Another plus to this resort is the fact that it is not Walt Disney. It is not that kind of resort. You do not come here for the latest rides or keep a hectic schedule. Jekyll Island is where time slows down; the area is peaceful, quiet and calm.
You come here to talk, to take long walks or enjoy one of the many simple pleasures of life they provide. As amenities go, they offer a private beach club, heated pool, fitness room, mini golf, tennis, golf, croquet, charter fishing, biking, a seasonal water park, horseback riding, carriage rides, tours, shops and more. Trust me when I say, there is a lot to do and enjoy.
Jekyll Island vacation is about
For me, dining is a large part of my vacation experience. The food, the dining experience is everything to me. And yes; I do try to eat at five star out of my league restaurants. Let me warn you now, the Grand Dining Room has a dress code. Luckily for me, they made an exception and allowed my underdressed family to eat in a side area with a lovely view of the pool and the river. They were so accommodating and helpful, it made me feel like a king, and my daughter and wife thought it was better than the dining hall.
The Grand Dining room was certainly an experience to remember. The setting, the ambiance and especially the service was extravagant. It is what my daughter likes to call “posh”, which means classy and rich. The food was a delicacy that I happily added to the waist line as well as a hit to the wallet ( but we’ll worth it).
The dress code apparently does not apply to the Grand Dining Room when it comes to breakfast. However the opulence, and the extravagance is still part of the experience. Not to mention the five star service that they provide.
Other Dining Establishments
As far as what they offer, dining in style, lunch or for breakfast. You have available to you, the Pantry which is like a bakery / deli. It serves light fare in a casual setting. I had an egg, bacon, ham with cheese croissant for breakfast and a Cuban sandwich for lunch. You also have the Pool House, which is open seasonally. We had a few delicious pizzas, a specialized Jekyll Island Sunset which is a rum drink for my wife and soft drinks for the rest of us.
I personally enjoyed The Wharf. It serves up alfresco dining for lunch and dinner ( nice large portions ). We ate at The Wharf our first day at the resort as we waited for our room. My wife had the shrimp and grits, my daughter had fish tacos and my son and I had a twilight burger. It was all delicious but be warned, it is pricey.
Let us not forget The Bar, where you can enjoy refreshing libations ( it opens at 5pm). My wife loves to have the occasional “adult” beverage. It helps her to relax 🙂
What to do at Jekyll Island?
There is a lot to do here at Jekyll Island Club Resort it all depends on you. Golf is not my thing but if you like golf – you can golf. I overheard someone say that it didn’t have ( insert technical golf term I do not know here) because it was built back in the 1800’s.
Apparently there is a mini-golf course, tennis and charter fishing. All of these things sound great but I am not a fan of standing out in the sun, so I spent much of my time in the refreshingly cool swimming pool. The pool went from 4 feet to 9 feet deep, I tried to stay in the deep side but I am not a strong swimmer. I did see an active senior swim several laps ( it put me to shame ), maybe one day I will be that good.
If you are the active type try some biking, they rent out bikes for you to use. From the resort to Driftwood Beach, according to Google maps, it will take you 26 minutes if you go on bike. You can also go kayaking and even horseback riding. The nearest I was able to get to a horse was when I tried to purchase a horse carriage ride but the office was closed and they never returned my call ( message ). I really think my wife would have liked to go on the haunted ghost carriage ride.
For the non-dangerous types like me, they offer the clubhouse, a sea turtle hospital, several tours of the area, and more. The only thing I do not like about the tours is that you have no ac. You ride in an open trolley; all you have is a roof. Like I said before, the sun, above 80-degree weather; no, it is not for me.
I do admit that the very early morning stroll I took as my family slept was pleasant. The sun was not bright, mostly cloudy and a wonderful breeze was coming across the dock and most of the area around the dock. So while I do complain about the heat, there are times during the day that you can enjoy the resort. You can also walk under some of the tree-covered walkways that provide much needed and appreciated shade.
During my second days morning stroll I greeted several people walking, jogging and biking. The birds were frolicking; the breeze was gentle but refreshing. I drank my complimentary cup of coffee which now that I think about it. Why was I drinking hot coffee outside in the heat? I personally have not been bothered much by the surrounding nature, but the resort does suggest the use of proper repellents to protect yourself.
I will admit you should bring something to ward off the insects. I took a stroll after 7 PM and while the weather was nice enough, what irked me was the bugs. I did not bring any repellents so I was at the mercy of every gnat and little bug that was out. I soon turned around and went back to lounge around the resorts large porch area where there were less bugs to worry about.
Oddly enough, one of the things you can do at the resort is roast marshmallows. I am not sure if it’s free or if you purchase a kit. I saw several families with prepackaged s’mores kits in hand.
To my amazement, there were no bugs to bother us and it was after dark. It was relaxing to sit by the open fire watching the flames flickering in the darkness. The area had soft music pumped into the cool night air it was almost majestic.
There was a family sitting with us and I secretly watched them as mom and dad tried to teach their five or so year old son how to properly roast a marshmallow. Its little things like this, these kinds of moments that bring me back to a simpler time in life. You could almost say it was a Hallmark moment, if people even remember what a Hallmark moment is.
To be honest, we had just left the Grand Dining restaurant so we were without cell phones due to the restaurants rule about not using your cell phone during dinner (it was safer to just leave them in our room). It was nice to be able to sit there and just spend time talking with the family. No distractions, no apps, Facebook or games. It was just nice to be present in the moment, talking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
This is what Jekyll Island Club Resort is really all about. It’s a way of getting away, spending quality time with family. Traveling back in time as you admire all of the history around, which allows you to lose yourself. To forget the hustle and bustle of your life and to connect with loved ones.
Bottled Water is FREE
In the Georgia heat it’s important to stay well hydrated. It would be a shame to have your vacation interrupted or cut short by an emergency run to the hospital. This is why I thought I would mention the free water offered at the resort.
A small bottle of water, more like a half size bottle, is given free throughout the resort except for the Grand Dining room restaurant and The Pantry; they charge you for bottled water. The room comes stocked with complimentary bottled water, restocked daily. The front desk, the concierge out front, and the server on the pool side porch, they all gave us free water. Even the Pool Bar provided us with free water but you did have to go to the bar to serve yourself a cup.
Speaking of free, the resort offers free shuttle services to wherever you want to go on the island. They have a shuttle bus or they take you on a large golf cart. I know that other resorts offer shuttle services, but the Jekyll Island Club Resort really goes out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. It is as if they do not even want you to worry about driving yourself around.
The resort graciously offered and almost insisted that they take us to Driftwood Beach, which was ten minutes away in car (one hour fifteen minutes walking per Google maps). They also gave us a ride on the golf cart to the sea turtle hospital and several other spots on the resort. They even offered to take us to the other side of the island, outside of the resort, to where they have several boutique stores. As I said, they go above and beyond in making your stay the best it can be.
What About The Beach?
If you are like me, when you think of Georgia, you do not think – let’s go to the beach. Nevertheless, the resort does have two ocean side beaches. If you are anything like my wife who lives for going to the beach, they have you covered.
You have Driftwood Beach, which most people go to see the amazing scenery and is a great spot to take photos. If you like sharing photos on social media this is the place for you to wow your followers.
We went to Driftwood Beach to take pictures and to enjoy the natural beauty of the beach. We were not alone, there were several groups there snapping away and taking lots of videos. I did see a few people there who had beach umbrellas, chairs and were swimming in the ocean water.
I will admit, the brown sand, all the driftwood lined across the beach with the choppy ocean water did not instill in me a desire to jump into the cool ocean. But then again I was all dressed up because my wife wanted nice family pictures.
If you go to Driftwood Beach my recommendation is to bring water (free bottled water, ask the concierge desk). Because it is very hot and there is no shade at the beach. There is nothing on or off the beach (at least in walking distance), where you can get food and more importantly, something to drink.
The Ocean Club Beach
If you really want to enjoy the beach, all of the Jekyll Island accommodations have access to the Ocean Club Resort, which sits right on the beach.
If you are thinking to yourself. Why not reserve a room at the Ocean Club Resort? Well, because my vacation was during the Fourth of July holiday, which would have made our 4 day stay extremely pricey. I also was looking for the old world charm and history of the island.
Nonetheless, the Jekyll Island Club Resort provides access to the Ocean Club Resort, so all it takes is a short shuttle ride and you can enjoy the beach and all that the Ocean Club has to offer.