The Grand Hotel at Point Clear is in the middle of a grand reveal as officials there are unveiling $32 million worth of renovations begun two years ago.
Some things have been moved around, just about everything has been spruced up and several new amenities await guests.
“This is really a resort where you can find anything to do,” General Manager Scott Tripoli said. “You can go golfing, you can go to the spa, you can have a great meal in up to four different restaurants and two or three others across the way, all while enjoying your favorite drink. And all of it can be done while sitting on the water.”
Guests will likely notice the most changes in areas along the shore of Mobile Bay, where pool attractions were expanded, recreational options added and the hedgerow that formerly blocked views of the bay from the pool have been removed.
“We knew when we started the renovations of the resort the pool area was going to be one of the more popular areas with the revisions that we made,” Sales and Marketing Director Kevin Hellmich said. “For younger children, we also added a splash pad when you walk in. These items are open and guests have already enjoyed them.”
The hotel is adding 90 new bicycles, including bikes for kids, six paddle boards, two Hobie Cat sailboats and two water cycles. Cabanas have also been added on the bay and around the pool area. The pool cabanas will have TVs, drapery for privacy and bar service, and will be available for daily rental.
The recreation lawn has added a putting green to go with croquet, cornhole, horseshoes and a pingpong table. Lighting will enable guests to play on the lawn at night.
All of the 400-plus guest rooms saw some renovations, refurbishing with paint, furnishings and/or expansions. Many of the rooms will be available to guests by mid-May as will the restaurants Bucky’s and The Local Market in the lobby. The restaurants Southern Roots, Bayside Grill and 1847 Bar are planned for Aug. 1 openings.
Jubilee Point restaurant is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and providing nightly entertainment while construction winds down. When Bucky’s reopens it will have outside dining as well as four fire pits for guests to enjoy. Construction continues on the lawn outside Bucky’s and will have additional fire pits.
Only one tree was removed during the project, Tripoli said, but it is still on the grounds and being used in the renovated lobby of the main building. He said it’s part of preserving the traditions of the hotel, which first opened in 1847.
“All of that wood is being repurposed,” he said. “Our front desk where you check in, the furniture at that front desk was made out of that tree.”
With the summer season coming fast, Tripoli said the resort is hiring for positions in all areas and has hundreds of openings. He said during the offseason the resort has 500 employees but needs about 850 during the summer.
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