Since we arrived on Amelia Island, FL last Saturday it has been nothing but work, work, work! In fact the toil began that morning when we left Hilton Head Island, SC and first headed to St. Simons Island, GA. After some consternation we succeeded in locating our preliminary destination, The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, an historic hotel reminiscent of 1930s splendour:
Celebrating over 75 years of hospitality
The King and Prince Club opened as a seaside dance club in 1935. Six years later, on July 2, 1941, the main hotel building opened to the public as the King and Prince Hotel and was immediately praised for its modern features and magnificent ocean views.
During World War II, the hotel served as a naval coast-watching and training facility, reopening in 1947 to resume its popularity as a favorite island resort with its gracious Mediterranean architecture. The hotel enjoyed extensive renovation and expansions in 1972 and again in 1983, becoming a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America in 1996. In 2003, the Resort’s cherished core–the historic main building–underwent a stunning restoration and enhancement project, resulting in 57 new guest rooms and signaling a new era in the guest experience. In 2005, the Resort was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Throughout the many changes over our 76 years of service, one thing has remained the same: we provide our guests superior service, outstanding accommodations, and unrivaled Southern hospitality.
Our luncheon of local seafood at The King and Prince was fitting compensation for our jarring GPS conundrum, setting in motion what we hoped would be an equally pleasant experience in the ten days to follow before our return to Canada.
Buoyed by a fine example of southern hospitality we trundled off to Amelia Island which is only about an hour and a half from where we were. Our distracting challenges reignited here almost immediately. Upon checking into our villa at the 1,350-acre Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort we discovered two problems: there was no heat and no internet service, amenities which we take for granted and the deprivation of which we do not suffer happily. When the maintenance crew arrived within the hour they confirmed that we were not imagining either of the complaints and they proceeded to do what they could to repair the systems. We were told however that the engineering team would have to return the next day to repair the heat problem (and of course we meanwhile debated whether we would go to all the trouble of relocating ourselves but decided against it). The internet problem was repaired. We put our day’s work behind us and went to dinner at Verandah Restaurant which conveniently was within short walking distance. Our meal there was superb! We started with a dozen fresh Cape Cod oysters on the half-shell followed by local catches for the main course. And the most exquisite Key Lime Pie for dessert! His Lordship started it all with a Bombay Sapphire martini worthy of its own short story! Even the corn and yeast breads were exceptional. This good fortune was made all the cheerier when we returned to the villa to find the heat reinstated.
The next morning we deferred our resort duties only long enough to put on the nose bag at Sunrise Restaurant where they serve a very acceptable buffet including raw honey from their own apiary, in-house croissants and homemade strawberry jam, along with all the usual choices of fresh fruit, breakfast meats and made-to-order omelettes. After breakfast the first item on our agenda was to arrange for bicycle rentals. The rental agency managed to turn us against them when they informed us their policy did not include delivery of the bikes to the villa. We were spoiled by the experience on Hilton Head Island where delivery and pick-up is standard fare. When we attempted to explain to the clerk the extent of the inconvenience (because the villa was at least a mile if not more from the shop), she was unmoved. Fortunately another young male staff member was in attendance and he volunteered to deliver the bikes on a golf cart to the villa. We took him up on the offer and rewarded him accordingly. Subsequently we have learned that we could easily have availed ourselves of the complimentary tram service provided by the resort but surprisingly the supervising clerk never thought to mention it at the time.
As one day passes to another on these resorts it is impossible to recall the details of what happens and when. I know however that apart from bicycling around the extensive acreage of the resort and purchasing some clothes at the golf shop we also enjoyed a steam bath and swimming. Somewhere in the mix we encountered further problems with our internet connection. We thought the matter would have been corrected upon our return from yet another first-class dinner but not so. All told we had contacted the front desk no less than three times about the faulty internet service. When at last a maintenance clerk arrived late last evening he informed us that he had rebooted the modem. This appeared for the time being to correct the problem. But by three o’clock this morning the internet service once again failed. This was the limit! Both of us are accustomed to having internet service at our fingertips at any time to the day, not the least of which is very early in the morning when I for example often compose my literary pieces. This recurrent internet problem, along with the initial heating problem and other problems (which I have not so far mentioned) relating to faulty drapery tracks and screeching sounds when the shower is in use, compelled me to make a call to the Front Desk at 3:30 a.m. this morning.
The long and short of it is that thanks to the understanding and initiative of Jessica of the Front Desk we’re now in a room in the main hotel. Here is a photo I took from our balcony around nine o’clock this morning:
Too bad Mr. Apple has not yet discovered how to include the sound of the Ocean surf with the photo; it is alluring! Anyway this business of moving from the villa to the hotel was not all fun and games. Apart from having to repack, remove and transport,unpack everything we also had to arrange to collect the bikes and relocate them. We have nonetheless assuaged the labour and annoyance of the affair. For my part I spent several hours by the pool, swimming and lounging in the sun:
His Lordship meanwhile cultivated a thoroughly relaxed afternoon including some wine and cheese compliments of the Front Desk.
We have now regained what we expect to be the leisure of the resort. Our dinner reservation this evening is at Oceanside Restaurant where the menu includes Oysters Rockefeller in addition to creative turns on local catches.