We just returned from a quick stay on Jekyll Island, and while it is all fresh in our minds, we thought it made sense to share a bit of our experience and the good and the bad. For this trip, we stayed at the Jekyll Ocean Club; the trip was not sponsored in any way; it was actually a quick Mother’s Day getaway. Here’s what we did, what we saw, and what you can learn.
Where We Stayed (Jekyll Ocean Club)
Although I can tell you that we have frequented St.Simons for years and generally love it, the hotel situation is not the best. We have tried several spots and just never felt really comfortable or clean.
However, the VRBO situation in St.Simons is great. The VRBO doesn’t make as much sense for a one-night stay. (Fees!)
That left us with Jekyll, which has much better overall hotel options than St.Simons and sometimes tends to be more affordable. Of course, you miss the charm of downtown St.Simons or the clearer water of East Beach, but it’s tough to have it all.
For this trip, we chose Jekyll Ocean Club. It’s located directly next to the Westin, which my parents stayed at a few months ago and were not overly thrilled with.
I can tell you that the Jekyll Ocean Club is nice, it’s a great location, the staff was friendly and accommodating, and it’s probably the cleanest Jekyll or St.Simons accommodation we have ever encountered.
I like a clean bed, and you get it here at Jekyll Ocean Club.
The resort is a bit more expensive than others in the area. But again, it’s newer, cleaner, and offers great service. If that matters to you, the pricing will be worth it.
Included with your daily resort fee is a beach setup and towels; they even had water bottles for us to take to the beach. The beach setup was great, with chairs and an umbrella, and it’s just a few hundred steps from the back of the hotel.
The dining options included service around the pool or a large indoor restaurant called Eighty Ocean. The restaurant was nice; we had a few drinks, and the kids had a piece of cake. However, we wanted something with a bit more of a laid-back feel for dinner. Instead, we took a walk to Tortuga Jack’s for some Mexican food.
The pool at Jekyll Ocean Club is small, but it’s nice. Remember there are not many rooms here so you won’t have large resort-style pools.
We had an ocean view room, which is more like a sweet. The balcony was beautiful, with a view of the beach, and there were even a few hooks on the wall to hang the kid’s bathing suits.
Somebody was thinking when designing this space!
Again, the rooms were incredibly clean. The setup with the extra room in addition to the bedroom is a perfect situation for a family of four like us traveling together.
Directly outside the back of the hotel is a walking path. The walking path will take you to other restaurants and green spaces in the area. The path is nicely developed, allowing views of the ocean and the dunes the entire way.
The complex next to the hotel is convenient, as it has restaurants and small shops. It’s a little commercial and doesn’t have the charm of other areas in Jekyll or St.Simons. However, it serves a purpose.
The Jekyll Ocean Club is associated with the Jekyll Island Club. So you know you can use the facilities at the other property. There is a shuttle that will take you back and forth between the resorts; we just took our car.
At the sister property, you can walk around the grounds, eat at several different restaurant choices and even play on the large croquet lawn if that’s your thing. Dolphin tours (for an extra charge) leave out of the Jekyll Island Club location.
If you go over to the Jekyll Island Club for lunch or dinner, make sure to stop at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. We have gone to this spot many times, and it’s incredibly interesting and welcoming.
You can learn about sea turtles that are in rehabilitation and see the great work that the scientists in the Georgia area are involved in.
Things To Do
With the Jekyll Ocean Club being directly on the beach, I don’t think you can get bored in the area. However, if you come for a few days, I highly recommend taking a ride over to St.Simons.
The shops downtown are great, and you can enjoy lunch or dinner in the downtown or Red Fern areas. I love Barrier Island Brewing, it was our first time there on our Jekyll trip, and we were really impressed with the food and beer selections. (It’s also incredibly kid-friendly.)
If you like the steak sandwich, they do a good job with theirs.
We stopped at the Cottage SSI, a new spot offering ice cream, coffee, and sandwiches. They did a nice job with this location, and everyone was happy with all that the Cottage had to offer.
Who Should Stay At Jekyll Ocean Club?
The Jekyll Ocean Club is not the most inexpensive hotel on the island. Prepare to spend a few hundred dollars per night, but I do think you get what you pay for here. With clean rooms, direct access to the beach, nice staff, and rooms that are roomy and easy to access with kids, it’s really a great spot.
We hope to go back in the next few months and stay at the Jekyll Island Club so we can compare you and give you the rundown on who should stay in which spot.
Alternative Option For A Better Price
If Jekyll Ocean Club is outside of your price limit, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort several years ago and had a good experience. It’s a different kind of hotel, certainly not as upscale as Jekyll Ocean Club, but it has easy, quick access to the beach.
Let us know if you have any questions about staying at Jekyll Ocean Club. Overall we would rate our stay incredibly high, it’s a great spot, worth the money, with incredibly easy access to the beach, and the perfect Jekyll Island getaway with kids for a few nights.