First Opened in 1847, Alabama’s Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa Completes Three-Year Transformation and Joins Autograph Collection Hotels

USA, Bethesda, Maryland. September 06, 2018

Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., together with the Resort Collection on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail announced the rebranding of the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, an iconic Southern resort in Point Clear, Alabama. The Grand Hotel joins the brand's diverse portfolio of more than 150 one-of-a-kind hotels that champion visionary owners, thoughtful design and craft.

First opened in 1847, the Grand Hotel has been known as the Queen of Southern Resorts for generations. The charming, 405-room resort is known for exceptional service, Southern charm, majestic oaks and beautiful sunsets over Mobile Bay. During the three-year renovation, the resort's guest rooms, meeting space, restaurants, spa, golf, pier, pools and grounds were transformed.

Part of the Resort Collection on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the Grand Hotel has been praised by group and leisure publications. “With this stunning transformation nearly complete, the historic Grand Hotel enters its next chapter with its Autograph Collection distinction,” said Tony Davis, president of the RTJ Resort Collection. “We are debuting a modern sanctuary of golf, tennis, beach, pools and spa filled with gracious Southern charm and attentiveness. Here, as it has for over 170 years, the Grand Life beckons with hospitality and warmth flowing through the resort in cheerful abundance,” said Davis. “With our Historic Hotels of America designation, the affiliation with the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and Autograph Collection signature, the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa will appeal even more to group and leisure guests.

Owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa transformation blends the best of the resort's Southern charm and traditions with the modern amenities and technology today's guests demand.

Designed as an all-in-one destination, the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa features a full-service spa, two RTJ Golf Trail courses, seven restaurants and lounges, two beaches, multiple pools and 37,000 square feet of renovated meeting space on 550 lush acres along Mobile Bay near Fairhope, Alabama. The Grand's cannon firing each afternoon honors the resort's history and salutes past and present military.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.