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Tennis Resorts: Grand Hotel Mariott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Southern Alabama
Looking for tennis resorts this spring? There may be no better time than spring to visit the oak-lined streets of Alabama’s Eastern Shore. Historic antebellum homes and panoramic views of Mobile bay make the Fairhope area the gem of Gulf region – and if you want to throw in a few games of tennis, you’ll want to stay at the jewel of the crown, the Grand Hotel Mariott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear.
The award-winning hotel has historic roots dating back to 1847. It’s hardy, too, having bounced back from more than one hurricane. Its reputation as the “Queen of Southern Resorts” has also draw many a boldfaced name over the years – check-ins included Margaret Thatcher, Dolly Parton and a slew of NFL stars.
Tennis players have been coming to this tennis resort since 1940s, when two courts were added to the grounds after World War II. There are now 10 lighted courts – nine Hydro clay, one of them a stadium court. The resort also offers a robust tennis program that sees regulars from the condo community located on the resort grounds, The Colony at The Grand, as well as visiting hotel guests.
Clinics, private lessons, weekend team challenges and ball machine/backboard rentals are available – but for a serious tennis vacation, many guests opt for the hotel’s Escape tennis Package, available Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. It includes a deluxe room, breakfast buffet for two, a one-hour private tennis lesson for two, use of a ball machine for one hour and a 30-minute group clinic. The resort is also home to two 18-hole golf courses, a jogging trail, large fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools and a 22,000-square-foot spa.
To round out your stay, you could swap your tennis shoes for boat shoes – the Grand has a private marina for sailboats, yachts and fishing boats. Or, if you’re more interesting in letting someone else do the fishing, settle in at Saltwater Grill to sample fish, shrimp and crawfish, all fresh from the Gulf. You may just be inspired to enroll in The Grand’s monthly culinary Academy and have one of the hotel’s chefs turn you into a pro. April’s class teaches the art of sautéing while May is a wine class with gourmet cheeses. Whatever you do, do not check out of the grand without trying one of the resort’s most famous amenities: Bucky’s Mint Julep, created by the resort’s late, beloved bartender Aura J. “Bucky” Miller.