Alabama's Grand Hotel begins 16-month update

(The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Pt. Clear, Ala., kicked off 2017 with a 16-month update as it converts to Marriott's Autograph Collection.)

The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Ala., took the plunge and began a 16-month total renovation. The property, which opened in 1847, is preparing to become a member of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection in 2018, and Tony Davis, CEO of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Resort Collection, said in a statement that the property is expected to complete the update next spring.

The hotel is owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, alongside seven other properties in the Robert Trent Golf Trail Resort Collection, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017.

"The Grand Hotel has played a major role in the region historically, socially and financially," Davis said in a statement. "After much research and planning, the next chapter in the Grand's history is being written. Over the coming months, buildings will be transformed one at a time to minimize guest disruption during the process," he said.  "In April 2018, the Grand Hotel will reach an even higher pinnacle of hospitality excellence when the resort joins the Autograph Collection of hotels."

The Grand Hotel consists of 405 guestrooms, and the hotel’s transformation will take place over three phases. Phase one will consist of updates to the hotel’s South Bay, North Bay and Marina House, and is planned for completion Spring 2017. Phase two will see updates to the property’s conference center, which is home to 37,000 square feet of meeting and event space. All of this space will be completely updated during 2017. Phase three will consist of renovations to the property’s main building and spa building, and will conclude Spring 2018.

The Grand Hotel opened a new golf practice facility in 2016, the Grand Golf Experience, which can be found across three acres of tree surface and 22,000 square feet of USGA green surfaces. The property also has a 1,500-square-foot range house. Renovations are also planned for the Lakewood Club’s Azalea and Dogwood Courses.

Other updates include renovations to the property’s spa building, and updates to restaurant offerings at the Lakewood Club are being reviewed in preparation for the future.