The Traveling Steve's

Pre-Christmas at Jekyll Island – part 2


We arrived at Jekyll Island shortly before dinner and quickly unpacked (no small feat when you’ve brought lots of suitcases full of clothes and Christmas decorations!)IMG_7959

We again stayed in the Presidential Suite of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, which houses the signature ‘Turret’ Jekyll Island uses in it’s logo.IMG_8471



I’ve written about Jekyll Island before, so here is a link to the history about the Jekyll Island Club, which was founded in 1886 to be a winter retreat for some of the wealthiest  American families; i.e. the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Goulds etc..  The original club house (which opened in 1888) is now a truly historic and elegant, yet simple by design hotel, built for the  wealthy 100 members and their families, who wintered here circa 1888 – 1942. After being closed for years, the Club House was extensively renovated and reopened as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in 1986, and is now a fine resort that the ‘common people’ of today can experience.

Since we were in the spacious Presidential Suite, we had a separate living and bedroom, with large wrap around balcony and a steep and spiral staircase up to the top ‘Turret’ level with spectacular views, especially at sunset.

We quickly setup our Christmas decorations, including 3 sets of lights, stockings for six (we have friends joining us and friends on the island), a couple mini Christmas trees, lighted ‘runner’ for the table, and nuts, chips, cheeses (for the in-room fridge), sodas, waters, and 2 types of brewskis and wine.IMG_7964 IMG_7965


Once setup, we met our Jekyll Island friends Michelle and Larson for drinks before dinner. We met them several years ago at Jekyll and have stayed in touch since. We had drinks in the room, and then went downstairs to the lobby bar just outside the elegant Main Dining room, where we had a quick drink before dinner.IMG_7970

We always get the meal plan, and the dinner in the Main Dining room never disappoints. Tim, the pianist was playing some beautiful Christmas music, and our table for two serviced by Charlotte was elegantly set.  From the Crab Cake and Ahi appetizers we shared, to Caesar Salad, to my New York Strip, to Key Lime Pie – everything was delicious!  Of course DOS always carefully and intently scours the menu for the best selection!

IMG_7976 IMG_7978 IMG_7980 IMG_7979


On Saturday we met our friends Ben and Tom (also from Orlando) who drove up for an overnight stay on Jekyll as well. We had lunch at McCormick’s, a casual restaurant on the island golf course, and later drove around the Island a bit.

IMG_8002 IMG_8001 IMG_7997

The four of us met Michelle and Larson at 4pm for the Twilight Christmas tour thru the Jekyll Island Historic District. Our tour guide was Phyllis, who we’ve had a couple times before, but learn something new about the history every time we take one of her tours – her passion for the Island is contagious, and she is really a wealth of knowledge.  This was a photo I got with Phyllis at the end of the tour at Indian Mound Cottage.


The Christmas tour at 4pm is a ‘special tram tour’ thru the Historic District, as it has a Christmas flair to it, and the 2 homes and Faith Chapel we went in were decorated in period decor. Of course we wore our Disney reindeer hats on the tour to liven things up a bit!


As we toured around the Historic Village of Jekyll Island on the tram, Phyllis provided interesting trivia and facts about the cottages  we passed.

Cherokee Cottage, built in 1904, but Edwin Gould for his in-laws Dr Shrady and family.


‘Haunted Hollybourne’ Cottage, built in 1890 by the Maurice family.  It’s the most unique-looking and unusual of the cottages with it’s grand and eerie facade.IMG_8042

Villa Ospo, built in 1927 by Walter Jennings, former president of the Jekyll Island Club.IMG_8038

Crane Cottage – build in 1917 was the largest cottage on Jekyll,
with some 20 bedrooms and 17 baths!


As a special bonus, we were allowed to take photos inside the two ‘cottages’ and Faith Chapel we went in, which normally you are not allowed to do. I’ve added lots of photos to the Jekyll Island pre-Christmas 2015 gallery, but a few of these are in this post.



Of special interest are the two amazing stained-glass windows in Faith Chapel. These are naturally lit by the sun, and the beauty is not apparent unless you see these from inside the Chapel. The larger stained-glass windows is actually signed by Tiffany.


IMG_8058 IMG_8064



After exiting Faith Chapel, we heard Christmas bagpipe music  being played by Tim (also the pianist in the Main Dining room) who was playing and pacing back and forth in front of Faith Chapel on his way to the Club House.  We chatted with Tim for a while giving him a chance to take a break from the huffing and puffing of playing the pipes.

IMG_8088 IMG_8080 IMG_8077 IMG_8089

Our 1 1/2 hour tour continued on with a stop at DuBignon ‘Cottage’, circa 1884, although it was moved to its present site (from San Succi in 1894).   (All of the winter mansions  were called ‘cottages’ by the wealthy of that era and today 11 are still standing, some of which you can tour and two of which you can stay in).  IMG_8101The DuBignon family owned the island for years before selling it to the Jekyll Island Club in 1886, and this historic house became home to the Island superintendent Ernest Grob for many years, as well as later overflow housing for guests at the Clubhouse.  DuBignon Cottage was decorated with a Christmas tree from the era; i.e. late 19th century with ribbons and handmade ornaments.



We were even allowed to go up to the second floor and view the bedrooms there and small bath, as well as another tree on the second floor.

IMG_8113 IMG_8109


After leaving DuBignon Cottage, we went to our final stop at Indian Mound Cottage, IMG_8145former home of the William Rockefeller family.  We’ve been in here several times and I’m always amazed at the size of the his and her bedrooms upstairs: Mr. Rockefeller’s bedroom is large, but the adjacent Mrs. Rockefeller’s bedroom is HUGE!  There are of course many other bedrooms for the children and servants, and the living room is massive with its own walk in safe.



After the tour, I walked across the lawn from Indian Mound back to the Club Hotel to set up for a mini-Christmas party in our Presidential Suite, complete with a sunset walk up to the turret.IMG_8184IMG_8256 IMG_8250 IMG_8269 IMG_8265 IMG_8435

IMG_8299 IMG_8245 IMG_8263 IMG_8253

We had a small party for our friends, complete with filled stockings I had brought with us with little gifts; mostly munchie goodies of sorts, although I did make a Jekyll Island calendar for Larson and Michelle, and Ben and Tom, and DOS and me with pictures of us from previous visits to the island. The bellman lit us a fire in both of our ensuite fireplaces, which was nice at the weather had dipped down to an unseasonable 40-ish degrees at night.  We all had some drinks and snacks and opened our stockings, Michelle and I had decorated the night before with glitter glue!



After a couple hours of Christmas cheer, Ben, Tom, DOS, and I went downstairs for dinner in the Main Dining Room for yet another festive holiday meal.

IMG_8237 IMG_8241

‘Twas yet another wonderful pre-Christmas day on Jekyll Island!


One thought on “Pre-Christmas at Jekyll Island – part 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *