September 26, 2010

A Fantastic Location for a Destination Wedding

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , at 7:37 pm by JBEvents

Ocean Lodge


  I had the honor and privilege of being invited to an exclusive tour of the beautiful Ocean Lodge in St. Simons, Georgia.  St. Simons is approximately 5 hours southeast from Atlanta.  Once there, you feel so much farther away – which is why it’s a fabulous location for a destination wedding.



Of course prior to making the trip, I did my usual bit of research to get a feel for the area and the hotel – but I was so pleasantly surprised when I arrived.

 The Ocean Lodge was the inspiration of the Owner, Joe McDonough, who meticulously designed every detail of the beautiful property – from the old world Tuscan style exterior to the exquisite interior décor filled with antiques and more than 270 pieces of personally commissioned original works of art. 


Upon arrival on Sunday, my suite was not ready, which was fine, because I was invited to enjoy a cocktail up on the Ocean Terrace where “Seaside Sunday” was in full swing.  It was a beautiful sunny day and combine that with gentle ocean breezes and a nice, cold beverage while listening to live music and you just can’t beat that in my book.


When my suite was ready, the adorable William informed me.  What a kind, knowledgeable gentleman he is.  He showed me to my room and explained all of the amenities – which were numerous.  I have to say that once he opened the sliding doors to the amazing Terrace, I don’t think I heard another word he said.  My Terrace offered a teak chaise lounge, a beautiful tile table with teak reclining chairs and yet another seating area with two more teak reclining chairs and a patio table.  I could not get over how spacious the Terrace was.  The best part though was looking over to the ocean and being able to hear the waves as they crashed against the rocks.  I would be spending quite a bit of time out here during my stay.

 Inside the suite – I can truly say, no attention to detail was overlooked.  Everything was exquisite.  The theme of the resort is Tuscan and you do feel as though you are in a Tuscan Villa. 

 Let’s start as you walk in the door, the floors are stone in natural, muted colors.  To the right was a full bath with a large glass shower.  The vanities are large, antique wood with the rounded shaped drawers. 



The kitchen came next.  Full-size kitchen complete with a refrigerator and complimentary bottled water!  Fully appointed, furnished kitchen to include dinnerware and cooking utensils provided for those who want to cook up a special meal to serve out on the Terrace.  A full-size coffee maker is included as well as a basket of snacks – again, complimentary.  The backsplash was a scenic sailboat picture in tiles.  Each kitchen throughout the resort has a different tile backsplash theme. At the end of the kitchen is a large bar that had 4 big and comfy bar stools.  I can imagine it would be nice to sit and have breakfast at the bar, but for me, the Terrace was always beckoning me. 


In my suite, I had a window over the antique desk and chair.  When looking out the window – you still had a view of the ocean.

 The living room was indeed stylish as well as a very comfortable place to relax and watch the large plasma TV.  If you aren’t in the mood for anything on TV, a DVD player as well as a complete stereo system is also provided.


The master suite has a plush king-sized bed with decorative throw pillows.  Egyptian cotton 700 thread count bed linens provide a sumptuous, cozy place to retire at the end of the day. On either side of the bed are large night stands.  At the base of the bed is a gorgeous chaise with rounded arms.  The fabric that was used is not only beautiful but also very luxurious.  A full-sized closet provides plenty of space for all of the clothing that would be needed.  There is also an in-room safe located in the closet. 


The Master Bath is also equipped with a large antique vanity.  My favorite part was the oversized Jacuzzi tub.  That was a welcome relief to be able to soak and relax after the drive down.


My favorite bath amenities were provided, Bulgari.  I enjoyed being able to enjoy the fragrance of the bath oil, body wash and lotion.  


As I mentioned before, no detail was left undone.  Each of the suites has unique and original paintings – both framed and on the walls.  The bar wall as well as the ceiling in the Living Room was hand painted.  My suite had a swirly pattern, which I loved.


I think you can tell that I was extremely impressed with the accommodations.  The greatest part is – each of the 15 rooms are all Suites just as I have described.  The décor is slightly different in each suite – with original and hand painted accents.

Now that you know the rooms are more than superior – let’s talk about the other fabulous options available at Ocean Lodge.

As a guest of the resort, you receive a full, cooked to order breakfast each day.  The menu consisted of things such as Apple or Blueberry Pancakes, Cinnamon Croissant French Toast served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, Croque Monsieur, Egg Strata, as well as eggs cooked any style, grits, home fries (YUM), sausage, bacon and many other items.  You are also welcomed with freshly squeezed juices of various varieties and excellent coffee. Also, homemade cookies are available throughout the day in the Main Living Room!

The Island is very pedestrian friendly – and the resort offers bikes available for the guests.  After eating the huge breakfast, you will definitely need to get some exercise. 

There is an exercise room on site that includes treadmills, cycles, and an ab lounger among other equipment.  There is also an endless pool.  This was such a cool pool — you can get in and turn on the “tide/current” and then exercise by swimming against the current.  Or if you would rather enjoy the benefits of a whirlpool, then, different knobs will provide that experience for you.


Tina Harris, Group Sales & Events Manager, spent time with us on Monday to provide us an in-depth tour of the resort.   You can select from among several sites for your ceremony and reception.  I happen to love the event lawn.  It’s a level lawn surrounded on both sides by lush gardens and can comfortably hold 150 guests for a ceremony.  Adjacent to the event lawn is the brick-paved courtyard complete with a fountain and wrought iron gate.  Many couples opt to have their ceremony on the courtyard – however, it would be a fantastic location for a cocktail hour.  Another option, for those truly wanting a beach wedding, is to have your ceremony on the beach.  There is an area right across the street called The Cove.  During low-tide, a large expanse of beach is present which is perfect for ceremonies.  Ocean Lodge will provide the ceremony chairs (for a fee) and will even set them up for you. 


  Regardless of which of those options were selected, you just can’t find a more scenic view than from the 5th floor, Ocean Terrace.  The Terrace wraps around the building providing basically 360-degree views.  There are teak tables (both high and low) scattered all throughout the terrace.  Of course the client can use linens and their own floral creations on these tables, but they look beautiful without linens and just with the centerpieces that include a candle and shells in a wire container.  The Ocean Lounge is also available as additional space on the Ocean Terrace level.  The Lounge has a granite bar with mirrors behind.  There are dining tables and chairs as well as a soft-seating area and plasma TV screens as part of the normal room décor. 


The food is incredible.  The chef prepared a special meal for us on Monday evening consisting of a Shrimp cocktail – made from fresh caught shrimp, salad, Filet Mignon on top of whipped potatoes, asparagus, squash and a crab cake.  For dessert we were served an apple tart complete with vanilla ice cream.

Although Ocean Lodge has a variety of suggested menus, the chef can create a completely custom menu for your event. 

Since Ocean Lodge only contains 15 suites, you can rent the whole resort so that you have your own private facility for your guests as well as your wedding.  Each suite can sleep up to 4 as the sofa is a Queen sleeper.  With the 2 full baths, you certainly would have ample room to accommodate 4 guests per room.  If additional rooms would be needed, there are other hotels nearby. 

St. Simons has many activities to partake in the area from biking, nature trails, historic landmarks, golf courses, tennis, horseback riding, fishing charters, kayaking, to even having a private water tour on the Ocean Lodge’s catamaran. 


You can reach Ocean Lodge in St. Simons via land, air or sea. 


Prior to my departure on Tuesday, the owner, Joe McDonough, treated our group to a private air tour on his jet.  We departed the resort and headed to St. Simons Island McKinnon Airport – which is available for private aircraft from a single engine to a G 5.  The airport is only 1.5 miles from the resort.  We arrived at the airport, and Joe proceeded to take the plane out of the hangar.  Once out and checked, we boarded the 6 seater for what would be a once in a lifetime experience of seeing St. Simons, Jekyll, Cumberland and Sapalo Islands from the air.  We flew around taking in the sights as the sun began to rise.  I can’t even express the beauty of watching the sunrise from the air over the Atlantic.






My time at Ocean Lodge was certainly a wonderful retreat and I now have a new place that I want to take clients for their dream wedding.  If you are interested, contact me for more details and possibly a very special incentive.

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