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Historic King & Prince hotel reopens on St. Simons Island today

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, undamaged by Hurricane Matthew but impacted when the Georgia State Patrol blocked access to Georgia's barrier islands after the storm, is reopening today.

The resort's bar and restaurant open at 3 p.m. today and travelers are welcome to book reservations again.

HURRICANE COVERAGE: Matthew knocked out power to nearly 50,o00 on the Georgia coast

Residents fume as roads remain closed

Business owners started returning to the island in the days after the storm

News that the property was not damaged will relieve vacationers who have been traveling there for generations. The King and Prince opened as a seaside dance club in 1935 and as a hotel in 1941. Fun fact: Can you guess who was first to sign the guest register? Atlanta Constitution editor and publisher Clark Howell.

The property housed military operations during World War II, serving as a naval coast-watching and training facility. The King and Prince reopened as a hotel in 1947, became a member of Historic Hotels of America in 1996, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Two years ago, a major renovation transformed the King and Prince's interior. Most notably, the indoor pool and hot tub are now gone. They might have been fun for some guests (especially parents eager to occupy children on rainy days), but made for a noisy backdrop for dinner parties and had a way of making the surrounding areas sort of humid.

With the departure of the indoor pool area, the main portion of the outdoor pool is now heated. Gone also is the little coffee bar that had been set up in one corner of the lobby inside the hotel, and farewell to the 1980s-era decor. Thank you for being a friend for all these years.

Following the renovation, the lobby now features a huge fireplace with a comfy seating area in the section where the indoor pool used to be.

The color palette is sleek and sophisticated, with bold tile patterns, long expanses of hardwoods, large, dramatic chandeliers and smaller light fixtures with a vintage look. The restaurant, rechristened Echo, features locally sourced fare in keeping with modern diners' farm-to-table sensibilities.

Ready to go? Call 912-638-3631 or see the web site.

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Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for