Since opening its doors in 1847, the Grand Hotel’s identity has been inextricably linked with a proud heritage as a social host and a vital part of military service. Originally built as a two-story building with 40 rooms, guests originally traveled to the Grand Hotel by steamboats and docked at what is now the Marina. Over the years the resort and its reputation grew, with the hotel guest list boasting an impressive array of world dignitaries and celebrities.
From its strategic location on Mobile Bay, the Grand has also played a pivotal role in defending our nation as a vital military staging site as well as its ties to American freedom spanning two centuries and two wars. Standing as a hospital during the Civil War and later as host to key training operations during World War II, this is hallowed ground. It was here, on the sands of Point Clear, where Allied forces' finest trained in Operation Ivory Soap, a classified military operation that played a vital part in World War II’s final push. Each day, the Grand Hotel honors its wartime history, concluding with a cannon firing on the edge of Mobile Bay.
From American presidents to world leaders, to stars of movies and music, to generations of patriots, the Grand will eternally be revered as a national destination, rich in history – a hotel that embodies the best traditions of this country.