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Pearl Hotel Caters Coastal Charm

By Ava Diaz

The poolside cabanas at the Pearl Hotel CREDIT Pearl Hotel

A testament to the wholesale oyster business in Hancock County, the Pearl Hotel in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, honors the rich family history of its owners. “It is a family business that pays homage to their roots and the gritty oyster industry [the family] started in 1959,” says Sarah Cue Clark, general manager of the Pearl Hotel. “That is our story.” 

As the only hotel in downtown Bay St. Louis, this 59-room, four-story boutique hotel is a premier waterfront destination—it’s also just a 30-minute drive from the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. “It is just a walkable, loveable community where everyone is just so friendly,” Clark says. “It has that coastal charm.”

Guests can rent chairs and umbrellas or choose to lay out in the private cabanas on the second-floor pool. Visitors have stunning views of the harbor or the historic city from the 12-by-9-foot balconies in their guest rooms. The hotel is easy to get to as well. “We don’t have a busy highway you have to traverse to get to our beautiful harbor and beaches. “You just have a two-lane road you could drive on or ride a golf cart on because the speed limits are 25 miles per hour here,” Clark says. 

Other amenities include the Thorny Oyster, a Southern seafood eatery serving fresh coastal fare. Or, for a seaside sip, try Hinge, a cocktail bar that serves classic pre-Prohibition-era drinks like a Manhattan, martini, and gimlet. 

For private gatherings, book the Captain’s Quarters. This intimate 600-square-foot space can accommodate up to 40 people and has direct access to the lush courtyard and serene pool deck. In addition, the space includes a staging area, private bathroom, customizable seating accommodations, a 50-inch LED TV, and has catering options (buffet or sit-down style) for snacks and meals conceptualized by the Thorny Oyster.