I was here to visit nearby Savannah and experience Sea Island, near St. Simons Island in the Golden Isles. Sea Island is a resort community that has two impressive hotels, and a plethora of activities including golf, equestrian, tennis, boating, fishing, and even shooting! If relaxation is more your style, you can visit the spa or just hang out on the beach.
Arriving at the Brunswick airport after the short 1-hour flight from Atlanta, I was greeted by my driver. She escorted me swiftly to the hunter’s green sedan where I found a chilled bottle of water and these delightful southern mints (which I continued to indulge on my entire stay!).
On the way to Sea Island, she shared the history of the area, which dates back to well before the Civil War. As we drove through the quaint village, we did a drive by of the landmark lighthouse near the pier of St. Simons Island, something I shared with her that I’ve always wanted to see during my first visit to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Cloister at Sea Island:
Arriving at my first hotel, The Cloister at Sea Island, I was whisked to a separate arrivals area and escorted directly to my room, as it was quite late. Upon entering the room you are instantly transformed to another place in time, the ceilings are vaulted with beautiful wood beams, the finishings are very traditional with a post bed, and my water was served with a heavy crystal glass.
Although my stay was brief, I was able to enjoy a room service out on my terrace in the early morning. It was foggy, so it was an almost eerie feeling as you are looking through the trees out onto the Black River.
Having about an hour to myself that morning, I explored the main lobby area at The Cloister, although I could have a used a few days to see all of the details! The ceilings are close to four stories high, and three ornate chandeliers hang to light the seating area below. Down each of the halls you’ll find many oil paintings, statues and artifacts from the original Cloister property built 80 years ago. There are parlors, lounges and libraries throughout the entire space.
A short walk from the lobby is The Cloister Spa, which is a 45,000 square foot sanctuary. There is a luxurious atrium-like seating area for guests where they can enjoy some relaxation before and after their treatments, the area is so large there are two palm trees and an olive tree inside!
That afternoon, I headed over to the Beach Club. Here guests can sit by the pool, enjoy a cabana and a cocktail. If you have children, you can treat them at the old-fashioned ice cream parlor before sending them to one of the children’s activities! What I wasn’t expecting was the pristine white sand beaches!
I relaxed into a teak arm chair that was bleached from the salt air. I walked down the beach and dipped my toes in the waters of the Atlantic. To heighten this overwhelmingly wonderful sensory experience, there were butterflies fluttering around the beach vegetation.
The Lodge at Sea Island:
This evening I was over to the smaller of the properties, The Lodge at Sea Island.
The property is located down a long drive lined with huge oak trees and flanked by the properties two-championship golf courses. I was escorted inside and immediately taken on a tour of the English manor-like Lodge. The main room has rich wood paneled walls and timeless furnishings.
The Lodge is more classic casual of the two properties at Sea Island. I felt like I should have been adorned in riding gear! I was in room 4 of the 40-room property, which overlooked the Plantation golf course. It was a gorgeous view the next morning to see the sunrise over the golf course.
Shortly after arriving and getting dressed for dinner, I headed to the veranda area. Here you have your choice to sit in the lounge on the porch or out on the lawn in a classic Adirondack chair. I chose the porch area, given I had my heels on for dinner (all guests are impeccably dressed in true east coast style). I listened to The Lodge’s nightly bag piper out on the golf course, watched the sunset over the ocean and enjoyed a ‘back door lemonade’ as recommended by the waiter – it was a timeless moment.
Once the sun had set I was off to dinner at Colt & Allison, which is well known for their aged prime steaks. I was sat right next to the large bay windows, and my waiter told me to keep my eye out for the resident alligator; but alas I was not seeing him this evening.
I dined on the highly recommended local Crab Maison paired with a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, followed by the most tender filet I’ve had with a red zinfandel blend from Napa. I skipped dessert and opted to enjoy the complimentary milk and cookies back in my cozy room. But not before enjoying a nightcap in the Oak Room lounge where I was told stories of the south by the resident bartender.
Leaving Sea Island, I felt stirred with emotion as this place takes you back to a simpler time. I know in my heart that I will return to this incredible place someday.