Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sea Island AKA The Garden of Eden

In 1924 Howard Coffin, founder of the Hudson Motor Company, purchased Sea Island, off the coast of Georgia. The Cloister was built as a resort for those who wanted to get away from their frantic pace of life and enjoy good food, good company and exercise. Indeed, the range of activities to be enjoyed at The Cloister is, to me, what separates this place from others of its kind. Horseback riding, clay shooting, golf, boating are just a few of the activities that kept me busy!

Sea Island has long been a hideaway for celebrities like Bill Gates, Anna Kournikova, John Travolta and George Bush, who honeymooned there. In 2004 it hosted the G8 Summit and before then, President Coolidge enjoyed Christmas there in 1928. It’s hard to write this piece because quite frankly, no words, no matter how well they are chosen can ever do it justice. To call the Cloister a hotel or resort is an insult. It’s a bastion of excellence. All the 5 star ratings seem backward and provincial when trying to categorize a place like this: it’s in a league of its own.

The day began at 6am when my driver, every inch the epitome of the Southern gentleman, arrived in full livery and drove through the pink mists, past Spanish oaks sighing in the dawn- gone with the wind style to our destination. We arrived at what can only be described as the Garden of Eden… lush vegetation, huge butterflies, vibrant colors and the lull of the ocean. Every inch of the island is beautiful, every staff member knows your name and though that may seem trifling it actually has a huge impact.
Sea Island, a LUXURY resort in Georgia. A private Island turned Resort. The Bushes, as in former President Bush Junior and Senior come here to relax and now I know why... 
The bridge to the Yachts...absolutely gorgeous 

A game of giant chess anyone?

Dinner at The Georgian Room...I've thought long and hard about how best to use words to descrobe this experience but ultimately it boils down to this: if I was on death row and had to choose my last meal, I'd do it at the Georgian Room. The truffle bread is to die for, literally! And the service!!! At any moment there are at least 3 waitors ready to anticipate your every need. Every time I got up to use the ladies room I was escorted there and back, I felt like the President...and I liked it! The food was served with all the precision of a Balanchine Ballet. From the Bernardeau dishes to the exquisite wine pairings...this was more than just was Art in its purest form!
Golf on the Seaside Course was incredible! Pictures do NOT do it justice. It was 10,000 times more beautiful than this picture lets on.
What seperates Sea Island from its rivals are the many, many activites they offer. I tried my hand at Clay Shooting, Horse Riding, Golf, Bicycles during my stay. And none of my requests were ever too great!

The Lobby

The Lobby at the Lodge right before playing Golf.

Lunch....need I say more?

Heaven...ugh, I mean the Golf Course

The Ocean...steps away from the Beach Club at the hotel...I was even given a special bag to carry my seashells in!

Baby oranges on the property

I rode my bicycle on all those little paths...ah, how I miss Sea Island!

The warm, it was like bath water...just the way I like it!

The View of the marsh from my was more beautiful in person, pictures don't do it justice...

The Solarium...a great place to relax. They had the most AMAZING cookies out for guests...but everything at Sea Island was amazing...

The Spa...I could have spent an entire week in here. Usually I'm not a big Spa person, but this was in a league of its own. My massage was incredible.

The fish ponds on the way to the Spa

The Spanish Room...a great place to relax after dinner and pretend you're an aristocrat...which I did as I tickled the ivories of the grand piano in the corner

The peaceful, heavenly.
I had high expectations for Sea Island...they were surpassed and I'm not an easy person to please. The service is exceptional and if you want a place in the sun to be pampered like a Royal...then this is it!
I HIGHLY recommend Sea Island.