Monday, September 3, 2007

The Golden Isle

Just returning from St. Simons Island, I realize the beaches of Georgia's Golden Isles are an acquired taste for many (think gray sand, murky water and a sulfury, stickiness to the air). But while the shore is a bit lacking, The Cloister resort on neighboring Sea Island has managed to transform swampy land into a first-class destination. Racking up every top-notch hotel honor to be had, The Cloister has become the shining star in Georgia's travel trade.


First built in 1928, the mediterranean-style hotel was recently reconstructed in 2006 to incorporate 21st centrury luxury with the original Addison Mizner design (as well as to satisfy modern-day hurricane codes).

Edward Coffin, founder of the Sea Island Company, was fascinated with "the gloom of live oaks, braided, woven and beautiful" on nearby Sapelo Island, which inspired him to buy Sea Island and commision a hotel. His hope was to encourage guests to stay on the island long enough to sell real estate along the five-mile stretch of beach.

Much of the hotel has been completely reimagined, like the award-winning spa.


Other details have been painstakingly rebuilt from the original structure, such as the famed Spanish Lounge with it's coffered ceilings.

Many current and future presidents have vacationed at the hotel, including Barbara and George Bush on their honeymoon in 1945.

Beacause the island is private, the best way to visit the Cloister is to book a room at the hotel.

Bon voyage.

16 comments:

ALL THE BEST said...

It looks simply divine!! I think I need to book a stay! ;)

a. said...

I have always wanted to visit there...looks wonderful.

style court said...

I love your description of the Georgia coast. So spot-on!

Sarah said...

I love those oak trees. Yes they look like hair, all knotted and matted together. Fabulous photo.

Sarah Jennings said...

This is high on my list of places to visit! It looks beautiful.

{RNVL} said...

Stunning, just stunning--the coffered ceilings, the lush grounds--such a lovely place to stay!

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Wow... just catching up on your blog, as I haven't read it in about a week. It's such a feast for the eyes. Great photos.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Hey you... I realized today that while I love your blog, I had never added it to my blog roll... just added you and also did a post here encouraging a blog link-swap amongst us all.

http://decorno.blogspot.com/2007/09/link-swap.html

patriciagrayinc.com said...

Looks like a heavenly place to stay. Thanks for the pictures and for giving me the opportunity to live vicariously via your vacation.

Cote de Texas said...

wow - gorgeous, gorgeous post - as always! Thanks!


Joni

franki durbin said...

With a resort like this who'll notice the grey sand? ;) I used to live in North Carolina myself, so I am quite familiar with the beaches, the outer banks and the 'acquired' taste of the beaches.

The Cloister looks like a fabulous place to go. I hope you enjoyed a room with a lovely view!

Brilliant Asylum said...

Thanks for the comments. I wish I could say I was basking in an $800/night room all weekend, but I was at my family's much less luxurious place on a neighboring St. Simons. There is a lot of the same scenery, but at a better price (free). The Cloister would be worth the splurge though.
: )

Mélanie said...

Wonderful ..I want to go there . it seems to be the heaven on earth ...WOUah it exists

Mrs. Blandings said...

This does make me want to go back to St. Simons - bet it was a great trip.

Laura said...

Definitely an acquired taste, but if you start out with Saint Simons, you think it's the best place in the world! Only later do you find out about the white sand and emerald water of the Gulf.... Great post about the Cloister--unbelievable what they have done with it.

Anonymous said...

I am in love with the photo of the island from the distance. I wish I lived on this island. Really pretty place to live.

-Zane of ontario honey