Pros: Luxurious, family-oriented, little spot of healvenly relaxation and loveliness
Cons: Expensive, slight travel challenge from anywhere other than east coast, maybe a tad too "southern"
We traveled to Sea Island, Georgia and stayed in the south wing of the Cloister this past Memorial Day weekend with our extended family. I'd love to give you the highlights about this amazing resort as well as a few tips on activities that will make your visit more than memorable.
First, the basics:
We flew into Jacksonville, FL and took a 1 hour van ride to Sea Island. Couldn't have been easier!
Our non-suite accommodations certainly felt like suites. The rooms boast more than 700 square feet of space and are decorated beautifully. Upon entering the room you will find dark, luxurious hardwoods, a spacious foyer area, to the side a huge bathroom and dressing area and at the rear of the room your sleeping an lounging quarters. Each room also features a private and spacious balcony with seating for at least 4 (great to play cards outside). The bathroom and dressing area is nothing less than extraordinary....you will find a double sink area, two large closets, and ironing capabilities in the dressing area. The adjacent bathroom features a large soaking tub and the most dreamy high-pressured shower you've ever experienced. Th bathroom also includes a television, phone and additional sink (plus a private toilet of course). The bedroom we enjoyed featured two queen beds with high quality cotton bedding. You will also find a large armoire with a television, a desk and chair, plus two overstuffed club chairs and an ottoman for relaxation.
The beauty of this room is the combination of it's sheer size, high ceilings and uber-luxurious decor with very high-end finis hings in every detailed area you can imagine (the fixtures, the doorknobs, the upholstery...everything is the very best).
Best part about Sea Island? You don't need a car!!! All travel is by golf cart. Just call for a ride and you'll be taken anywhere on the property for free by golf cart.
There are seven dining venues at Sea Island plus a few casual carts and of course, room service. We tried the following:
- Tavola (the Italian restaurant) - $20-40 per person, fab pastas and wine
- River's Tide (main restaurant at the Beach Club) -- breakfast buffets beachside, lunch and dinners too. All are excellent but fairly casual with views of the ocean in the distance.
- Oak Room (at the Lodge - golf location) -- $20-40 per person with good but somewhat typical pub fare
- Flip Flop Bistro (gourmet "food truck" beachside) -- yummy gourmet beach treats like fish tacos, sandwiches, salads and ceviches
THE ACTIVITIES TO TRY!!
1) Horseback riding on the beach -- Great guides with lovely horses will take you along a lovely path right on the beach. Hear the crash of the waves and enjoy the ocean breeze on your one hour ride.
2) Plantation Dinner -- you must make reservations but it's so worth it. Enjoy dinner al fresco with sumptuous southern fare of fried chicken, barbeque, salads, vegetables and delectable desserts. All of this wonderful food is served buffet style with live music in the background. You can complete the night with dancing underneath the moonlight and beautiful strung lights.
3) Sea Turtle Walk -- At night you can experience this RARE phenomenon!. Guides will walk you along the beach until you find a sea turtle who is ready to lay her eggs. Once you find her, you are in for a treat! Your nature guide will wait until she has found her spot and then guide 3 or 4 gusts at a time up to the spot in which she buries her eggs methodically in the sand. It is a mesmerizing and very unique experience!
4) Shooting School -- Loved it. For kids as strange as it sounds, a great experience. For kids, they use a pressurized air gun so there is no pumping or cocking of any kind. The instructor is extremely kid-friendly and the kids get to shoot balloons, metal targets, plastic targets and they got a free hat at the end. Overall, our kids say that was the best event!
5) The Spa -- Relaxation, luxury and revitalization all in one. This experience is decadent and worth every penny. I enjoyed a spa facial which began with a cup of team in a tranquil room over flowing water. The highceilings and peaceful sounds released all tension from my body. Changing rooms provided me with a plush white robe and fluffle slippers. The services were approximately 50 minutes in length and performed by a trained, high-quality professional. Overall experience was relaxing and refreshing.
Overall this fabulous vacation was a long weekend to remember! Our whole family enjoyed it and we hope to go back!