Travel Over 50: The Cloister At Sea Island, Georgia

Have you ever spent time at Georgia the Cloister on Sea Island, Georgia? Georgia We spent 4 glorious days celebrating our anniversary at this luxury 5-star resort!

The Cloister has begun reopening and is taking safety precautions for its guest and employees during this tiGeorgia me. Read more about the reopening here.

The HisGeorgia tory of The Cloister

Automobile magnate Howard Coffin commissioned Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner to design The Cloister, and the result reflects the acclaimed architect’s penchant for Mediterranean design. The Cloister opened its doors on October 12, 1928.

2003 Restoration

In 2003, A. W. “Bill” Jones III representing the fourth generation of family members to run it (Coffin was a distant cousin, and Jones’s father and grandfather were at the helm before he took over), decided it was time for a complete restoration of the Cloister building, which lacked a proper foundation and did not meet modern building codes. 

5-Star resort retained its grandeur in rebuilding the Addison Mizner-designed Cloister from the ground up, and adding a jaw-dropping, 65,000-square -foot spa Georgia with a fantasy indoor forest and lagoon. In April 2016, Sea Island Acquisitions completed a $40 million expansion Georgia that added a new “Garden Wing” to the Cloister with 63 rooms.

G-8 Summit

In 2004, Sea Island obtained an even more impressive honor: Hosting the G-8 Summit, with President George W. Bush bringing the “Great Eight” nations’ leaders to the summit at the same place his father and mother had honeymooned in 1945 (and returned to celebrate their 50th anniversary).

The Colonial Lounge (formerly the Spanish Lounge)

The main lobby was recreated using original materials during the complete renovation in 2003 by architect Peter Capone under the watchful eye of the ghost of Addison Mizner. It looks just like it did in 1928.

Georgian Room-Refined Southern Dining

Rated the only Forbes Five-Star restaurant in Georgia, The Georgian Room is an exceptional dining 

Tavola-An authentic, rustic Italian eatery

Tucked inside The Cloister and along the Black Banks River, Tavola is Georgia perfect place for a family meal. The simplicity of the cuisine and extensive wine selection is impeccably blended with the soul of Italy.

Southern Tide-Coastal Southern Cuisine

Savor the taste of Georgia’s coastal cuisine at Southern Tide, Sea Island’s only beachfront restaurant. 

Our Garden Room

We thoroughly enjoyed our room with the private terrace. We were greeted by a little sea island turtle on our bed.

We had a wonderful terrace off our room where I shot the outfits I wore for this trip. I wore this white dress and Kimono out to dinner in the Georgian room to celebrate our anniversary.  (You are required to dress up to dine at the Georgian room.)

I will share more on another blog about the kimono and the Bermuda shorts I took on this trip. This is already a long blog post!

I loved sitting out on our terrace in the morning with my coffee catching up on emails. So peaceful and private.

Smart Design Ideas were found in our room!

The first smart design idea was this beautiful mirror. It hid the flat-screen television behind it! The mirror splits in half to reveal the television. So clever!

The second smart design idea was found in our all-white bathroom.

Do you see the grab bar in the shower? It was my second favorite design idea.

I was so happy to see the Universal design element in the shower.  More and more hotels are adding grab bars in the bath and shower area when they do renovations. It’s a smart design.

The Ceilings at the Cloister

As an interior designer, I enjoy seeing the attention to the details when staying in luxury hotels. The Cloister has wonderful Spanish architecture and the interior details were breathtaking!

The ceilings of the public rooms in the hotel will make you look up!

Below is the ceiling in the River Bar. We had dinner in this lovely French and European style restaurant during our stay.

The library room below is where I enjoyed my morning coffee before heading to the fitness center. They serve delicious pastries in the library, which was also a part of my morning ritual too. 

The Spa at the Cloister

The Five-Star rated Spa and Fitness Center dazzles with 65,000 square feet of amenities and one of the finest treatment programs in the world.

The gorgeous long walk over the lagoon filled with Koi fish.

You enter and immediately are greeted by the beautiful large whirlpool and heated lap pool. Isn’t it a gorgeous spa!

The Spa has a lovely fitness center and offers free exercise classes for hotel guests. Choose from more than 56 group classes. State-of-the-art equipment, including Pilates, strength, and cardio studios. Georgia Work out on your own or under the helpful guidance of a personal trainer. 

I found an empty exercise classroom where I did yoga, Pilates, and weight lifting without people watching me.

Sea Island is also home to over 12 PGA golfers and they were tracking them on a scoreboard in the fitness center when we were there.

The Little Chapel at the Cloister

Nestled in the gardens close our room was this little chapel that is used for weddings. It seats 75 and The Cloister has many different rooms to hold the perfect wedding reception.

The Lodge

Another wonderful hotel to stay in if you decide to visit Sea Island is the English style Lodge located by the Sea Island Golf Club. We had a lovely dinner at the Oak Room and enjoyed the Bagpiper playing for us at sunset while we enjoyed cocktails.

Golfing at Sea Island

There are 3 golf courses at Sea Island, The Seaside course, The Plantation Course, and the Retreat Course.

My husband played the Seaside course during our stay. Seaside is routinely ranked among the top 100 courses in the United States. Along with the Plantation Course, it is the home of the PGA TOUR’s RSM Classic, a FedEx cup event hosted by Sea Island touring professional Davis Love III.

There is a Golf Performance Center that covers six core competencies—long game, short game, putting, golf fitness, club fitting, and mental game—within a state-of-the-art facility.

While my husband played golf I wandered over to see the remains of the Retreat Plantation that are on the south end of St. Simons

Retreat Plantation Tabby Ruins

I was quite surprised to learn there were some remains from a cotton plantation by the Sea Island Golf Club that I had to go and visit for myself. History no matter how awful and horrible is still something that I love. Without the wrongs done in the past, how can you move forward as a society?

In 1804 William Page purchased land on St. Simons Sound and named it Retreat. With later purchases, Retreat became one of the preeminent plantations on St. Simons Island for the production of long-staple cotton. Read more about the Retreat Plantation Here.

What I found near the Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island was several remnants from Retreat Plantation: the tabby ruins of a slave hospital, tabby walls from a greenhouse, a tabby corn barn converted into a golf course clubhouse, the brick ruins of the plantation house, and a slave cemetery.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of this magnificent hotel. There are many wonderful restaurants and places to explore.

 I hope you have the opportunity to come and visit it. Put it on your bucket list!!

Read more of my favorite Anniversary getaway weekends:

Getaway Trip to Half Moon Bay

Vancouver in 3 Days

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