Answers from Our Experts (2)
You’ll enjoy a slew of great amenities at The Cloister, but here are our picks for the five best of the bunch at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel:
1. Georgian Room. A Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant — the only eatery in the state with that distinction — Georgian Room serves seasonal menus from executive chef Daniel Zeal packed with creatively imagined gourmet cuisine rooted in traditional Southern flavors. Go there for breakfast, like an omelet studded with large local shrimp, spinach, cheese, tomatoes and greens — with a side of grits, of course — or dinner, like triggerfish with quinoa, pickled peppers, crayfish and charred sweet corn pudding.
2. The Cloister Spa. This Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star 65,000-square-foot spa is the ultimate place to relax during your stay at the Sea Island hotel. Try the spa’s signature bathing ritual with a seven-step infusion of ginger grass and cherry blossom rice body polishes.
3. The Beach Club. With three pools, a water-play area for kids, air-conditioned cabanas, towel service and fragrant gardenias all over, it’s hard not to love The Beach Club, which also has an old-timey ice cream parlor complete with a wall of candy (Wonderland) as well as a casual restaurant (Snack Shack with delicious burgers like The Southerner with caramelized Vidalia onions, bacon jam, pimento cheese with lettuce and vine-ripe tomatoes), a nicer eatery (Southern Tide) and a beachside food truck (Flip Flop Bistro). Don’t forget, too, about the five miles of private beach along the Atlantic Ocean.
4. Gratis snacks. The Sea Island hotel serves complimentary pastries and coffee among the chirping birds in charming turret-shaped cages in the solarium every morning. It’s a great way to start your day. (If you want a more substantial breakfast, get one at Georgian Room or the buffet at Southern Tide.) In the afternoon, you’ll find the spread replaced with unsweetened and sweetened iced tea and lemonade in self-serve glass holders with silver spigots and soft cookies on a three-tier silver platter. During the winter, steaming cups of hot chocolate and cider are on offer.
5. Beach Club Movie Theatre. This 100-seat movie theater is one of our favorite parts of this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel, particularly on rainy days. Families should take note that the theater periodically runs a kid-friendly matinee movie special, with admission including a soda and box of popcorn. The luxury hotel goes above standard film viewings here too; when it showed The Blind Side, the family the movie was based on attended to accompany the screening with a talk.
The five best amenities at The Cloister are the quality of guest rooms (from the bathrooms to bedding, everything is first class); our luxurious spa; our close proximity to the beach; the wealth of kids programming, offered so that parents can enjoy a bit of downtime while the children make new friends; and the number of outdoor pursuits available to our guests.