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The Cloister’s design style is not the modern embodiment of historic Southern charm, as you might assume, but that’s one of the things we love about this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel. Instead, you’ll find Spanish-revival buildings on lushly manicured grounds. Inside the rooms, you’ll see Turkish rugs, wood-beam ceilings and rich fabrics like a tufted pale-green brocade armchair with matching ottoman.
Palm Beach pioneer Addison Mizner brought his keen architectural eye to Sea Island to create The Cloister in the 1920s. The luxury hotel was razed in 2003 for a larger resort modeled after Mizner’s Cloister structure. Remnants of the original hotel can be found in the reassembled Spanish Lounge in the main building. Architects Peter Capone and Michael Ramsey preserved key elements, like the scalloped-topped stained-glass windows and the fireplace.
The rest of the Sea Island hotel retains that same feel — Mediterranean-style buildings have gurgling fountains and red-clay-tiled roofs. Light fills the solarium (an homage to the old sunroom), where birds chirp in large turret-shaped cages and potted palms surround sage-green sofas, red-striped armchairs and wood chairs whose wide, curved backs mimic a birdcage design. Stone columns and archways throughout give the Georgia hotel a European, classic feel that’s a perfect extension of its secluded island location, while the endless amounts of travertine stone and clay tiles are two of the defining style characteristics of this architectural gem.
The Cloister reflects the Mediterranean style of architect Addison Mizner, designer of the original Cloister which opened in 1928, with terra cotta roofs, light-filled gathering rooms, and intimate spaces.