Prevue September-October 2017 - 66
Sea Island Resort
Gracious service and heartfelt hospitality along the "shambling sea"
[ON LOCATION] AINE MCATEER
hen the first order of the day beckons attendees
to "meet your horse on Rainbow Island," they
know they've found a little bit of paradise. Sea
Island Resort has been building a reputation
worthy of its five-star rating since opening the first of four on-site
accommodation options, The Cloister, on Georgia's southern
coast in 1928. The Cloister at Sea Island now offers 265 of the
resort's 390 rooms-all still accentuated by Southern hospitality
and stunning natural landscapes spread over thousands of acres.
And with ease of accessibility (the neighboring St. Simon's island
airport accommodates up to 100 private planes), a meetings
savvy culture and thoughtful global touches (our room includes
handwoven Turkish rugs), the resort easily accommodates all
types of attendees.
Nowhere is the resort's international affluency more apparent than
the G8 Summit Room, which was used by G8 dignitaries in the
past and is now available to meetings and conferences; the entire
property hosts groups of up to 500. "This was a masterclass in
event planning," says Reint Venker, director of national sales, "with
a team of chefs, caterers and event planners working around the
clock for a year to ensure the enjoyment and security of visiting
dignitaries and guests." In all, the resort offers 41,000 sf of meeting
space, the latest addition being the 5,000-sf Mizner Ballroom,
and 140 cottages.
Above all, Sea Island promises "gracious hospitality," says
Parra Vaughn, VP of sales and marketing. "We strive to hire people
who enjoy service and our team takes care of every detail to make
sure your group has a memorable experience."
A LABYRINTH OF DREAMS
It's day two of our adventure and already our group has enjoyed
a shooting lesson at Sea Island's famed shooting school and an
education in golf putting with Mike Shannon, one of their leading
putting mentors and golf performance experts. The resort offers
three golf courses, each surrounded by scenic landscapes and
offering tailored golf experiences. Groups can recharge in a
Forbes Five-Star spa in between meetings, indulge in-room with
complimentary rose petal baths in deep soaking tubs, and get
a little too comfortable with 24-hour butler service (that includes
nightly delivery of milk and cookies). We're told the most popular
team building experiences are the "Great Race," beach "Olympics,"
scavenger hunts, boating and customized equestrian, golf and
After a horseback ride along a beautiful white sand beach, we
embarked on a chef-led cooking class that resulted in a gourmet
lunch. Divine meals by Sea Island chefs (the only Forbes Five-Star
restaurant in Georgia is here) quickly becomes the norm; today,
we are feasting on crab ravioli and wines from the on-site cellar,
where up to 30 attendees can meet and mingle in an intimate
environment. We follow this up with a boat trip through the
waterways and marshes that define Sea Island and inspired poet
Sidney Lanier to write of their beauty.
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