We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“3rd Visit, Even Better Than the First Two”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
The Cloister at Sea Island
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sea Island
Certificate of Excellence
NJ
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“3rd Visit, Even Better Than the First Two”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This is our third year in a row visiting Sea Island. Stayed in a Garden Cottage next to Beach Club with eight family members in a 4BR unit. Other Family members stayed in the Ocean Villas. Garden Cottage unit was beautiful and even had a view of the ocean as it was on the top floor in the south building. Location was great as it was a short walk from the beach club but far enough away to be peaceful. The Garden Cottages have their own private pool which was a great place to escape to in the afternoon. Having the full kitchen was also useful as we often had breakfast at home along with a few dinners. Ocean Villa was nice. Very traditional. Note that the ground floor units have ocean views but they are partially obstructed by the dunes. Very peaceful at that end of the island. We rented a golf cart which was the highlight of the week for the kids.

I will divide this review into a few sections and share some tips I haven't seen in other reviews.

Service

One major aspect that differentiates Cloister from other top resorts is the consistently high level of service you receive from just about everyone. Three years in a row and it just gets better. Some examples....the manager of River Bar saw that I had been waiting for a few minutes before the bar tender returned and personally came over to help. The catering manager accommodated a last minute event I planned for the family. I spent time observing the interactions of the staff at various restaurants and locations and there is a lot of subtle communication that goes on which is focused on meeting the needs of guests. Really impressive. Not always perfect but always polite even with the minor issues that inevitably arise.

Food

I've really tried to find a restaurant or meal that was not consistently good and failed again. Ate at almost every restaurant. Georgian Room was exceptional. I recently ate at Eleven Madison Park in NYC and have to say that the Georgian Room was just as good. We had the wine pairing with the meal and each wine was perfectly matched with the course, and they even wrote down the list of wines we had.

Tavola was good. Has a more modern, trendy feel relative to mother venues. Their brick oven pizzas are especially good, which is what I typically order even though they have excellent entrees.

Southern Tides at the Beach Club has a very good breakfast buffet along with lunch and dinner. View overlooks the ocean. You can also get an a la carte breakfast at the Georgian Room which is casual in the mornings. That breakfast was even better than Southern Tides.

My favorite restaurant is actually the River Bar. Has an intimate traditional charm with nice mix of small dishes and entrees. Also has a very good whiskey, scotch, and bourbon selection. You can sit on the verandah and overlook the river.

The casual take out place at the Beach Club is great for kids as they serve the equivalent of very good fast food. They also have a salad bar. There is a food truck tucked away on the corner by the beach that does good upscale tacos on some days. Nachos could use a bit less cheese. Ice cream and snack bar was loved by the kids.

The big surprise this trip was the catered meal we had in our cottage the last night. We had fried chicken, quartered chicken, biscuits, marmalades, green beans, mashed potatoes, two different gravies, peach pies, Mac n cheese and more. It was delivered in beautiful serving dishes ready to eat. Would put his right up with the Georgian Room. We even took leftover chicken, biscuits, and marmalade through security (lucky to get our 4oz through TSA) and had a picnic before our flight the next day.

Activities

Too many to describe. Spent most of the time between the Beach Club pools and the beach. Even discovered a pretty impressive water slide we must have missed last time. We skipped most of the organized activities this year but enjoyed them in prior years. Did stop by the movie theatre which was great on a rainy day.

My wife and I worked out almost every day. The spa, tennis facilities, and health club make Cloister particularly unique as they are large and very well maintained facilities. Spa sessions were great and the locker rooms are filled with amenities. Exercise room has a large selection of equipment and there are lots of classes. One tip is to go early in the morning as it is less busy.

Summary

One thing to remember is that there are three types of people at the Cloister. There are people who live on Sea Island or have long-term rentals there, there are people visiting for a business meeting, and there are people on vacation. This makes Cloister a bit different as it is clear that there are residents who have known each other for a long time and essentially use Cloister like a country club (golf, beach club access, spa, etc.). As members of the third group (vacationers), I never felt like we were treated differently from any other group but I think it's important for first time visitors to know.

There are few places my family has visited where we use the term "magical" and Cloister makes the list (which includes Hualalei, another exceptional place). My entire family had a great visit and are already planning are next trip.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 1400ka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

841 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    666
    100
    36
    20
    19
See reviews for
283
274
11
137
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (231)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

This trip marked our first trip to the Sea Island property. We stayed at the Beach club in a 1 bedroom suite which was expansive, to say the least. Our children slept in the large living area (pull out sofa and a rollaway). The suite also had a kitchenette, dining room table, roomy hallway with multiple closets, 2 full bathrooms (one with soaking tub) and another bedroom. We were looking for a great beach resort with "high end" amenities and great activities for the kids. I have to say, hands down, this place had the BEST activities for kids. The "junior staff" who manned the kids activities seemed like the were right out of central casting! Wholesome, All-American college students who were truly motivated to be spending their time with your kids (and even if they were faking it they did a FABULOUS job). From the horseback riding, to kids club, paddle boarding, family Bingo night, shelling, shooting gallery with air guns and archery, amazing spa and golf, and cinema right next to the pool, this place was unbelievable for families! While it comes with a steep price tag, there is no "riff raff" here. It is genuine, wholesome, beautiful families and kids. The service was wonderful and I was delighted that from the wait staff to the kid's club people were happy to help you and were never annoyed. If I could criticize anything I would say that the food was just solid/good. Our dinner at the Georgian Room was exceptional, but everything else was just pretty good. I think for these prices, the food should be in the "very good to exceptional" category. Further, I thought the food/beverage service at the pool was exceptionally slow and unresponsive--literally the worst of any poolside service that I have ever encountered. This seems like something that could be easily remedied--your pool service needs more waitstaff, plain and simple! Other than that, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to visit Sea Island again!

Room Tip: Beach club accommodations are the best choice for families. Suites were expansive.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank michfromdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
michellebrown26
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Serene, quiet and stunningly beautiful.
The restaurant overlooking the inlet was excellent. Food, excellent service and quiet ambiance soothed my aching back after a ride from Atlanta. The ceiling fans kept it cool in the July heat. Can't wait to visit again for a longer stay

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank michellebrown26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

What a beautiful location. It's a wonderful place to go, and of course quite pricey. It certainly deserves a 5 star rating. For the money, it really should be an all inclusive resort. I was quite surprised when reviewing my bill to find a "20% Gratuity Fee" on top of the already overpriced products. This fee is regardless of whether you have it delivered or if you get it yourself. I've always disliked having the gratuity added in (that should be at my discretion), but especially when you bypass the server and get it yourself...Kind of a slap in the face.

Other than that, I was a wonderful week on Sea Island. We learned to shag, exercised, swam, went sea-shelling and played squash. The tea is great (and sweet!), the cookies were awesome and the ice cream is grand. As you walk through the resort, you seem to want to step back to an earlier, more formal time...somewhere in the 30's or so. Bingo was great, and the quaint chapel service was worth getting up early for on Sunday.

Going into the G8 room really was interesting-to know that the most powerful leaders in the world had been in that room was awesome.

If you can go to the resort, by all means do it

Room Tip: We prefer Marsh Views!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

....said no one there! Even though the hotel is fancy schmancy, it was so kid friendly. We brought 3 kids under 5 and we never received a dirty look, not when the kids were screaming in the lobby, or when the kids spilled drinks at the free cookie hour, or when the kids were bored at bingo and they played under the table. It was too fancy for my husband, but I love that it is a quick plane ride and that the pool and beach were amazing. Food on the property is VERY expensive, we did a lot of exploring the nearby towns for dinner. We made sandwiches in the room for lunch which was a great excuse to get the kids back to the room for an afternoon nap.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WeTravelx5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
313 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Sea Island access is by name or a pass only. My Brother-in-Law is a Doctor so we had a pass. The property is elegant and gorgeous and oozes of lavish money spent by their fresh flower arrangements in even unoccupied rooms. Orchids in mass could be found at the main lobby area with no expense spared on that arrangement.

We had drinks at The River Bar which boasts of high back leather chairs for your dining or drinking pleasures. I had a Mojito and it was very good but not the very best I've ever had which is expected with the decor. A business meeting in one of the conference rooms would be nothing less than impressive. The room I viewed was that of 30 chairs set at a large round table with framed photos of who's who on the walls.

My only disappointment was to see that the dress attire for its members was lacking. Some that were checking in looked as if the beach was their destination but not a luxurious resort property.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Ms.LoveTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

My husband and I visited for a long weekend for a business trip. The hotel and grounds are gorgeous. There were two weddings in the garden nearest our room that looked intimate and lovely. We were given a room with two queen beds and upon calling,I learned that there were no king rooms available. This ended up being fine for the short trip. I learned that several other attendees called with the same request, all to be told no other rooms were available. The room was large, and the bed was so comfortable that I overslept the first two mornings! The bathroom was enormous. Two large sinks, large tub and shower. My husband spent his mornings in meetings and we had group dinners at the resort two of the three nights. The food and service were outstanding. The short walk to the beach/pools provided some much-needed fresh air after the large breakfast. The pool area was family friendly with activities, ice-cream shop and beach store. The adult-pool was quiet and well-staffed. The Spa was beautiful. I had a massage one day and no less than 5 ladies attended to me throughout my walk to the treatment room! The last night we had a catered dinner on Rainbow Island. Because of the nature of our trip, I understand or experience might not have been typical of a family or couples trip, with planned meals and excursions. And I have no idea what the price point was for our room. None the less, it is a fabulous property with outstanding service.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KLS94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Sea Island
3.7 mi away
Ocean Lodge
Ocean Lodge
#4 of 10 in Saint Simons Island
588 reviews
9.4 mi away
Jekyll Island Club Resort
Jekyll Island Club Resort
#1 of 9 in Jekyll Island
1,204 reviews
8.4 mi away
Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.9 mi away
Home2 Suites by Hilton St. Simons Island
Home2 Suites by Hilton St. Simon...
#1 of 10 in Saint Simons Island
104 reviews
10.0 mi away
The Westin Jekyll Island
The Westin Jekyll Island
#4 of 9 in Jekyll Island
702 reviews
2.7 mi away
Hampton Inn St. Simons Island
Hampton Inn St. Simons Island
#2 of 10 in Saint Simons Island
599 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Cloister at Sea Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Cloister at Sea Island

Property: The Cloister at Sea Island
Address: 100 Cloister Dr, Sea Island, GA 31561-9705
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Georgia > Georgia Coast > Golden Isles of Georgia > Sea Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sea Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Cloister at Sea Island 5*
Number of rooms: 175
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resort that offers golf lessons plus a variety of other activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, sailing and swimming. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your The Cloister at Sea Island reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Cloister At Sea Island Hotel Sea Island
Cloister Resort Sea Island
Cloister Sea Island
The Cloister At Sea Island Georgia

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing