The Golden Isles, Georgia: Luxury and Relaxation
By Kathrin Kana
Georgia’s Southeastern Coast in the U.S. is still a hidden secret that most people don’t know about – and neither did I. But that changed drastically when I recently visited the gorgeous Golden Isles. The group of islands consists of St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island and the mainland city of Brunswick. Reminiscent of the landscape described in the novel “Gone with the Wind,” I especially noticed the large oak trees covered with hanging Spanish moss everywhere. The splendid resorts and glorious beaches on these islands also offer many ways to indulge and relax.
The Jekyll Island Club Hotel – Elegance with History
Due to its warm climate, the Golden Isles established itself as the perfect winter resort destination for the wealthy of the North more than a century ago. I visited one of the most elegant and luxurious hotels of this time, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Rooms named after historical greats, such as Joseph Pulitzer, who were also members here, left me feeling a certain gravitas. I walked down the long hallway and entered the salon with upholstered chairs coming down the ornate wooden staircase. And sitting on the huge porch with its deliciously comfortable rocking chairs and a cool beverage made for a perfect evening.
Today it is part of the historic district, which consists of restored club members’ villas and other buildings that can be visited. There is a lot of history on these grounds. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, then influenced by Spanish missionaries, Jekyll Island became an outpost of the English, was used as a plantation and, after various owners, eventually purchased by the Jekyll Island Club. Walking these grounds, it’s almost as if the past never left, but lingers in the trees and buildings.
The Cloister on Sea Island Resort – Pure Luxury and Relaxation
The Cloister on Sea Island is one of those rare gems in luxury accommodations – it’s a Forbes Five-star resort, and it shows. From the gorgeous architecture, to the perfectly appointed rooms, to the indulgent spa and many activities available for guests, The Cloister has it all. The adjacent Beach Club offers five miles of pristine private beach with plenty of room for swimming, paddle boarding or just relaxing.
Retail Therapy on St. Simons Island
All across the isles are many boutiques, shops and antique stores, but I’d like to especially point out the Pier Village on St. Simons Island. Those in need of a change of scenery should come here to browse and play, because the selection is huge. Whether young or old, you can find something for everyone: gifts, apparel, sports equipment, toys or collectors’ items. Don’t shop anywhere else if you’re in search of that perfect souvenir.
Indulgence, relaxation and luxury are on top of the list here in the Golden Isles, and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing it!