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“Not a 5 star experience”

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The Cloister at Sea Island
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sea Island
Certificate of Excellence
Sugar Hill NH
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Not a 5 star experience”
Reviewed May 28, 2011

Location: excellent, right on the beach, just steps to pools and ocean ( Room was at the beach club)
Service: non existant, there was not anyone around asking me if i needed anything or if they could do something for us
Cleanliness: not really that clean, birds bathing and pooping anywhere there was a pool. Our deck turned your feet black after walking on it. Outdoor furniture on our deck had bird poop all over it and the outdoor restaurant also had bird poo on the tables, chairs, etc.
Pests: roach in our kitchen, birds were so aggressive we could not relax by the pools or at the restaurant over looking the beach. They would try to take our kids sandwich right from his hand or dive bomb our table a snatch food right off our plates!
Room: Huge, beautiful deck. Broken glass (tiny tiny shards) all over our huge beautiful deck overlooking the ocean- did i mention it was huge. You could host a party for 20 people on it! Our 10 month old was crawling in the glass before we discovered it. After housekeeping swept it, i got a piece in my foot. The deck cushions were torn and covered in bird poop.
Beach sand: very clean, soft. Nice beach. No crowds. They have umbrella and cabanas for use.
Food Quality: Edible, nothing special, we ate for sustenance. We also ordered a grocery shop from Harris Teeter online and housekeeping picked it up for us and it was there in our room when we arrive. We saved a ton feeding us and the kids lunches on our deck!
Expenses: We had a 1 bedroom, kitchen, 2 bath ocean front suite for $615 a night. Our patron margaritas were $12.50 apiece and everywhere we spent money a 20% tip was automatically added. They automatically add $2 to your bill each day for the conservation trust. The only restaurant we could casually eat in with the kids was big Georges. Not the cleanest because of the birds pooping everywhere. We only had one woman who served us professionally and courteously. The dinner buffet was $35 each and $24 for breakfast buffet. Kids under 4 were free.
Marketing: the hotels website has very beautiful pictures of the resort. It is beautiful in real life too- but you need to insist on reserving the rooms you see on the site- we did and got the best room at the beach club that even had a washer dryer!
Experiences- They sell add-ons like sea turtle excursions, they were very expensive and we did not par take. We spent our days at the pool.
If you are looking for a great beach vacation and can live without good service then i would recommend it. We would return but if i found a better resort we'd try that one before returning.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank SugarHillNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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851 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (234)
Date | Rating
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English first
Philadelphia, PA
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2011

We loved this resort! Huge, gorgeous, clean, up-to-date rooms, bathrooms. Quiet--great sleep. Great beach, gorgeous pools, millions of things to do. Golf, shooting (outstanding instruction offered for both activities,) fun easy biking, great walking/running on the beach, game room fun for kids, ice cream bar and candy shop diverting, ran out of time to play tennis, would have played squash but also ran out of time, rode horses on beach. Food at Beach Club/Big Georges and Oak Room bar was quite good. Breakfast buffet out of this world! Did not like food at River Bar, but that's just me. Service was friendly and always exceedingly professional. Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Ask service-oriented staff for help
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HDTH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

We visited this hotel in June which is its busiest season, but the place wasn't overcorowded and it was very comfortable around Beach Club area. It was beautiful as usual and the attention to detail was impeccable, if anyone found anything wrong with this resort I really would like to know what it is because it was spotless to me. Many people lnow this as a golf hotel, but it is really so much more. Its great for ANY types of travellers, especially familys. This hotel IS pricey so be willing to spend a good amount of money when you come for food and other services. Regardless of how much money it costs, you will never find a mistake made in your order or recieve an undercooked burger. The resort fee is an astoundingly small amount of money for what it offers, so don't be mad about this either. The rooms are very big and spacious. The beds are very large and clean. The turdown service is also nice with the chocolates and all. The bathrooms are probably the most beautiful part of the room. (I reccomend Oceanfront rooms, they have much more of a beach feel to them than a victorian feel which I personally prefer.) All suites include a small but well equipped kitchen which comes in handy when you don't want t eat out for every meal. The TVs are large which is also nice. A simple call can get a pullout bed made which is helpful for big families.

Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank jack60880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2011

I've heard people complain that the Cloister "just wasn't the same" after their renovations a few years ago but we had a magnificent time. We stayed at the beach club so we were less than three minutes from the pool and the beach which was fabulous with a 15 month old. The food was outstanding and a pretty good value considering the location. Love, love, loved the sidewalk fountain by the pool for my little guy. I can imagine though that the pool area gets insanely crowded in the summer when the hotel is full since it shares the space with beach club members.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank abromano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Our family of three stayed at The Cloister for three nights/four days. Being somewhat jaded with travel (even when staying at luxury properties), I was hopeful but did not have high expectations. From the moment we drove onto the property, I was impressed. First, by the staff member who greeted us at the gate with a smile and genuine welcome. This genuine-ness from the staff continued for our entire stay. How REFRESHING just to be treated as a valued customer (even though this was our first stay and they did not know us from Adam). Having traveled all over of the country including stays at Mandarin Oriental, The Peninsula and St. Regis properties, I can say The Cloister exceeds many of these hotels especially when you compare cost to value received.

The room was large with plenty of area to unpack and store away all we brought with us. A lot of space for the price of the room - no suitcases to trip over and a double closet in the dressing room. A built-in ironing board with light and full-size iron making it quick and easy to touch up our clothes. No ironing board to wrestle up or down - thank you! The room was CLEAN and I mean around-the-baseboards, under- the-bed, no-hair-in-the- bathroom clean. The cleanliness of the room was mirrored by the entire property. I don't think I saw one piece of litter the entire stay. The spa and gym also immaculate and spacious.

Food was excellent and very reasonably priced. I ordered a burger to go from the outside bar at Big George's. The young man working asked me if I wanted the adult or kid's burger (I had my 8 year old with me). I replied the adult burger and then, more to my daughter, than him, said we would split it for lunch. He brought the order out and said he had the kitchen split it for me. I did not know he even heard me say that. It is the little things like that which make your vacation hassle-free and more pleasurable. I just do not get why hotel management and trainers don't get how important anticipating and going that extra half-step takes one from 'customer' to happy, loyal patron.

Finally, our daughter's 8th birthday occurred during our stay (not the specific reason for our visit, just happened to fall over school break); everyone made her day special from start to finish with a 'Happy Birthday' greeting everywhere she went and special desserts at breakfast and dinner in addition to the card, balloons and cookies delivered to the room.

I am gushing because, sadly, you just don't get this kind of service any more. Also, you must go The Lodge if only the hear the bag-piper at the end of the day. The sound I cannot explain you just have to experience it.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank MUWGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
atlanta
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

The Cloister resort property is spectacular. The trees and gardens are about as authentic and southern as it gets. We went in February when half the place is closed for the season. So, that was not real cool. Particularly when they charge in-season rates. We hardly ran across a soul in the hotel until saturday when the owner residents descend upon the property. In fact, my wife and I were remarking how we felt like were in the movie The Shining. We felt like we were the only guests on the property. The hallways are very long and we didn't run across another guess even in the elevators. Then on saturday we went out the back toward the beach and were suddenly in the midst of throngs of families using the facility. Apparently, the owner residents have access to the hotel.

The rooms are spacious and very well decorated. The bathrooms are huge. There are 2 doors between your front door and hallway. There is literally an anteroom which would be a tremendous feature in terms of blocking hallway noise..........if there were any other guests on our floor making noise. The rooms are quiet as a cave.............until you get in bed. Not sure how they accomplished this feat, but the sheets are really noisy. They are soft, but make a sound like sandpaper when the sheets rub across each other. So, unless your partner does not move in their sleep, its a tough night sleep.

I woud recommend this place if you want to see this part of the world. There isn't a nicer hotel in the southeast. Brings your own top sheet.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank drpaulAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2011

Have been going to Sea Island since 1996 and boy has it changed. Local talk says upwards of 1 billion dollars has been spent over the last 10 years on replacing everything - new golf courses, new Lodge, new hotel, new beach club, a spa, stables etc etc
No longer the family resort, now a property development company for the corporates and their platinum blonde spouses (male and female), and someone's got to pay for it.

I can't see the new owners changing the prices unfortunately, which are exhorbitant.
An example - 2 cocktails in the River Bar (1 bloody Mary, 1 vodka Martini) - no change from $40.

Another example - 3 days golf tuition course for teenagers - $1,500!!!

Will be back this summer - one thing they couldn't change is the sheer beauty of the place - but will be using the beach only. Plenty of places to stay, play golf, eat, drink on St Simons and the mainland.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JBAFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
Location: United States > Georgia > Georgia Coast > Golden Isles of Georgia > Sea Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 
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Also Known As:
The Cloister At Sea Island Hotel Sea Island
Cloister Resort Sea Island
Cloister Sea Island
The Cloister At Sea Island Georgia

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