Sea Island History
Long ago, the elegant retreat that is Sea Island was once a fishing ground for Native Americans, a conquest of European explorers and the site of grazing pastures. From these humble beginnings sprang the roots of one of the world's finest resorts and residential communities. First called Fifth Creek by Native Americans, the resort's name has changed from Isle of Palms to Long Island, Glynn Isle and finally, Sea Island. Many would argue that Sea Island is the gem of Georgia's coastline. Sea Island's founder, Howard Coffin, must have thought so for the island's transformation was his vision and life dream.
Famous for his work in Palm Beach, architect Addison Mizner was commissioned to design The Cloister, and the result reflects the acclaimed architect's penchant for Mediterranean design. Set back from the ocean, the sprawling stucco building with terra cotta tile roof feels at once both comfortable and grand. The signature Spanish lounge features high-beamed ceilings and gothic style windows, and sunlit patios and cloistered terraces add to the casually elegant ambiance. The design of the hotel proved to be a complement to the property's beautiful natural setting, which was carefully enhanced at the hands of the talented landscape architect. Among the clusters of stately palms and graceful live oaks, stretches of green grass and expansive carpets of colorful flowerbeds were added.
Bill Jones III has assumed the duties of CEO and chairman of the board from his father, Alfred W. Jones, Jr., maintaining a family tradition of 75 years. The dedicated Jones family's hands-on management style has been integral to Sea Island's success as an award-winning destination resort. And the property is a family resort in more ways than one. Over the years, Sea Island and The Cloister have been welcoming generation after generation of some of the same families, and many families have been employed at the property for decades, including some fourth generation employees.
Sea Island, including The Cloister, is one of the finest resort and residential communities in the world and has been the recipient of countless awards, accolades and distinctions from such respected publications as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Town & Country and others. It is little wonder the property has drawn discriminating travelers for 75 years. And its history and commitment to excellence guarantee the Golden Isles will continue to be a luxurious haven for many years to come.