Sea Island, Georgia
Exclusivity and tradition meet modern luxury
by Mark Richards
From blueblood American families to presidents, Sea Island has hosted discerning visitors for generations. They’ve come – and continue to come – for many reasons: The Cloister Hotel, world-class golf courses, undisturbed beaches, or just to get away. Part of this lure is the Spa at Sea Island, which will move into a new 65,000 square foot facility in the fall. Whether you’re looking for traditional spa treatments or want help getting ready for your first 10K, the spa offers everything you need for a complete health and wellness experience.
Intentions into actions. The name of the wellness program at the Spa at Sea Island says it all. Whatever your intentions may be, the spa’s staff is intent on helping you wade through the static to find the action that is right for you.
“The spirit of the spa extends outside the walls of the building and over the whole resort,” says Jim Root, Sea Island’s general manager of spa operations. “The power is people connecting. Our approach is high touch and low tech.”
According to Sea Island CEO David Everett, the resort is taking a holistic approach to health and wellness, incorporating aspects from across the board to give visitors the best of everything during their stay.
“It’s our intention to be the finest resort in the world,” Everett says. “The health and wellness aspect is a central part of being a complete destination. It’s not just about one area; it’s a complete line of services and amenities.”
Root believes that a health, fitness and wellness experience isn’t always about the hottest treatment or newest exercise trend, but finding what’s right for you. This is why his staff – from masseuse to track coach to wellness chef – concentrate on building personalized programs that focus on optimal individual performance.
“It’s not ‘bikini boot camp,’” says Root, it’s about identifying your goals and creating a foundation you can build upon after leaving Sea Island. “We’re not chasing the cosmetic or veneer; we’re getting down to some real values.”
For some visitors, those values include making a change to a healthier diet; others want to develop a fitness program they can stick with; some just want to relax at the spa. And that, says Root, is the beauty of the Spa at Sea Island: you can do as much or as little as you want.
If it’s a healthy diet you’re after, wellness chef Laurie Erickson can set you on the right path. Erickson is aware of how often life can interrupt the cooking process, Root says, so she focuses on simple fare that is easy to prepare and delicious to eat. Erickson will walk you through the entire culinary process: she’ll take you shopping and teach you how to make healthy choices while in the store, give you recipes, and show you how to cook meals that fit your lifestyle. Root added that many guests call Erickson for food tips once they’ve returned home; so remember, if you run into a food crisis help is only a phone call away.
Of course, health and wellness extend beyond one’s diet. With this in mind, the Spa at Sea Island offers a myriad of fitness options.
Sea Island’s approach to fitness is about “optimal performance and optimal aging. Aging is natural, how we age is up to us,” Root says. Again, it’s all about finding what’s right for each individual and creating a program to help you “be the best you can be.”
The fitness facility offers classes of all types, and the new spa (with its 30,000 square feet of dedicated fitness space) will feature studios for yoga, Pilates and other disciplines. But, as Root said earlier, the spirit of the spa extends beyond the building’s walls, and that means taking advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings on Sea Island.
Whether it’s running on the beach with Sea Island track coach Bruce Kritzler, learning from one of the resort’s three top-50 golf instructors or taking aim at the shooting school (where the philosophy is to “let your senses guide you and you’ll hit the target every time”), the island allows for plenty of opportunities to turn your intentions into actions, au natural.
Don’t forget, Sea Island is about relaxing as well, and the spa offers more ways to kick back (and be pampered) than you can imagine. Treatments like the Georgia Mud Pie Wrap and Soak (a deep cleanse with detoxifying oils and warm mud) and Sea Island Special (a botanical scrub, hydrobath and full-body massage) make it easy to turn your intentions into actions.
The new Spa at Sea Island’s design will make it easy to relax as well. Its vaulted ceilings and wide-open layout will help you make the transition from your harried world into a relaxation process that will leave you renewed and re-energized. And that’s how Root wants guests to feel when upon leaving the spa.
“For 78 years people have been coming to Sea Island to recharge,” Root says, “and we’re today’s stewards of that 78-year-old tradition.”
For more information visit www.seaisland.com or call (800) SEA ISLAND