The holidays can be a magical time, prompting charity and good will among mankind.
But for most, it isn’t all sugar plums and gingerbread. It is also accompanied by a heaping amount of chaos, stress and pressure. While a full-fledged get away might be an impossibility, respites closer to home are an option.
Two of the area’s historic resorts are offering residents the opportunity to find an escape without so much as packing a suitcase.
First up, Sea Island is opening up its doors to the public for special dining and spa opportunities.
The private luxury resort is now offering a number of affordable meals at several of its restaurants, as well as treatments at its spa. The specials run from Dec. 1 to Dec. 21. All that is required is a reservation, which may be made by calling 855-249-9801.
Merry Tipton, Sea Island spokeswoman, said the numerous dining choices allow something for every palate.
“With six of our nine restaurants offering special menus and pricing during December Dining & Spa, diners have a multitude of options from which to choose. Each restaurant offers a different atmosphere and menu, ranging from casual, oceanfront at Southern Tide at the Beach Club to Forbes-Five Star dining at the Georgian Room, the only Forbes Five-Star restaurant in Georgia,” she said.
“Tavola is our rustic, Italian eatery at The Cloister; Colt & Alison is our classic steakhouse at The Lodge; the River Bar is casual, overlooking Black Banks River; and the Oak Room at The Lodge offers Southern favorites and signature dishes. We look forward to sharing it all with the community.”
With securing the appointment at either the spa or a reservation at a restaurant, the purchaser will also be allowed access to the grounds two hours prior to the event, allowing them to explore the grounds and the Cloister resort, all of which will be resplendent in Christmas decor.
Tipton said the holiday season could possibly be the best time to visit the resort.
“Not only are the restaurants and The Spa offering special opportunities for dining and spa services, the entire resort becomes a wonderland of holiday décor, with 43 different trees, trumpeting angels lining the bridge leading to Sea Island, nutcrackers and toy soldiers adorning the lobby of The Lodge,” she said. “And in the Solarium of The Cloister, this year’s gingerbread display pays homage to the early days of Sea Island, in honor of next year being our 90th anniversary year.”
In addition to exploration, visitors will also be able to shop at Sea Island’s stores, offering a chance to purchase items not found anywhere else.
“Then, too, diners and spa goers have the opportunity to arrive a couple of hours ahead of their reservation or appointment to shop in the many stores at the resort that will be brimming with holiday gift items,” Tipton said.
Like Sea Island, Jekyll Island is also full of history and holiday splendor. The island’s historic district features cottages formerly owned by the likes of the Vanderbilts that will be fully decorated for the season.
The Jekyll Island Club is also a sight to see. It offers guests, as well as locals, a chance to book a reservation in its grand dining room, or to explore its grounds.
Amy Wisenbaker, social media and web communications manager for the club, said Jekyll Island is the perfect place to unplug and release stress during the rampant holiday season.
“The island as a whole just has an easier way of living that always seems to bypass all of the holiday traffic, crowds, and that constant holiday ‘go-go-go’ mentality. Locals can escape for a night out, or a whole weekend, to Jekyll and just embrace the true meaning of the holiday season,” Wisenbaker said.
One new dining experience, just a short walk from the club itself, is gaining a lot of attention. The newly renovated restaurant, The Wharf, is situated on the water and allows diners the chance to experience a mini-getaway.
“With live music Thursday to Sunday, an inventive menu that features not only fresh seafood, but southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and Coca Cola barbeque chicken, and a drink menu with craft beers all the way to specialty cocktails, The Wharf is an experience in itself,” Wisebaker said. “Whether it’s a casual lunch, cocktails at sunset or dinner and dancing on the weekends, we have so many ways that guests and locals can escape during the holiday season. Of course, locals can always run with the staycation idea and book a room at the historic club so they can eat and drink as much as they please.”