Nature and Nurture Coexist on a Private Island off Georgia’s Coast
Nature and nurture coexist on a private island off Georgia’s coast
While friends and family members can be a special part of your wedding, a honeymoon is about just the two of you. Where better to celebrate your new commitment than a private island?
If your ideal honeymoon involves lots of private time, the great outdoors (without giving up access to modern conveniences) and quiet togetherness, make that dream a reality on Eagle Island, located off the Georgia coast. The 10-acre island estate boasts an upscale lodge and is surrounded by 2,000 acres of salt marsh. True seclusion never felt so luxurious.
One of eight properties that comprise The Private Islands of Georgia, a vacation rental company owned and operated by Captain Andy Hill and his wife Shannon, Eagle Island is just a ten-minute boat ride from Darien and is situated in one of the most secluded regions on the Atlantic Coast (and in a place The Nature Conservancy has named one of the “75 last great places left in the world”). “Eagle Island has the best backyard in America,” says Hill, and while facing the spectacular vista it’s hard to argue with him.
The 100-mile long Georgia coast boasts 1,600 back barrier islands and houses one-eighth of the east coast’s and one-twelfth of the nation’s total marshland. The opportunity to exclusively call an island in this area home for a few days provides an escape like no other.
Thick with tall pine trees and live oaks draped with Spanish moss, Eagle Island appears to rise out of the marsh. Surrounded by a “vast array of creeks, rivers, estuaries, sounds and the Atlantic Ocean it offers the outdoor experience of a lifetime,” says Hill.
Within this environment, Hill’s objective is to provide guests with top-rate hospitality. While some five-star amenities (like 24-hour room service) don’t translate to a private island lodge, “We self-designated as five-moon,” says Hill, who has been hosting guests on Eagle Island for more than ten years. “We’ll customize for each guest’s needs.” Prefer individual kayaks rather than a tandem one? Need paddling lessons? Want a stocked refrigerator and pantry upon arrival? A private chef? Chilled champagne? Rose petals sprinkled across the bed? Simply explain what you need when booking your stay and he’ll make all the arrangements.
Eagle Island is secluded, but absolute isolation is optional since cell phone service reaches the island and the lodge is equipped with wireless high-speed Internet and satellite TV service. The island is only accessible by boat, so each stay includes round-trip boat transportation. (Of course, guests with their own boat can come and go as they please.)
The Lodge offers two bedrooms on the main floor, a bedroom loft, and a basement bedroom with its own private entrance. There are two full baths plus an outdoor shower, an indoor kitchen equipped with professional-grade appliances plus an outdoor kitchen stocked with a huge boiling pot, steamer, smoker and grill. The great room features cypress-paneled walls and floors, vaulted ceilings and a handcrafted stone fireplace. Leather and teak furnishings invite relaxation, as do the wrap-around screened porch with hot tub and fireplace.
“We’re sort of like a B&B,” says Hill, and the vibe at the Lodge is more akin to a friend’s house than a hotel. “But you’ll be the only guest.” Many construction materials and décor items are what Hill calls “salvaged treasures.” For example, the front door of the Eagle Island Lodge was previously on a house built on Sea Island in 1940, some bricks were salvaged from an old hotel in Brunswick, heart pine lumber was recovered from an old cotton gin near Darien, dead cedar trees found floating in the Darien River were used to construct an arbor.
On Eagle Island, tides measure time. Relax and savor each minute of your honeymoon: Soak in the hot tub. Linger in the outdoor shower. Cuddle in front of the fireplace. Play horseshoes. Toast marshmallows around a bonfire. Explore the surrounding marsh by kayak. Take a nap. Wander the hiking trails and snap photos. Read. Swing on the porch swing. While the motto here is, “What happens on the island stays on the island,” the memories will last a lifetime.
Earth and water mingle in the salt marsh and each incoming and outgoing tide brings different scenery, always unique and beautiful—a metaphor for your married days ahead.
Private Islands of Georgia can be reached at 912.222.0801 and privateislandsofgeorgia.com. Eagle Island rental rates start at $400/night for 2 guests, 2-night minimum. A six-night escape for two is $2,500.
Photos/All courtesy of Private Islands of Georgia except spiral stairs, which is by Richard Johnson.