Want absolute privacy? There’s no better destination than a private island.
By Hope S. Philbrick
If your ideal getaway 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 ten-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 and can accommodate groups up to ten. 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 escape: 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. The choice is yours.
Private Islands of Georgia
Odds of Encountering Children: Zero, as long as you don’t bring any with you.
Eagle Island rental rates start at $400/night for 2 guests, 2-night minimum. A six-night escape for two is $2,500.
-Photos Courtesy Private Islands of Georgia
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