One Georgia resort has taken its five-star commitment above and beyond. The Cloisters at Sea Island has a falcon patrol in its restaurants.
Perched on the leather-gloved wrist of a professional falconer, a hooded Harris hawk patrols the outdoor eateries at The Cloisters at Sea Island. Yes, a badass bird keeps pests away so that you can dine in peace. Its mere presence is enough to scare away the hordes of Boat-Tailed Grackles – blackbirds vying for scraps.
“We’re here patrolling from mid March to Labor Day at all the outdoor restaurants and during all mealtimes,” says Adam Hein, a wildlife consultant for Sea Island falconry. He’s been handling hawks since childhood.
With an abatement permit, the Raptor Patrol is able to deter scavengers harmlessly.
“This sort of service is more commonly found at airports where they need to keep birds off the runways,” says Hein.
There’s also falconry classes and demonstrations at nearby Falconer’s Retreat.
Besides its badass bird bouncer, the Cloisters is worth visiting for other reasons. A highbrow haven for the glitterati since the 1920s, The Cloisters is a hub of hedonism, offering many five-star extras on its four properties. Décor is opulent and there’s a maze, movie theatre and fitness centre.
At the sister hotel, The Lodge at Sea Island, butlers draw rose petal baths, cookies and milk are delivered nightly to vaulted and wood-beamed rooms, and valets unpack luggage.
At the resort, don’t expect casual shorts and polo shirt culture though. Dinner is as posh as it gets: dress code including sports coats for guys, a posse of professional waiters and sommeliers, delectable dishes prepared table-side, crystal glasses and handcrafted cutlery all to the subtle sounds of live classical piano.
Having gorged on succulent steaks with Gorgonzola sauce and decadent dessert medley, next day I opted to dine at The Cloisters. The properties are all linked by half-hourly shuttles, so I was able to indulge in oodles of sparkling French wine to accompany the home-made pasta and pizza at Tavola, a fusion of authentic rustic comfort food with a classy, smart-casual environment.
And of course, bird bouncer protection.
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Get all the deets on the Sea Island website.