Georgia’s Greyfield Inn offers refined accommodations amid a wild landscape.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Cumberland Island, Georgia’s southernmost barrier island, is just off the mainland yet feels a world away with its miles of undeveloped beaches, maritime forests, and marshlands teeming with wildlife.
THE VIBE: Relaxed and secluded, Greyfield Inn is a lesson in unplugging—there’s no Wi-Fi on the property and no TVs in guest rooms. Instead, a wide front porch with rocking chairs and bed swings beckons guests to unwind with a book or afternoon cocktail.
THE DIGS: Built in 1901 as a Carnegie family retreat, Greyfield was transformed into a sixteen-room inn in the 1960s (and hosted a certain Kennedy wedding in 1996). Still run by Carnegie descendants, the Inn is a timeless escape where activities seem endless: everything needed for kayaking, fishing, biking, birding, and lounging on the beach is included in a stay. Guests have the run of the place, from living spaces with furniture and books original to the home to an open kitchen stocked with snacks and drinks during the day. The result is that you feel more like you’re staying in a family friend’s home than in a hotel. And all of this is set on Cumberland Island, an unspoiled landscape where it’s common to watch wild horses graze while you drink your morning coffee.
Insider Tip: Tour the island with Greyfield’s naturalist for a glimpse of wildlife, other Carnegie mansions, and an African-American settlement established in 1893.
Eat-In Options: The bounty of coastal Georgia, including the produce grown in Greyfield’s 1.5-acre organic garden, figures prominently in Executive Chef Whitney Otawka’s cooking. Together with her husband and fellow chef Ben Wheatley, Otawka plans Greyfield’s daily menu—breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included with your stay—based on what’s fresh and available from local farmers, fishermen, and the garden. This time of year, the garden is churning out citrus, mustard greens, and radicchio, among other produce, which may be paired with line-caught sheepshead or White Oak Pastures chicken before being served around a communal table cued by the dinner bell. On weekends, Beverage and Service Director Christopher Becerra offers wine pairings for the three-course dinner. Entertaining is central to the Greyfield experience. Before dinner, guests enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres (or in the fall and winter, an oyster roast on the lawn). And a bar that runs on the honor system—guests are welcome to pour a glass of wine or mix a cocktail themselves—is always open.