Southern Hospitality Meets Island Life at This Micro-Resort
Five unique vacation houses, one pool, endless fun.
Published Jun 10, 2019 7:00 AM
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Domino, titled “Park Life.” Subscribe to be the first to receive each issue.
“Good weather is an occasion for entertaining!” says Bryce Brock, who, along with Kelly Revels, recently opened the Park, a five-house micro-resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia. In a climate conducive to spending most of the year in the fresh air, their new destination was designed for some serious indoor-outdoor quality time. “There is nothing better than having the doors open and kids and friends moving from the inside out,” says Brock.
The pair met through friends and, just over a decade ago, started the Vine, a boutique landscape-design and event-planning firm with its own garden market and lifestyle store. Last year, while visiting a client in Austin, they found themselves at the Hotel San Jose, admiring its thoughtful details and intentional simplicity. “While we were drinking rosé in the courtyard—and trying to solve all the world’s problems—we decided there were so many properties on St. Simons that needed this love,” says Brock. “So we found one as soon as we got home.”
Before transforming into a beachy, breezy mid-century modern getaway, the property they landed on was in rough shape. “Brown. Everything was brown,” says Brock. Built in 1960, the original cinder-block buildings needed to be gutted and have their walls resurfaced, ceilings elevated, and floors polished—and that was just for starters. On a mission to carefully protect the integrity of the surroundings and original footprint, Brock worked around four huge oak trees, adding Bismarck and queen palms to the pool area; carving out private yards for each house; and priming the lawn for parties, picnics, and croquet. “A girls’ group can lay by the pool and walk to dinner, and big families can gather but have their own space to retreat to at the end of the day,” says Brock.
Now when visitors arrive, they’re invited to live like very stylish—and social—locals. “We want our guests to feel completely immersed in island life,” says Revels, adding, “We really do park our cars on the weekends and walk and bike everywhere. We go to the beach a lot and end our days at the pool.” Turning to the interior design, they dreamed up a muse whose well-traveled style gives the Park a collected feel—such as crisp white bed linens paired with embroidered Indian kantha quilts, indigo pillows, and layered jute rugs. No two houses are the same, but they all share a fresh, playful spirit created by a mix of new and vintage furniture in an eclectic range of materials—from brass and rattan to leather and Lucite—alongside verdant greens, like potted fiddle-leaf fig trees, orchids, monstera, and sansevieria. Pink plays a big part, too, popping up as a Formica countertop in one kitchen and velvet sofa in another rental, as well as on the front doors, which were color-matched to the lounge chairs.
The duo—putting the new space to good use—hosted their team for a relaxed cookout on the lawn earlier this summer. “We like to keep it simple,” says Brock, who often harvests vegetables from her garden to fill out the menu. Sticking to this mantra, they focused on fresh, unfussy ingredients that could be easily tossed together and enjoyed. Grapefruit margaritas and rosé in hand, guests noshed on cheese and charcuterie until Brock and Revels brought out family-style dishes of citrus salad with arugula and fennel, jasmine coconut rice, and whole grilled red snapper with lemons. “Island life is not at all uptight, so your entertaining should never be that way either,” says Revels. “Everyone should always feel part of the celebration.”