We scooted out of town for the Labor Day holiday weekend to enjoy some fine Southern hospitality and quality family time in the Lowcountry at Montage Palmetto Bluff. This Virtuoso resort, the top luxury consortia in the world, is one I have booked for clients and have had at the top of my list to visit myself for a couple of years now!
Montage Palmetto Bluff Review Series:
Montage Palmetto Bluff is located between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, nestled along the scenic May River in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The level of service was sensational, the accommodations were immaculate and every second we spent here was wonderful.
There are a variety of accommodations at Montage Palmetto Bluff. We stayed in the Inn, in the heart of the resort activity. In addition to lovely and spacious guest rooms, you will find the main reception, concierge, dining, spa, a boutique and more.
The inn is decorated in traditional Southern style, with gorgeous antiques, plush furnishings and sweeping ceilings. I could have moved right in!
The inn is just steps away from the family and adult pools, and a bike ride or golf cart shuttle whisks you to the waterfront and Wilson Village.
We had a spacious and well appointed double queen room that was extremely comfortable for the four of us.
Nightly turn down service is a rare luxury these days. There’s just something about crawling into a fully fluffed bed at night.
The bathroom was just as spacious, with double sinks, a shower, freestanding tub and separate water closet.
We came in on Friday after school and were thrilled to find such lovely welcome amenities in the room! Something for us and something for the kids. When we arrived, they invited Whit to choose a stuffed animal friend to enjoy during his stay and then take home as a memento. From the selection of lowcountry critters like deer, gators and fox, he chose the eagle. Because it reminded him of Alaska. :-)
I am an early bird and the view from our spacious balcony was gorgeous – from sun up to sun down.
Nestled between tranquil waterfronts and verdant forests, guest houses and cottages are also available accommodations. Next time I’d love to try one of these charming cottages with a screened porch overlooking the water. Oh, and the resort is dog friendly so Elsa will need to come along!
Finally, you can also rent an entire home on the Bluff through Montage. These would be wonderful for larger family gatherings with all the amenities of home.
These pictures convey the slow pace of life at the Bluff, something we reveled in for a change. We parked our car Friday and didn’t see it again until Monday. We strolled and biked beneath the majestic live oaks and red cedars and explored the property as far as we could go in every direction. We also spent our fair share of time just sitting and soaking it all in.
In addition to the Inn Pool (family) and Spa Pool (adult), there is a second adult only pool and fitness center, the River House pool. It has such a gorgeous waterfront location and the attentive service of excellent bar tenders.
Over at the Wilson Park Square, you can learn a little more about the history of Palmetto Bluff dating back thousands of years. The oldest artifact at the Bluff is a stone projectile point dating to 10,000 BC, suggesting the first residents of Palmetto Bluff were in fact descendants of the first humans to arrive in North America, referred to as Paleoindians by archaeologists. What followed on these grounds were thousands of years filled with dramatic discoveries, colonial conquests, the devastation of war, tales of personal loss and, today, the committed conservation of Palmetto Bluff.
The Wilson Mansion Ruins are all that remain of R.T. Wilson, Jr.’s “Palmetto Lodge.”
Shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, R.T. Wilson, Jr. entertained lavishly in his magnificent 72-room home, complete with grand ballroom. The Palmetto Bluff estate was designed with guests in mind. Visitors arrived at the estate by way of a Savannah Line steamship, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, or the Seaboard Airline train. The social pages of the New York Times listed the comings and goings of the New York elite with frequent mention of individuals “leaving today to visit Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Wilson of Palmetto Bluff, S.C.” Guests would stay for weeks, enjoying Mrs. Wilson’s lavish parties. One can only imagine the elegance and bounty of the meals served there, with the freshest of ingredients harvested from the surrounding waters and woods, and the produce of Wilson’s extensive farms. The Wilsons’ pastoral winters at Palmetto Bluff came to a sudden and tragic halt in 1926 when, during their occupancy, a fire broke out in the attic of their mansion that could not be controlled. The destruction of the 14-year-old mansion was heartbreaking to Richard Wilson Jr., who is reported to have wept profusely at the loss and had to be twice carried from the burning building. In ill health, with liver and other problems, he made no attempt to rebuild the mansion and sold the entire property, including the sawmill and other business properties, to the Varn Turpentine and Cattle Company in 1926.
Another neat little peek of the past is the pet cemetery. We took the time to read each and every little tombstone, imagining how much love these humans must have had for their canine companions.
Today, this land is a picture-perfect small town village, resting along the May River. With an expansive village green, charming restaurants, boutiques, and a genuine sense of good old-fashioned community, it’s the very ideal of a simple, small town southern life.
The Mary River Chapel is stunning in its simplicity.
The River House is home to a porch lounge and fire pits, a place where you will find guests gathered each and every night.
I’ll talk more tomorrow about the activities at Montage Palmetto Bluff, but many of them are included in your stay! The Resort Fee includes:
- Spa Montage Wet Area Facilities including sauna, steam room, whirlpool and cold plunge
- Kayaking and canoeing equipment
- Fishing equipment
- Tennis, croquet and bocce ball
- Morning coffee and newspaper in lobby
- Two fitness facilities and daily exercise classes
- Afternoon Porching
- Nightly s’mores
- Gratuity for concierge and housekeeping
- Resort tram and property shuttles
- Cadillac Ride and Drive Program
And finally, benefits for booking with me:
- Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
- $60 daily breakfast credit per bedroom, served in restaurant & In-Room Dining
- $100 USD Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Comlimentary Wi-Fi
Designed with the charm of classic Southern style and outfitted with amenities and experiences true to Lowcountry culture, Montage Palmetto Bluff is a luxurious getaway with the warmth of home. For my Atlanta and Southeast friends, this is a great long weekend escape and a resort I can wholeheartedly recommend. For my clients coming from further away, I usually plan a stay at Montage Palmetto Bluff in conjunction with Charleston and/or Savannah for a full week in the South.
As a Virtuoso affiliated travel adviser, I have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies, and I secure exclusive amenities for my luxury clients. I have recently refocused my travel business primarily on Disney destinations, but am always happy to book and consult on destinations I have personally visited, as well as other Virtuoso resorts and all major cruise lines. Contact me to learn more and start designing your dream vacation today!
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