We stayed four days for a long weekend tennis getaway in late April. Absolutely beautiful hotel and the grounds surrounding it. The multitude of other great reviews tell you the story. Here are a few specifics for you.
1. We selected a premium ocean view room as opposed to ocean front. Saved money and there is virtually no difference in the qualtiy of the view. Our room was 532 and near the middle of the horseshoe plan and from our balcony, we had gorgeous views of the multiple weddings on the lawn and the ocean beyond. Personally, I feel the way that the architecture framed the view of the ocean enhanced the overall effect. I did not see any of the "standard" ocean view rooms, but I believe these just face sideways rather than straight out to the water. These should still be great views because, unlike many resorts, there is nothing built anywhere near the Sanctuary and you will have long, unspoiled views.
2. We stayed with the concierge club level package. I'm sure the rate varies based upon occupancy levels, but we paid a small premium over the course of three nights for this package.
Included, you will get a room on the fifth (top) floor.
You get private check-in and check-out (not that big of a deal, but it was nice and saved us some time).
You have access to your own concierge - and they go out of their way to make sure all your needs are met. I am a very self sufficient and low maintenance traveler and virtually never use a concierge. They covered all the bases for us. Ashley and Brittney were fantastic! We spent a lot of time just sitting and chatting with them.
The best part is that the lounge is huge with multiple seating areas and a large TV. This is NOT the little breakfast lounge at the top of a Marriott. They serve five different meal presentations each day. Breakfast, Lunch, Light afternoon snacks, dinner, and desert. There was a nice variety at each meal, and they changed it up a little each day. I would describe the meals as heavy hors d'ouerves. We both found the food to be well prepared and tasty (except for the seafood bisque which was, well, ick). With the exception of one night's dinner in the formal dinning room, we took all of our meals in the lounge. There is also an open bar with six or seven nice mid-priced wine offerings, beers, and they'll make you your favorite cocktail, if you wish.
I feel this program is an absolute winner for a few reasons.
You are pretty much stranded in Kiawah. We had made reservations at a great restaurant in Charleston - but cancelled them once we realized that it is nearly an hour drive to downtown Charleston. Maybe its just me, but two hours of driving for dinner isn't a part of my idea of relaxing vacation.
There are extremely limited restaurant options on the island.
3. The restaurants at the resort are extremely expensive and the food was good - but nowhere near the quality that the price reflected. We skipped eating at the "less expensive" Jasmine Porch. However, lunch appetizers are in the $15 range and a $40 lunch for one is probable.
Our dinner at The Ocean Room was a mixed review. We opted for the five course tasting menu ($75 each) with wine pairings ($42 each). Being that I am from Manhattan, the pricing seemed very fair. The courses were creative, featured locally sourced fare, were nicely presented, and the wine pairings offered some interesting and delicious wines. Unfortunately, someone in the kitchen was heavy handed with the sea salt. It started with the amuse bouche and several of the plates were ruined by the fact that all you could taste was the burn and crunch of the salt. We each had a pre-dinner martini and, including tip - it was a $400 meal for two and disappointing at any price. The chilled spring pea soup was wonderful. Everything else was less so. The staff was friendly and engaging. Ended up the night comparing wine and spirit stories with several of them. That was the real highlight of the meal.
4. Our room was immaculately clean. All of the staff were friendly and attentive.
5. The tennis facilities are beautiful and are surrounded by huge Live Oak trees with Spanish moss (and a few aligators!!!) and these cut down the ocean wind to nearly nothing on court. Group drill sessions are $30 per hour and the tennis pros were spot-on and a lot of fun to work with.
What will a stay in paradise cost you? Well, you won't find it on their web site. You have to call and someone will put together your package based upon your dates. This was a little frustrating to me because my dates were completely flexible and it seems odd that you should have to go through assembling an entire package to try and figure out when or how many days you can stay. Ballpark $750+++ per night, not including meals, spa, or the spectacular golf that is available.
An absolutely wonderful destination to chill and decompress.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Near Charleston, SC, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is an oceanfront Five Star/ Five Diamond hotel and spa offering casual Southern grace, comfort and charm on one of the top eco-friendly island in the U.S. It features five golf courses including The Ocean Course, site of the 2012 PGA Championship. Tennis magazine ranks it as America's No. 3 tennis resorts and it has one of the top-ranked beaches in the country. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Sanctuary At Kiawah Island Golf Hotel Kiawah Island
- Sanctuary Hotel Kiawah Island
- The Sanctuary Kiawah Island
- The Sanctuary Hotel At Kiawah Island Golf Resort South Carolina